From Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase


Is this the only FAQ?

No. There is an official one at the site. It is maintained independently of this one, and covers different topics.

Is foobar2000 still under active development?

Yes. Please see the forum and the foobar2000 homepage for the latest version and news about upcoming versions.

I have Windows Vista and my foobar2000 has strange behavior. Do you plan on fixing those bugs soon?

Foobar2000 fully supports Windows Vista (other than a limitation in Windows Explorer which causes the "Enqueue" command to not work properly with a large number of files). The problem is most probably due to a component, so updating to the latest version might resolve the problem.

I'm looking for a specific feature. How should I know if a third-party component suits my needs ?

If you are not the Ctrl+F kind of person with your web browser, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get familiar with it. Go to the components section, press Ctrl+F and search for keywords related to what you are looking for. Foobar2000 components site is another option, although it does not contain all the components known for foobar at the moment. On Github, you can find also lot of stuff: plugins and themes.You will hopefully find something that suits you. Otherwise, maybe you can make a request in the foobar2000 forum or even better, code it yourself then share it with the community!

How do I upgrade Foobar2000?

If it's a minor upgrade (e.g. 0.9.3 -> 0.9.4) then simply install it in the same directory. Remember to select the same "per user" setting while installing; you could lose all your configurations otherwise. If it's a major upgrade (e.g. 0.8 -> 0.9), it's recommended that you uninstall the previous version before installing the newer version, because the components are (almost always) incompatible with the newer version.

Where can I find old versions of Foobar2000?

Old versions can be found at Although old versions may be lacking critical bug fixes, they can be useful if you need to use a component or operating system that is no longer supported by the current version. For example, Windows 2000 users can't use foobar2000 versions newer than


How can I send my files from Windows Explorer into a specific playlist, so as not to erase my active playlist?

Preferences → Shell Integration → Always send to playlist (playlist name)

Why does dragging and dropping directories / files have erratic results?

The culprit is most likely an input component. Removing the input components and adding them back one-by-one can help you pinpoint the location. Note: Haali has coded a stable Matroska component that doesn't cause this problem.

Why can't I listen to unfinished downloading files?

Foobar2000 needs exclusive access to files being played - they can be read by other software while foobar2000 is accessing them but not written to. A good workaround is to copy the unfinished file, then try to play it.

The 'Previous' button doesn't work.

In Random playback mode, the Previous button behaves as a Stop button.

How can I (automatically) move to the currently playing track in the playlist?

By default, double-clicking the status bar will highlight the currently playing track. To make it automatic, select Playback > Cursor follows playback. You can also create a shortcut from the file > preferences > keyboard shortcuts menu so each time you hit, for instance, ALT+X the playlist and the song you are playing right now will show up.

Look & Feel

I just saw a great looking foobar2000 window, but I don't know how to get mine looking the same way! Is there no hope for me?

Of course there is! First take a look at those threads and get in touch with what other users achieved:

Then, you are ready to give it a try! You can find some of the user's configuration in the links below. Note that Single Column Playlist and ColumnsUI are third-party components that you need to download.

Is there a way to make my instant messenger's "Now Playing" show the song I'm listening to with foobar?

Yes, through plugins:

  • AMIP Complete now-playing plug-in for mIRC, PIRCH, Klient, Bersirc, other IRC and Mail clients, supporting full player control from mIRC, playlist search, clipboard integration, HTTP, dynamic image signatures, etc.
  • for MSN
  • for Miranda-IM
  • for Skype

I have seen some people using something which pops up to display the song being listened to. Where can I find it?

  • It's called foo_prettypop. Note that it requires the .NET Framework to work.
  • If you are using Columns UI, it has a popup notification feature too ("Preferences -> Display -> ColumnsUI -> Status Bar/Systray (tab) -> Show popup notification baloon")

Is there a way to map my multimedia keyboard keys?

You can assign actions with keys including multimedia key from the in "Preference -> General -> Keyboard Shortcuts". If it still does not work, take a look at this tutorial.

Columns UI

How do I know which component is meant to be used with Columns UI?

Component section of the wiki shows which plugin you can use for ColumnsUI's interface.

How can I get tabbed panels?

Use uie tabs. Also, the latest version of Column UI (0.2.0 Alpha 3) has the feature built-in.

Where are the options for changing the playback buttons?

Right click on buttons area → Customise...

How can I display the album art and cover above my playlist?

To set the panels above your playlist, just use list all toolbars, then add the panels/toolbars/visualizations that you want to use. Organize them as you want them to be displayed. And finally, use the 'minimum height' values of the corresponding panels. As it is not a common way to use the toolbar, you may experience some unexpected behaviour. Keep in mind that it may create some display problems. Musicmusic may fix this into the next version of Columns UI.

I have more questions.

Refer to the official ColumnsUI FAQ.

Media Library, Tagging & Album Cover

I updated my tags, but foobar still shows the old tags. How can I fix this?

This happens almost exclusively when you use a third party program to update tags (updates made by Foobar2000 itself are immediately reflected). Select the file(s), right click on any of them, go to Tagging, then click on "Reload Info from File(s)".

How can I fill in tags based on file names or directory structure?

Right click on the file(s) in the playlist → open the Properties dialog → choose "Automatically Fill Values" from its "Tools" menu. For more details, see the Automatically Fill Values page.

How can I automatically assign tracknumbers to a group of files?

Select all tracks that need to be filled with tracknumbers → right click → open the Properties dialog → choose "Auto Track Number" from the "Tools" menu.

Is there a way to have album covers downloaded automatically?

Unfortunately, it is not possible. But, there is a way to be 2 clicks away from those cover arts. Take a look at this threadfor more info.

Or you can check this YouTube video which uses Album Art Downloader.

How can I make a playlist containing duplicate entries?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. However, you can use the album list panel component to remove the dead entries from your library, and use a free program like [1] to find the duplicate files in your computer.

How can I make a playlist containing files recently added to the media library?

One of the information which the official playback statistics component (foo_playcount) collects is the time a file was added to the Media Library. This data is accessible by the %added% field, so you can search by a query such as %added% DURING LAST 2 WEEKS in Facets, Album List, or Media Library Search.

How do I save tags in a database (as opposed to writing it in the file)?

The official playback statistics component (foo_playcount) stores the information it has collected in a database by default. If you need to store some other information in a database, use foo_custominfo. Note that foo_custominfo is incompatible with foobar2000 since version

How do I tag various artist albums (compilations)?

Enter the information in the Album Artist tag. Most people use "VA", "Various" or "Various Artists", but you can put anything you want.


How can I display information about the next track in the playlist?

This is not possible in foobar2000 since v0.9.5.3.

How can I calculate and display how long it's been since I last played a track?

The official playback statistics component (foo_playcount) stores the information in the %last_played% field. However, the current system time cannot be retrieved via titleformatting in foobar2000 v0.9.5.3 and beyond, so in most cases, you cannot calculate how long it has been (e.g., in days) since a track was last played. (See the relevant discussion at the Hydrogenaudio forums.)

The one exception is ColumnsUI (foo_ui_columns), which makes %_system_year%, %_system_day%, %_system_month%, %_system_day_of_week%, and %_system_hour% available. Hence it is technically possible to calculate and display the difference, but it is only accessible from within the Columns UI playlists.

How can I apply color changes to my titleformatting results?

The $rgb() command is currently unsupported in the Default UI playlist. For complex coloring schemes, you need to use ColumnsUI (foo_ui_columns).


List of banned components

Before posting bug reports, be sure that none of those problematic components are installed.

There is always a long delay before changes to the DSPs take effect. Can I reduce this?

Try reducing the output buffer length from Preferences → Playback → Output → (your selected output method). However, do not put it at the minimum length. 300ms should be enough (more if you are using several DSPs).

What are metadb_handle leaks?

metadb_handles are resources used in the metadata management in foobar2000. A leak indicates that a component does not release them (in time). The overall effect of such a leak is relatively harmless. Nevertheless, this is a programming error and foobar2000 detects and reports it to the user. Unfortunately, it is not possible for foobar2000 to detect which component caused the leak.

I hear static when fading in/out - pause/unpause.

Be sure you have the latest sound drivers installed and disable your DSPs before reporting it. Some users reported that using Kernel Streaming instead of the default output fixed the problem ("Preferences -> Playback -> Output"), but be aware that this plugin is still experimental and it is issue related in some cases.

Playing certain files over HTTP doesn't seem to work in foobar2000. It works in other players. What's wrong?

foobar2000 uses MIME types to determine the file type of a given file. If an invalid MIME type is returned, it will cause foobar2000 to use the wrong decoder. If an unidentified MIME type is returned, foobar2000 will use the extension to determine the file's contents. Using the extension to determine the file's contents is a difficult thing to do in code, and is unlikely to be included in foobar2000. To fix the problem, get the server to return valid MIME types. This is a server-side problem, not a foobar2000 problem.

Foobar2000 shut down improperly / crashed, and now my recent changes are all gone! How do I prevent this in the future?

Foobar2000 automatically saves configuration changes (including edits to the playlists) only when it is closed properly. If foobar2000 crashed, you should first try to find and remove the cause of the crash, e.g., an unstable third-party component. There are, of course, other causes for an improper shutdown, such as Windows crashing or a power outage. To reduce the risk of losing changes, you should manually save the settings by doing one of the following:

  • Closing and restarting foobar2000 during/after making major changes
  • Using the Save All button in the Preferences window
  • Binding the 'Save Configuration' command to a keyboard shortcut/toolbar button.

Foobar2000 and other players


I won't leave iTunes, it manages my iPod perfectly!

Maybe this will change your mind: foo_dop.

How do I add the iTunes like panel showing (genre, artist, album)?

Use Facets if you're using DefaultUI or the "Filter" UI component that comes with the latest version of Columns UI. You can also use foo_browser with ColumnUI.

How do I add the iTunes like search toolbar?

Use foo_uie_quicksearch.

How do I add both iTunes like fast layout switching and cover layout always on top?

Just follow this YouTube link made with 1.3.17. See that image if you want to see exactly what does mean.

Why do my songs show a square block next to the title/artist fields in iTunes?

Although the ID3v2.4 is the standard, iTunes (and many other software players as well as portables) still support only ID3v2.3. A workaround for this is to use compatibility mode tagging (Preferences -> Advanced -> Tagging -> MP3 -> "ID3v2 Compatibility Mode")


How do I have a MediaMonkey style "now playing" playlist?

See Winamp section 1.3.2 How do I have a Winamp style "now playing" playlist?.


Is foobar really better than Winamp?

There is no set answer. According to public opinion, foobar is great for people wanting a minimal player, as well as the opposite: people needing advanced features. However, the medium users are lost between the profusion of settings and components to find. Some relevant links:

How do I have a Winamp style "now playing" playlist?

Unlike winamp (and mediamonkey), there is no special "now playing" playlist in foobar; the foobar way of doing things is to play playlists. That said, you can use the playback queue to get a similar functionality. Instead of clicking "play", use the "add to playback queue" command. You can use foo_uie_queuecontents component to display a panel that displays queued songs.