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Revision as of 22:34, 18 August 2006 by Spooky Donkey (Talk | contribs)

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A rather extensive FAQ is available at the SH/SC Wiki.



Is foobar2000 still under active development?

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


There are multiple output methods available: DirectSound, waveOut and Kernel Streaming. Which one should I use?

A: The default setting (waveOut) is recommended; it should be safe to use anywhere. Using DirectSound results in better performance (less CPU overhead)—especially under Windows 2000, Windows XP or newer—but there shouldn't be any audible difference between the two. In certain rare cases, Kernel Streaming may produce better results than DirectSound/waveOut (if for some reason you need data sent through digital out to be bit-identical to source stream); however, bit-identical results with DirectSound have been reported on soundcards capable of mixing multiple streams in hardware (with hardware mixing enabled in DirectSound settings).

Please note that Kernel Streaming is an experimental feature with known issues, and using it is not recommended unless you have a clear need to do so. Most of perceived "sound quality differences" between DirectSound and Kernel Streaming are related to the fact that Kernel Streaming usually bypasses the Windows volume control. In addition, Kernel Streaming only works on Windows 2000, Windows XP or newer.

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

Preferences → General → Always send to playlist (playlist name) (0.9) Preferences → Core → Always send to playlist (playlist name) (0.8x)

How do I create a temporary playlist?

Use foo_temple Template:Foobar2000v08.

Look & Feel

How can I get G-force in a panel or a tab?

To get G-force without any edges, or in a tab/panel, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Documents and Settings\<your Windows username>\G-force folder
  2. Open the Preferences (foobar2000).txt file and change the line NoBo=0 to NoBo=1

You won't be able to resize the window, so set the position and size of the window carefully. To put it as a tab, just create a fake tab called G-Force and place the window (the window without borders will take the place of the window with borders included before the change).

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! Simply take a look at these links:

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

Yes, through plugins:

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.
  • You can also use foo_toaster (0.8.x only).

Columns UI

How can I get tabbed panels?

Use uie tabs.

Where are the options for changing the playback buttons?

  • For 0.8.x = Preferences → Display → UI columns → Other → Use custom buttons
  • For 0.9.x = 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.

Database and Tagging

Foobar always takes between 5 minutes and several hours to open all the files in the same playlist. Is there a way to reduce this delay?

Sure. Enable the database (Preferences → Core → Database). You will be able to add thousands of files in only 30-40 seconds.

Alternatively, if you don't want to activate the database, just save your playlists in the fpl format.

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

Foobar only adds the info to the database (if it is enabled), so you have to update the info in it: select the file(s), right click on any of them, go to "Database", then click on "Reload info from files".


I get an error message saying "referenced file doesn't exist" on the console. What does that mean, and how can it be fixed?

This error is caused by an outdated/broken CUE sheet or APL link. You need to find and repair or remove it. After that, run "Remove dead entries" from the Database page in the Preferences dialog.

The Album List shows dead entries after restarting, even though I used "Remove dead entries" earlier. Why is that?

The files are probably still referenced in one of your playlists or in the history (if you are using an old version of foo_history). Use Playlist → Remove dead entries from the main menu on all your playlists, or remove the dead entries manually. As long as the files are on a playlist, they will be in the database and thus will show up in album list.

Menu items for some plugins don't show up. I reinstalled but I still don't see them, even though the plugin is shown as a Loaded Library.

If you delete a menu item for a plugin, and then re-add the plugin, it won't re-add the menu items. The solution is to open the Preferences dialog, go to Core → Main menu items, and add the items manually.

An MP3 does not play properly (there is no sound) in fb2k whereas it plays perfectly in other players. What is the problem?

You need to disable Use peak info to scale down tracks that still clip after applying replaygain in the Preferences dialog, in the ReplayGain section of the Playback page.

I use the volume control toolbar but it doesn't work. What's the problem?

You may be using Kernel Streaming or ASIO. These two output methods are not compatible with the volume control toolbar.

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).

foobar and other players

How can I publish my playlist as HTML, like in Winamp?

Use foo_playlist_output. There is also a customizable version available (needs foo_playlist_output): foo_playlist_output_custom.

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:

Is the sound really better with foobar?

As the author of foobar says himself, foobar doesn't have a better sound than the other players like Winamp. From a theoretical point of view, the sound from foobar2000 is not different from the sound from other players since a player can't improve the sound drastically (though it might be altered if not correctly set). Your hardware is much more important (audio card, speakers, headphones, even cables), as is the audio source (Audio CD? Lossless codec? Lossy codec?). The software part is only secondary.

Even if sound modifiers (DSPs) are used, they only widen the gap between the source and the result, which might actually degrade the sound quality.

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

Maybe this will change your mind: foo_pod (only Template:Foobar2000v08). There is a good manual for it too.