Friday, April 15, 2005

foobar2000 the alternative to Winamp

Foobar2000 is an advanced audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include ReplayGain support, low memory footprint and native support for several popular audio formats.

* Open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player
* Audio formats supported "out-of-the-box": WAV, AIFF, VOC, AU, SND, Ogg Vorbis, MPC, MP2, MP3, MPEG-4 AAC
* Audio formats supported through official addons: FLAC, OggFLAC, Monkey's Audio, WavPack, Speex, CDDA, TFMX, SPC, various MOD types; extraction on-the-fly from RAR, 7-ZIP & ZIP archives
* Full Unicode support on Windows NT
* ReplayGain support
* Low memory footprint, efficient handling of really large playlists
* Advanced file info processing capabilities (generic file info box and masstagger)
* Highly customizable playlist display
* Customizable keyboard shortcuts
* Most of standard components are opensourced under BSD license (source included with the SDK)


Note : The screen shot shown here is shown along with the playlist already format-ed by foobar2000 highly customizable playlist display or commonly known as foobar2000 formatting strings.

Yup, most people dislike the interface, because it is bland and looks just like any normal windows in Windows. Well, here is what I think though. Is the interface really important? or is the sound that is produced that is more important? I know Winamp has thousands and thousands of skins, but when you are listening to music and songs while doing something else, skins or not it is not important, that's of course unless someone out there actually listens to music while looking at the Winamp player, is there anyone like that?

Anyway, I don't really care if the interface is dull, bland or even looks like age old windows. What is important is the sound that is produced! Yeah, maybe some people might argue that because Peter (he is the developer of foobar2000) which he was a former freelance contractor for Nullsoft, Peter's Winamp directsound plugin which Winamp used as the default output plugin is(might be) the same as the directsound plugin in foobar2000. Well, I can't say anything about the directsound plugin since I don't use it. I used Kernel Streaming instead. Kernel Streaming or ks for short, honestly it sounds better than the directsound plugin.

Another feature that I like about foobar2000 is that it has "tabbed playlists" (which is something like Firefox's tabbed browsing.

foobar2000 tabs
I can have multiple playlists in foobar2000 which saves me the time to load each playlists one at a time. I just just tabbed to the next playlists with a click of a mouse.

Another feature that foobar2000 has is able to playback audio files from archives! Meaning that you can zip/rar/7z your audio files and foobar2000 can playback from the archives without you having to unzip/unrar/un7z the audio files. In a way it helps free up more space on your computer.