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Foobar 2000

Foobar 2000 is my favourite music player, even after switching to Linux. Which is a bit of a pain, because it's Windows-only. Running it in Wine means you miss out on being able to use it to sync with stuff via USB, but that's becoming less nessessary for me anyway. Still, I mostly just use it when I boot into Windows 7 I finally have a nice Wine setup. Fonts were the biggest pain. The foobar2000 in the AUR was a help!.


Foobar 2000 Mobile is still very much a work-in-progress, but I find it does what I want. I haven't actually looked into any other music players for my Android phone, yet.

I first tried using the One Way Sync componant to get my music on there, but have since been using good ol' Rsync. I have a big enough SD card to hold all my music, so I just use Rsync to keep it the same asd what's on my computer.

Playlists can be easily export from Foobar by just right clicking a playlist and selecting 'Save All As' to spit them all out as .M3U8 files (otherwise non-Roman characters get mucked) to a folder. Then using either a bash script or text editor to fix the strings so they point to where my music files are on my phone.

The only little tricky thing is accessing the music location via


and running Rsync command from there, instead of via the mounted phone shortcut that appears in my file browser. The Rsync command I use is:

rsync --verbose --progress --omit-dir-times --no-perms --recursive --inplace --ignore-existing --delete-after --exclude='*.txt' /mnt/shared/Music/ ./

Gleaned from:


Columns UI

This is one of Foobar's best features. It enables really detailed UI customisation. This is what allows you to put panels where you want, and put whatever you want in those panels, basically.


Maybe also Tag Box.

Good utility for tagging files in batches, including the ability to aut☞assign tags based on file-name.

One Way Sync

One Way Sync is pretty straight forward, but was a little intimidating and not well explained when I first looked at its settings. There are three pages of settings from

File > One Way Sync > Configure

Components > Tools

(click images to open full-size)

One Way Sync

'Encoder Settings' is just the commands that are passed along when a file needs to be converted from a format like FLAC to MP3. I don't really need this, so just left it as-is, apart from changing the location of lame.exe (the default is in the Foobar folder). Sometimes in these kinds of fields I had trouble editing existing options, so I'd have to copy and paste the info into a new field. You can have multiple, which one is used is setup on another page.

I also uncheck 'Create subfolder for each task, which was making a new folder with a new set of files for each playlist. I prefer to have all the music in one place and have all the playlists point to there.

One Way Sync > Devices

The 'Destination Devices and Folders' should automatically list you hardware. I had to rename my phone to 'Android', because spaces or brackets or something were stopping music getting copied over.

The 'To Android' in the pulldown is the name of my preset. You have two different kinds you can save, one for 'Devices' and one for 'Tasks'. Multiple 'Tasks' ones can be included within the 'Devices' ones. The 'Devices' ones (IE 'To Android') are what you select to start coping stuff over, so give 'em a useful name!

I unchecked 'Covert lossless files', becaues I don't think I have any. You can also set it to convert stuff like OGG if your player doesn't handle them. The 'lame' in the pulldown is referencing the settigns from the first page.

You'll also want to check 'Linux Compatible playlists' if you're sending things to Android. I think everything else is default.

One Way Sync > Tasks

I changed the 'Titleformatting Scripts' a little. The default stuck things in an extra folder called 'files', and I've been using %album artist% instead of %album%, because that's how I roll. This syntax is the same as elsewhere in Foobar.

I think the rest probably makes sense


Something I find useful for it's ability to easily move things to/from/between playlists.

You access the features through the right-click menu, under 'Legacy Commands'.

Auto Playlists

You can do some neat things with this feature, but I've barely touched it. The most useful thing I use them for is automatically generating a playlist of the newest things I've added to Foobar.

Creating autoplaylists is a bit unintuitive (I wrote this section because I just had to look it up again). You:

  1. First have to make your query via either Library > Album List or Library > Search.
  2. Enter your query (see 'Examples' and 'Syntax' sections)
  3. From Album List you make the search by right clicking on the results, from Search You click on the button. From both of these you can select the 'Create Autoplaylist' option.




Query Pattern %added% DURING LAST 4 WEEKS
Sort Pattern SORT DESCENDING BY [%added%]

This will take a while to work. Depending on the value you use to define 'new'. In my example it will take four weeks till it starts working, because it only counts from when you add the component was installed. Still!, a handy way to keep track of new stuff.


Query Pattern %genre% MISSING
Sort Pattern if2(%album artist%,<no artist>)[ / %album%]

Checks for empty tags (in this case genre) so you can fix them up when needed. Sorted by album / artist.

Useful Tidbits

  • You can create multiple screen layouts, and then define hotkeys to switch to them! For example I have one for organising my music, one for listening, and one for listening in a small window. FIXME1)
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tools/software/foobar_2000.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/09 09:52 by rjt