This is a very popular question from PC-Audio users. Why Foobar2000? It’s a strange name. Why not WinAmp? Windows Media Player? MusicMatch Jukebox? Apple iTunes? or what-so-ever more popular other players?
Simply because Foobar2000 offers better sound quality. And it’s also very simple and lightweight player. It doesn’t offer many colorful or skins option (though it’s possible to do so).
Foobar2000 was developed by Peter Pawlowski, former Nullsoft (WinAmp) freelance programmer. On some thread I’ve ever read (forgot where), Peter himself admits that this Foobar2000 should produces sound in the same quality with others player. “Foobar2000 is no better than any other players”, claimed Peter (despite the fact that in Western community like hydrogenaudio, any black is black – period. If you hear the different, then it’s a placebo 😉 So no use of debating what your hear “good” or “better” here).
But the fact is, Foobar2000 is absolutely better than any others standard player (WinAmp, WMP, iTunes, etc are no match for Foobar2000).
I have been using Foobar since quite long time ago. Well, if I remember correctly, that time was when 3dsoundsurge was a popular audio forum on the Net. I think it was version 0.3 or 0.4x something. It was a fantastic moment (I was a WinAmp user to). Foobar offered clean interface, simple, but sounded fantastic.
Also I have traveled from many sound card to sound card. From SB Live 16, to AWE32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, Audigy2, X-Fi, Terratec Aureon, Audiotrak Prodigy, M-Audio Revolution (what a nice battle between VIA Envy and Creative). Finally, I moved to pro class sound card like ESI Juli@, EMU1820M, ECHO, and Lynx. I sticked with ESI Juli@ and EMU1820M until now.
From my own opinion (and some of my fellows – most of them are audiophile or sound engineers), Foobar offers the same playback quality offered by professional class audio software (we are talking about WaveLab, Nuendo, or Cubase here).
One of my friend, he is a professional sound engineer. Never able to hear the sound produce from standard player like WinAmp or Windows Media Player. Once a time, I ask him to try Foobar. Though a little bit pessimistic at first, he still tries my suggestion to try. It doesn’t take a long time for him to admit that this player is better than the standard player that he ever tried before. He says that Foobar could deliver sound similiar with professional WaveLab that cost a lot of money (Foobar is free).
Don’t believe? Just download and give yourself a try. If you don’t like it, just delete it! Easy as a-b-c!
I’m not pulling an argument here… If you like it, just use it… If you still prefer your old WinAmp or Windows Media Player, so stick with it… I’ve been in audio for over 12 years and over 8 years in PC-based, I will completely sure to recommend this Foobar as a serious (but free) listening software. This is my recommendation. Feel free to have your own recommendation 😉
Add ASIO support from your sound card to bypass Windows KMixer then this Foobar really will rock! 🙂 Make sure your sound card will support ASIO to. Most likely are professional based. Most consumer grade sound card doesn’t support ASIO. Check the technical specification if you are not sure.
Also, for a serious listening session, I still prefer WaveLab below (click below to enlarge).