foobar2000[a] (often abbreviated as fb2k) is a freeware audio player for Microsoft Windows, iOS and Android developed by Peter Pawłowski. It is known for its highly modular design, breadth of features, and substantial user flexibility in configuration. For example, the user-interface is completely customizable, the standard "skin" elements can be individually augmented or entirely replaced with different dials and buttons, as well as visualizers such as waveform, oscilloscope, spectrum, spectrogram (waterfall), peak and smoothed VU meters. Its extensive software development kit (SDK) allows third-party developers enough power to completely replace the interface.
foobar2000 v1.5.5 on Windows 10, with optional Columns UI, Lyrics View and Waveform Minibar components
|Developer(s)||Peter Pawłowski and contributors|
|Initial release||December 20, 2002|
|Stable release||1.6.2 (October 22, 2020)|
|Preview release||1.6.2 beta 7 (October 16, 2020)|
|Platform||Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows NT, macOS|
SDK: BSD (3 clause)
foobar2000 supports many audio file formats, has many features for organizing metadata, files, and folders, and has a converter interface for use with command line encoders. To maximize audio fidelity in cases where resampling or downscaling in bit depth is required, it provides noise shaping and dithering. There are a number of official and third-party components which add many additional features. The core is closed source, whereas the SDK is licensed under the Three-Clause BSD license.
History and developmentEdit
foobar2000 was first released by 2002 and developed by Peter Pawłowski, who had previously worked at Nullsoft and developed plugins for Winamp. He created foobar2000 with the audiophile community in mind. The software's mascot and logo icon consists of a white "alien cat".
foobar2000 supports Windows, though the support of older versions for Windows XP and Vista has been dropped as of version 1.6 (released 2020). Windows 2000 support was dropped as of version 0.9.5 (released 2008) and Windows 95/98/ME/NT4 support was dropped as of version 0.9 (released 2006).
foobar2000 also has a highly customizable user interface, advanced tagging capabilities and support for ripping Audio CDs, as well as transcoding of all supported audio formats using the Converter component. The player can read inside ZIP, GZIP, and RAR archives. Core functionality has also been tested to work under Wine on Linux, although the program's crash reporter will detect Wine and direct the user to the Wine Bugzilla.
Users can configure the foobar2000 Media Library with automated folder watching and Windows Media streaming. The client is built with an open component architecture, allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player.
Other optional features include playback statistics, CD burning, kernel streaming, ASIO support and WASAPI output compatibility. Third-party support is also present in the audio client. For instance, foobar2000 supports Last.fm scrobbling and integration with Apple iPod, including album art support and automatic transcoding of audio formats not supported by iPod itself.
foobar2000 developer Peter Pawłowski has also made other audio software, including Boom which is an easy-to-use audio player for Windows.
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