FooBar2000 Instructions

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Installation

Foobar2000 is a freeware media player for windows. It is the only music player I have found that can slowdown ogg files, mp3 files, CD's, and many others on my AMD K6-2 400 without skipping and it sounds great. As with much freeware it is designed to work well and is a little shy on documentation and ammenities. It does install and uninstall cleanly. It won't hose your computer. It really is remarkably efficient. Since it doesn't have much documentation I decided to give some installation and use instructions here. So download it at foobar2000.org (get the Special version) and lets install.

You want the Special version because it includes the SoundTouch plugin that slows down the music. Save this file someplace where you can find it again. Then double click the file you downloaded and it will start the installer.
Click NEXT to continue.

Read the license that allows you to share this with anyone as long as you include the copyright notice, then click I Agree.

Choose Components determines modules are installed. Each module provides a different capability. For instance SoundTouch is a module that allows you to control the playback speed. I would suggest that you install all of them. You will then have support for many types of audio files. While you may never need these installing them costs you nothing and who knows when you will find some music you want to hear in a format you have never heard of before.

You can select which shortcuts you would like to have.

I usually also select "Enable Per User Settings". After selecting the desired components click Next.


Choose where to install. The default is just fine but you can change it if you have a need to. Click Next.

Choose a Start Menu Folder. Not much reason to change this but you can if you want. Click Next.

The Set Associations window will determine which files Windows will associate with foobar2000. This means that if you click on such a file in Explorer or download it from the Internet foobar2000 will be used to play it. If you have another program you prefer to use for any particular type of file, DO NOT select that file type here. I choose to associate all of them but you may want to leave some files associated with a different player. Just browsing through the available types can be an education. Click OK.

It is always a good idea to read README files but you can decide. Click Finish and you are ready to rock and roll.


Use

Start foobar2000 from one of the icons you installed. The first time you start it it will ask you if you want the old interface or the new interface. What I will describe is the new interface.

You see an interface that appears quite normal. There is a Menu Bar and a Tabbed Pane with one tab, Default. The Tabbed Panes represent playlists. Right click on Default to get a Menu. One of the most important things here is the Create New Playlist item. This gives you a new playlist to work with instead of adding everyting to the default. You can then rename and save the playlist for later use.

Playing a CD

To play a CD create a new playlist and select Components - Play Audio CD. This will load the cd into the current playlist. At this point it probably lists a bunch of unknown tracks so lets fix that.

Enabling freedb lookups

For this to work you must be connected to the internet since foobar will now query freedb.org to get a the information about the CD. Select Foobar2000 - Preferences. This will bring up the preferences window. The left panel is a tree very much like a directory structure. The right panel shows the options for what is selected in the left panel. This panel is active. You do not set options and restart. You set options and they happen now as well as being saved, so you not only set preferences here but use it as a control panel.

In the left panel choose freedb masstagger. In the right panel you will see the freedb controls. First choose retrieve freedb servers list and then choose a server close to you. If you are in the US this is probably us.freedb.org. If you plan to enter CD data to upload to the server you can put you email address in. Now go to auto CDDA tagging at the bottom and check when CD is added to playlist, automatically retreive titles and for now use only foobar's database to store CD tags.

Now when you add a CD to the playlist foobar will query the freedb database and display Artist, Album and Track information. So now select the the New Playlist tab and the select Playlist - Clear from the Menu Bar. Now select Components - Play Audio CD and you will see the list of tracks. This may take a minute or so depending on you network connection and it is possible that your CD has not been added to the database yet, in which case it will still come up with unknown tracks. This is a good indication that you should enter the data and add it to the database for the rest of us to use. :)

Slowing Down the Music

Finally we are getting to what you wanted to do. If your preferences panel is not open, open it now. In the left panel select Playback/DSP Manager. In the right panel you will now see Active DSP's and Available DSP's. The one we want is SoundTouch and it is not active so in the Available DSP's window double click on it or highlight it and select the left arrow. It will move to the Active DSP's and pop up the console. This console is informative but unless it shows errors, hide it for now.

Now in the left panel select SoundTouch. In the right panel you see the speed and pitch controls. Move the Tempo adjust slider and click apply. That's it. Notice that this works with any CD or sound file foobar can play. Pretty cool, huh? The next time you start foobar this will be applied also. When you are done you might want to go back to DSP Manager and unload SoundTouch before you close the program, so it will start with unmodified tempo next time.

Playing other files

Playing music files is very much like playing a CD. Open a new playlist and select Playlist - addfile or add directory. The files will then be in your playlist. You may then want to use the right click menu on the tab to rename and save your playlist. You can then select Playlist - Load to load it anytime you want.

Converting to other formats

Foobar can convert any file it can read to any format it can write. You select the writer you want to use, set it's properties, select the file or files you want to write, right click on it (them) and select Convert - Run Conversion and away it goes, or you can choose Write Audio CD if your computer has that capability. To select the writer open Preferences and select Disk Writer. Select a directory to write to,possibly edit the output naming, select the Output format, and set any other options that you prefer. Then select the output module you have chosen in the left window and set its properties to taste. You are now ready to run convert.


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Last modified: Fri Dec 5 16:06:08 CST 2003