A few weeks ago I was introduced to a free media player called Foobar2000 by MetaMan. He gave me a link to a portable version (called FoobarRemix) that was put together so that I could try it out without having to install the application. For some reason I haven’t been listening to a lot of music lately, but when I did crank up the tunes I made sure to use Foobar2000. The result…it’s quite impressive.
At first glance it looks like a program that is way too simple since it even sports some “ASCII art” for some of the display items, such as the progress bar. My first reaction was that this was just whipped up real quick, but the real gems lie under the hood. Not only that, but the progress bars that I once saw as amateurish I now look at as stylish. I’m not quite sure why I like them now, but it probably has something to do with my inner geek coming out.
One of the things that really struck me as cool was that when I played a song it would actually retrieve the lyrics and display them on the screen while the song was playing. It would also highlight the words in a karaoke style as the song went along. Unfortunately it wasn’t able to retrieve the lyrics for all of my songs, but it was successful about 75% of the time.
The shock didn’t hit until I opened up the Preferences under the File Menu. In there was a wonderfully large selection of options that I could customize and tweak until the pitter patter of my heart was just right. It appears that the portable version that I was using already had all of the additional components installed, and therefore added an extreme amount of customizability to the application. There was even an XM plug-in installed that let me stream my XM Radio without needing to use Windows Media Player like I previously did…that’s what won my heart over.
The only downside that I found to the entire application was that it wasn’t skinnable. That didn’t really bother me because they let you customize fonts, background colors, and a lot of different aspects of the current theme. Not only that but I really warmed up to the existing color set that came with the application.
So below you’ll find the option to download Foobar2000 from the official site or you can give the portable version (called FoobarRemix) a shot. I highly recommend using the portable version because your experience will be a lot better with all of the components already downloaded and installed for you. In case you’re wondering I did monitor the registry while running the portable version and didn’t see anything being written to it, so it should be fine to take with you on your USB Drive wherever you go.
MetaMan pointed out that they have done a lot more to customize Foobar2000 which is why they renamed it to FoobarRemix. Here is his post on FoobarRemix which briefly mentions version 0.2 that they are working on to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Thanks for the tip and portable version link MetaMan!