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foobar2000 Audio Player on Windows 7

I've used Winamp or Windows Media Player on my PC since the Dark Ages simply because they were familiar and were good enough. My wife is a bit more picky about sound quality (and has far better speakers to be picky with) and has recently changed to foobar2000 as the very nice-sounding application that came with her sound card has not been updated in years. foobar2000 recently released a version 1.0 and my wife thought it sounded better on her system than any other audio player she tried, including a number of commercial players.

I discovered that the latest version of Windows Media Player that comes with Windows 7 is even more bloated than the previous one version that I used with XP -- but does not sound any better -- so I decided to give foobar2000 a try. The program is very light weight, especially when compared to Windows Media Player. Best of all, it sounds great -- even on my little Labtec speakers. While I haven't begun to configure the program with optional components and addins -- of which there are many -- it has become my player of choice in Windows 7.

From the foobar 2000 web site:

foobar2000 is an advanced freeware audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include full unicode support, ReplayGain support and native support for several popular audio formats.

Main features

* Supported audio formats: MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND... and more with additional components.
* Gapless playback.
* Full unicode support.
* Easily customizable user interface layout.
* Advanced tagging capabilities.
* Support for ripping Audio CDs as well as transcoding all supported audio formats using the Converter component.
* Full ReplayGain support.
* Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
* Open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player.

I have installed one addin, however, the Windows 7 Shell Integration component. This lets foobar2000 take full advantage of the Windows 7 taskbar with a jumplist and even player controls (pause, stop, etc) in the preview window you see when you over over a Windows 7 taskbar button. If you haven't given foobar2000 a try, you really should. It may not be much to look at (at least, not out of the box), but it produces great sound and does not hog memory or CPU.

Rating: 5.0
Operating System: Windows XP or later
License: Freeware
Price: Free
Version Tested: 1.0
Web Site: http://www.foobar2000.org/



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