When comparing MusicBee vs foobar2000, the Slant community recommends foobar2000 for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” foobar2000 is ranked 2nd while MusicBee is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose foobar2000 is:
Foobar2000 has a clean, minimalistic UI, small filesize, and is light on resource usage.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Customizable look and feel
MusicBee can be skinned which can significantly change the appearance of a player.
To apply a skin, it must first be downloaded, moved to the appropriate folder, and after restarting MusicBee, it can be applied. A collection of skins can be found here. It's also possible to customize the layout by choosing which panels to display.
Pro Can autofill information on songs
MusicBee can automatically identify songs based on their sound signature and use that information to pull metadata about the song (such as tags, artwork, and lyrics).
Pro Functionality can be extended via plugins
A collection of plugins can be found here. These plugins extend the uses of the app from iOS support, last.fm support, to streaming services support.
Pro Simple interface
MusicBee offers a very straight-forward and easy-to-use interface.
Pro Remarkably responsive interface with small to medium numbers of files
Your media library is stored in a flat file rather than a traditional database, limiting its ability to manage truly massive collections of audio files, but offering far reduced processing overhead for small to medium-large collections.
Pro Lots of ways to organize media
Pro Portable version is available
A version of MusicBee can be used without having to be installed. It can be kept on an external device and run from that.
Pro Auto-playlist creation with powerful rules
Pro Integrates with Last.fm
MusicBee allows scrobbling with Last.fm.
Pro Synchronized lyrics
In addition to automatically pulling lyrics for songs, MusicBee can synchronise music playback with lyrics.
Pro iOS sync support
There is a plugin available that allows users to sync their iOS devices (including music ad podcasts).
Pro WASAPI/ASIO support
High-end audio cards can be easily used to their full potential without any additional software due to WASAPI and ASIO support.
Pro Can convert media
Pro Good podcast support
MusicBee allows the user to subscribe to and auto-download podcasts.
Pro Supports Winamp visualizers
Pro Waveform seekbar
Pro Ability to lock down access to settings
It's possible to lock down access to settings while still having access to the player. This is great for parties, allowing guests to browse and play music without worrying if they will mess something up.
Pro Supports seeing time on seek
MusicBee tells you the time you are seeking to on mouseover on the seek bar.
Pro MiniLyrics integration
Not only does it allow MiniLyrics to search for and add synchronized lyrics to your music files, but the MiniLyrics window can be docked in MusicBee over its own lyrics panel so you can edit them and see them displayed along with whatever you're playing.
Pro Runs well under WINE in Linux environments
There are detailed instructions in the community forum describing how to create a suitable WINE prefix in which to install MusicBee with nearly all the features operating as they do in Windows. There is also support for Linux using CrossOver by CodeWeavers, who offer an automated installer to accomplish the same result on nearly all major Linux distributions as well as Google's ChromeOS.
Foobar2000 has a clean, minimalistic UI, small filesize, and is light on resource usage.
Pro Functionality can be extended with components
Foobar200 has over a hundred components to choose from that add UI functionality, decoding support for various formats, etc.
Pro Supports a wide variety of audio formats
Foobar2000 natively supports MP1, MP2, MP3, MPC, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, ALAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, CD, Speex, Opus, and support for additional formats can be added with plugins.
Pro Plugins can be used to bypass Windows mixer to output a bit-exact signal
Through the use of a plugin (of which there are three popular ones), users can get bit-exact sound output straight to their DAC or soundcard. While not something every user will use, for audiophiles this is a pretty important feature.
Pro Advanced layout
The player has a layout-editing mode that allows for a wide variety of UI setups.
Pro Variety of skins available
Foobar 2000 has powerful theming support.
Browsing a site like DeviantArt will give you hundreds of skins (that have been made by other users) to choose from.
Pro Highly customisable
Pro Internal search is a beast
Foobar2000 provides an extensive search to look through your library. It supports special queries to only look for certain tags and other conditions and is incredibly fast in doing so even with over 20k of songs in your library.
Pro MP3 player management
Users can easily send their music files to their MP3 device through the use of the right click menu when browsing their library.
Pro ReplayGain support
ReplayGain can be applied on a per album or track basis, allowing the user to set up an even volumed listening experience.
Pro Built-in support for Windows Media streaming
Foobar2000 can natively play ASX/MMS/RTSP streams.
Pro Transcodes all supported audio formats
The converter component allows foobar2000 to convert from and to any file formats that the player is capable of playing back.
Pro Good quality
It was made in order to be as respectful to music as it can be.
Pro Good compatibility with Windows Media Center IR remote controls and wireless mini-keyboards
Foobar works well with Windows Media Center IR remote controls with virtual mouse functions; also with wireless mini-keyboards.
Pro Random/Shuffle on an album basis.
I'm old enough to have a lot of music where whole albums are worth listening to. This is also essential when the composers created music where the flow from one song to the next is part of the art of the album. E.g. on Queen's ANight_at_the_Opera_, the first song -- Death_On_Two_Legs -- is a very hard rock song with very pissed off lyrics. The next is _Lazing_On_a_Sunday_Afternoon, which is a very lighthearted amusing song. The contrast is wonderful. Also many artists have one song flow into another and breaking them up by using random on a song basis really breaks the music. Plus shuffle prevents repeats until the entire playlist is done. If you want, you can select individual songs and the are shuffled as if they are the entire album. It's harder to describe than to do:
configure play mode to shuffle albums
If you're like me -- and I know I am:
add library to list
But you can be more selective:
select albums (or songs if you only like a few)
if (mood("not in for the current"))
} while !shuffled_off("mortal_coil");
Pro Compatible with Microsoft Media Center (MMC) remote controls
Pro The many add-ons (components) available
Includes dynamic range analysis, integrity checkers, equalizers, and visualizers, such as waveform, oscilloscope, spectrum, spectrogram (waterfall), peak and smoothed VU meters, and X-Y (Shpect Lissajous) displays.
Con The UPnP plugin is still buggy
Con Installs pictures that are irrelevant to the artist being played
Con Doesn't integrate with system media playback interface
Con Extremely buggy.
Crashes and freezes a lot.
Con Does not handle large numbers of files very well
When opening a large number of files, the interface slows down, album view blocks, process blocks disk every now and then on updates.
Con Plays same tracks repetitively , even when marked for skipping
Con MP3 and AAC transcoding requires installing separate encoders
Due to licensing reasons, MP3 and AAC encoders don't come bundled with the software and have to be installed separately.
Con Not easy to skin
Out of the box it looks like something out of win2000. It is also very difficult to skin for the normal user.
Con The previous button doesn't work in random playback
You are unable to go back to a song when using random playback.
Con Outdated Plugins
Many, many plugins are outdated and not maintained for years, leading to stability issues with a lof of them. A rather complex SDK and missing sufficient documentation makes maintaining or creating new plugins unnecessarily hard.
Getting to that neat GUI setup you've seen somewhere is probably impossible because of that.
Con Locks files and folders, making it hard to manage them
Several parts of Foobar lock files and folders in a way that they cannot be file-managed (move/copy/rename/delete) easily in the program (and externally). With the waveform plugin it's even worse. Cannot delete a file until the waveform is fully scanned.
Con Provides little in terms of hand-holding
Advanced tasks such as skinning and installing components may be a bit intimidating for beginners because they require knowing your way around the computer, not just the player.
Con Periodical unexpected shutdown
Con Cumbersome start-up
Foobar2000 requires a bit of work to get it up and running.
Con Not 'easy' as in plays stream services/ podcasts etc.
May be asking too much, this app is PERFECT for the 'hardcore'.
Con Breaks existing components every few updates
Makes it very hard to keep a customized version of Foobar running smoothly without worrying about non-working components.