When comparing foobar2000 vs Winamp, the Slant community recommends foobar2000 for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” foobar2000 is ranked 1st while Winamp is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose foobar2000 is:
Foobar200 has [over a hundred components](http://www.foobar2000.org/components) to choose from that add UI functionality, decoding support for various formats, etc.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
Foobar2000 has a clean, minimalistic UI, small filesize, and is light on resource usage.
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 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 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 Advanced layout
The player has a layout-editing mode that allows for a wide variety of UI setups.
Pro Built-in support for Windows Media streaming
Foobar2000 can natively play ASX/MMS/RTSP streams.
Pro Variety of skins available
Browsing a site like DeviantArt will give you hundreds of skins (that have been made by other users) to choose from.
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 Highly customisable
Foobar 2000 has powerful theming support.
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 A huge selection of skins are available
Winamp allows skinning the interface and there are thousands of community created skins available.
Pro Functionality can be extended via plugins
A wide variety of DSP, input, and visualization plugins have been created by the community.
Pro Great search and Playlist functionality
Considerable functions to search and develop playlists.
Pro Good sound quality
The sound quality of Winamp is good, especially with DSP plugins like enhancer.
Pro RSS, Atom Podcasts, and Internet Radio streams (among other modern features) are available
Modern features are essential for power listeners nowadays, proving that Winamp (while an old app) still offers features users look for in a modern player.
Pro HTTP streaming support
HTTP streaming is necessary for both live and on-demand content, which it can deliver without lengthy buffering or waiting periods. It is also less susceptible to network hiccups than other forms of streaming.
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 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 Cumbersome start-up
Foobar2000 requires a bit of work to get it up and running.
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.
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 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 Can crash right after install
The last stable release of Winamp was published on December 12th, 2013.
At the beginning it was simple to download and install, now it has so many things it became very heavy to download.
Con Cluttered interface
With all controls, skins, and options it's hard to find the basic commands.
Con Relatively poor quality audio
Compared to other players, Winamp doesn't offer high quality audio.
Reason for Winamp's lesser audio quality compared to other modern audio players is that it uses deprecated audio output interfaces (APIs). In fact since Windows Vista onward, those APIs Winamp is using (such as DirectSound, WaveOut) are emulated in software mixer for compatibility purposes further distancing the audio path from the hardware.
Modern audio players support modern WASAPI audio output for direct access to the audio hardware (especially in WASAPI exclusive mode). For more info see Wikipedia's entry on DirectSound.