When comparing foobar2000 vs AIMP, the Slant community recommends AIMP for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” AIMP is ranked 1st while foobar2000 is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose AIMP is:
AIMP supports a huge list of audio formats and several playlist types.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 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.
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 Multiple audio codec compatible
AIMP supports a huge list of audio formats and several playlist types.
Pro Useful audio library
AIMP can play, manage, and filter music stored in the whole computer or specified folders. It is able to read metadata from music files' tags and perform real-time searching out of it.
Pro Lightweight skinning
Even with lots of skinning options, AIMP is lightweight and works on the smallest computer.
Pro Multiple other features
AIMP has many more features including: dither, anticlipping, customizable hotkeys/shortcuts, customizable player's user agent string, access to Favorites audio files and playlists, rating for tracks, tracklist export, optional temporary information bar with track info every time a track begins, volume normalization, ReplayGain support, volume fading between tracks, and more.
Pro Multiple playlist management
AIMP can manage multiple playlists by a tab system, similar to web browsers.
Pro Multiple languages available
AIMP is available in 36 languages, including: Russian, English, Arabic, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Argentina), Spanish (Spain), French, German, Italian, Chinese (China), Chinese (Taiwan), and more.
Pro Among the best audio quality for Windows audio players
AIMP uses the BASS library, which provides one of the best audio quality of all currently available music players for Windows.
Pro 18 band equalizer + 22 presets + preamp
AIMP has an 18 band equalizer (which is manually customizable), plus 22 presets by default [user can add his/her custom presets]. It also includes a +15/-15 dB preamplification.
Pro Allows for radio capture
AIMP can grab internet radios' audios and save them to drive, in real-time. You can save the streaming in its original format, or choose the codec manually [AAC, OGG Vorbis, OPUS, etc] and its bit rate. You can even save its CUE log and split files, if desired.
Pro Internal updater
AIMP updates using its built-in updater, so you don't have to visit AIMP's website and download the whole installer every time a new version is available.
Pro Supports audiophile-level playback quality
Other music players usually require separate plugins for this, but AIMP comes by default with the modern WASAPI (Windows Audio Session API) audio output support thus providing purest sound output unadultered by the Windows mixer (in WASAPI Exclusive mode) out of the box.
Pro Delete files from player
Simple and good working ability to delete files right away from the player.
Pro Mini Player support
AIMP can be maximized, restored, sent to the tray, or switched to Mini Player for your convenience.
Pro Waveform seekbar
AIMP's seekbar features a waveform display of the entire audio file for easier navigation within the sound file. For example you can easily see where are the silences which is especially useful for podcasts and talked content.
Pro Tag Editor + Audio Converter can carry out a multitude of tasks
AIMP has two tools for further music management.
Tag Editor lets you add album art to audio files, fix metadata to individual files or to all files included in a folder, rename filenames, complete tags from filenames and viceversa, and more.
Audio Converter lets you convert an audio file into another format (for instance, from FLAC to M4A). You can choose quality parameters, renaming of files, and output paths for converted files. Audio conversion supports multiple core encoding, so if your CPU has four cores, you can convert audio using 1, 2, 3, or 4 cores.
Pro Built-in scheduler
AIMP has a scheduler which lets you stop playback, close the program, or turn off your computer at a specified time/period.
Pro Icon sets available for download
The user can download icon sets for different audio formats.
Pro DSP manager allows for sound effects
AIMP has a digital sound processor manager which lets you apply sound effects to the output audio in real-time. These effects include: echo, reverberation, Flanger, Chorus, bass, enhancer, speed, tempo, and pitch. It also has a voice remover feature for stereo audio files.
Pro Support for several WinAmp's plugins
AIMP supports several plugins originally designed for WinAmp. However, it also supports new plugins designed for AIMP itself. From visual plugins to extra codec support, YouTube playlists playback, Soundcloud playback, or spectrum analysing, these are a selection of supported plugins.
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.
Con Can crash right after install
Con Not open source
AIMP is not libre / open source software, so development is closed and lead by the AIMP staff only.
Con AIMP "Help" only in Russian and English
AIMP's "Help" included in the software itself is only available in Russian and English.
Con Cluttered and confusing interface
The interface is very busy and not intuitive so it can take awhile to become familiar with it. The skins don't conform to specific design standards so they often have different behaviors. You can read more about it here.