When comparing foobar2000 vs VLC, the Slant community recommends foobar2000 for most people. In the question“What are the best music players for Windows?” foobar2000 is ranked 1st while VLC is ranked 3rd. 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 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 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 Highly customisable
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 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.
Foobar 2000 has powerful theming support.
Pro Built-in support for Windows Media streaming
Foobar2000 can natively play ASX/MMS/RTSP streams.
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 Simple to setup and use
VLC is an incredibly robust application but very simple on the surface. It makes playing music simple, yet still manages to give the user all the tools he/she wants in a music player.
Pro Doesn't require additional codecs
Everything VLC needs to play media files is contained within which means no outside codecs are needed. This makes it one of the most hassle-free music players as it can play virtually anything as soon as it's installed.
Pro Tons of advanced settings
Besides basic configurations, video player has an extensive amount of adjustable settings.
Pro Can be almost completely keyboard-driven
VLC includes keyboard shortcuts for most actions. The video player can be controlled with simple and customizable keyboard commands.
Pro Free, open source, and cross-platform
VLC is licensed under the CC-SA v3.0+ and available on Windows, OSX, and Linux with source code available here.
Pro Doesn't manage your music library for you
You organize your music into folders any way you want. Want to play an album? Drag and drop. No tags, no confusion, no fluff. Easy.
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 Cumbersome start-up
Foobar2000 requires a bit of work to get it up and running.
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 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 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 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
Con Lacks libraries and advanced music player features
VLC is a media player first and foremost. There is no library management (aside from playlists), limited usage of tags, and no rating system. VLC is best at playing a file directly from a folder, but falls behind when it comes to helping you manage or find good songs in your music library.
Con Absence of personalization
VLC Player has only one basic interface in white or black, and overall personalization opportunities are quite narrow. Unfortunately, you're pretty much stuck to the default look.
Con Not really meant to be a music player
VLC is made to be a video player. Therefore, it won't carry out actions such as managing your music library.
Con Contains some insignificant but irritating flaws
Despite all keyboard shortcuts, the width of the picture can't be controlled by trackpad. Besides that, the VLC start-up window doesn’t open at the same place or the same width at which it was previously closed.