foobar tips & tricks

title formatting is a necessary evil, try to learn enough of it to slightly understand what you are doing.

don't try to build your own dark theme from scratch, you will fail and it will look like shit because of the separators and scrollbars (unless you're very talented and knowledgeable)[1]. use an existing one and adapt it to your needs. example of a good dark theme

Use ReplayGain to scan your music files, this will help make the volume level constant in compilations/playlists without changing the audio itself (metadata info only). In Preferences > Playback > ReplayGain, select Source mode: by playback order (this uses the Album Replaygain value when playing an album in order, and the Track Replaygain value when playing in Shuffle/Random). In Preamp, put the slider to -5 / -7 dB for tracks Without RG info. This will ensure the tracks without Replaygain tags don't blast at insane sound levels compared to the rest of your library.

Sorting string: Edit > Sort by: %ALBUM ARTIST% - %DATE% - %ALBUM% - %PATH_SORT% - %DISCNUMBER% - %TRACKNUMBER% - %TITLE%

essential components

List of some useful components

Avoid catastrophes: foo_jesus (autosave & autobackup)

youtube source: Play Youtube songs/videos from foobar, and add them to your playlists! make sure to always grab the latest beta version and update your LAV filters (put on Managed mode) in the component options under Preferences>Tools>Youtube Source

Playlist Organizer: panel to display all playlists and organize them into subcategories. very useful, but make sure to install Visual C++ 2010 x86 or it no work

Playlist Bind: link playlist to specific folder without having to add this folder to your library

Integrity Verifier: check files for decoding errors and verify them against AccurateRip database to find out which CD they were ripped from. Also useful for digital albums from digital marketplaces and streaming platforms, as some of those (esp releases older than 2010) are actually CD rips.

Playback Statistics: absolutely essential, make sure to install this as soon as possible, as it is not able to get data retroactively. use it to rate songs, keep track of played/unplayed tracks, see which ones have been played often, build autoplaylists based on this data...

Playlist Attributes: useful to set special status to certain playlists, for example change the ReplayGain mode (track/album gain), remove tracks from a playlist after they've been played/skipped, lock a playlist to prevent accidents, etc...

Queue Contents Editor: display and reorder the contents of your playback queue, very useful functionality that is somehow missing from the base foobar install

Play Next: adds a context menu entry to force a track to be played next, putting it in position #1 of the current queue. its position in the queue does not get displayed in the playlist view for some reason (?), but it's visible in Queue Contents Editor

Playlist Revive: adds the option to "revive dead items" instead of removing them, this is very useful when you moved your music to another folder/drive and your playlist is now full of broken links because of that. just hit revive dead items, and the plugin will automatically find those items in their new location and make the playlist great again

Run Services: allows you to launch external applications from within foobar. extremely useful to make custom buttons, e.g. custom button that launches Album Art Downloader to search for a missing cover from the currently playing/selected track. find below a bunch of commands I personally use:

Find cover "C:\Program Files\AlbumArtDownloader\AlbumArt.exe" /ar "%artist%" /al "%album%" /mn 300 /mx 1000 /path "$replace(%_path%,%_filename_ext%,)folder.jpg"

You can download Album Art Downloader from Sourceforge
Open in Audacity "C:\Program Files '(x86)'\Audacity\audacity.exe" "%path%"

You can download Audacity from Fosshub (select version 3.02! later versions have tracking bullshit)
Find on Discogs "https://www.discogs.com/search/?type=release&q=$replace(*,*,%album artist%+%album%)"

once your command is set, you can create a button and choose:
Command group: Context menu items
then
Command: Run service/name of your service
and
Item group: Now playing item
or
Item group: Current playlist selection
depending on what you want the command to target.

some useful autoplaylists & queries

Recently Added (unplayed) %added% DURING LAST 2 WEEKS AND %play_count% EQUAL 0 SORT DESCENDING BY "$date(%added%)" %album%

Replace 2 weeks with whatever you prefer
Current Year (unplayed) %play_count% EQUAL 0 AND %date% HAS 2022 SORT DESCENDING BY "$date(%added%)" %album%

You'll need to update the playlist query once a year to change 2022 to the current year. I did not find a way to use a variable for "current year", but maybe there is one?
FLAC 16 bits 44.1 kHz %samplerate% IS 44100 AND %codec% IS flac AND %__bitspersample% IS 16
Recently Played %last_played% DURING LAST 3 DAYS AND %play_count% LESS 3 SORT DESCENDING BY %last_played% %album%


[1] this has been true since the beginning of time, but very recently a native dark mode has been added to Columns UI and to foobar v2.0 (currently in beta) so if you're using that you can now create a dark theme without weird hacks or extensive knowledge about how to hide scrollbars and separators.