Tired of iTunes? Foobar 2000 Music Player is a free download

 

“a Media Player That Actually Works”

I have used Foobar 2000 music player quite a bit over the last 3 years. It’s a nice simple player. Up to a few months ago I had used Foobar exclusively for my music playback from my PC. I started using it because I didn’t like the lack of options in iTunes.

~Within Foobar 2000 music player there are multiple plugins that allow various functions like: convolver (room correction), up-sampler, crossover, etc. Its all done within the Foobar player though. (for music)

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Using Foobar 2000 music player:

This is how I used Foobar in my all digital music system. Foobar was even used for my speaker crossovers, as well as room correction, up-sampling, and music playback.

This is the breakdown of how it works:

      * Foobar 2000 music player plays the music file

* Within Foobar apply the convolution file (instructions on their website of how to do this)

* Speaker crossovers

* Up-sampling

* Foobar 2000 sends signal to Echo Audiofire by way of ASIO using the firewire cable

* Amplifiers power the speakers

If you use Foobar you don’t need SPDIF at all. Foobar only works for music, not movies.

If you don’t’ play to play movies from this system, I would probably stick with Foobar, it’s pretty easy to set up and sounds quite good.

However, it gets a bit more complex if you also want this system to play movies as well. If this is the case, you will need to take a different route.

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Finally upgraded to J River Media Center

I should point out that in the last 2 months I have upgraded to using J River Media Center because it works very well for both music and movie playback and does all the tricks I need from it.

But Foobar was no slouch, it worked very well and served my purposes for almost 3 years. I still like it, and it’s a very nice alternative to the bloated iTunes system.

I use J River Media player to play the music or video. I’ve recently adopted this player for all of my playback because it can serve both music and movie playback functions. You could use almost any player though.

The main thing is that the player can output digital signal using ASIO. You also will need some type of digital output card that can use ASIO. This is in addition to the Echo Audiofire which is also ASIO compliant.

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Here’s how it works using a Media player that can play both Movies or Music:

1. J River Media Center plays the file (music or movie)

        o implements upsampling (if you want to use upsampling)

o sends digital signal to an ASIO compliant digital output via SPDIF (I use the ESI Juli@ digital PCI card)

2. ESI Juli@

      sends the digital signal out of the PC via SPDIF

3. SPDIF cable into Echo Audiofire digital input (from Juli@)(so the digital signal is being looped out of the PC and back into the Echo)

o the Echo Audiofire makes the digital signal available to the PC again via firewire (so you can tell other programs to take their input from the Echo)

4. Thuneau Allocator Lite crossover (within PC -is software crossover) takes its input from Echo digital inputs 1 and 2 (from the SPDIF that was sent via Juli@)

5. Thuneau Allocator Lite crossover applies speaker crossover slopes, speaker correction, and room correction filters

6. Thuneau outputs each individual channel for each speaker driver and sends the signal back to the Echo via Firewire cable

7. Analog outputs on the Echo Audiofire interface

8. then the analog signal is sent the amps and then onto the speakers.

There might be other ways of doing this also. I’ve played around with internal routing using Jack software cable router. It does work but was a bit more complex and required writing some code. So, I haven’t really pursued this option as it is probably a bit too intense for most of my readers.

Final thoughts on Media Players and Foobar 2000:

I’ve been thinking that this might be easier to explain with a video, so I’m considering doing a video form of this explanation.

The software setup can be a bit of a pain.

It just depends on the products you use and you’re PC. I’ve found that there is almost always a way to make things work. It can just take some time to figure it all out.

It sounds like a mess, but it keeps everything in the digital domain until the very last stage where it exits the Echo Audiofire into the preamp. Up until that point, you are only dealing with digital, so it works pretty cool. Doing music this way sounds a bit different than using Foobar.

If I had to characterize it I would say it sounds rawer, punchier, while the Foobar 2000 music player sounds softer and smooth in comparison.

Foobar 2000 music player tends to soften the leading edge of transients for some reason. I haven’t found either to be better than the other, it’s just different.

Both sound awesome. But I have been using the J River method because I like to have one player for both and it works great.

Thanks for all of your great suggestions. I’m hoping that I can put the indexing page back up to help out visitors like you.

I’m doing a bit more research to make sure it is okay to do before going ahead with it.

Let me know if you have any other questions about the crossover using the PC.

By the way, you can even send a signal from an external Blu Ray, or DVD player, even a separate CD transport. The computer doesn’t really care, just that it gets a clean digital signal to lock onto.

Have fun with it..
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