How to customize foobar2000 with panels

Customize your own interface for foobar2000

About this article: Posted in: Blog
By: Blockcoder ( Admin ) / 08.12.2011
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Starting note

It’s recommended that you use foobar version 1.0 or later to ensure component support.

Step 1: foobar2000 user interface

As you may know, from the scratch foobar2000 offers ‘default user interface‘ that supports basic customization. You can change colors, panel order (playlist, album art etc.) and that is basically it. Many of us find this unsubstantial and wants to make foobar look more individual. And that is where foobar2000 component support shows up.

Step 2: Components

By default foobar comes with its basic components. User can download new components from foobar home page and bigger list can be found from hydrogenaudio.

Installing components is very easy and quick task:

  • Download component
  • Place the zip package or component file to components folder under foobar installation location
  • That’s it. foobar2000 supports reading .zip or .rar files so it’s not necessary to unzip

Step 3: Using panel components

Before we can start using components we need user interface that supports panel importing. Best and easiest is Columns User Interface –component. Now download Columns UI component. Open foobar2000 and select columns user interface. If program doesn’t let you choose user interface, you can do this by going:

  • Preferences
  • Display
  • User interface

Now we can start using custom panel components. I will use component called ‘Egoh Spectrum analyser‘ from hydrogenaudio as an example.

To setup panel component we have to use Columns UI:

  • Preferences
  • Display
  • Columns UI ( I suggest that you also explore all the possibilities of Columns UI )
  • Layout –tab

Customizing foobar2000 with panels

Now clear ( or change existing values ) all panels from layout “stage” by pressing remove button or individually selecting panels ( right-click and select Remove panel –option ). After clearing the stage let’s start building our own layout.

Panels are added by pressing empty place in layout stage with right mouse click. Panels can also be set under panel splitter so you can build more complex layouts ( as shown at above ). To put panels under splitter just select splitter and right click and select ‘Insert panel’. You can do order changing between panels by moving them up or down ( right click panel -> move up/down ).

To apply your layout to the action just press Apply. I suggest to uncheck Show caption –option under panel (or Item) details.

Let’s make simple example with columns UI default playlist and above it is nice graphical spectrum analyzer:

  • Put *vertical splitter
  • Select splitter and select ‘Insert panel’ -> Playlist Views -> Columns Playlist
  • Uncheck Show caption –option
  • Insert panel -> Visualizations -> Egoh Spectrum analyser
  • Redo node 3.
  • Move Egoh Spectrum analyser above Columns Playlist
  • Press apply and you should now have something like this:

Customizing foobar2000 with panels

* Note: it’s recommended that every layout starts with splitter, just because it’s easier to do modifications afterwards.

Step 4: Scripting

Some of the components support scripting. These components have few own commands and all of them supports foobar2000 core commands as example %artist% -command loads currently playing artist name from tags. From the box, you can test foobar2000 scripting in Columns UI Main –tab under section: Main window title format script.

Step 5: Conclusion

As we can see, basic foobar2000 customization isn’t very hard. Panel system is very flexible and easy way to configure foobar to look exactly how you want it to. Of course this technique by itself can’t do everything, but with little scripting added you can make almost anything.

With example picture of showing possibilities of scripting panels ( below ), I hope this short tutorial has helped you guys out there to start customization of your own foobar2000.

Customizing foobar2000 with panels

Thanks folks!

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