Foobar vs JRivers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mds, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    I currently am using Foobar. I must not be computer literate enough because I could never figure out how to use the add-ons to get a nicer and easier to use interface. In addition every time I add another FLAC file to my music directory FOOBAR doesn't automatically find it on its own, I need to re-direct it to the music directory and add files, so it goes through the entire search again and picks it up. Yes FOOBAR sounds great but it doesn't look as snappy as I would like right out of the box nor is as easy to locate files or albums on. I end up having to scroll through my entire collection which is pretty large and getting larger so this process is limiting what I am listening to.

    For the above reasons I am wondering if I should bit the bullet and buy JRivers, which seems to have a nicer looking and easier to use interface right out of the box, similar to iTunes. My assumption is that JRivers plays a wider selection of formats than iTunes and the quality of playback is on par with FOOBAR and therefore is a major upgrade to iTunes. Are these correct assumption? Will I also have an easier time right out of the box with JRivers and not need to figure out a complex set up that requires lots of additional add-ons to customize the interface. If so then the money spent on JRivers seems worthwhile.

    Can someone also list in their opinion the pros and cons between Foobar / JRivers.
     
  2. Henry Love

    Henry Love Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I can tell you that JRiver will recognize your files.30 day free trial.I like it.
     
  3. JRiver Media Center and Foobar are both complicated. Just differently complicated. You may find JRiver easier to use and figure out than Foobar. Or you may not. Only way to find out is to try them both.

    JRiver Media Center has a 30 day free trial.

    There is also PonoMusic World which is the audio portion of JRiver Media Center. You can play around and explore PonoMusic World at your leisure without worrying about using up a 30 day trial. If you like it you can buy JRiver Media Center. JRiver Media Center includes video playback support and some other features that have been stripped from PonoMusic World.
     
  4. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    PonoMusic World searches gives me Neil Young's Pono music site. When I look on JRivers site I don't find PonoWorld. Can you clarify?
     
  5. Henry Love

    Henry Love Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicagoland
    JRiver is not hard to set up.There is a set up guide.Everything I heard about Foobar was there was a lot of tweaking involved.EAC was enough of a technological challenge for me.
     
  6. You download PonoMusic World from Neil Young's PonoMusic site. Link: www.ponomusic.com
    Scroll down about 2/3 rds of the way down the main page. On the right side will be a yellow download button for PonoMusic World
    Here's a help page for the download: PonoMusic World download help page

    PonoMusic World is a music player, library manager, and a download manager for albums purchased from PonoMusic

    The first thing you'll want to do is configure what folders you want it to import
    Tools >> Options... >> Library & Folders >> ...Configure auto-import

    In the auto-import dialog you can add a list of folders and drives where your music is
    You can have it watch and import files from multiple drives and multiple folders

    Once it imports your files you'll be ready to start exploring how it works
     
  7. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I use both Foobar and Jriver. Foobar works better for tagging and CD ripping and some simple conversions. Jriver has a few features like SACD playback and multizone support that Foobar lacks.

    For most of my standard listening like CD rips in flac or hires flac files and DTS to flac multichannel stuff, I use Musicbee. The combination player/music organizer can't be beat for simplicity.

    I also use XBMC/Kodi for video...

    None do it all perfectly so I use all four using shortcuts to taskbar.
     
  8. The Hole Got Fixed

    The Hole Got Fixed Owens, Poell, Saberi

    Location:
    Toronto
    FOOBAR plays SACD and DSDS.
     
  9. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int why...it just is"

    Location:
    united kingdom
    I have used Foobar for years and it does everything I need. I have to admit that I cannot fathom out how to "import" the files needed to apply extra skins etc....but I consider them a liuxury rather than a neccesity.
     
  10. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Yup, but I tend to use Jriver when I do SACD conversions. I do like the fact that Foobar does DVDA ISO too. None are perfect...
     
  11. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I never liked the library feature of Foobar and that is the main reason I use Musicbee. It's an interface problem and maybe could be modded but Musicbee has a better look to it with the library organization. Too bad it doesn't do SACDs and DVDAs however.
     
  12. frimleygreener

    frimleygreener "It 'a'int why...it just is"

    Location:
    united kingdom
    I have my library organised by Artist/Album/Date/Track number/Bit rate./Track Length....what is it about the Foobar library you find wanting?
     
  13. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Like I said, the overall look of the layout. Maybe it can be changed but the look/layout of Musicbee is excellent "right out of the box" with no fuss.
     
  14. TerryB

    TerryB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Calais, VT
    I have a PhD (in plant sciences, mind you), but I found foobar to be unnecessarily tweaky and user unfriendly. Yeah I get that you can customize it a million ways, but you need to be a coder to do so.
    Jriver might be the best fifty bucks I've spent in audio.
     
    riverrat, Shiver and ElvisCaprice like this.
  15. jmacvols

    jmacvols Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have been using foobar for a long time with no problems or complaints. Yesterday I downloaded the 'latest stable version' v1.3.9 and now my playback has an occasional little pops/clicks/dropouts. I uninstalled foobar and reinstalled and keep getting the same problem. I tried playback using two different dacs (Meridian Explorer and iFi idac2) having same problem with both dacs, so I believe it's not a dac problem. Anyone else experience this? (I downloaded last night the free trial version of JRiver and not experiencing this problem with either dac using JRiver)
     
  16. martinb4

    martinb4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Irvine, California
    It's their newest feature, incorporates that vinyl feel that is so popular now to their player. :hide:

    Just messing, using 1.3.9 here with no issues...
     
    SandAndGlass, Bubbamike and TerryB like this.
  17. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    I use both. It's not exactly comparing apples to apples, and each has its virtues, but I prefer JRiver for a few reasons. Yes, it is not free-you buy a license for the current version. That version is updated frequently and they do listen to requests to improve the program. The JRiver forums are quite active and can get a little testy (sound familiar?) I had a version that I was happy with that lasted several years, but I decided to get the updated version because it had some video tweaks that I was missing.

    The main reason I prefer JRiver is that it has multi-zone support. What does that mean? For me it means I have several different zones tweaked to each set of headphones I own-each with its own special EQ. As far as customizing the UI, I found I didn't need to do much from JRiver's default view. The strength of Foobar is that it is endlessly customizable-if that's your thing, and if you have some computer chops. There is a bit of a learning curve there when you first download it. JRiver opens fully formed-you just have to choose from a selection of views and then go to options and start checking things off.

    There are other reasons I like JRiver-it plays every video and audio format out of the box with no need for plugins. There are numerous third party audio tweaks to fully customize your audio experience. It has a unique "Theater" view which is made for big screen TV's. It's got an IOS styled "cover flow" in 3d, which will impress your friends. It's a full featured server that can pretty much handle anything. The import of media is simple, the creation of a database very intuitive.

    And yet I still come back to Foobar from time to time. You can't beat free, and you get a lot with it. There's something about its sound that is very no frills and accurate; I sometimes find myself tweaking all of the joy out of my music with JRiver that doesn't happen with Foobar-you just click and go.
     
    Dr. Winston Ramone, mds and martinb4 like this.
  18. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    Slungeworthy, thanks, I believe I'll give JRivers a shot based on your evaluation.
     
  19. testikoff

    testikoff Seasoned n00b

    A very happy fb2k v.1.3.9 user here... ;)
     
    ConstructionBoy likes this.
  20. One of the things I like about JRiver Media Center is its video support. The video support allows me to play concert DVDs and other music video with the same audio quality and audio management as my main audio listening. That means I can use WASAPI or ASIO to send the audio to my DACs, use VST plugins for headphone crossfeed or for EQ, and all of the other audio management while playing video.
     
  21. One thing I would recommend when playing around with new software like this is to make sure you have a current backup of your music library. Just in case. When playing around with new media player software that can also tag and manage your library it can be easy to innocently or accidentally deleting files or retagging all of your files or renaming your files. If you have a current backup you won't have to be paranoid or extra cautious while exploring features of the software.

    JRiver Media Center will warn you if you do something that will delete files or rename files. If you accidentally do something that alters a tag you can use ctrl-z to undo that change. But it's still very very recommended to have a backup of your library while exploring software like this.

    One case where JRiver Media Center or PonoMusic World could end up writing new tags to some or all of your files is if you let it analyze your files. Analyzing the files is when JRiver calculates the DR number, volume level, ReplayGain level, peak level, and BPM for each track. It will write tags for those values to each file. If you're not expecting that it could be a bit of a shock. You can analyze files by selecting the files then going to [Tools >> Library Tools >> Analyze Audio...]. You can also configure JRiver to automatically analyze files when they are imported, but that's not the default.
     
    mds likes this.
  22. Caveman67

    Caveman67 Member

    First off, my experience going from iTunes to JRiver was a sonic eye opener. Being able to switch from Direct Sound to WASAPI was almost as good of a jump in fidelity as adding a desktop DAC was for my PC. iTunes seems to be able to change to WASAPI, but at least in my install, it doesn't seem to work. It reverts back to Direct Sound. Maybe JRiver just does a correct or better implementation? In any case, the sound improvement is there. Also, I prefer the look of JRiver and the ability to adjust stuff to personalize. Being a PC guy all my life, I've never been that big of an Apple fan to any degree. Their stuff is just too dumbed down for the masses.
     
  23. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Musicbee is free and other than no SACD support and no multizone I like it better because of the layout. Its organization of your files in a simple manor is second to none. I can't believe no one here has bothered to try it and give their take on it.

    XBMC/Kodi for video is by far the best and makes Jriver look like a beta release. It works well for audio files too but excells at video.

    I have been doing audio on PC over twenty years now and just passing on my experience, YMMV.
     
  24. jmacvols

    jmacvols Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Skipping and crackling may be the next update to this new version.
    But thank you. Evidently it is something else on my end and not a Foobar issue.
     
  25. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Check your sound drivers is the only advice I can think of atm. Does it do that on all the sound output settings? Waspi, direct sound, ect...
     
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