How to Use foobar2000 to Convert Audio Files

This tutorial will explain how to use the advanced audio player foobar2000 to convert audio files from one format to another.

  1. Download foobar2000 if you don’t already have it installed, and LAME, which you’ll need if you want to create MP3 files. Foobar is super easy to install, and LAME just needs to be unzipped to a folder – I strongly recommend C:\Program Files\lame\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\lame\ (just create the lame folder and extract the files to it).
  2. Once you’ve installed foobar2000 and have copied lame.exe and lame_enc.dll to a folder on your drive, launch the foobar app and go through the initial setup.
  3. Now locate a file or several files (songs) that you want to convert from one format to another. For this example I’m going to convert some .flac files to .mp3. Select the files you want to convert, right-click on them, choose Convert and then (the 3 dots menu item – see screenshot below).
  4. foobar with the right-click context menu

  5. From here you’ll create your first “conversion preset”. Click the Output format link in the Current settings section.
  6. the foobar2000 converter setup

  7. From here you’ll need to choose which type of file you want to output (ie. convert to this format). For this example I’ll choose MP3.
  8. selecting a format for foobar to use when converting audio files

  9. Depending on the output format you selected, you may be able to fine-tune your conversion settings. If there’s an Edit button, click it.
  10. an arrow pointing to the Edit button

  11. If you’re encoding to MP3, you’ll be able to adjust the quality (and thus file size – the higher the quality the larger the file) using a ‘slider’. Click the OK button after you’ve made any adjustments.
  12. advanced MP3 conversion options for foobar

  13. Click the Back button to return to the main Converter Setup window and then select the Destination link.
  14. an arrow pointing to a link titled Destination in foobar2000

  15. From here you can choose where you want the converted files to be saved. I recommend Ask me later and that way you’ll be prompted to choose a location each time you convert a batch of files. You can also customize the naming scheme for the converted files. Click the Back button after you’ve made your selections.
  16. the Destination options in foobar2000

  17. Now it’s time to save this as a new preset. Click the Save button found between the Saved presets and Current settings sections.
  18. an arrow pointing to a save button

  19. Give it a name (something descriptive is good) and then click the Convert button.
  20. an arrow pointing to a convert button

  21. If you opted to have foobar ask you where to save the converted files each time you start a conversion, you’ll be prompted to select a location to save the files.
  22. selecting a location in Windows Explorer

  23. Then you’ll be asked to locate lame.exe – so navigate to wherever it’s located on your drive, select it and then click the Open button.
  24. selecting lame.exe in a Windows Explorer window

  25. foobar2000 will now begin to convert your files.
  26. foobar2000 converting files to mp3

  27. Once it’s done, a confirmation window will appear.
  28. a confirmation window

  29. Open the folder where you opted to save the converted files and confirm all is well.
  30. Going forward, instead of selecting the “3 dots” button as you did way back in step #3, you’ll have a new preset – the one you saved in steps 10-11 – assuming of course you want to convert to that format again.

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10 thoughts on “How to Use foobar2000 to Convert Audio Files”

  1. Thank you! Another newb to Foobar – I had been using MusicMatch Jukebox since version 5, bought a lifetime license somewhere around version 7, and had been steadfastly refusing to change when Yahoo bought it and then dropped support entirely. I finally had to replace the one computer that still ran XP and lost my ability to run MMJB on the new machine. This tutorial has made the change-over almost painless.

  2. Thanks for this! Turns out all I was missing to make this conversion work was the LAME download file. Thanks for sharing !

  3. Thank you, espescialy for in-body links for encoders. Had not wast any time for their google-search, better spent it to leave positive comment :)

  4. Exactly!

    This is how converting should be done the EASY & PROFESSIONAL way.

    Do NOT use Winamp and such crap. :)
    Foobar rules and so do you.

    Thanks a billion times for your eminent guide.

  5. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!! I am a newbie to this kind on downloading and converting files . You made it so easy, thanks so much, it worked like a dream. Cheers Chris .

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