Convert FLAC, MP3, ALAC, etc. with foobar2000

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Foobar2000, known for being super flexible and having lots of features, isn’t just for playing songs. It’s also great for changing audio files from one format to another. Say you want to turn FLAC into MP3, or maybe you have files in WAV, ALAC, DSF, APE, DSD, and other formats you need to convert. Foobar2000 makes this pretty easy. This guide will walk you through how to use foobar2000 to change your audio files into the format you want, step by step. We’ll cover everything from getting set up to actually converting the files.

Also see: How to Remove Album Art From MP3 in Windows 11/10

How to convert any audio files with foobar2000

Step 1: Installing foobar2000 and required encoders

First things first, you need to get foobar2000 ready to go. Here’s what to do:

  1. Download and install foobar2000:
    • Head over to and grab the newest version.
    • Run the installer and follow the steps to get it set up on your computer.Install foobar2000 Windows 11
  2. Install necessary encoders for specific formats:
    • For turning files into MP3, you need the LAME encoder. You can download it from After downloading, unzip the LAME files to a folder, like “C:\Program Files\lame\” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\lame\“.How to install LAME encoder in Windows 11
    • For formats like ALAC (Apple Lossless) and others, grab the Free Encoder Pack from This pack comes with the ‘Apple Lossless (refalac)’ encoder and more, all set up in a folder right where foobar2000 is installed.ALAC Encoder for foobar2000 conversion
    • If you’re dealing with Ogg Vorbis or AAC, you might need to find additional encoders online, like on

With foobar2000 and all the needed encoders in place, you’re all set to start converting your music.

Step 2: Opening the converter in foobar2000

Got everything installed? Great! Now let’s get to the converter part:

  1. Open foobar2000:
    • Fire up the foobar2000 app.
  2. Load a music file:
    • Drag and drop a music file into foobar2000 or go to ‘File’ > ‘Open’ to pick a song. You’ll use this to set up the conversion.Convert FLAC to MP3
  3. Accessing the converter:
    • Right-click on the song in your playlist, and a menu pops up.
    • Go to ‘Convert’, then click ‘…’ to open the Converter Setup dialog. This is where you’ll adjust all the conversion settings.Convert audio files option in foobar 2000

Now that the converter is open, you can set it up just how you like.

Related resource: Convert SRT to 3D Subtitles and Add them to 3D Movies

Step 3: Configuring conversion settings

Getting the settings right is important to make sure your music converts just the way you want it.

  1. Select output format:
    • Click ‘Output format’ in the Converter Setup window.Select Output format for audio conversion
    • Pick the format you want (like MP3, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis) from the list. foobar2000 supports a bunch of formats already, and you can add even more with custom encoder settings.Convert FLAC MP3 WAV DSF APE with foobar2000
  2. Adjust conversion quality (Optional):
    • If your chosen format lets you, hit ‘Edit’ next to the format to mess with settings like bitrate or quality. For MP3s, you can slide around to get the quality you like. Just remember, better quality means bigger files.Convert FLAC to MP3 adjust bitrate quality
  3. Set the destination folder:
    • Click ‘Destination’ to pick where your converted music will go. You can stick with one folder or choose a new one each time. You can also tweak how the converted files are named to keep things tidy.Set conversion destination folder

Once you’ve got these settings dialed in, your converter is ready to rock.

Step 4: Saving and using presets

If you’ve got your settings just right, saving them as a preset can save you time later.

  1. Save current settings as a preset:
    • In the Converter Setup, you can save your settings as a new preset. This is handy if you often convert to the same format with the same settings.
    • Hit ‘Save’, found between the ‘Saved presets’ and ‘Current settings’.
    • Give your preset a clear name so you can spot it easily later.Convert FLAC to ALAC with foobar2000
  2. Using the preset for conversion:
    • Once you’ve saved your preset, you can find it right in the ‘Convert’ menu.
    • To use it, right-click any audio file or group of files, go to ‘Convert’, and pick your preset. This skips the setup hassle every time.

This handy preset feature makes foobar2000 super useful for converting lots of files quickly.

Step 5: Performing the conversion

All set with your settings? Time to convert some music.

  1. Start the conversion process:
    • Right-click the files you want to convert.
    • Choose ‘Convert’ and then your preset. If you didn’t save a preset, hit ‘…’ for quick adjustments.Starting the audio conversion process
    • If you’re using external encoders (like LAME for MP3), you might need to point foobar2000 to where the encoder file is (like lame.exe).How to use LAME for MP3 audio files conversion
  2. Monitor the conversion:
    • foobar2000 shows a progress bar to let you know how the conversion’s going. How long it takes depends on how many files and how big they are.
  3. Completion and verification:
    • When it’s all done, you’ll see a confirmation. Check out the folder you chose to make sure everything looks good.How to convert audio files using foobar2000
    • Head over to where you saved the files to make sure they turned out how you wanted.The location of converted audio files by foobar2000

Follow these steps, and you’ll be a pro at using foobar2000 to change your audio files into whatever format you need.

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Troubleshooting common issues in audio conversion with foobar2000

Even though foobar2000 is pretty reliable, sometimes things might not go as planned. Here are some tips for fixing common issues:

  1. High system resource usage:
    • Turn off any DSPs (Digital Signal Processing) you don’t need since some can be resource hogs.
    • Tweak memory buffer settings in DSPs like crossfader or gap remover to use less memory.
    • Consider turning off certain output modes, like Kernel Streaming, if they’re using too much CPU.
  2. Output issues with ASIO/WASAPI:
    • Usually, it’s best to stick with standard output modes unless you really need ASIO or WASAPI, which don’t generally improve audio quality for music listening. WASAPI tends to work better than ASIO for most people.
  3. Files not seen by Media Library:
    • Make sure the files or folders aren’t hidden.
    • If you’re using formats not supported out of the box, you might need to install the right decoder. If you still have trouble, try tweaking the Media Library settings.
    • Component DLL loading issues:
      • Check for duplicate DLL files or missing components.
      • Ensure the component works with your version of foobar2000.
    • General troubleshooting steps:
      • Sometimes, removing extra components and starting fresh with foobar2000 can fix problems. Just be sure to back up your foobar2000 folder first.

    Similar issue: VLC could not open the mpga/mp4v/mp4a audio encoder

    Wrapping up

    And that’s a wrap on how to use foobar2000 for converting your audio files. We went through installing the app, setting up encoders, getting into the converter, fine-tuning the settings, saving presets for easy access, and finally converting your files. We also touched on some common hiccups and how to fix them, making sure you’re all set for a smooth conversion process.

    Whether you’re super into music, working with audio professionally, or just like playing around with your audio collection, foobar2000’s conversion capabilities can really step up your audio game.

    Categories: AppMacSoundWindows 11

    Nyau Wai Hoe
    Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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