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How To Use Your iPod with Foobar2000

Are you an iPod owner but not a fan of using iTunes to sync your music library? Today we take a look at using the fully customizable Foobar2000 to work with your iPod.

If you’re looking for an alternative to iTunes that is fully customizable and will work with your iPod, Foobar2000 is a great choice. By adding a couple components we can get it to work with your iPod, and have it automatically convert FLAC and other file formats to ones that will work with the iPod.

For this article we are using Foobar2000 1.0.3 with an iPod Touch 32GB with iOS 4.0

Install Foobar2000

If you don’t already have it, you’ll need to download and install the latest version of the free Foobar2000 audio player (link below). The latest stable version is 1.0.3…you can do this with older versions as well if you want to. Installation is straight-forward and you can go with the Standard Full install.

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Once it’s installed you can use components to customize it however you like. For more check out our article on customizing Foobar2000.

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Install iPod Manager Component

After you have Foobar2000 setup, we want to make it work with our iPod. Download the iPod Manager component (link below). The current version supports with iOS 4 on your iPod Touch but not the iPhone 4. Unzip foo_dop.dll to C:\Program Files\Foobar2000\Components.

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Install Nero AAC Encoder

Next we need to download and install the free Nero AAC Encoder (link below). Unzip the file and go into the win32 folder and copy neroAacEnc.exe into C:\Program Files\Foobar2000.

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Using Your iPod with Foobar2000

You can customize how the iPod will read the metadata and more by going to File \ Preferences…

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Then expand Tools and select iPod Manager.

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Now you can change various settings such as the Database, iPod Features, bitrate of converted files…and more.

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If you’re using an iPod Touch or iPhone make sure to go to the Mobile Devices tab and check Enable mobile device support then restart Foobar2000.

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Add individual songs or Albums

You might not want to load your entire library to your iPod and can add individual albums or songs. Select the album or songs you want to put on your iPod, right-click and select iPod \ Send to iPod from the context menu.

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Your music will be processed and added to your iPod including the meta data and cover art.

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The files we are sending to the iPod are in FLAC format, so they will be encoded so the iPod can play them.

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Now go to your iPod music folder and you’ll have the album you transferred from Foobar2000 included as well as the cover art.

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You can also sync your music with your iPod. In Foobar2000 click on File \ iPod \ Synchronise…

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Now you can go ahead and sync your entire Media Library or just select playlists.

Note: If you only want to sync specific playlists, uncheck Media library and select the ones you want to sync. Otherwise your entire library will be synced up.

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Just like with adding an album to the iPod, you’ll see the progress screens while everything is synchronized. The amount of time it takes will depend on the amount of songs your adding and how many need to be encoded for the iPod to use.

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There is also the ability to send specific playlists to the iPod. Click on File \ iPod \ Send Playlists.

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Now select the Playlist you want to add to the iPod.

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There you go! Now disconnect your iPod and enjoy your favorite tracks.

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To get the details about your iPod or iPhone, in Foobar2000 click File \ iPod \ Properties.

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This will provide detailed info about your device.

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Conclusion

If you want an alternative to iTunes that is faster, fully customizable, and geekier in general…Foobar2000 will allow you to fully utilize your iPod. The cool thing about this is if you have file formats in Foobar2000 that an iPod can’t play, FLAC for example, will be quickly converted before added to the iPod. The conversion process is surprisingly fast, and the quality is very good. We took a look at the basic functions, but there’s a lot of customization you can do including how metadata is displayed, bitrate conversion, ReplayGain and more.

What is your take? Are you a fan of Foobar2000 and use it with your iPod or iPhone? Leave a comment and let us know.

Download Foobar2000

Download iPod Manager Component

Download Nero AAC Codec

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/4/10

Comments (56)

  1. Robert

    Can this be used with Android devices?

  2. skater-andy

    i prefer to use sharepod :)

  3. orkgandalf

    If I have, say, 1000 songs already synchronized to ipod and change tags in some songs in foobar2000, say, album name, artist name, etc and then re-synchronize the library, do you think that only the changed songs will be synchronized again and the changed tags be sent to ipod?
    Currently I’m using itlu+itunes for that but would like to move to something less complicated.
    Let me know. Thanks. Orks.

  4. FiendAngel

    Awesome tutorial HTG :o

  5. andres

    Hello,

    and zune?.. :)

  6. samer

    thank you it is very nice step to add or remove music but i want ask if i can add or remove video clip.

  7. Leandri

    I’m still recovering from the time foobar2000 ruined all the album art for my tracks. I’ll try using it for music syncs though.

  8. Brysen

    Works this with the iPhone 3G?

  9. Nico

    When I try to download the iPod manager, foo_dop, and extract it to the components folder, it gives me an error message. I did it just like you did. Any help?

  10. William

    If you’re having problems extracting files to the components folder, try extracting them to the desktop, and manually copy them over. There is probably a permission problem when you extract them directly to the c:/programfiles/foobar folder.

  11. Mike

    Thanks, great tuturial.
    Just synched 1800 songs to my Ipod Touch 4.1 jailbreak with no problems. Foobar is a joy to use compared to iTunes which is sooooo frustratingly slow. I have a PC with Phenom 4 core cpu & 460GTS and iTunes crawls along when it’s not locking up. With foobar you can be playing music, looking through your library and synching songs all at the same time with no lag and no problems of any sort. Great app, and tutorial,
    best wishes
    Mike

  12. Lori

    Help! I’m downloading the audio converter — the big green button at the top of the page, right? I don’t get a zip download file where I can extract foo_dop. It’s just an application. What am I doing wrong?

  13. Anthony

    i did everything the article and it works up until copying to the ipod when it says “file type is not supported by the ipod”. PLEASE HELP!!!! im loosing my mind lol

  14. Andy

    Anthony you need to give a little more information if you want to get help.

    If you are using an itouch or iphone 4 this additional information will get you up and running with foobar2000.

    I am using a 2nd Gen itouch with iOS 4.2.1. Win7x64. iTunes NOT installed.

    1. Follow all directions in the above tutorial (making sure you download the latest version of foo_dop.dll)
    2. Download itunes (you will not be installing it dont worry)
    3. Download winrar
    4. Extract the contents of itunes.exe to any folder on your computer with winrar
    5. Browse to the extracted contents of the itunes.exe
    6. Install AppleApplicationSupport.msi and AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi (the names of the files may be different depending on your OS, 32vs64bit)
    7. Reboot computer (optional)
    8. Enjoy

    -Let me know if you have any issues, I have been testing this for a few days and it appears to work flawlessly (fingers crossed)

  15. Phylly

    Can you copy iPod contents to Foobar (or any other iTunes substitute) and then play them without iPod attached to computer like you can with iTunes? I use CopyTrans Manager at the moment which is absolutely brilliant apart from that it is not a player/jukebox?

  16. Dyna19

    I have the same problem as Anthony, i.e. “file type is not supported by the ipod”
    using latest stable versions of foobar2000 and foo_dop and iPhone 3G os 4.0.1.
    I load a cue file and get the tracks of my flac image shown in foobar. I then select them all and send to iPod and get the above error.
    The strange thing is, I’m able to convert the tracks to ALAC using convert option and then send the resulting ALAC tracks to iPod with no problem. It’s just these 2 operations don’t work automatically (sequentially), and I think they should. Any ideas?

  17. Lola

    So I i send my FLAC files over to the ipod and get nero aac encoder to automatically encode them, the files will turn out to be ALAC, am i right?

  18. Dyna19

    2Lola
    They are supposed to, but that’s where I get an error. It seems the flacs are not being sent to converter first, but go straight to ipod, causing the error.

  19. Dyna19

    Also just noticed – with the Nero encoder settings shown in the post, the files produced are compressed to about one seventh of the original or compared to a lossless m4a produced by dbPoweramp (i.e. low quality lossy). What are the NeroEnc settings to produce lossless ALACs? That was the whole point. For lossy I just could convert them to mp3, supported by iPod.

  20. Dyna19

    Just realized Nero does not convert to lossless. Gotta use iTunesEncode, dbPoweramp or ffmpeg.

  21. Wind4953

    Hi MysticGeek..
    First off, i’d like to thank you a miilion for saving my valuable time and stress of using iTunes to manage my new iPod nano 6G. I just followed the steps where you ask us to install FooBar > downloaded both the Nero AAC encoder & iPod manager component > put those files on the right place > start FooBar and voila.. it works like wonders! (i did install the latest iTunes ver. 10 though). i wonder if it’ll still work after i uninstall iTunes later.. :-)

    kudos for you guys..

    i’m here to confirm, FooBar2000 works with iPod nano 6G (at least for managing songs/music/etc..)

  22. ender

    I followed Wind4953’s advice and the tutorial but my 6G Nano still isn’t working. I’ve already initialized the database using iTunes. Any suggestions?

  23. Hurt

    Stumbled upon this tutorial; that’s exactly what I was searching for! At long last, I can get rid of the frustration of using a slow, memory hungry and restrictive iTunes and just enjoy the music. Thanks a lot for your tutorial, and to the foobar community!

  24. Mosi

    Has anyone figured out how to use Fubar to send FLAC files to their iPod? I have an old iPod 80 Gig classic – I installed the files as instructed but am getting the same error message as everyone else (“File type is not supported by the iPod”).

    How about Rock Box? Has anyone here tried using that on their iPods?

    Other than this – I really love using Fubar 2000! Great program.

  25. Mosi

    Dyna19 – you said “Just realized Nero does not convert to lossless. Gotta use iTunesEncode, dbPoweramp or ffmpeg.” Will any of these programs work with Fubar2000? If so – how do I install them?

    Thanks!

  26. Mosi

    Ha! I got it! for anyone else having the same problem I was not being able to send FLAC files to your iPod by converting them to another format – Fubar 2000 will do it with the recomended files added. Go to Files – Preferences – Tools – iPod Manager. Select the Conversion tab, select “Convert audio tracks in unsuported formats” and select ACC (Nero) for the Encoder. Seems to work fine on my iPod 80g Classic.

  27. Manii123

    Hi guys,

    im trying to sync music to my ipod using foobar. I have followed the instructions above but this message keeps appearing everytime i try to sync any music: ‘DB Version 5 requires iPhoneCalc.dll. Write operations are disabled.’ Please could someone help?!?

  28. AJ

    I get this error when I right-click a song and select iPod / Send to iPod:
    DB Version 5 requires iPhoneCalc.dll. Write operations are disabled.
    I believe I have followed the steps above. What should I do?

  29. AJ

    I found other forum entries stating that iPhoneCalc.dll is part of a program called MediaMonkey. I downloaded MediaMonkey and installed it. I copied the iPhoneCalc.dll from the installation folder of MediaMonkey to the foobar folder as described. The iPhoneCalc error then disappeared..
    Bot then I got other errors… Obviously we also need to keep parts of iTunes installed… Apple Mobile Device Support is needed, and the only way to get it seems to be to reinstall iTunes (which I uninstalled earlier and I also permanently deleted the installation files for it, since I believed I would never have to use that crappy program again… With the (very “narrow”) broad band on the country side downloading this again is another hours wait…) Perhaps I’ll make another entry later on.

  30. AJ

    YES! Finally it works!
    I can’t believe the user unfriendliness of Apple software. Just to be able to copy a single mp3 file that I downloaded at home, from a perfectly legal place (Swedish radio), I had to put down several hours, searching google for programs and fixes and extra utilites…!
    On my parents simple mp3 player, the same thing can be done just be dragging the file from Windows Explorer into the external mp3 unit. The Ipod nano was completely ignorant of the new files when I tried that.
    Foobar2000 with “Apple Mobile Device Support” left on the computer after installing (and uninstalling) iTunes makes a great job.
    Now listening to the file, transferred from my hard drive, using foobar2000 v1.1.7 and iPod Manager, onto my new ipod nano g6 (generation 6 – 6th generation).

  31. EdwardTam

    give me a torrent for it please

  32. Sean

    i was extremely happy to see him syncing anathema.

  33. Give Me Strength!

    using foobar and NOT i-hope you rot in hell for the rest of eternity-tunes?!?!?! this is almost as cool as learning how to grow another leg!! sooooooooooooooooooooo happy. yet another computing thorn in my side, finally removed… and not a dodgy workaround; something simple, that works, and very well. were i that way inclined, i’d be asking to have your children now – but i’m not, so a gentlemanly ‘cheers’ will have to suffice, though i may linger a second longer than i should when shaking your hand. x

  34. shey rivera

    after finishing all the setup…foobar cannot detect my ipod-touch. do i need to jailbreak it first??

  35. SSCHIEFRSHA

    I have a clean Ipod and wanted to use the Foobar but you didn’t say Foobar requires the AppleApplicationSupport.msi file to run the ipod which will require a download of itunes which I had just removed all traces of.

  36. Wind4953

    @ender
    i was using Win XP then when i posted the comment above. Now i’m using Win7 and had to reinstall Foobar back from zero. I had never installed iTunes in my new OS. So here’s my step:
    1. Downloaded 3 files above and install (Foobar2k > copy & put foo_dop.dll at foobar components folder > copy neroAACenc.exe to foobar main folder)

    finishing this step, foobar can already read files from my iPod nano 6th gen.. but when i tried sending those new files to iPod it gives me the SQL error. so continue to the next step:

    2. Browse in the iTunesSetup.exe (yeah, the iTunes installer, u have to download it anyway but not gonna install iTunes). As @Andy said above, we only need to install 2 things > AppleApplicationSupport.msi & AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi.

    Voila again! ^^)
    My iPod nano 6th gen is Foobar’s new adopted son.. xD

  37. Wind4953

    Ohh, i forgot about the iPhoneCalc.dll file which we also need to copy to the main foobar folder. ^^)

    Hope that helps!

  38. Wind4953

    now my only concern is how do i manage my photo album and pictures in my iPod nano. last time i have to use iTunes to sync them into the iPod. i’m not considering installing iTunes again in my new OS. so, i’m left with CopyTrans.. but last time i know, it still doesn’t support iPod 6th gen yet. hmmm.. any ideas?

  39. Zimitra

    Anyone know a way to simply add albums to the general iPod library from Foobar versus this stupid ‘iPod View’ playlist it wants to keep adding?

  40. Cancun500

    I tried it with my iPhone 4 and worked out like a charm. The problem is when I syncronize the iPhone with Outlook using iTunes (for contacts, tasks, notes and calendar), iTunes deletes all the music.
    Is there a work-around so iTunes don’t delete the music added with iPod Manager?

  41. Coquette

    I’ve downloaded and installed the 3 packages listed in this article and I still don’t have foo_dop.dll anywhere on my hard drive. Unfortunately, I’m running Vista. When I open Foobar and go to Preferences\Tools, it says I need to select a sub page and ipod manager is not there. The only thing there is an empty folder called Tagging.
    Any suggestions?

  42. Coquette

    When I try to install iPod Manager, it loads a lot of other stuff on my computer and not foo_dop.dll. Do I really need FoxTab Music, Audio and Video just to run Foobar200.
    Do I really need InstallIQupdater and if so why?
    I’m not using an iPhone. I only have the iPod Nano 6th gen.
    Thank you

  43. watchntv

    (link below)(link below)(link below)(link below)(link below)(link below)
    I dont see the links they keep referencing

    why is it SO Hard to just give me a step by step guide of how to use this progam
    this is why I dont like Itunes, I dont know how to use it, I like DRAG AND DROP, why is this so muckin hard?

  44. sed

    im trying to sync music to my ipod touch 4G (ios 4.3.5 ) using foobar .but
    ‘DB Version 5 requires iPhoneCalc.dll. Write operations are disabled.
    What should I do?

  45. romko

    HEYY, thanks a lot, quite simple and though geeky and not mainstream. and, most important, it works!!

  46. Mark

    I am getting the following error – can someone tell me what I have done wrong?

    Please install or reinstall Apple Application Support.

    (Error: Failed to query registry for AAS directory – The system cannot find the file specified. )

  47. Mark

    Additional : The error is coming up when I check ‘Enable mobile device support’

  48. Mark

    Additional : Just seen this : 2. Browse in the iTunesSetup.exe (yeah, the iTunes installer, u have to download it anyway but not gonna install iTunes). As @Andy said above, we only need to install 2 things > AppleApplicationSupport.msi & AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi.

    1. Where do you get itunesSetup.exe? And how do you browse it?

    2. The 2 things you need to install….how do you do this. Do you need to install them to a specific folder?

    I do not have – nor want – Itunes on my PC. I am simply helping out a friend who has lost all her music.
    I can copy CDs to my hard drive, but, then need to copy them from my hard drive to her Iphone.

  49. SSCHIEFRSHA

    Anyone know how to manually add songs to “Recently Played” playlist and move it around like in Itunes?

  50. chuck

    I followed the instructions to set up foobar to work with my new ipod touch 32 gig and I am getting this message when i try to synchronize…”DB Version 5 requires iPhoneCalc.dll. Write operations are disabled.” What do I do to get around this?

  51. chuck

    Ok. I found the dll and copied it to the foobar folder and it works now. The problem I have is the media folder. I added the entire contents of it to the ipod using itunes. when i syncronized using foobar it srill want to add all the media again. what should i do?

  52. ListeningHard

    Awesome resource! Thank you so much!!!

  53. chuck

    Ok Everything is up and working now…i can sync files to my ipod with no problems. Thank you very much for this information…bye bye iTunes…!

  54. Rose

    Hi, I have been using Foobar for my media management on my iphone (3Gs), however just upgraded to iOS5 and lost everything. Any idea how quickly Foobar will develop an upgrade to work with iOS5? I really don’t want to go back to itunes :(

  55. Godsquad

    I tested with IOS5 and the playlist is actually synced, everything looks fine, but the device cannot find, or play anything. I’m afraid I have to roll back to 4.3.X. iTunes is a nightmare.

  56. Kevin

    i tried finding the dop file but ti was nowhere to be found

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