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foobar2000 1.1 Beta introduces automatic updates for components


Foobar2000, the hard-core Swiss-army knife of the Windows music player world, has recently released version 1.1, which introduces a major new feature: Automatic component updates and removal, right from the UI.

This is a big deal because Foobar2000 is extremely modular. There are components for just about anything, from playing files directly from within 7z archives, all the way to changing the entire interface (not just a "skin", but a completely different interface with its own components).

Installing components is still a somewhat manual operation: You need to go to the gallery using your Web browser and get the ZIP. But once you have the ZIP, you can now click Install within Foobar2000, browse to the zip, and you're done.

Once a component is installed, you can have Foobar2000 automatically check if it's been updated – this is another long-overdue feature, both for developers and for users (buggy components can crash Foobar2000 completely). The auto-update facility works only for components hosted on the official component gallery, but I think that's good because it will consolidate all developers around the official gallery, and so users will have one simple Web page they can browse for interesting components (rather than a forum, which is a pain to use).

I'm using the 1.1 beta right now, and it's working just fine. If you're leery of it messing up that config you painstakingly customized for months, you can always just install it as a portable application -- which means it won't touch your existing files or configuration.

Tags: fb2k, foobar2000, foobar2k, freeware, mp3, music, player, winamp, zukerlist