foobar2000: 1. What is it?
Foobar2000 is a music player and organiser, like iTunes or winamp. It is totally free of charge (unless you hold to the time equals money cliché), but most importantly it is totally customisable. It can have as little or as much impact on your system's processes as you choose, and you can change absolutely anything about its appearance, giving it the edge on other players. It can play any audio codec as long as the plugin exists, and has superior sound quality. It also allows for keyboard shortcut assignment to practically every function in the entire program. One of the main features of the program is its ability to organise your music via "tagz", downloading track information from web databases in bulk. There is also a feature that will standardise the decibel output of your tracks, and store information in the track so that you can have all of your music at the same volume. If any of this is catching your attention, check it out at the following link:
An early warning: this is not "plug and play". You will not have the perfect player at the click of your fingers. It takes time to learn the user interface, and even longer to learn the code (if you get that far). But, as with all programming, the sense of personal achievement at the end is just... yeh. Good.
Next section: 2. Getting Started