A New Way to Show the Lyrics in Foobar2000

The previous solution I wrote about to display lyrics in foobar2000 stopped working. I posted a question on the foobar2000 forums but no one knew of a way to get the plugin to work. For whatever reason the folks who run lyricsplugin.com aren’t interested in supporting foobar2000.

A few advantages to this updated solution are that the lyrics aren’t downloaded every time you listen to a song and there is no longer an external window to display the lyrics.

Negatives are that you have to update the lyrics before being able to view them instead of just playing the song, and since the lyrics are stored in the MP3, its size increases, but it’s negligible.

Installation instructions

1. Download foo_lyricsdb and foo_textdisplay.

2. Stop foobar2000 and copy the 2 DLLs to the components folder, then start foobar2000.

3. Go to View -> Layout -> Enable layout editing mode, then right click where you want to show the lyrics and choose “Replace UI Element”, “Selection Information”, Text Display.

4. Right click on the lyrics screen and add the lyrics tag. Here’s the format I use:

[%album%[ '('%date%')']$crlf()]

5. Turn off layout mode by going to the View menu and selecting “Enable layout editing mode” again.

6. Right click on one or more MP3s and choose Legacy commands -> get from db.

A hearty thanks goes to Dugwin for creating the plugin and lyrics database. I hope this solution continues to work for a long time to come.


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  1. […] 15 Mar 2011: This method is no longer working. Here’s an updated way to see the lyrics. Potentially related […]

    Pingback by How to See Lyrics in Foobar2000 on March 15, 2011 @ 12:58 am
  2. Thanks a lot, Dan, you saved me possibly a few hours. I was getting throught the forums trying to find reliable solution until I found this entry.

    Comment by Piotr Sobczyk on March 20, 2011 @ 3:35 am
  3. @Piotr Sobczyk You’re welcome and thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Dan on March 21, 2011 @ 12:31 pm
  4. I need a solution that doesn’t write tags to my FLACs.

    Comment by wharlgarbl on March 23, 2011 @ 12:35 pm
  5. There’s another negative side to it. If you have your entire music library all in archives (ie rar, zip), like I do, the plugin won’t write the lyrics to the mp3 files and therefore no lyrics will be shown.

    Comment by Zéca on March 23, 2011 @ 3:44 pm
  6. @Zéca That’s true. You could unzip the library, update the lyrics and zip it up again.

    Comment by Dan on March 23, 2011 @ 3:49 pm
  7. @wharlgarbl Let me know if you find a solution.

    Comment by Dan on March 23, 2011 @ 3:50 pm
  8. I do not understand how to pass item 3. І do not see “Selection Information”, only this.

    Comment by stripedM on March 29, 2011 @ 3:31 pm
  9. @stripedM My mistake. You select Replace UI element, then “Selection Information”. I’ve updated the instructions.

    Comment by Dan on March 29, 2011 @ 3:56 pm
  10. Thanks for this, it’s a great fix. If only there was a way to fetch the lyrics as soon as a song starts playing…

    Comment by Tom on March 30, 2011 @ 2:55 pm
  11. @Tom I agree, auto-fetching the lyrics on playback (if they’re missing) would be a nice option.

    Comment by Dan on March 30, 2011 @ 3:45 pm
  12. Can you please explain steps 4 and 5 one more time? Where is the “Legacy commands” button? it sounds silly,I know..

    Comment by Andreea on April 4, 2011 @ 7:55 am
  13. @Andreea “Legacy commands” will be a context menu option when you select an MP3 as long as you’ve installed the DLL properly and restarted Foobar2000.

    Comment by Dan on April 4, 2011 @ 9:12 am
  14. Hi, thank you so much for this!
    I can’t undersatnd step 3, there is no “enable editing mode”, only “live edit” (which i presume is the same thing) and there is no “Replace UI Element”… only this http://img688.imageshack.us/i/foobarlyrics.jpg/

    Thank you for your help!

    Comment by Hien on April 5, 2011 @ 6:17 am
  15. Nevermind, it is working now! I can see the lyrics, even though I am not sure if this is correct or not haha, since I didn’t do step 3. http://img819.imageshack.us/i/foobarlyrics2.jpg/

    thank you so much for this~

    Comment by Hien on April 5, 2011 @ 6:34 am
  16. @Hien I’m glad you got it working. Maybe you have a different version of Foobar2000? I was using 1.1.5.

    Comment by Dan on April 5, 2011 @ 9:28 am
  17. 4/19 and db doesn’t working. Any solution? Thynk You. dudy

    Comment by dudy on April 19, 2011 @ 12:24 pm
  18. For the past two days I keep getting an unwelcome message when I click “Get from DB”. At first, the little popup says “processing” like it used to, but then after 20 seconds or so it says “some network problems, aborting”.
    Any help appreciated.

    Comment by Frank on April 20, 2011 @ 5:20 am
  19. @dudy and @Frank I downloaded new lyrics now and it worked. It’s possible the server was having some issues when you tried it. Give it a try again and see if it’s working for you too.

    Comment by Dan on April 21, 2011 @ 12:19 pm
  20. Yeah, whatever the issue was, it’s gone now. And forever hopefully.

    Comment by Frank on April 21, 2011 @ 3:38 pm
  21. I think it’s better to switch item 5 and item 6 -> the options menu is not visible when you don’t disable “layout editing mode” (well in my case, it’s not).

    Comment by Math on May 1, 2011 @ 3:40 am
  22. Thank you very much man!
    Best way

    Comment by Arash4484 on May 2, 2011 @ 1:51 am
  23. @Math You’re right, I switched options 5 and 6. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Dan on May 2, 2011 @ 10:09 am
  24. @Arash4484 You’re welcome :)

    Comment by Dan on May 2, 2011 @ 10:09 am
  25. Having the same issue as Frank with the “some network problems, aborting”

    Any way to fix this?

    Comment by Alex on May 5, 2011 @ 11:29 am
  26. @Alex The most likely cause is either your connection not working or the lyrics server having issues. I just grabbed lyrics so the server is working.

    Comment by Dan on May 5, 2011 @ 1:25 pm
  27. Weird that it should be my connection, getting the lyrics for some songs have worked fine. Thanks anyway!

    Comment by Alex on May 6, 2011 @ 9:43 am
  28. @Alex I didn’t mean to imply it’s definitely your connection, just that the server was working when I tried it. The problem could be due to an intermittent server issue.

    Comment by Dan on May 6, 2011 @ 10:34 am
  29. Ah I see, what would you recommend I do?

    Comment by Alex on May 6, 2011 @ 12:10 pm
  30. @Alex There’s not much you can do if it’s a server issue, other than waiting and trying again later. If you really need the lyrics, you can grab them from some other source manually and add them to the MP3.

    Comment by Dan on May 6, 2011 @ 12:13 pm
  31. There’s no urgency, just wanted to neaten up my collection a little. Neat plugin though, I’ll try adding some in manually. :}

    Comment by Alex on May 6, 2011 @ 5:47 pm
  32. Hi Dan,
    it is really great to have found this post. worked well for me and I am finally able to enjoy the lyrics with my songs.

    Thank you very much!


    Comment by rob on May 29, 2011 @ 8:36 am
  33. @rob You’re welcome. It’s great to hear from folks who found this useful. Thanks for commenting!

    Comment by Dan on May 30, 2011 @ 12:57 pm
  34. Hi. Thanks for the tutorial. Is there a way to download automatically the lyric for the song when I play iy?

    Comment by gotchapt on May 31, 2011 @ 12:45 am
  35. @gotchapt Not that I know of.

    Comment by Dan on May 31, 2011 @ 10:17 am
  36. thanks man, this really help

    Comment by yongy on June 3, 2011 @ 7:29 am
  37. I noticed that my lyric dont have an empty line between any verse.

    do you have any suggestion ? sry for my bad english though

    Comment by yongy on June 3, 2011 @ 7:43 am
  38. @yongy You can edit the lyrics to format them to your liking.

    Comment by Dan on June 3, 2011 @ 8:02 am
  39. Hi,

    Plugin looks great, but it doesn’t work on my pc. I followed your instructions, but after step 6 (the “get from db.”), nothing happens. I use this plugin on the newest foobar (1.1.7) via Wine because I use foobar on Linux. Is there a way to solve this?

    Comment by Rick on June 29, 2011 @ 1:24 pm
  40. @Rick I haven’t tried it with Wine. My guess is it’s not working because of an incompatibility within Wine’s APIs. It’s working fine for me with Foobar2000 v1.1.7 on Windows 7.

    Comment by Dan on June 29, 2011 @ 2:16 pm
  41. Hi There!
    Thanks for the neat component & thorough explanation!
    I was wondering whether there is a solution for other audio formats, besides mp3. I play mainly lossless formats (flac, ape, wv and such).
    Thanks again!

    Comment by Noam on June 29, 2011 @ 9:09 pm
  42. @Noam You’re welcome, thanks for the comment. I’m not aware of solutions for files other than MP3s, but I haven’t looked.

    Comment by Dan on June 30, 2011 @ 9:44 am
  43. Great job, thank you very much!

    Comment by Zomb1k on July 1, 2011 @ 10:59 am
  44. You are awesome man thanks so much !!

    Comment by Diekatze on July 3, 2011 @ 7:48 am
  45. Hi,
    I also have problems with the format of the lyrics, between all my lyrics, there seem to be no blank lines. I’ve tried to edit the lyrics with the legacy command and they look correct in the preview, but after saving the lyrics won’t change, any idea?

    Comment by Tilde on July 16, 2011 @ 2:26 pm
  46. @Tilde I haven’t seen that happen. When I make changes in the preview, they look that way in the actual lyrics screen.

    Comment by Dan on July 16, 2011 @ 11:50 pm
  47. Oh that’s strange :( It looks like that in my foobar:

    I may have to add, I added these lyrics myself to the lyricsdb as there were no lyrics available before.
    But this doesn’t matter at all unfortunately, it’s the same with lyrics i got from the lyricsdb :(

    Comment by Tilde on July 17, 2011 @ 5:22 am
  48. Here’s what my lyrics screen looks like.

    Comment by Dan on July 17, 2011 @ 9:57 am
  49. Really strange :( I will try to reinstall foobar and hope it settles the matter.

    Comment by Tilde on July 18, 2011 @ 2:40 am
  50. Really strange :( I even tried to reinstall and reset the settings to standard, still it won’t work.

    Comment by Tilde on July 18, 2011 @ 2:50 am
  51. @Tidle That is odd. Maybe the line endings are different in your lyrics?

    Comment by Dan on July 18, 2011 @ 8:03 am
  52. hey Dan i really appreciate this this lyric works for me, but some classic (famous songs) song lyrics could not be retrieved but overall it works great!~

    btw! how did you manage to get the lyric box to get to the right side? mine is on the left

    Comment by couch on July 18, 2011 @ 7:37 pm
  53. @couch You’re welcome. You can add the lyrics yourself if they’re not found on the server, then submit them back to the server to improve the experience for the next person with that music.

    In Layout Mode you can put things wherever you want, but it can be a little confusing at first. Try adding a vertical splitter, then adding the lyrics on the right.

    Comment by Dan on July 18, 2011 @ 7:46 pm
  54. Dan, Today looked at updating Foobar from a pre to post V1 standard to see what latest version of foobar is like.

    The old lyrics plugin still works for me with both v0.9.6.9 and v1.1.7 foobar just fine. (Decided to run both versions rather than update, I am currently running v1.1.7 as a PORTABLE installed version)

    All I essentially did was copy the foo_uie_lyrics.dll & foo_dockable_panels.dll from my old to new foobar components folder, set up a new dockable window with lyrics show as component. Then in the lyrics settings, viewed the internet option and noticed that download automatically was not ticked. I ticked it and then lyrics show and work OK. Lyrics are being downloaded into a created lyrics folder within portable foobar folder tree

    Thought info may be useful and helpful to all.

    Comment by MikeL on July 25, 2011 @ 11:32 am
  55. @MikeL Thanks for commenting. There are two different plugins with very similar names. The one that stopped working is foo_uie_lyricsplugin.dll and the one you’re talking about is foo_uie_lyrics.dll. The latter had some stability issues when I tested it, but they could have been fixed by now.

    Comment by Dan on July 25, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
  56. Ahh OK had not realised my mistake.

    I used to use the Lyrics Plugin from LyricsPlugin.com with Winamp few years ago and liked the ability to add/edit lyrics and offer to server when they could not be found etc. With the foo_uie_lyrics.dll that I am currently using in foobar I like the ability it has to track the words of lyrics in time to music which was something the lyrics plugin did not do. foo_uie_lyrics.dll seems to find majority of lyrics for well known track/artists

    Will have to have a play with foo_uie_lyricsplugin.dll in foobar. I like the sound of permanently adding lyrics to mp3’s if its done well and cleanly.

    Comment by MikeL on July 26, 2011 @ 12:48 am
  57. @MikeL Yeah it’s cool to see the words highlighted as the lyrics are sung (when it works). Permanently storing the lyrics with the MP3 is a great solution because it means you’ll have your lyrics no matter what happens to the service down the road.

    Comment by Dan on July 26, 2011 @ 9:28 am
  58. Thanks a lot, Dan.
    Took me a while to figure out there is a space required before the line break command, $crlf()! dur

    Comment by Conor on August 3, 2011 @ 5:28 pm
  59. @Conor I just checked mine and I don’t have any spaces before any of the $crlf() but if your method is working, that’s what counts.

    Comment by Dan on August 3, 2011 @ 10:23 pm
  60. @Conor — I also needed a space before the “$crlf()” line. Otherwise I don’t get the space (open line) between the Track Title/Artist/Album(Year) and the start of the lyrics. Without that open line it looks pretty smashed together and its hard to instantly see where the first line of the lyrics is.

    Comment by Tony B on August 14, 2011 @ 2:40 am
  61. Very useful video, very clear : congratulations!
    Foobar needs this kind of nice videos to be more known…

    I’m using Column User Interface – not the Default UI – , and I would have loved such an explanation that allows viewing lyrics…

    We ask for more videos! (for displaying the covers for example)

    Comment by lostinthiswhirlpool on August 23, 2011 @ 9:21 am
  62. @lostinthiswhirlpool I agree. The primary reason I created the video was because it was such a pain to figure out. Foobar2000 has a ton of great features, but the usability is still lacking.

    Comment by Dan on August 23, 2011 @ 9:38 am
  63. Hi Dan,

    I’m an old fart fixing to turn 56 in Oct. and trying to keep up with the “Modern World” I’ve been into puters from the day invention and mass sales to the public. I recently discovered Foobar 2000, downloaded and installed but am a “Noob” to it’s use. Basically I want mine to look and play very similar to your set-up but have questions if you can help ? I download music I like in the Mp4 video/audio format. I’ve yet to figure out if Foobar will allow me to watch the video with audio like watching a “Music Vid” on TV or if it allows only playback of the Mp4 audio only. I’m still looking for a guide/tutorial on how to download and use album coverart i foobar as well as the display of lyrics when playing. In your method described here…will that work for a Mp4 file user as well or just Mp3 audio only ? I know this is alot at 1 time to dump on someone but any assistance would be most appreciated my friend.


    Comment by Mike Sutton on September 3, 2011 @ 10:25 am
  64. Greetings Mike. Foobar will only play MP3s and other audio formats (like wav and ogg). VLC is a great application for watching videos (including MP4s). To configure Foobar 2000 to show album art, go to View -> Layout -> Enable layout editing mode, then right click where you want to see the album art and select Replace UI Element. It’s under Selection Information, Album Art Viewer. If you don’t want to replace what’s already there, you can add a splitter under Containers, then add back the item you replaced, and add the album art on the other side of the splitter. Hope that helps.

    Comment by Dan on September 3, 2011 @ 12:59 pm
  65. Hi again Dan and thanks for the quick reply to my earler questions. Okay, follow your advice and other tutorials Ive found I am slowly adding coverart to my songs but have to do it manually one at a time
    using my web browser, finding a cover art I like, saving to hard drive
    then tagging to the song in Foobar one at a time. Tedious and painfully slow but all the other methods I’ve tried or followed havent worked so far but this way does.

    In this tutorial…at frame count 1:05 to 1:06 range when I select
    Legacy Commands —-> Get from DB….. I am getting a Pop Up warning message that states “Warning: fields “artist” and “title” have to be set… and at this point I have to stop and give up as I have no clue how to correct this…any suggestions ?

    Thanks again for your patience and help.


    Comment by Mike Sutton on September 4, 2011 @ 5:25 pm
  66. Oh…your tutorials are great man and I think the only one(s) that a “Dummy” can follow like me. I can actually hear your voice versus being blasted by crap music, it’s produced slowly enough to follow without tons of mad mouse strokes going 100 miles an hour and the need to replay 100 times to make sense of what was mouse clicked on, etc etc.

    Would love to see future “Tutorials” on the exact process of how you build your Foobar layout …step by step even if it took several turtorials to do for all of us “Potential lovers of Foobar” that are strugling to make sense of it all as there is little to go by Quality
    tutorials available out there.



    Comment by Mike Sutton on September 4, 2011 @ 5:31 pm
  67. Hey Dan,

    A quick update for what it’s worth. Finally got everything working in Foobar to include Playlist the way I want it…Album covers…Metadata…Titles…Spectagram….and finally “Lyrics” which
    took me sadly awhile to understand its set up process. The thing I’m researching now is whether or not you can still have a scrolling Lyrics panel in Foobar version 1.1.7 . . . I guess time will tell !

    Comment by Mike Sutton on September 6, 2011 @ 6:18 am
  68. @Mike Thanks for the updates, and congrats on getting it set up how you wanted it. I believe I had scrolling lyrics working with 1.1.7 but I opted for the solution outlined in this post. I don’t recall why. If you get it working, please share how you like it.

    Comment by Dan on September 6, 2011 @ 9:05 am
  69. Dan

    Thanks for the Congrats and f.y.i. heres why you probably had scrolling Lyrics formerly then switched to your current method and can see why now.

    The Older version of scrolling lyrics and show lyrics.dll required
    foo uie lyrics.dll, food dockable panels.dll etc. etc. You had all that set up and am assuming all ran fine under a older version of Foobar. In the meantime, the Foobar updates to current V1.1.7 changed,
    when trying to set it up now under Version 1.1.7 using dockable panels and such…you now get a new notification in the Lyrics window
    to upgrade to Lyrics Plugin Version 0.4:

    When clicking on the Upgrade Lyrics Plugin link it offers three (3)
    downloadable upgrades only for Windows Media Player, Lyrics plugin for Winamp, and Lastly Lyrics plugin for Itunes……

    Once again, the loss of another Foobar usable side application/utility.

    So it’s back to setting it up the way you have listed in this video which I’ve already done and it works flawlessly …I can live w/o scrolling lyrics.

    Hope this helped you and any others with same problems as we’ve experienced.


    Comment by Mike Sutton on September 6, 2011 @ 11:05 am
  70. @Mike I had another plugin that scrolled the lyrics as the song played, different than the one you described. The need to upgrade was what prompted me to find my current solution from that one.

    Comment by Dan on September 6, 2011 @ 11:51 pm
  71. It’s awesome! Thanks so much!

    Comment by Thanks! on September 29, 2011 @ 7:26 am
  72. Thanks for the tip. Works very well.
    For some reason, the $crlf() function doesn’t show linebreak for me, which is making the lyrics bit hard to read. I’m new to foobar, so there might be something else I need that I don’t have.
    Still, too bad the guys from lyricsplugin.com don’t consider foobar2000, since their database is by far the biggest.

    Comment by Jordan on October 16, 2011 @ 2:55 pm
  73. @Jordan Some people have had the same problem. I’m not sure why, but at least you can see the lyrics now :)

    Comment by Dan on October 16, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
  74. Thanks for the tutorial, but I have the same problem as Tilde here.

    There are no line breaks between the verses even thought they are there if I edit them. I can put as many empty lines in the edit as I want put it just smashes the text into one block in the text field just like in Tilde’s screenshots.

    Is there any way to fix this?


    Comment by Joll on October 30, 2011 @ 12:11 pm
  75. The only workaround I found to my problem is putting a space into the empty line, but I’m not going to go through my WHOLE libary to put spaces between every verse.

    Surely there is a way to avoid cutting out the empty lines.

    Comment by Joll on October 30, 2011 @ 12:21 pm
  76. I can’t download foo_lyricsdb. The link appears to be down. Could you host somewhere else?


    Comment by Tiago on December 5, 2011 @ 11:06 am
  77. @Tiago If mirkforce is down, then getting foo_lyricsdb won’t help because that’s where the lyrics are stored. I emailed Dugwin to see what’s up.

    Comment by Dan on December 5, 2011 @ 11:15 am
  78. YOU A’M GOD!!! thx!

    Comment by Elo on December 16, 2011 @ 10:55 am
  79. […] […]

  80. many many thanks brother! you made my day

    Comment by Sina on January 19, 2012 @ 11:46 am
  81. @Sina I’m glad it helped.

    Comment by Dan on January 19, 2012 @ 12:44 pm
  82. Thaks a lot! I really apreciated, helped me a lot

    Comment by Victor on February 19, 2012 @ 4:15 pm
  83. @Victor You’re welcome, thanks for stopping by :)

    Comment by Dan on February 19, 2012 @ 5:20 pm
  84. thanks man it works :)

    for those who have problem about the line break, just use this version of text display http://foosion.foobar2000.org/0.9.5/foo_textdisplay-1.0_rc_3-20080708.zip, it works for me here :)

    Comment by basquevilla on February 25, 2012 @ 11:49 pm
  85. @basquevilla Great!

    Comment by Dan on February 25, 2012 @ 11:52 pm
  86. I like your plugin but it seems that mirkforce is down again!? Im not able to download any lyrics and i can´t reach the page via firefox…

    Comment by Steve on March 20, 2012 @ 12:17 am
  87. @Steve It could have been down, but it’s working now.

    Comment by Dan on March 20, 2012 @ 10:27 am
  88. Looks like a great plugin but mirkforce is down, i tried all possible browsers and even tried a different isp. is there any way u can upload it else where? thanks

    Comment by necro on April 4, 2012 @ 11:36 am
  89. @necro I am hoping the downtime is temporary.

    Comment by Dan on April 4, 2012 @ 12:33 pm
  90. i added the text display dll as lyrics tab and found that there is no difference as it wont show up inside the tab, it seems like a redundant step as i can just click on legacy command on mp3s and get lyrics. is there some way where lyrics can load automatically inside a tab?

    Comment by tang on May 8, 2012 @ 9:29 pm
  91. @tang Did you watch the video? That’s what I showed how to do.

    Comment by Dan on May 9, 2012 @ 9:34 am
  92. Any one have an idea when mirkforce.net is coming up again.A great plugin not working because of this.
    Is there any new workaround? Google didn helped :(

    Comment by rocky on June 30, 2012 @ 7:42 pm
  93. @rocky It’s working – I just grabbed new lyrics from it.

    Comment by Dan on July 1, 2012 @ 9:04 pm
  94. You should update the old post in a more obvious way so people don’t follow the old method and then find it doesn’t work and then either be frustrated etc or follow this method after having wasted some time. Anyways, thanks!

    Comment by makeswell on August 22, 2012 @ 12:16 am
  95. @makeswell What’s more obvious than saying in the first line of the post that the method no longer works?

    Comment by Dan on August 22, 2012 @ 12:01 pm
  96. here is he the li9nk of foo lyricsdb.dll and thanks for the post! (Y)


    Comment by francisco on November 7, 2012 @ 10:00 am
  97. I can’t grab any new lyrics.. is there any way to fix this or do I have to wait until mirkforce works again?

    Comment by hexovility on December 7, 2012 @ 10:19 am
  98. @hexovility You have to wait until mirkforce works again.

    Comment by Dan on December 9, 2012 @ 8:28 pm
  99. It’s working again for me.

    Comment by Dan on December 12, 2012 @ 11:51 am
  100. And it’s down again. I may need to look for yet another solution.

    Comment by Dan on February 20, 2013 @ 4:45 pm
  101. Any solution yet?

    Comment by hexovility on March 23, 2013 @ 10:30 am
  102. Based on a YouTube comment I tried using foo_uie_lyrics3 and it’s okay. I may do another video once I’m completely sold on it.

    Comment by Dan on March 23, 2013 @ 2:11 pm
  103. […] my last post on this subject I wrote, “I hope this solution continues to work for a long time to come.” The time has […]

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