Posted by Thomas
McGuire on December 17, 2001
Labs Product: Sound
Blaster Audigy Player
for the lowest soundcard
Audigy Player is bundled with the following
Storm - Player Edition
Technology's MixMeister 3.03
regards to installing Creative’s own Software you should
bear in mind the… issues, mentioned earlier. 3rd party
software however can be installed & uninstalled at will.
Creative PlayCenter is the most noteworthy Application in
Creative’s own Software. Or as their website would say;
PlayCenter has every feature you need to achieve the
ultimate digital music experience on your PC. It allows you
to do everything from listening to music, organizing it on
your PC, ripping CDs, burning personalized audio CDs, right
down to transferring it to your Creative portable audio
PlayCenter harnesses the power of the Audigy Chip to support
high definition audio playback, and to present stunning EAX
ADVANCED HD effects with your music. Creative PlayCenter
also utilizes best-of-breed technologies from Fraunhofer
& Microsoft for superlative MP3 & WMA audio quality.
Creative PlayCenter allows you to encode your music all the
way up to 320Kbps in MP3 & 160 Kbps in WMA.
playback of MP3, WMA & Wave files PlayCenter offers some
rather unique features. Selecting the EAX button
gives access to these. The Audio Effects tab allows
you the option to apply an Environmental preset to Audio
playback. Now onto the Time Scaling tab.
feature performs exactly as described in the description on
the screenshot & is nice enough to listen to whatever
source you’re playing without any real distortion that
most players experience in similar circumstances. Course
it’s highly likely this will be nothing more than a
novelty, unused feature most of the time, except for perhaps
showing it off to friends, or something.
DREAM tab contains a similarly novel feature. The
feature itself is alright, but much like Time
Scaling its not
something you’ll really want to be leaving enabled given
the rather annoying effect is has on playback. Again,
something to show off to your friends. Finally we have the Audio
all the novelty, I mean, unique features PlayCenter 3 offers
the most useful one is the Audio cleanup feature, which as
you can guess from the screenshot above removes certain
audible artefacts from digital audio files (WAV, MP3 or WMA).
For testing this out I used a 320Kbps MP3 which contained
some noticeable crackling around 2.20 minutes into the
Audio Clean-up enabled the artefacts were greatly reduced,
pretty much unnoticeable. Disabled or using another Media
Player & the artefacts were noticeable once more. The
clean up feature can be adjusted using the slider bars, as
shown above to compensate for different artefacts.
only thing really missing in the Software bundle is a
software DVD decoder of some sort, although this is slightly
compensated for by the fact that the Drivers for the Audigy
support AC-3 decoding in software.
the software bundle is an ok aspect of the overall package,
including a full version of Giants: Citizen Kabuto &
some nice Control Panel utilities of AudioHQ & Surround