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Creative Labs SB Audigy Player Review

 

Software bundle

The Audigy Player is bundled with the following Applications/Game/Software:

  • Audio HQ

  • Creative Recorder

  • Creative TaskBar

  • Creative Surround Mixer

  • Creative PlayCenter 3

  • Creative WaveStudio

  • Creative Oozic Player

  • Creative Diagnostic

3rd Party Software

  • Giants

  • Arturia's Storm - Player Edition

  • MixMeister Technology's MixMeister 3.03

  • Sonicbox IM Tuner

  • Unibrain S.A. 's FireNet 2.x

With 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;

Creative 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 player.

Creative 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.

For 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.

This 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.

The 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 Clean-Up tab.

Of 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 track.

With 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.

The 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.

Overall 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 Mixer.

 



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