Player Profiles & Utilities:
author netwebly updated: 2.09.2001
creation of a German programmer, Napster fast search will let you search
all of the servers connected to the Napster network simultaneously...
If you're looking for hard to find recordings, this can obviously be a
tremendous time saver. Be warned however: Napster Inc. considers Napster
policy. Get caught using the program and it is likely you will be banned.
The argument is that bots like this put a tremendous strain on server
resources by firing off millions of redundant queries simultaneously.
Proceed at your own risk.
sounds really bad .. Part I (Audiostocker)
you download many MP3 files at all, you'll notice a disconcerting trend
on your playlists. Because studio engineers record at different levels,
the sound level of your MP3s will vary widely from file to file. One track
will sound just right, but the next will be muted or way too loud. After
enough listens, this gets rather annoying. To save yourself from having
to keep adjusting the volume every five minutes you may want to grab this
supremely useful utility which lets you remaster your files at the volume
of your choosing. Of course, if you're anything like me, you're far too
lazy to do anything that involves this much work.
of the most powerful programs of its kind, Totalrecorder
from High Criteria, may be the closest thing there is to a universal digital
tape recorder for your PC. Totalrecorder will let you capture anything
that passes through your sound card on a Windows machine. This means you'll
be able to grab and save nearly any stream, including live webcasts, Real
Audio broadcasts, and stream-only MP3 files.
A nifty timer feature lets you program Totalrecorder to capture scheduled
events, just as you would do using the same feature on your VCR. Unfortunately,
in order to record more than a few seconds of a stream, you'll need to
purchase the full version of the program. Luckily, at about ten bucks,
the same vein, Stream Save from Ellicit will let you record part or all
of any Shoutcast broadcast and save the results in MP3 format. Perfect
for saving streaming content from newscasts, pirate radio stations and
an amazing assortment of indie webcasters.
do you get started? Try http://www.shoutcast.com
for a long list of shoutcast stations and servers.
- Grabbing Your Streams
Streambox Ripper, available for free download at the company's web site,
is simple to use and a must have for any serious Net audiophile. The program
allows users to convert streaming audio into .MP3, .WAV and Windows Media
Basic Desktop Moltov Cocktail - WinAmp
have tried to duplicate the success of this early MP3 player, but so far
nobody has succeeded.This free download from Arizona-based Nullsoft, which
allows users to play and organize MP3 files on their desktops, has held
off all challengers, including well-funded rivals like RealNetwork's RealPlayer,
the Microsoft Media Player, Sonique and Musicmatch, thanks in large part
to the Zen-like simplicity of this application's interface.
Windows only. Customize by choosing from a large collection of available
Up and Coming - Soundjam
This state of the art mp3 player and encoder from
Cassady and Greene is sadly only available for the Mac.
it were more widely available, it is likely that this brilliantly designed
and executed application would dethrone WinAmp as the reigning champion
of this category.
A beautifully done interface will look a lot better on your desktop than
clunkers like MusicMatch and RealPlayer - and it'll work better
An impressive assortment of features make fiddling around with Soundjam
almost as much fun as using it to play your favorite MP3s. Especially
noteworthy: the cool alarm clock feature the program comes with. It'll
wake you up (or better yet signal the end of your workday) by playing
the MP3 of your choice. Converting compact discs to MP3 is about as easy
as humanly possible.
Full version USD 29.99 and well worth it.
though it is included in every copy of Windows that ships, this well conceived
and designed player has yet to make significant inroads among users for
one reason and one reason only - the highly politicized climate surrounding
(imagine) a company like Nullsoft, rather than Microsoft had produced
a player that operates this well, and had managed to jerry-rig a new file
format that produces files of half the size and appreciably better quality
than MP3, that company would be on the front page of the business section
in half the papers in the country. As
it is, Windows Media Player waits in the wings and will inevitably, in
typical Microsoft style, penetrate and possibly even consume the market
as Redmond inks the inevitable deals with ISPs, large web sites and PC
Real Thing? RealPlayer
of the few Net audio companies to show a profit, Seattle-based RealNetworks
has nonetheless given up about as much ground as it has gained in the
MP3 player sweepstakes in recent years.
Despite having a decent product which handles both audio and video fairly
well, RealNetworks has not endeared itself to surfers. Increasingly vocal
critics complain about the cheesy audio ads listeners are forced to endure
before they can get to the content they want to download.
flurry of bad publicity last year surrounding the company's surreptitious
monitoring of user listening habits did little to improve this company's
reputation. With many industry observers predicting that Internet audio
advertising will soon overtake the much maligned banner ad, using RealPlayer
may become an increasingly frustrating experience.
functionality model available for free download, full retail version available
by Aliens, For Aliens - Sonique
success of this popular player may have less to do with audio quality
than it has to do with appearances and a general aura of coolness the
makers of Sonique have worked hard to cultivate.
there's no denying that Sonique, acquired by the Lycos
Network last year, is a funky addition to your desktop. Fans rave
about the hundreds of cool-looking skins available for the player.
well-designed interface has worn over more hearts than it has attracted
The only software product we know of that is marketed as being made by
aliens. Full support for alternate file types. Windows only.
and politics: Liquid Audio
victim (although a willing one) of digital music politics, this player
and accompanying file format has lost considerable yardage over the past
year by playing it safe and siding with the recording industry.
This is likely to change as more official RIAA-approved
web sites launch offering large scale distribution programs that enable
Liquid Audio to show its stuff. Sound quality is widely acknowledged to
be superior to that of MP3.
emphasis here has been on developing a secure format that adheres to SDMI
that end, the company has worked closely with the recording industry for
several years. The future here appears bright - almost a sure thing. Assuming
of course, that Liquid Audio is able to weather the bad kharma it has
created in the minds of music fans by siding with the reviled recording
potential - Shoutcast
this plug-in for WinAmp is relatively simple to install and operate, few
webcasters using Shoutcast have been able to reach anything larger than
a niche audience, mostly due to regulatory resistance from America's broadcasters
and the recording industry.
Faced by the prospect of competition from hundreds, if not thousands,
of underground radio stations offering content ranging from amateur quality
talk shows to professionally hosted broadcasts of top-40 grade music,
American broadcasters and the RIAA have lobbied fiercely against applications
licensing requirements make it difficult if not impossible for Shoutcast
users to webcast legally.
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