You may think a £20 music package would be fairly basic in scope and that you'll soon outgrow its capabilities. In fact, Magix has been making music editors and remix programs for years. In that time it has refined them rather well.

For example, one of the most common problems with PC-based music is that you end up with tracks stored at different qualities and in discrete formats depending on the source and the options chosen at the time. When creating a disc to play on a stereo, the tracks all need to be WAV files, but you need to rip them to MP3 to be sure they'll play on your portable music player.

Centurion gathers up your songs and in a couple of clicks makes MP3s of them all. You can set preferences so that files you send to a portable player are automatically transcoded to a set format or added to a playlist.

Another area of interest is internet radio. With online broadcasts and timeshift radio becoming more popular, it makes sense that PC users will want to be able to record their favourite shows - after all, it's something that DAB radios have offered for a year or so. Both Roxio's Supersonic software (see July 05, page 72) and this product include such capability. On the other hand Replay Radio specialises in doing so.

Click on the web radio tab at the top of the page to bring up a list of radio stations presented by genre. You then make your selection and, once the station has finished buffering, hit Record or set up Centurion to start taping at a specific time.

Magix MP3 Maker Centurion: Specs

  • 600MHz Pentium
  • 128MB RAM
  • graphics card support for 1,024x768 resolution
  • 16bit colour and sound
  • 250MB hard disk space
  • 600MHz Pentium
  • 128MB RAM
  • graphics card support for 1,024x768 resolution
  • 16bit colour and sound
  • 250MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

As well as a good range of file formats to record to and from, Centurion includes a half-decent Music Editor. You can clean up or distort recordings, download extra plug-in effects, organise your music collection, batch-convert tracks or use the embedded Print Studio to create labels for your CDs.

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