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$45.99 list($59.99)
1. eMedia Guitar Method Version 3
$56.99 $56.97 list($69.99)
2. PrintMusic 2004
Too low to display $46.50 list($59.99)
3. eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method
$75.99 $15.74 list($79.99)
4. Music Studio 2005 Deluxe
Too low to display list($99.99)
5. Apple GarageBand Jam Pack 4: Symphony
$17.99 list($19.99)
6. Tune Transfer for iPod
$69.99 $61.93
7. INport
$19.99 $10.00 list($24.99)
8. Audio Cleaning Lab 2005
$24.69 $24.67 list($29.94)
9. eMedia Blues Guitar Legends
$33.24 $33.00 list($57.99)
10. Music Creator 2
Too low to display list($99.99)
11. GarageBand Jam Pack 3: Rhythm
$9.49 $5.86 list($9.99)
12. Instant Play Guitar (Jewel Case)
$29.99 $8.70 list($39.99)
13. Music Maker 2005 Deluxe
$75.99 $69.97 list($119.99)
14. Cakewalk Kinetic
$569.99 $325.97 list($599.99)
15. Finale 2005
$35.14 $33.99 list($57.99)
16. Cakewalk Pyro 2004
$28.49 $18.88 list($29.99)
17. MP3 Maker 2005 Deluxe
Too low to display list($99.99)
18. GarageBand Jam Pack 1
$26.59 $24.48 list($29.99)
19. eMedia Guitar Songs 1 version
$49.39 $39.95 list($59.99)
20. Bass Method 1

1. eMedia Guitar Method Version 3
by eMedia
list price: $59.99
our price: $45.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000X63JE
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 152
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

New version of the world's best-selling beginning guitar CD-ROM! Over 160 comprehensive lessons cover everything from the basics through chord strumming, playing melodies and fingerpicking. New modern rock chapter includes various strumming styles, movable power chords and power chord riffs. Now with over 50 videos from instructor Kevin Garry, Ph.D, including split-screens and close-ups of both hands. Learning guitar is made fun through over 70 songs including familiar hits from artists such as Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Steve Miller. This new version also includes a new rock version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door in the style of Guns N’ Roses.

eMedia Guitar Method includes an animated fretboard, which displays the fingering for each song and exercise in real-time, adjustable to four different viewing angles.Multi-track audio gives full band accompaniment on many of the hit songs. There is a variable-speed MIDI track option allowing students to practice any song or exercise at whatever tempo they want.There is also the option to learn using either tablature or standard music notation.Additional features include a built-in automatic tuner, digital metronome, recorder and 250-chord dictionary.

Guitar Method 1 features many hit songs, including:

  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door
    • Acoustic versionBob Dylan
    • Rock versionin the style of Guns N’ Roses
  • Little Red Roostermade famous by the Rolling Stones
  • Rock N' MeSteve Miller Band
  • Downtown Trainmade famous by Rod Stewart
  • Uncle John's Bandthe Grateful Dead
  • Scarborough Fairmade famous by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Ode to JoyLudwig van Beethoven
  • House of the Rising Sunmade famous by the Animals
  • La Bambamade famous by Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos
  • Midnight Specialmade famous by Creedence Clearwater Revival
... Read more

Features

  • Automatic tuner, metronome, and 250-chord dictionary
  • Learn chord strumming, playing melodies, and fingerpicking
  • 160+ comprehensive lessons, plus new modern rock chapter
  • 50+ videos including split-screens and close-ups of both hands
  • 70+ songs; artists include Bob Dylan, Steve Miller, and more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars You will ENJOY learning to play the guitar!
This software is absolutely the BEST guitar teaching program available today.The program made it fun and easy for me to learn to play the guitar.Compared to private lessons here in Phoenix priced at between $19 to $21 for 30 minutes of instruction, this CD is a real bargain!I love it so much that I'm going to purchase eMedia's Intermediate Guitar Method software right now.

5-0 out of 5 stars YOU Will play the Guitar!
I had been wanting to take guitar lessons but did not have the time.After doing some research I purchased eMedia's Guitar Method.Iloaded up the software and began my first lesson.Within an hours time I was playing a song!I could not beleive it.I have never had a lessons nor could I understand a note.There are some really good features like a built in tuner and animated fretboard(my fav).I highly recommend the product.It's like personal lesson in your home!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool.
I really like this software.I have tried to follow countless guitar books only to abandon them halfway through.The interactivity and quicktime movies provided with this software makes it much more interesting to follow.I never get bored learning guitar with this software.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for beginner guitar players!!
If you are a beginner guitar player and are frustrated with your lack of progression, this product is a must have.It is a progressive program, starting with the basics such as; tuning a guitar, replacing strings on a guitar, and even how to hold the guitar.The lessons then move into your first couple of chords and basic folk songs which use those chords.Learning is by repitition and continually building on what you've already learned.You may feel a little silly playing songs like "She'll be comin' around the mountain" and "Oh-suzanna" but you'll soon see the benefit of these simple songs when you can suddenly make smooth chord transitions, which will of course help you later with the more complex lessons and songs.The best thing I've found about this program is that you move at your own pace.If you're having problems with a particular lesson or a certain chord transition, you can continue working on it until you're ready to move on.You can even go back and review any lesson you want.This is especially handy if you've had a break between practice sessions and it's been a while since you picked up your guitar.Also, after each chapter, the program gives you a list of popular songs which you should be capable of playing using the chords and techniques you've learned up to that point in the lessons.The program also has a very useful chord dictionary, metronome, and animated fretboard to follow along with during a song.Even if you don't even know what a fretboard is... even if you don't know a single chord... if you just picked up a guitar for your first time and haven't the slightest idea where to start...THIS PROGRAM WILL HELP!!! ... Read more


2. PrintMusic 2004
by MakeMusic!
list price: $69.99
our price: $56.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00029XAUG
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MakeMusic!
Sales Rank: 308
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Powerful enough for professionals, yet affordable enough for everyone

  • write songs up to 24 staves
  • perfect for beginniners
  • create lead sheets with lyrics, chord symbols & guitar fretboards
  • create scores and print out parts
  • scan sheet music for transposing or rearranging
Easy to get started
  • The Setup Wizard helps you select instruments/voices, key/time signatures, pick-up measures and more, then sets up your score automatically.
Easy to put your notes on the page
Find the way that's easiest for you:
  • Play your MIDI keyboard and watch the exclusive HyperScribe® feature notate as you play.
  • Scan your music directly into PrintMusic! with the included FREE SmartScore Lite 3.0® technology.
  • "Click" your notes into place while you hear them with Simple Note Entry.
  • Accurately enter notes when you play your acoustic instrument into a microphone using our exclusive MicNotator®.
  • "Click" in notes from your computer or MIDI keyboard with Speedy Note Entry.
Easy to hear your music
  • Just click the PLAY button and hear your music with all the feeling, phrasing and nuance you intended.
Easy to print, e-mailor save as a SmartMusicAccompaniment®
  • You can even print in color or post your score on the Internet.
... Read more

Features

  • Easy to print, e-mail, or save as SmartMusic Accompaniment
  • Music notation software for creating, hearing, and printing sheet music
  • Free music scanning and SmartMusic instrument sounds
  • Write songs up to 24 staves; create scores and print out parts
  • Create lead sheets with lyrics, chord symbols, and guitar fretboards

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Human Playback Glitchy At Times
For the price, the product is very good; however, the main reason I bought it was due to its Human Playback feature, which for the most part works very well but occasionally "wobbles" or makes "static"-like noises.The HP.dll file was updated in the Finale 2005 product, but this update-file is not compatible with PrintMusic! 2004.I'm still awaiting word from customer support regarding any possible HP.dll updates for PrintMusic! 2004.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Product for "click" entry!
For the price you pay, you really get an outstanding program.Upon getting it, I dove straight into the most complicated stuff I could possibly think of composing, and it assisted me through it all beautifully and simply.(I had no need for the scanning or MIDI features, so I have no comment on those - the "click" entry is that of which I speak.)Once you devote a little time and figure out how it works, you'll have no problem with it.(A book over a hundred pages in length accompanies the program).This product is perfect for any non-professional composer who is looking for a sound program whose price isn't outrageous.

3-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to its description
The manufacturer's description of this software reprinted on amazon's website and on the software box states that one of its key features is that you can "Scan sheet music for transposing or rearranging."I bought the software based in large part on this representation.I realized there was a potential problem when I found that the manual that comes with the program has nothing on scanning.I then followed the "help" suggestions contained on the disk to scan a page of a perfectly legible printed part in 6/8 meter.I ended up with a part in 4/4 that added rests and dotted notes to make up the difference in the time signature.The scanning software also changed the key signature arbitrarily at various points, left out whole measures and changed others.When I tried to convert the scan into 6/8, it added even more wrong data.I tried calling the "free" telephone support, which is a long distance call.They weren't able to help over the phone, and offered to try to work with the file by email.Ultimately they told me that only their professional software would properly convert a scan of this music.I told them that this appears to be a serious bug -- how can you represent that your software scans music, when it turns every 6/8 part into a 4/4 part and you end up having to edit virtually every measure?I haven't gotten any response. ... Read more


3. eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method
by eMedia
list price: $59.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000696OH
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 1279
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Learn to play lead guitar and more! Everything you need to take your playing beyond basic chords and melodies. New techniques are demonstrated in over 175 lessons with full-motion video, variable-speed MIDI, recorded audio and an animated fretboard. You'll learn to play solos like the ones Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix made famous, using newly acquired lead guitar skills. You'll also find rhythm and fingerstyle chapters, plus lessons on the basics of improvisation. The new scale directory provides fingerings, recordings and variable-speed MIDI for over 200 scales. Additional accessories include an automatic tuner, digital metronome, recorder and 1000-chord dictionary with audio playback. ... Read more

Features

  • Over 175 Step-by-Step Lessons: You’ll learn to play solos like the ones Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix made famous, using newly acquired skills such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, vibrato and slides
  • Barre chords and different strumming styles are covered in the rhythm chapters, and there’s a fingerstyle chapter as well
  • Intervals, scales and the basics of improvisation are also covered in this comprehensive volume

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars you will be able to play some great stuff
eMedia intermediate guitar method is an excellent system to expand on your beginner skills. I have now been playing guitar for four months and have gotten better than some of my friends that have been playing for over a year. I finished the CD so I am lending it out now to these same friends.

I started out with the eMedia beginner guitar method and soon after bought this CD. I had attempted to play guitar for perhaps two days before this present time. From this series, I am now comfortable with chords, barre chords, bass walks, finger picking (arpeggios and travis style), hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, and reading notes. The method has gotten me excited to buy my first electric guitar, practice bends, and learn more about lead guitar playing.

The stuff you learn to play on this CD simply sounds cool. There is a sweet Grateful Dead tune, All Along the Watch Tower, several classic rock pieces, an excellent 12-bar blues solo, there is some country/bluegrass, a few classic guitar pieces (Bach, Pachelbel), and an amazing Jimi Hendrix solo for All Along the Watch Tower. All the songs are recorded from a live guitar player so you will know how each song will sound. When I first browsed through the CD, I thought to myself "There is no way I will be able to sound like that". And yet after much practicing, I got through the CD, can play all the pieces well, and am so happy that I am now a decent guitar player.

I continue to be excited to learn. I think the Fretboard Logic series will help me develop a better understanding of the fretboard and build up my lead guitaring skills.

I wanted to add this review to show that this system is still a great way to learn. I am thankful to eMedia for putting out a product that is showing me that it is never to late to learn to play guitar. To add to the pluses as detailed elsewhere: many great pieces that you will be excited to learn, both standard and tablature notation so that you can learn both methods of reading, etc. The minuses: does not cover fretboard/CAGED organization.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome way to learn more advanced guitaring
After completing the first volume, I was nothing but impressed with the emedia material.I'd conquered campfire chords!Now is where the cool stuff starts, Volume 2, and it too is excellent.The great thing about Emedia's approach is how it breaks down the teaching of a new technique.After explaining and demoing the technique a short, usually interesting (but not always), song is presented that exactly covers that technique being taught.It avoids the pitfall of other guitar teaching material, which is use some ultra-mind-numbing, hardly melodic bit to practice the execution of the technique.The well paced introduction and progression of technique building really suits me well.My only concern is that I'm potentially developing bad habits, this is where a good teacher is a must.The chord and scale directories are great, but it would've been nice if the scale directory took better advantage of the guitar's range.I find I use the metronome quite often too.Good stuff!

4-0 out of 5 stars Teacher-in-a-box
I wasn't sure how this would work out, but at the price, the eMedia Guitar method offered a lot more than the books and CD's or DVD's in the local music store.

Features I really like:

Animated Fretboard diagram: How to place your fingers for chords and notes.

Chord Dictionary: Important for playing music--chords are the basis.

Metronome: Nice to have, I find metronomes annoying but they do bring your speed up as you practice.

Guitars and Their Parts: and what might be wrong with your.

Reading Chord Charts, Tablature, Notation: It's important to know how to read a chord chart, but musical notation, the backbone of all music, is not ignored. I think one should read music, so if you don't, you are encouraged to learn here.

The lessons for chords start small--one finger (like a G7), two fingers, three, and up to the tough ones with four or barred. This is rather how I learned because I learned guitar by first playing a ukelele! (The tuning of the last four strings is the same on a guitar and uke.)You are a lot less likely to suffer frustration and sore fingers if you can play a tune or two with a two-finger chord. You just don't strum the entire set of strings at first.

The strumming techniques include good video of the up and down method of the blues, and there is a section on blues guitar style, of which I was most interested.

For the money, hardly a risk. Find a good starter guitar and give it a try.

4-0 out of 5 stars John NemerovskiSoftware Review
I have been playing and teaching beginner and intermediate level guitar for over 40 years. Learning this instrument is easy for most people who practice regularly.

Music students pay $-$$ per guitar lesson, and a lot of that money covers instruction and repetition that self-starters and motivated self-learners don't need to spend. At under $$ US for comprehensive instructional and reference material, eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method provides exceptional value for these students.

I remember being lukewarm to positive in my appraisal of Volume One, the beginner CD in this series. It has been revised since then. If it's as good as this Intermediate CD (Volume Two), beginners now have a much better chance of learning from scratch.

From my first encounter with eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method (abbreviated as "IGM"), the experience has consistently been positive. Installation of the cross-platform CD's software takes only a minute or two. Initial 23 pages of sensible, thorough Introduction and Tips cover all necessary instructions, commands, and options, including well-written and illustrated:

Animated Fretboard diagram

explanation of the Chord Dictionary and Metronome

description of Guitars and Their Parts, including holding, stringing, and tuning

details on Reading Chord Charts, plus Tablature and Music Notation.

Once students are "Ready to Take It to the Next Level" the lessons begin with straightforward left-hand melody techniques. Subsequent topics include barre chords, right hand strumming styles, "Using Scales and Building Chords," plus solo and fingerstyle methodology.

One set of icons on the page of each song or exercise takes you directly to spoken short descriptions of a song's history, or pithy comments such as "Use a pick so your fingers don't fall off." A different icon launches the Animated Fretboard's display, playing the song or exercise while fret numbers display simultaneously with a running presentation of the notation or tablature for the piece. Very impressive, all of it, and not nearly as complicated as it appears from reading the above paragraph.

Navigational arrows lower right easily take you forward or back one page, and the Tools and Goto menus at top offers complete navigation throughout the entire application, including:

Scale Directory and audio enhanced Chord Dictionary (REALLY GOOD!)

Tuner and Metronome

Self-recording feature.

Additional observations:

1. Set your screen resolution to one higher than 800x600 for best viewing.

2. The IGM's CD responds quickly and quietly when playing its instructional QuickTime sound and picture files.

3. A special icon launches short QuickTime movies in which a very competent guitarist demonstrates the techniques0 with close-up camera on the active hand.

4. Colored live embedded links take you directly to related chapters, if desired. (Is there a way to jump right back? I can't figure that out.)

5. Special mentions of differences between electric guitars and acoustic instruments are given, when appropriate.

Instruction is segmented logically, with high-quality attention to detail. I plan to begin using the IGM software, movies, and sound files immediately with my students. Its cost is a bargain for the reference features alone.

If you know your way around the guitar and want to "Take It to the Next Level," IGM is easy to recommend. When all your prior instruction has come from a human teacher, the comprehension curve for this multimedia application will seem steep at first. Remember that repetition is your friend, music students. Take your time, practice a lot, and you'll be glad you purchased eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method.

Nemo's MyMac.com "Q/D/S/V Standard" for all product reviews:

Q = QUALITY, including ease of installation, performance, stability, and general happy relationship with everything on my system;

D = DOCUMENTATION, both printed and electronic, plus appropriate website material;

S = SUPPORT, in the form of email, phone, and web updates;

V = VALUE, which includes both original cost and subsequent expenses.

Depending upon previous instruction and self-teaching skills of guitar student, our rating is:

4 out of 5
A very decent product. Worth the time and investment, but look for competing products.
- TO -
BR> Fantastic products! Well worth your money and investment. The best of its kind.
John Nemerovski

5-0 out of 5 stars Great approach to lead guitar!
When you think of guitar heroes you think of their lead guitar prowess. This awesome guitar CD-ROM does an amazing job of teaching lead guitar through a ton of scales, techniques and licks. After each scale, you'll get some lick or song to practice with. There are even some fully transcribed solos by Hendrix and Clapton. The coolest thing about Emedia is their animated guitar neck that plays all the songs. It shows bend and lets you slow the songs down. There is also a lot on rhythm guitar techniques. ... Read more


4. Music Studio 2005 Deluxe
by MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
list price: $79.99
our price: $75.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002DOXHG
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
Sales Rank: 1207
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Music Studio 2005 Deluxe ... Read more

Features

  • Built-in Robota drum machine offers analog drum crunch with integrated step sequencing
  • New Project Overview mode for faster project navigation
  • Multitrack mixer combined with live, multitrack arranger - for solid mixing on the fly
  • Features 96 tracks for music in stereo, video clips, MIDI and more
  • Powerful Song Maker tool creates new arrangements with a click

5. Apple GarageBand Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra (Mac)
by Apple Computer
list price: $99.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007GCYC4
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Apple Computer
Sales Rank: 446
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

With the newest member of the Jam Pack family you can conduct your own orchestra with new sounds for GarageBand, Logic, and Soundtrack. Create lush symphonic music with this collection of software instruments and loops, including strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, piano, and more. From classical compositions to Hollywood-style scores to rock and hip-hop textures, with Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra, you are the conductor.

(Jam Pack 4: Symphony Orchestra does not require Jam Pack 1, 2, or 3)

Features:

  • Over 2000 Apple Loops:Build orchestral themes using over 2000 prerecorded loops in different styles and tempos, including symphonic, chamber, and solo performances. Or use loops individually to enhance songs in any genre.
  • Strings:Conduct an orchestral string section including first and second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. Control the dynamics and expression of each instrument, as well as articulations such as staccato, tremolo, and trills.
  • Brass and Woodwinds:Arrange woodwind and brass sections with flutes, oboes, French horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, and more. Play solo instruments or entire sections for a fuller sound. You can even control the playing style of individual instruments.
  • Keyboards and Percussion:Play new keyboards, including full church organs, a Steinway Piano, and harpsichord. Or enhance your song using a wide selection of pitched and unpitched percussion instruments including timpani, bells, gongs, celesta, xylophone, marimba, and more.
... Read more

Features

  • Compatible with Logic Express 7, Logic Pro 7, and Soundtrack
  • Software instruments and loops for creating lush symphonic music
  • Strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, piano, and more
  • Over 2,000 pre-recorded Apple loops in different styles and tempos
  • From classical compositions to Hollywood-style scores to hip-hop textures

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars garageband
This is so cool! I really recommend it. It is so fun to make your own music with this program. It has all kinds of genres and all kinds of instruments. When you start making a song it is so fun that you can't stop. This a really fun passtime.
... Read more


6. Tune Transfer for iPod
by Valusoft
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007U9BSU
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Valusoft
Sales Rank: 561
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

You love your iPod. We all do. But have you discovered that you can't move songs from your iPod to another authorized computer? That's because iTunes® only allows you to transfer files to your iPod. Now, with Tune Transfer™, you can move songs from your iPod, perform backups of your song library and boost your iPod performance.

Features:

  • Transfer Your Songs: Move songs quickly and easily from your iPod to a new or different computer.
  • Protect Your Music Library: Make instant backups of your iPod songs and database in case your computer crashes or you lose your iPod.
  • Recover Lost Songs: Restore files that occasionally disappear from the iPod database with the click of a mouse.
  • View Song Information: Get instant access to artist, album and song information when you transfer your iPod database.
  • Simple User Interface: Get the most out of your iPod with Tune Transfer's user-friendly interface for quick transfers, backups & more.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Does anybody read the posts?
Okay folks. The gentleman said his computer CRASHED. Understand? If that happens, your music is lost, period. end of story. The Itunes store will not allow you to downoad the music again even though they have a receipt for it. It's not hard to comprehend. Yes itunes automatically syncs, and no, it wont allow you to transfer songs from your ipod BACK to your computer.

4-0 out of 5 stars this program did exactly what it said it would do.
i had a unfortunate computer failure that lost me a good bit of my itunes library.i did not realize that you CANNOT ON A MAC (maybe on a PC) MOVE MUSIC FROM YOUR IPOD TO YOUR COMPUTER. i lost a good deal of purchased music, which the itunes store will not restore to you, even though they have the records of purchases, and so do i.i had backed up, but not recently enough.So i thought all was lost.

Not so!this program, simplistic as it is, did EXACTLY what they said it would do.i could move any or all songs from my ipod back into itunes.well, it isn't quite that easy, but after having gone through several duplicate rescued libraries of thousands of songs, it seemed like a snap.It also saves your ipod library, and can clean it up.

So if you have for whatever reason lost your library, and it is on your ipod, you can restore.And please BACK UP YOUR LIBRARY WEEKLY.Or else................

4-0 out of 5 stars Tunes out of your iPod
Richard, you did not use or buy this product.iTunes is for putting songs on the ippod.Try finding a song on your iPod and moving it to another computer or finding missing songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Think It Does More Than ITunes
Looks like this lets you copy songs from your Ipod to your computer. Something Itunes doesn't do.

1-0 out of 5 stars What's This For?
Save your $20, Please... This thing does the same thing as iTunes. If you already have an iPod, it should have come with iTunes software. If it didn't, you can download it for free from apple.com. iTunes is built for your iPod,therefore it is it's best companion for music transfering. If iTunes is too hard for you to use, then you don't know how to use a computer because iTunes automatically updates your iPod for you without you having to do anything. SAVE YOUR MONEY! PLEASE!!!
I know I sound mad, but I'm just a consumer advisor. ... Read more


7. INport
by Xitel
list price: $69.99
our price: $69.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DEB82
Catlog: CE
Manufacturer: Xitel
Sales Rank: 11220
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

INport ... Read more

Features

  • Record from your home stereo using your desktop or notebook as a piece of high fidelity recording equipment
  • Bypass inferior soundcards with advanced USB digital rendering technology
  • Use RCA composite audio cables to send music to your PC
  • Full ground loop isolation to ensure your recordings remain crystal clear and free from hum
  • Installs simply by plugging into a USB port ? watch the INport automatically load without the need for any special drivers

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Works with Macs
This a great product for the price.It will work on an Apple Mac running 10.3.8 - 10.4.1 (as of 5/27/05).It's not listed as being so.Felt Tip Software's "Sound Studio" works beautifully to use as recording software.It only costs $50.It's easy to use/has great features.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Hardware works great........
I first bought the ADS Instant Music to try an convert some cassettes, and the idea behind the product was great, and the software was fantastic. But with Instant Music I had some serious feedback issues, and ADS support was basically non-existant! I saw the INport product here on Amazon and figured I would give it a shot. The INport product works great! I simply plug the INport adapter into the PC with a USB cable, and then hook up my stereo with the RCA Adapters, and push play on the cassette. It's so easy...even for a non-technical guy like me! The ADS product was just as simple, but the feedback issues I had to try and deal with made the process a real nightmare. The big difference between the INport and the ADS product, is that the INport device is grounded, meaning it shield the product from all electronic interference. The only thing holding me back from giving the INport 5 stars, is the software that comes in the package. I found the ADS Nero software very user friendly, and quite a bit less complicated. So while I put the ADS hardware back in the box, I am keeping the ADS Nero software, and just using the INport device instead. If you have alot of vinyl or cassettes that you want to convert, then I would recommend the INport device, and then see if you can get a hold of the Nero software. That's the best combination I have found.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just what it says
The main thing about this item is that it just works. It uses only line level inputs, so if you're trying to rip LPs, you will need an RIAA preamplifier. The manufacturer makes no secret of this, though, and anyone who owns a turntable probably has something to plug it into for a line output. Or, if you need a cheap but pretty good one, you can haunt eBay, or see here:

http://www.paia.com/riaa.htm
Some soldering required. For those still inexplicably using Windows ME, time to move on up. You'll be glad you did. As to sound quality, all I can say is that it sounds as good as the source signal allows. I only gave it 4 stars because the bundled software is pretty rudimentary, if adequate. The utility for splitting a file into tracks is not all that reliable, but they never are, and that doesn't trouble me much. It does not include any sort of a burner, but there are any number of them out there, some pretty good ones freeware. Perhaps this is partially in relief after my dismal experiences with the ADS RDX-150, but I am very pleased with this item.

4-0 out of 5 stars Works great when you get everything else figure out.
I have an extensive LP collection that I am currently
converting to music files. This is a relatively inexpensive
device and software that does a decent job without going to
insanely expensive hardware and and software combos. I had to
overcome several problems though, and I deducted one star for
the lame manual and accompanying software. The hardware device
itself works flawlessly when hooked up right.

I'll be as direct a possible. DO NOT buy this product if
you are not comfortable doing things like routing cables and
using your Windows XP's control panel. You will cry in your beer
and make it taste bad. The ability to read instructions is a
plus, too...

This product was designed to work with the LINE OUT jacks
on your existing stereo amp. The setup is fairly simple. BUT..

As my stereo is nowhere near my computer, I decided to
run my turntable direct to my computer. Here are the things
to do to make things work right - 1. You MUST use a preamp to
boost the phono cartridge's signal. I'm using a Recotron SP2.
It's no big deal, about the size of a pack of cigarettes and
about $15. 2. You MUST ground the turntable to your other com-
ponents unless you like 60Hz hum. I used my turntables ground
wire on one of the RCA jacks on the LINE OUT side of the
preamp - works fine. 3.If you are using just a turntable, you
will NOT be able to hear your live LINE IN unless you do what
I did, which is get 2 RCA "Y" adapters to plug into the RCA
side of the INport. You run a couple of RCA lines from the
splitters to a 2xRCA into 1/8" miniplug and plug it into your
LINE IN on your souncard.(Radio Shack has these off-the-shelf.)

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS on how to get into your Sound
Devices and choose "USB Device" for default recording device
and your computer's setup (I.E. "Realtek 97"or whatever) for
playback. If you don't, you'll get silence.

For software, I am using Microsoft Plus Digital Media
Edition. I bought the cheap version as I only wanted the
Analog Recording software, not all the other stuff. It's easy
to use and the noise reduction feature works pretty well. I
didn't like Xitel's recording software. I am converting
to .WMA format for use in the Windows Media Player. Others
probably want to go MP3 or whatever.

I had to learn how to "trick" the noise reduction feature
into working right by starting the recording, then starting the
turntable from "Off" into the first cut of the side. You have
to do this with older or worn records so the software can get
usable levels for the noise reduction to work. You usually also
have to manually edit where a song begins and ends.

Well, I'm recording and ripping like crazy. Thanks INport!

1-0 out of 5 stars Inport doesn't work
We tried to connect the Inport to a Dell Dimension running Windows Millenium. It took a day to learn that the software patch needed by Millenium was not listed on the Microsoft web site, but that Microsoft will send it to you as an email attachment if you speak with a human.It took another afternoon to learn that the software patch needed to upgrade a stock Soundblaster sound card was not provided by Soundblaster, only by Dell. When the machine still did not function, we swapped all cables to be certain there was not a defective cable. Xitel does not offer telephone customer service, a phone call to their headquaters was answered by voicemail and went unanswered. The enclosed software offers customer service via email only, and requires you to spend about 45 minutes providing a transcript of software operations. The email for software was returned 24 hours later on two occasions, each time indicating the software was operating therefore the problem must be the hardware (which was not their domain). Two 3-hour telephone calls to Dell ascertained that the computer was functioning correctly. If you own an old cassette of an album available on CD you are better off buying a new recording--the sound willbe superior to any home remedy recording, plus you won't lose all that time! ... Read more


8. Audio Cleaning Lab 2005
by MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
list price: $24.99
our price: $19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002S096K
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
Sales Rank: 520
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Record, restore and burn: MAGIX audio cleaning lab 2005 is the ideal choice for sound restoration on the PC. Automatically remove crackles, clicks and rumbling to clean music from your LPs, cassettes and MP3s. One click gives you perfect sound.

Music as good as new!

Record and Import Music
Record music from vinyl or cassette, and import music in most audio formats, including WAV, MP3, AIF, WMA and OGG Vorbis.

Burn or Export Music
Save your valuable music collection on CD and DVD. Use the Burn Controller to confirm quality against the original source through bit sampling analysis. Export music as space-saving MP3, OGG Vorbis and WMA formats.

Individual Track Editing
Import entire albums and add effects to individual tracks. All effects can be applied to even the smallest object. Editing music has never been easier.

...and much more!

... Read more

Features

  • Resampling presets for correcting playback speed on old vinyl 45s or 78s
  • Individual tracks are recognized and selected
  • Timer-controlled Recording (ideal for internet radio)
  • Recording function for microphones & instrument inputs
  • Phono preamp simulation with RIAA EQ -Direct recording from vinyl records

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars Could be more user friendly, but very good overall
Like most of the others, I bought this one because I have a sizable collection of vinyl that I'd like to digitize. My initial impression was that the program could be a bit more intuitive, and the so-called "manual" could more aptly be described as a promotional booklet! It's a fairly huge program (over 500 megs when loaded), slightly complex and potentially frustrating because of the lack of on-screen direction. A detailed, "instructional" manual should have been included, if not on paper then at the very least in .pdf form on disk.I was also ticked off to find that the MP3 feature, which allows you to record directly to MP3 format, bypassing the WAV conversion, "appeared" to be a crippled feature.Fortunately, this problem is resolved (free of charge) if you pull down the Help tab and click the link that takes you to the Magix website.If you register the program (name, address, and email) they send you an activation code which unlocks the MP3 features.I know, I know...it's almost like they're blackmailing you into registering, but it also eliminates that 20 use limit, which makes it worth it.And it's free.It's just too bad that they force you to register in order to get what should have been available right out of the box.

But, overall the program does exactly what it claims.You can record an LP, cassette, or voice directly to an MP3, WAV, CD audio file, or other sound format.You can burn to disk, edit, enhance, and eliminate background noises such as crackle, hiss, and clicking.You can even record an album without pausing between songs because the program recognizes the breaks and creates separate files.Admittedly, there are still a number of settings and options that I don't fully understand because I rarely do more than transfer a few vinyl cuts into MP3 format.But overall, I'm satisfied with the program, while at the same time, I understand quite clearly why many others are not.And btw, I've yet to see this package selling for more than $19.95 at any of the major stores, so avoid the $39.95 list price if possible.

One other thing.If you're experiencing an electrical hum in your stereo speakers or through your computer when the two are connected by way of your RCA cable (not included of course), you probably need a ground loop isolator. They cost about $16 bucks at the electronics stores. It gets rid of the hum.

1-0 out of 5 stars RIPOFF NO MP3 ENCODER INCLUDED BUYER BEWARE
I can't believe in this day & age that a company such as Magix would stoop so low as to misrepresent a product such as this. On the box & in the manual they state there is an 'included MP3 encoder'. They even take the trouble to list a few 'demo items', on the gatefold of the box.

When you go to actually install & then use this software- a popup informs you that the MP3 included is only good for 20 Mp3 conversions. For an additional fee (19.95) in the manual, maybe higher as it's not even listed on the Magix website, you can have 'unlimited use', of the MP3 encoder.

What a joke !!

I think that Amazon shouldn't even sell this product, as it's so badly misrepresented by the manufactuer.

I will NEVER BUY MAGIX !!

Make the argument to place of purchase , TAKE IT BACK !

3-0 out of 5 stars Magix Audio Cleanup Lab
I have been a BBC recording engineer in my time which, I suppose, makes me technical. However, my experience with this software is virtually all good. As an audiophile I sneer at MP3 because it distorts sound and , if available, I will always use a lossless system. I bought Magix so that I could transfer my 2,567 LPs onto hard drive and, at the same time, create back-up CDs. Some of my records are very valuable and I don't like playing them too often for that reason. Now I can play them when I want.

As an exercise I cleaned up a really beaten-up LP of Rubber Soul
and played the cleaned up version against the CD of the same name through a pair of Genelec near-field monitors (the sort of speakers a good studio would use). So far only one out of eight of my audiophile friends has been able to tell the difference and even he admitted that it was difficult .

Fifteen years ago I was running a media laboratory for a major computer company and bought similar software for $87,000. This cost me £10.00 ($20.00) in the local video store.

As far as I am concerned, the software does exactly what it advertises. I cannot speak for MP3 as I don't use it and I have had no need of technical support. The only glitch is being able to export files as WMA directly to Windows Media Player from Magix rather than go via a CD as I haven't been able to do it.

The other reviewers may well be right to slate it for their sort of music as mine is predominently Classical with relatively long tracks. However, I've so far cleaned up about 1200 LPs so I can claim some experience.

1-0 out of 5 stars 20 mp3 rips for $29.99!!!?
I should have learned from my only other earlier MAGIX product! Nowhere on the box did it state that the $29.99 price for this retail product is only good to rip 20 songs into mp3 format... in fact, after looking over the manual again and again, there were no mention of such either! It's only after I tried running the program did a little window pop up informing me of such and suggested that I paid for the limited upgrade!!! What a croak of ___!

The installed program offered the option to UPGRADE for unlimited mp3 ripping. Personally, I consider that a RIPOFF!!! Isn't it illegal on such misleading and false marketing/packaging? Well, it should!

With mp3 music and players getting more and more popular, MAGIX is essentially ripping off a lot of consumers big time.

The interface is clean but confusing nor does the skimpy instruction manual helpful. The only two attempts I made in cleaning and equalizing mp3 music files ended in their own native 'project' file and not the expected mp3 files that I wanted to copy into my mp3 player!!! A simple procedure of cleaning and minor editing turned into an exercise of frustration- not worth it! Even if the program itself is good and does what it does advertised otherwise, I still couldn't uninstall it fast enough off my hard drive because of principle.

I strongly suggest you pass this product on and in fact, pass on all MAGIX products as a protest for their unethical sales method!

1-0 out of 5 stars Frustration in a box
This is a amazingly poor product.I suspect the favorable reviewers are either electrical engineers or computer whizzes.For the average person this program is just an exercise in frustration.The manual is more than just useless - it's infuriating.It gives you all of the detail of what the program is capable of, it just never tells you how to use it.For example, it tells you that you may get a track marker (these are put in automatically in between songs) in the middle of the song if a pause is detected.But instead of telling you how to remove the unwanted marker, the instructions tell you how to insert one. Another section tells you it is possible to delete markers, but only explains how to move them.To launch the "Track Wizard" you are told to click the "Export" button and then press "Track".Only problem is that there is no "Track" to be found to press.The set up instructions and the tutorial (which can only be viewed once) disagree as to which port in the sound card to use - a problem alleviated by trial and error, but just an example of how truly botched a product this is.These are only a few examples, space does not permit all of them. In short, I can't think of anything they got right.Tech support isn't bad, it's non-existent.All I got was voice mail and unreturned calls.It's a crime that opened software is not returnable."Rip-off" is too mild a term. ... Read more


9. eMedia Blues Guitar Legends
by eMedia
list price: $29.94
our price: $24.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000051SGQ
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 768
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

eMedia Blues Guitar Legends ... Read more

Features

  • Learn to play guitar with extensive tools, designed for all skill levels
  • 10 original recordings, with full and simplified versions of each
  • Playing tips
  • Recorder lets you record and play yourself back
  • Animated fretboard shows real-time display of notes

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing!
There is simply no better way to learn these songs. You can isolate different sections of the music and loop them over and over (both the audio and the tab/notation). You can even slow it down. The animated fretboard is also very cool. It plays the notes in time with the music. It even bends the notes. I only wish they'd make more.

2-0 out of 5 stars Poor user interface, technical problems
I spent about an hour getting this to work correctly. I am disappointed with the interface and the lack of lesson information.Not a bad product but there are better guitar programs for sure

4-0 out of 5 stars Great fun but not for beginners
This is a wonderful CDRom.The songs are mighty enjoyable, and eMedia lets you see exactly how the blues greats created the toe-tapping music that they did.But be warned:learning to play these songs using the eMedia system isn't for rank beginners.I'm a classical guitar player with over a decade of playing experience, and I had to slow the songs to less than half their speed to even have a fighting chance of keeping up.You're expected to already know some blues techniques and have some accessories (e.g. a glass slide).Eventually, I know I'll get the hang of these songs and have a great time.But it's gonna take practice, practice, practice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Play blues like a pro
I picked up Blues Guitar Legend because of the great songs by Stevie Ray Vaughan and BB King.When I saw the animated fretboard I was blow away.Bends, slide and vibroto make this feature very cool.The multi speed option made learning the songs very easy.I highly recomend picking this one up. ... Read more


10. Music Creator 2
by Cakewalk
list price: $57.99
our price: $33.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002PZWT2
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Cakewalk
Sales Rank: 1035
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

There’s music in all of us. Let Music Creator help you tap your full creative potential! Creating music on your PC has never been easier, more fun, and more affordable.

Just plug in any instrument or microphone and press Record. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or just looking to be more creative, Music Creator makes it all happen.

Music Creator is ideal for:

  • Musicians
  • Music enthusiasts
  • Singer/songwriters
  • Bands
  • Choir groups
  • Music teachers and students
  • PC hobbyists
  • The entire family
Connect any instrument to your PC
  • Record audio and MIDI tracks using any instrument, vocals, or audio loops
  • Write music for CDs, sheet music, home videos and the Internet
Includes FREE
  • pyro Express CD Maker and WAV Ripper
  • Virtual Sound Canvas DXi soft synth
  • Dreamstation DXi soft synth
  • ACID™-format audio loop library
Just plug-in and hit Record. Music Creator is designed to let you concentrate on making music, instead of bogging you down with confusing software. No matter what you want to record Guitars, keyboards, vocals, CD samples or any other sound sourceMusic Creator makes it easy.

Record your own tracks, or click and drag to create music with loops from the included Cakewalk Loops library.

Intuitive point-and-click tools make it a snap to quickly edit, arrange, and mix your music with professional sounding effects and great synth sounds.

When you’re done, share your music with family and friends. Burn it on CD with the included pyro Express CD Maker. Print out sheet music. Or create MP3s (includes trial MP3 encoder) or Windows Media files to distribute your music on the Internet.

... Read more

Features

  • Includes Pyro Express CD Maker and WAV Ripper
  • Record audio and MIDI tracks using any instrument, vocals, or audio loops
  • Write music for CDs, sheet music, home videos, and the Internet
  • Edit, arrange, and mix music; make loops out of any MP3 or WAV file
  • Integrates seamlessly with Cakewalk Kinetic and other Rewire synths

Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars An appended review....
To be honest, I had previously written a scathing review of this product. I have decided in the light of recent events to append it. I am giving this prog 4 stars,(unfortunately, the ranking can't be changed in an appended review).If your soundcard has both WDM and ASIO drivers, this software will automatically detect the WMD's, resulting in latency probs. Manually connecting to the ASIO drivers within the program solves the problem, thus the appended review. The dxi soft synths in this prog are quite lame, and the sounds rather poor. However, it get's high marks for it's combination of low price and a very full featured loopintg and recording system. It also has great plugin flexibility. For what you pay for it, it's a sweet little program. It only get's 4 stars due to it's lack of decent soft synths, but beyond that, an excellent prog. ... Read more


11. GarageBand Jam Pack 3: Rhythm Section
by Apple Computer
list price: $99.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00066M0SS
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Apple Computer
Sales Rank: 1105
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

GarageBand Jam Pack 3: Rhythm Section is an expansion pack of additional content for iLife '04. It extends the number of sounds available for creating music, providing even more creative options. Jam Pack 3: Rhythm Section provides rhythmic foundation for musicians, songwriters, and bands by providing the core building blocks of: drums, percussion, bass, and guitars in a variety of genres including rock, folk, jazz, country, and blues. (Jam Pack 3: Rhythm Section does not require Jam Pack 1 or 2)

Over 2000 Apple Loops
Build unique tracks with loops for rock, blues, jazz, and country songs. Foundation elements include more than1000 loops of drum beats and fills and1000 more bass lines, guitar and keyboard riffs, and chord progressions.

Rhythm Kits
Play a variety of new software drum kits, covering everything from jazz brushes to classic1970s studio sound to heavy metal. Rhythm Section also includes a wide range of percussion sounds like congas, bongos, shakers, steel drums, and more.

More bass
Choose from new, fully playable acoustic and electric basses covering some of the most popular studio tones. Whether you're into Motown sound,1960s pop, or progressive and unplugged rock, Rhythm Section will hold down the low end.

Guitars Galore
Strum and pick from your keyboard using more than10 playable guitars and other stringed instruments like dobro and banjo. Jam acoustic or electric, from fiery leads to rhythmic strumming and power chords.

... Read more

Features

  • 10+ playable guitars and other stringed instruments like dobro and banjo
  • Extension of sounds and creative options for making music
  • Impressive array of drum kits, percussion, basses, and guitars
  • Over 2000 loops for rock, blues, jazz, and country songs
  • New software drum kits and fully playable acoustic and electric basses

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have addition to GarageBand or SoundTrack
With GB, Apple gives you 1000 loops to make songs with. After awhile, you'll find that you've done you can with them and lust after more.

With Jam Pack 3, they got the bases covered. Lots more loops and some real tasty guitar licks. Sure there are drums and whatnot, but what I was looking for was more variety in guitars and this really hit the spot. ... Read more


12. Instant Play Guitar (Jewel Case)
by Topics Entertainment
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00020633Q
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Topics Entertainment
Sales Rank: 2242
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Now you can fulfill your dream of learning to play the guitar from a fraction of the cost of traditional lessons.

... Read more

Features

  • In-depth instructions for beginners -- 10 lessons for complete beginners, plus 50 instructional clips for better technique
  • Understand guitar topics like fingerstyle, classical play & chord structures
  • Advanced instructions for inversions, circle of fifths, scales, modes, transposing and arpeggios
  • Comes with digital dictionary of 1,260 playable chords
  • Use backup tracks for 9 musical styles

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
I learned how to play a few songs in only a few weeks. It was really helpfull and informative. I'd recommend it for anyone. ... Read more


13. Music Maker 2005 Deluxe
by MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
list price: $39.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002DOXBM
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
Sales Rank: 837
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Music Maker 2005 Deluxe ... Read more

Features

  • Create your own musical emails, or Webpages with music embedded into them
  • Live arranger and multitrack arranger and mixer, plus Song Maker tools for arranging a song with a click
  • New Robota analog drum machine, one-click looping, vocoder and vocal tuner
  • Features 96 tracks for music in stereo, video clips, MIDI, text and images
  • Add video fx for animated text blending, rolling credits, transitions and beat-controlled animation

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars buyer BEWARE!
The one thing that has not been mentioned in any of these reviews is the license for this product. This software cannot be used for commercial use without permission from one of their "duly authorized representatives".I'm not sure, but I bet this is a costly proposition. So if you want this product for an amusing game, it's fine. If you want to use it for music that you plan to sell, even if you are including your own playing on it, avoid it.

If you think that making loops of your own playing will let you off the hook, no, it won't. The license includes anything made with the software, so even if you want to sell your own music, PLAYED BY YOU, you have to talk to one of their representatives. If they give you permission to sell your OWN work, you still have to put their logo on it, which says, "Magix Creation". How nice......

5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate media creating software!!!
Whether you are looking to create, mix or just edit this program has it all. I haven't seen anything out there that can beat music maker 2005. I have try to edit with other programs, but nothing has the options magix offers. Hands down ACID PRO will never touch magix. Audio, video, slideshows, you name it Magix has what you need.
If you are familiar with the 2004 version, there's more with 2005. The vocoder and guitar are amazing. To change a voice with the vocal tuner is very simple. The drum n bass collection has a few more loops added. If you need to clear any part of a mix, between the master effects and the reverb from the mixer i can have a instumental ready for recording in less than a minute. This program gives you all the tools you need to create music and sound like the pros. Music Maker 2005 also has a tutorial that will make everything so much easier than other programs.
Do some research though, if you need to. I cannot believe this program is even under $200. This is well worth making better music.

4-0 out of 5 stars Large feature set, large learning curve
There have been some fairly mixed reviews about this application. People either love it or hate it, depending on what, if anything, has gone wrong for them. I have had a pleasant experience with this application and am writing this review as such.

In a nutshell, this is a loop-based music application that clones Sony's Acid program. It provived a similar feature set without breaking the bank and is available on store shelves. There is a steep learning curve associated with using an application like this, but it's worth it if you have the time and the patience once you learn the lay of the land and know your way around.

The backbone of the application is a sequencing grid that allows you to drag and drop MIDI and WAV clips onto it, then set the beats per minute (BPM) to suit. This particular version comes with a couple of content CDs that allow one to quickly cobble together music. You can also use the composition wizard to quickly pop together a mix, based on whatever style of music you pick (limited choices, but still a great way to get up and running), What the wizard generates won't be airplay quality, but it's a good running start.

It also allows video and picture content to be added, effectively building a multimedia track.

Within the sequencer, you can stretch a clip over several time frames, so that it can last 1 second or 10 seconds (or more if you like), saving a lot of time and trouble.

Need more content? There is a built-in limited FTP client that connects to the Magix website and allows access to some extra content. The extra content is good, but a word of caution - if you pull too much too quickly from the site, you get locked out for about a half an hour.

There are several built-in synthesizers that will help you create your own sequences. There is a Copper and a Silver synth, but these two are somewhat limited in scope in comparison to what is available for free download (more on that in a minute). There is also a classical guitar synth, as well as a grand piano synth, a drum synth, a rhythm and bass synth, and a couple of others (like an ambient noise generator). The sampler synth is an interesting synth, as it allows you to "draw" your melody with the mouse or punch one in via the keyboard, and it has several instruments that it emulates so you can change the sounds from sequence to sequence.

Built in to the application is a VSTi host, accessible through the synthesizers tab on the media picker. As long as the VSTi synth that you desire to use is installed in the directory specified by the host so that it can find it, no special effort is required to make it work. The VSTi synth can then be manipulated through a popup window that allows the user to make tweaks and change patch sets. The melody can be modified throough the host, which closely resembles the sampler synth.

So, once you have created your mix, how do you save it to something others can use? There are a few options. One is to export it to WAV, but this has a tendency to make huge files that are not practical to send via email or publish to a website. Another is to export as an Ogg Vorbis file. Yet another is to export directly to an MP3, but there is a catch with this - there is a built-in MP3 encoder, but there are only 20 free uses before you have to pay for unlimited use. The cost is small, but the fact that it's a teaser is very annoying. There are free alternatives to this if you are willing to use a two-step process - my personal preference is to export to WAV and use LAME to convert to MP3.

Built in to the application is a mechanism to publish your mixes to a community website. This allows you to get your stuff some exposure, albeit rather limited in scope. The community site is managed by Magix and they allow you to send your mixes as well as put up some other information you might want to share. Taking a look around, there are hundreds of community mixes there, and you can listen to them and build playlists and so forth. Be aware, of course, that the quality of said mixes varies with the skills of the respective arrangers...

This is a very large application and it takes up a lot of memory. It will complain and get sluggish if you have too much stuff running or do not have sufficient memory to keep it happy. I have seen the application slow to a crawl when other things (even seemingly benign stuff) occurs on the system, and on occasion I have had to kill the application when it got too bogged down to even respond to mouse events.

One problem I have had is in the use of VSTi instruments. On occasion, the synths will grab on to a note and not let go. Sometimes I can delete the sequence and recreate exactly and the problem goes away, but other times the problem appears suddenly when the sequence has not exhibited the problem before. This seems to be related to memory load, but it is not clear to me if this is indeed the case.

The previous reveiwer stated that the support of this application is generally limited to the support forums. This is more or less correct. There is email contact but the messages sent seem to go into the void. There is also a phone number for Magix, and I have a question I have been trying to ask them, but I never manage to get a live person on the line, even when holding for the operator. Keep this in mind.

This application is a good budget entry into the loop-based music arrangement software arena. It has it's share of quirks and idiosyncracies, but it is a good value for the money if you can overlook those problems. A good measure of patience and time are needed to get over the learning curve, but you will be rewarded with hours of fun building your own musical arrangements.

1-0 out of 5 stars Magix mp3 Maker 2005 Deluxe is a bad buy
I've had a real bad experience with this product.When it comes to WMA ripping or converting (audio that are bit long, like 3.5 mins plus) it totally fails, it simply doesn't work.The only way to communicate with the company, MAGIX, is to email them.I'm still waiting for a response (I think has been 3 months).Their web support forum is really bad.You just find other people like me, having problems, trying to help each other out.Buyer beware of any of their products, especially if you require tech support. ... Read more


14. Cakewalk Kinetic
by Cakewalk
list price: $119.99
our price: $75.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00027EQEC
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Cakewalk
Sales Rank: 2265
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Product Description

With Cakewalk Kinetic, you?re the Dance and Hip Hop producer. Simply put, Kinetic represents the fastest and easiest way to create electronic music. Even if you have no musical background it?s a snap to get started making tracks. And that?s not all, your grooves are going to be huge because Kinetic features the best instrument sounds ever available on a PC.Whether you have dance club aspirations or need beats to back your rhymes, Kinetic has all the juice you need. The Best SoundsKinetic features 100%-genuine Roland? sounds from their leading groove boxes and synthesizers. The Roland name is synonymous with the cutting edge tones of Hip Hop, Dance, and Electronica. These instruments have been used by chart-toppers and underground legends for over 20 years. You could easily spend over a thousand dollars to get the hardware versions of these instruments, but now for the first time they can be yours?all you need is Kinetic and your PC. The Easiest Way to Make MusicKinetic doesn?t just sound good; it makes musical creativity accessible to anyone, regardless of musical experience. Select the instrument and style of music you want, and you are given an assortment of hundreds of professionally recorded music patterns and loops to make music. To add your own flavor to the mix you can modify these patterns or create your own. Then just point and click to trigger different instruments and you?re composing your own song. Key FeaturesCompose music and creat... ... Read more

Features

  • Connect Kinetic to other recording programs like Music Creator, Home Studio, or SONAR to expand your capabilities
  • Duplicates the sounds and tones of the leading Roland groove boxes and synthesizers -the MC 101, 606, 808 and 909
  • Work with hundreds of professionally-recorded patterns and loops, through a fun intuitive interface
  • Access a powerful Pattern Editor and 64 voice polyphonic synthesizer (PSYN) for creating original music or modifying existing song patterns
  • Tweak your sound with the powerful set of studio effects tools

15. Finale 2005
by eMedia
list price: $599.99
our price: $569.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000437X1M
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 1533
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but it is still the best!
Likes...
Once you learn the program you can do some pretty extraordinary things with it. Finale offers a lot of flexibility. The print output put looks fantastic. It plays back your piece flawlessly!!! Recent versions come with tutorial videos so it makes it very easy for a beginner to get started right away. Also, the help forum at Makemusic is very good. Anyone can get their Finale question answered in very little time! Finale now comes with a GM soundfont. Now you can hear your files played back with decent sounds without having to buy any external equipment. 2005 is now compatible with Garritan Personal Orchestra so you can have your files played back with some of the best available! I would bet VST and DXi will be in the next release. (Don't quote me on this!)

There are a couple free pdf writers on the net. Download them and then you will be able to send your arrangement via email! This is a very cool feature!

Dislikes...
Finale still makes some common tasks very difficult. Rits and accels are a nightmare to figure out. You have to have a third party plugin to get decent results. If you try and do them with Finale's method you better be a rocket scientist!!! Something this common should be really simple! There are other cryptic, hard to learn features lurking amidst some of the menus but Make Music is getting rid of them with each new release.

I use Finale almost every day of my life! It is amazing. It isn't as hard to learn as it used to be thanks to the tutorials it comes with. Anyone that loves writing music should get Finale! It is the most extensive music notation program there is.

Dave Morehead (trumpet/composer/arranger)
Davemorehead.com ... Read more


16. Cakewalk Pyro 2004
by Cakewalk
list price: $57.99
our price: $35.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000DK36I
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Cakewalk
Sales Rank: 1915
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Rip, Enhance, Mix and Burn - Pyro 2004 is the Complete MP3 and CD Maker! If you want to get the most out of your digital music experience look no further than Cakewalk Pyro 2004. Whether you want to make MP3s, burn and share mix CDs of your favorite music, digitize and restore LPs or cassettes, archive important data files, or create backup copies of your favorite CDs, Pyro does it all in one easy-to-use application.Cakewalk has provided leading music recording technology to Grammy and Emmy winning musicians and producers for over 15 years. They?ve now combined the best of that technology with thier years of experience to create the ultimate software for the enjoyment of digital music and more. The Complete MP3 & CD MakerRecord, organize & enjoy digital musicRip & burn music CDs to/from MP3, WMA, WAVBackup CDs with easy disc copyingTransfer and restore LPs and tapes to CDMaximize, clean, and enhance audio with pro FXArchive data files on CDBONUS - includes FREE NEATO CD Label softwareAs easy as 1-2-3Everything is clear and intuitive. Pyro?s welcome screen and customized instruction pane tell you everything you need to know to get started fast 1.With Pyro, it?s a snap to create digital music files or copy CDs. Rip songs from any CD and turn them into MP3, Windows Media, or WAV files; record and convert your old LPs or cassettes; even record internet radio broadcasts. 2.Click and drag to arrange and edi... ... Read more

Features

  • Maximize, clean, and enhance audio with pro FX
  • Record, organize, and enjoy digital music; includes free NEATO CD label software
  • Rip and burn music CDs to/from MP3, WMA, WAV
  • Backup CDs with easy disc copying; archive data files on CD
  • Transfer and restore LPs and tapes to CD

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars No Problem Mon
I dunno what people's problem is, maybe they are using Windows 98 or something. But for Data back-up and music compilation, it couldn't be simpler or more reliable (so far -it's been a few months). So, what's the Problem?

1-0 out of 5 stars Never got it to work
I had the same installation problems.THe program would install and I could open it, but nothing worked.I couldn't play any audio file.I just got the same error message that the file could not be opened. Emailing customer support gets very old.I tried to jump through the hoops but could never fix the problem.I'll likely give it to my sister for Christmas and hope she has better luck with it on her PC

1-0 out of 5 stars not user-friendly and insufficient tech support: DO NOT BUY!
I had the same experience as the person who had to go into regedit and tweak stuff to get this puppy to work. And then they won't give support over the phone -- only by email! Originally I was going to buy Roxio, but was successfully sidetracked by the cheaper price of Pyro. Ooops. I'm going to the computer store where I bought this thing to buy a copy of Roxio or Xing.
I'm giving it one star here because they won't let me give it none.

1-0 out of 5 stars This product is severely lacking
When I buy CD burning software, I don't expect much.If you want to edit something, you are going to buy editing software, so halfway attempts to add editing functionality are superfluous.The one thing I do expect is that it be able to burn a CD-Rom.This product has no ability to burn a CD-Rom unless YOU CREATE THE CD-ROM INSIDE PYRO!!!This means if you have an old ghost image, forget it.Download a linux iso, forget it.Do you have backups, lying around on your hard drive? Forget it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Might be good, but BIG installation problems
I bought this program after reading reviews of several products. Maybe it's the best thing since sliced bread, but I couldn't get it installed. I called and e-mailed Cakewalk's tech support, and after 5 tries I gave up. I have a new machine running Windows XP, and even though the program is supposed to be compatible, it isn't. I've since heard from several would-be users who have had similar problems. I don't know what to recommend instead of this program, but unless you're willing to pay a high price in frustration, get something else. ... Read more


17. MP3 Maker 2005 Deluxe
by MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
list price: $29.99
our price: $28.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002DOXBC
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: MAGIX ENTERTAINMENT
Sales Rank: 3325
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

MP3 Maker 2005 Deluxe ... Read more

Features

  • Better support for mobile music - special connection center makes it easy
  • Burn playlist contents on the fly, in any file format, onto CD and DVD
  • Drag and drop songs into your mix, directly from the Explorer or database
  • Add fantastic special effects to your mix - Reverb, Scratch effects, Compressor,3D effects and much more
  • Workshop of precision editing tools enhance the sound of your music

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars They know its bad.They'll just try to con you.
I have an older version of MP3 Maker Gold.When I tried to resample something from 44100 to 22050, it cut the playback rate in half, i.e. it ran at half speed.I have other software that resamples it at the correct speed.

I contacted technical support and they said cutting the playback rate was the correct thing to do.They continued to tell me that I shouldn't be using 22050, but should use 44100.They would never deal with the issue.

This is like a contractor building a house, and part of the floor caves in.They then tell the inhabitants not to walk there and everything will be ok.

Trashy product, trashy company.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Buggy
Ugh.Well, not to sound too negative, let me start with a few positives:

1. It's pretty fast at ripping CDs.
2. The audio effects during playback are kind of fun to play with.
3. As far as I know, the CD burning component works fine; I didn't test that out at all.
4. Um, the install went smoothly?

But for me, they're vastly overshadowed by the negatives:

1. The quality of ripped mp3s is uneven--some tracks have enough defects to be completely unlistenable.
2. It doesn't offer many options for ripping CDs, compared to many freeware programs.
3. It simply refuses to rip some CDs (without even giving notification that it failed), which can be ripped with no problem by WMP, iTunes, or CDex.
4. It crashed when trying to rip some CDs, again which were no problem for other programs.
5. Its help program crashed immediately on startup.
6. It crashed when trying to import some songs into a playlist; you don't have to ask if other programs had any problems with the songs, do you?
7. The visualizer isn't resizeable; you get either tiny or fullscreen, and the fullscreen mode runs at about a frame every two seconds.
8. The music editor doesn't seem to allow mixing multiple tracks, beyond a simple crossfade.Boo!
9. The music editor's copy and paste commands don't work the same with all sounds, with no explanation--on my imported songs, it would not let me copy or paste anything.
10. If you quit the program and tell it to save the current playlist, and if it's unable to save some part of the playlist, then it just quits without saving anything (or giving you a chance to fix the problems).
11. Wait a second, the install didn't go smoothly!The program installed itself into "c:\Magix\", without asking if I had somewhere less conspicuous in mind.If all my software did that, I'd never find anything on my computer.
12. The uninstall didn't seem to remove anything from my hard drive, which did have the upside of allowing me to delete that wretched "c:\Magix\" folder myself.

Seriously, folks, this is bad, bad software.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the CD it's on
This is the second MAGIX product I have purchased recently. The first one was the MAGIX DVD maker which I returned after finding out that all the error messages were in German and the program crashed my very stable computer every time I used it. The MAGIX MP3 Maker isn't much better. The user interface is probably the worst I have come across. You have to think like the morons who wrote it to make it work --sometimes. Help is just a copy of the same useless users guide, which tells you what each icon is supposed to do and that's about it. I am amazed that such companies even exist putting out garbage like this and getting paid for it too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exciting program, when you figure it out
I'm a disgruntled Windows Media Player user.I like WMP's intuitive interface, song organization, and ratings.I HATE the fact that I can't burn WMA discs with my Lite-On CD AND DVD burners!That makes the program completely useless for me.

Seeking an alternative, Magix's MP3 software was one of the few I found.Another website found it the program to be quite useful, but extremely hard to learn.I concur.

The program is EXTREMELY non-intuitive.Although the program installed easily, using it after the fact made my computer (Windows XP) crash several times, presumably because I forced the program to do a few things it didn't want to.

After a few days of intermittent use, I'm getting a handle of the program, and I'm finding it very useful.Consider the following positive aspects:
1.For those of us with lots of music on our harddrives in a "My Music" folder, the program quickly finds the music you've ripped for use.From within the program, you can do anything to cut, copy, and paste and otherwise organize your music, and the corresponding changes will be made in real time, as you will find if you went directly to the folder from "My Documents," for example.

2.The Music Editor portion of the program has been immediately helpful for deleting dead portions of silence in songs that might buffer the last numbered track of a CD and a hidden track.There's lots of good music in these places on CDs, and now you'll be able to add them to mixed CDs.

3.The program supports WMA, WAV, and a couple different types of MP3 files, and easily converts files back and forth.The program, however, doesn't seem to want to burn, rip, or edit songs in WMA format.Therefore, all of the Windows Media ripping you've done will have to be converted to MP3, which as of now seems to be only a minor problem.

4.Categorization of music, an important aspect of any media player, is time consuming and not completed as quickly as with WMP.Regardless, it's possible, and that's a plus.

5.Overall, the program works smoothly when you figure it out.I've been able to burn an 80 minute, CDA. format CD on my Lite-On burner with no problem.I've not yet burned an MP3 disc for use in my Pioneer, MP3 compatible player in my car.My opinion of the program would change drastically if there's a compatability problem somewhere in this process.But, knock on wood, I don't anticipate any problems.

In sum, if you've got time to give this program a try, you probably won't be disappointed.If you're like me, and you want to organize your music in a number of different ways, you want to edit silence and other non-sense from long tracks, and you want to work and burn discs in useable formats, you'll probably like this program.Give it some time, though. ... Read more


18. GarageBand Jam Pack 1
by Apple Computer
list price: $99.99
our price: Too low to display
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00066M0T2
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: Apple Computer
Sales Rank: 1185
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Product Description

More sounds. More instruments. More fun.

Open a new door to musical creativity with this diverse set of additional software instruments, prerecorded loops, and audio effects for GarageBand. Whether you're laying down tracks for your next hit single or creating your own party grooves, Jam Pack 1 gives you new ways to enhance your music projects.

Features:

  • Over 2000 Apple Loops in a variety of instruments and genres
  • Kick-start your composition with a wide selection of over 2000 prerecorded musical performances, including rock, funk, fusion, world, and electronic loops. It's like having your own backup band.
  • Over 100 Software InstrumentsWith a USB or MIDI keyboard, you can play and record using more than 100 new instruments, such as vibraphone, twelvestring guitar, synthesizer, bass, and concert grand piano.
  • Over 100 audio effects presetsSweeten, distort, and colorize individual sounds or entire tracks, selecting from over 100 effect settings tailored by professional recording engineers.
  • 15 new guitar amp settingsPlug a guitar into your Mac and choose from vintage or modern amp sounds to find the perfect toneheavy blues, grunge, surf, indie rock, and more.
... Read more

Features

  • Wide selection of over 2000 prerecorded musical performances
  • Extension of sounds and creative options for making music
  • 2,000+ rock, funk, fusion, world, and electronic Apple Loops
  • Over 100 new instrument settings; 100+ new audio-effects presets
  • Choose the perfect sound for guitar riffs with new guitar amplifiers

19. eMedia Guitar Songs 1 version 2.0
by eMedia
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005U5B0
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 1950
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Guitar Songs Version 2 ... Read more

Features

  • 21 songs by legendary artists to help you learn how to play classic songs
  • Animated fretboard displays notes real time, including bends, vibrato, and slides, and shows right- and left-hand views
  • Real instrument multi-tracking to zero in on guitar tracks or turn off guitar so you can play along with the band
  • MIDI tracks of each song let you slow it down to learn at whatever pace you like
  • Features include automatic tuner, digital metronome, digital recorder, artist biographies and photos, and playing tips

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars This one's a winner. Check it out.
It was really cool how this CDROM was put together. Very user friendly & easy to install & run. You can hear the finished product, watch the guitar tabs to see how it is played with adjustable MIDI Music control to speed it up or slow it down. Mute the part you want to play & jam along with the band. Cool stuff! It also includes a brief history of the song & the artist, which is always interesting.

If I had had this type of instruction as a teen I probably wouldn't have sucked so bad as a musician. I would have been able to better keep up my interest & enthusiam because CDROMs like this provide continuous access & infinite patience in teaching the more difficult songs & unique styles. I always learned from friends who gave me 5 minutes, then walked.

Granted this CD includes a diverse, "something-for-everyone" approach adding classical & country tunes to rock & blues. For that I only gave it four stars & also because there is no clip of the musician actually playing the guitar on the Demo like Voyetra's "Teach Me Rock Guitar". But it must be conceded that Voyetra could only fit four songs on their CD while this one has 21 diverse tunes. eMedia website also provides good software support for these guitar series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Product!
This CDROM has it all. Music, TAB, play along with either the MIDI version of the song OR the audio version. The audio versions have track muting capability so you can mute the vocal or the Guitar or Bass.The nicest feature is the animated fret board so you if you don't know a chord or aren't that familiar with playing lead in the 7th position: have no fear, this feature cuts right through all of that. This CDROM is formatted for Windows AND Mac: which makes ordering easier too! ... Read more


20. Bass Method 1
by eMedia
list price: $59.99
our price: $49.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005KK3A
Catlog: Software
Manufacturer: eMedia
Sales Rank: 2364
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Product Description

Bass Method ... Read more

Features

  • Over 100 CD-ROM based step-by-step lessonsOver 200 songs and exercises
  • Over 30 full motion videos
  • Over 200 songs and exercises
  • Digital recorder, record and play yourself back
  • Animated fretboard, displays fingering

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great software
I'm in my 40's and was able to pick up my father's 30 year old electric bass and learn how to play very quickly. I've been using the program about 3 months and try to play 1/2 to 1 hour every day. Besides learning the songs included in the program I have been able to play Cream songs Badge and Sunshine of Your Love by teaching myself.

As for the details:
1. There is no problem with XP. I have a desktop and a laptop and both run the program without any problems
2. Tuner works great and is very very helpful
3. The program records your playing whenever you want. It is easy to use
4. When playing songs you can turn off the bass line in the song, leave the bass line in, or just play the bass line without the music
5. Moving between lessons is painless and very easy

I can't say enough about this software. It's great and I am only on lesson 43.

You won't be disappointed with the software. It's a good investment and you will be very happy with the results

5-0 out of 5 stars No more beginner's books! ** WORKS WITH THE MAC! **
Forget beginner's books! Save your money and buy this program, the ability to play along with the computer while you watch the notes/chord progression alone is something that no book/ audio cd will ever match. The way the lessons are presented is excellent, giving visual types like me direct re-enforcement on what the lesson is all about by giving you follow-along examples, and most importantly encouraging you to improvise and experiment. I've been learning the bass on and off for a couple of years and while I can already play along with many songs and improvise a bit I have found even the most basic lessons in this program to be very useful. I'm really looking forward to the sight reading section of the course! Highly recommended! If #2 is ever issued I'll buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a CD-ROM for bass!
My friend really liked eMedia's guitar CD-ROM, so I got their Bass Method the second I saw it at Circuit City. The lessons were easy to follow and the videos had demonstrations for both the left and right hands. The coolest feature has to be the ability to remove the bass and jam with the band in great songs like Knockin' on Heaven's Door. I'm almost good enough to jam with my friend. ... Read more


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