Ashampoo Music Studio 4 Review
key review info
- Application: Ashampoo Music Studio 188.8.131.52
- Reviewed on:
- Multi-format CD ripping
- (6 more, see all...)
Music Studio from Ashampoo has been designed with the average home user in mind, thus easy handling and an assorted suite of features for managing music should be predictable assets in the application.
Priced $29.99 (€24), the application benefits from the traditional installer from Ashampoo, which bundles in their own toolbar and changes the default web search and the browser homepage. Luckily, you can opt for a custom installation process and drop these additional modifications.
Looks are quite impressive, which is at all unusual for an Ashampoo product, as the interface is free of clutter, having all the menus ready on a strip at the bottom of the main application window.
The application offers a versatile set of options that range from extracting tracks from Audio CDs and automatically renaming items in your music collection to converting music files to a different format, recording audio from a microphone or creating mix tapes.
Although this would seem quite sufficient for such a program, there are more options to explore, such as editing audio, creating covers and inlays for CDs or extracting the audio track from a video file.
Working with Music Studio is a simple task, even if you are not familiar with applications of its kind. The wizard-like structure offers a quick way to learn the ropes as you can focus on a single aspect on your way to carrying out a job.
For instance, when ripping an Audio CD first you have to choose the optical drive select its reading speed, check if the files have been recognized correctly and make the necessary modifications for each track. Next follows a technical step where you can set the quality of the output and the file format (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV or FLAC).
During our tests, Ashampoo Music Studio managed to recognize almost all albums we had it extract. However, there are exceptions, especially if your tastes in music are more eccentric.
Creating your own music disc offers the possibility to make an Audio CD or burn a disc with MP3 or WMA files on it. Alternatively, the application should be able to create a mixed format disc, which can contain all supported file types (MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV or FLAC).
Prior to burning, you can play the added files and in our case the player worked like a charm. On the downside, you cannot drag and drop the data in the application window, so you have to browse for them manually. But a more serious problem occurred when the program started the burning procedure, as Music Studio crashed every time. This happened only when we tried to create a mixed format disc.
Organizing your music collection refers only to renaming the files using specific placeholders. There is also a list of predefined patterns available, but you can also create name patterns based on information such as artist, song title, album, release year, genre or file format.
The audio editing section is not equipped with too many tools, but it allows you to trim up the files and get rid of surplus sound, simply mix the tracks up, apply crossfade effect, anywhere in the file or change the volume. You can also replace parts of a song with silence or audio bits by cutting and pasting selections.
Converting the tracks to any of the supported formats is also present in this menu, together with options for file tag editing and volume normalization options.
If you want a single audio file playing multiple songs, Ashampoo Music Studio can help you through its mix tape feature. It allows you to add as many tracks as you want and glue them up in a single audio file. Each item is separated by a crossfading effect, so they do not overlap during playback.
As far as extracting the audio from a video, the application supports a wide range of formats, popular file types such as AVI, MPEG, MP4, VOB, MOV or WMV included. The application loads up only the sound of the file and the menu is almost the same as the one for editing audio tracks. As such, you can choose to extract only a specific part of the file.
Ashampoo Music Studio, although not a professional suite, offers plenty of options for a beginner user to start editing songs, create mix tapes and MP3/WMA discs or design covers for disc cases (there is a comprehensive set of tools regardless of the case or paper type).
The interface not only looks great, but it is also intuitive and a breeze to work with, which places ease of use at the top of the features list. It covers tasks from creating your own Audio CD or extracting and converting tracks to any of the supported formats to designing CD covers or editing sound.
We encountered problems with burning mix format discs. The application would crash just as it started to burn the files, which includes converting them first.
In contrast with overall ease of use there is the lack of support for drag and drop action, which would make adding files to the program more comfortable than browsing for them. Also, audio editing options are pretty limited.
Ashampoo Music Studio does not address users familiar to audio editing in the slightest, so do not expect professional features for manipulating sound. It is built for the average home user that needs a simple tool to create mix tapes, play around with basic audio editing options or create custom CD covers and extract the sound from video files.
Note: We have 16 licenses to give away for Ashampoo Music Studio. In order to win one of them you are expected to come up with a smart post, positive or negative, about the application in the comments section below.
The campaign will end on August 1, so you have five days to drop a line or two. Winners will be notified by the end of the next week; needless to say that we need valid email addresses in order to contact you.