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Appeared on: Monday, February 18, 2002
Mp3 NetBurner Software

1. Page 1

MP3 Net-Burner v4.00 Software review - Page 1

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MP3 Net –Burner is a software used for writing audio CDs. The main feature of the software is that it can create a compilation using the mp3 files from the beginning that is there is no need for converting the files into wav before burning. Then, with only a button press, it proceeds to the writing of the CD. So it is obvious that its important feature is that it eliminates the time needed to decode the mp3 files into wav files; this is done with the press of the ‘Burn CD Now’ button.

The downloadable file from the web site is very small (1.3mb) and this gives an additional advantage for users with slow Internet connections. It is not freeware, but it is fully functional for four times. In case the user desires to continue the use of the program a license should be purchased.

PHOTO 1: The Registration Screen where the user is prompted to enter the registration codes or to continue the use of the trial version

When the user wants to purchase a registration code, the process is as simple as pressing a button at the bottom of the window a photo of which appears above. When the registration process is completed the user needs to complete the right ‘Customer Number’ and ‘Registration Code’. If the registration codes are valid the following screenshot appears.

PHOTO 2: Successful Registration of MP3-Burner software

MP3-Burner provides the option for editing the ‘MP3 TAGS’, and one step before the burning of the CD, it opens an Internet Explorer window with the contents of the CD. This can be printed changing the page setup options to the desired ones. It is a feature that helps non-experienced users to make the necessary changes they want without struggling.

The program needs an ASPI layer to work. In this version the ASPI layer is included and the program can work in Win NT / 2K perfectly as in Win 9x / ME as well. Fortunately, there was no problem with the ASPI layer that is included in the software, with other software installed on a machine. Being more accurate, we would like to mention here that Ahead Nero Burning Rom as well as CloneCD were both installed on the testing machine and nothing conflicting between the software took place. The wnaspi32.dll file was included in the software package so no problem existed not even for launching of the application not even for the other software that is installed on the same PC. The system itself was particularly stable.

2. Page 2

MP3 Net-Burner v4.00 Software review - Page 2

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The application can be opened from the start menu as every other Windows application. The first and basically the main screen of the software is the window where the user creates the compilation. A horizontal-like line in the middle divides the window. In the upper part of the window the contents of the hard disk can be seen. The bottom part of the screen is still intentionally blank. This part is used in order to show the contents of the CD to be done. Using ‘Drag and Drop’ technique one can make the compilation of the CD with MP3 files. We need to make clear that the user can only see the contents of a folder that contains mp3 files. Any other files that are contained in those folders cannot be seen since the software obviously cannot handle these files.

A limitation of the registered version is that it limits the CD to 48 tracks maximum seems to be a problem for users that have to write many short-duration tracks. We need to mention that this extension of up to 48 tracks took place after user requested this. Also we did not like the problem with the resize option of the main window. The window itself seems to have the same size whether or not the user presses the button for the resize option to take place. A very positive verdict was taken in the case where a compilation is longer than 74 minutes where the user will be alerted. It seems that it supports the ‘overburning’ feature depending on the recorder.

PHOTO 3: Overburning warning

This version supports the BURN-Proof function for recorders of up to 12X speed. MP3 Net – Burner does not allow any edit between the pause in each track. This may lead to a non-widely acceptable result, since a lot of audio compilations require the use of zero seconds pause between tracks. However a positive step was made when the authors improved the decoding process, so this can be more vigorous to mp3 files that are ‘poor’ for whatever reason. If the user wants to proceed and presses the ‘Burn CD Now’ button the program starts the decoding of the files and then the immediate burning of the files to the CD.

PHOTO 4: Decoding Process Screen

PHOTO 5: Progress Window while Burning

One of the last windows the user can see is the window informing that the CD was completed successfully. Hopefully we did not manage to force the program informing us any different, unsatisfactory, result.

PHOTO 6: Successful completion of the CD.

When the user presses the ‘OK’ button an Internet browser window opens to inform him/her for the tracks that are written on the CD. The fonts can be altered to the desired ones, and the web page can be printed and then the frame can be cut to set it on a CD case. In case the user wants to add a picture instead, an upgrade to the Music Net-Burner is needed

A known ‘bug’ is that ‘Adaptec's DirectCD’ can cause the recording to fail. A temporary work around is to disable Auto Insert Notification. A final solution will be available in a future update. This program however is a very useful tool for non-experienced users since it allows the decoding of ‘mp3’ tracks to ‘wav’ without the need of using multiple programs to achieve the desired result.

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