Cakewalk releases pyro Audio Creator v1.5

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Cakewalk pyro Audio Creator

Cakewalk has released version 1.5 of pyro Audio Creator, a collection of essential tools for creating, editing, and publishing your music collection.

Built on the same technology found in Cakewalk’s industry-leading SONAR digital audio workstation, with Audio Creator’s virtual toolbox, you are just a click away from recording and editing audio; burning and ripping CDs; cleaning and converting albums to CD or MP3; encoding, tagging, and organizing your sound library; backing up your files to data CD, DVD, or Blue-Ray; and publishing music to the internet.
With its user-friendly interface, pyro Audio Creator 1.5 welcomes music enthusiasts to master their music, author CDs, make MP3s, and share their music online with custom music players and tagging capabilities.

pyro Audio Creator v1.5 key features

  • 1-click recording: capture musical performances, meetings, vinyl records, cassettes, podcasts, Internet broadcasts, and more
  • Professional 2-track audio editing: includes hiss and pop removal, volume control, crossfades, effects, and more.
  • Encode, convert, and save audio to popular formats like MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, and AIFF.
  • Convert audio to formats for use with iTunes®, iPod®, Zune™, and other digital audio players.
  • Digitize, clean, and organize your vinyl record and cassette collection.
  • Rip your entire CD collection to a digital format.
  • Instantly download song, album, and artist names for your CDs.
  • Burn gapless audio CDs to share with family and friends; Audio Creator burns Redbook-compliant CDs.
  • Create backup data CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray for safekeeping.
  • Tag, rename, and organize multiple audio files all at once.
  • Upload custom, streaming music players to share on MySpace, Blogger, and other web sites.
  • Get started quickly with video tutorials.

pyro Audio Creator 1.5 is available for download at the Cakewalk online store for $39.99 USD. It will soon also be available for purchase at select consumer electronics and computer retail stores. Registered pyro Audio Creator 1.0 customers can download version 1.5 for free.

Visit Cakewalk for more information.


Zune Marketplace will offer DRM-free MP3s

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Microsoft Zune

Microsoft has just introduced some new Zune portable media players.

But perhaps more interesting is that Microsoft has also redesigned Zune Marketplace, including new free content.

The press release reads:

Consumers will also be able to choose from a selection of more than 1 million digital rights management (DRM)-free MP3s, which can be played with Zune or any other digital media player.

Looks like Zune gets a second change. Wireless sync options, a touch-sensitive button, funky family colors and DRM free music… Still not sure that Zune tattoo was such a good idea though…

Link via Boing Boing


Press release: Microsoft Zune

We’ve seen plenty of rumours about Mircosoft’s media player in the past months. Others have tried, but none have been able to put a serious dent in Apple‘s dominance in this market. Might Zune be the one true iPod killer?

Microsoft Zune Media Player

Let’s see. From the press release:

Zune includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. The Zune device features wireless technology, a built-in FM tuner and a bright, 3-inch screen that allows users to not only show off music, pictures and video, but also to customize the experience with personal pictures or themes to truly make the device their own. Zune comes in three colors: black, brown and white.

Okay, so we got a 30GB media player with wireless communication. Oh, and it comes in one attractive color. What else?

Wireless Zune-to-Zune sharing lets consumers spontaneously share full-length sample tracks of select songs, homemade recordings, playlists or pictures with friends between Zune devices. Listen to the full track of any song you receive up to three times over three days. If you like a song you hear and want to buy it, you can flag it right on your device and easily purchase it from the Zune Marketplace.

That’s actually a nice feature indeed. I can share my music with others so they can see if they like it enough to buy it (easily from the Zune Marketplace, smart!).

It even comes with an interesting selection of preloaded music, from labels like Astralwerks Records, Ninja Tune and Sub Pop Records.
Furthermore you can get a bunch of accessories for Zune in your car, in your home or while you travel.

All in all it looks like Zune is a nice player that could do well. But then there’s the dreaded DRM.

It’s no surprise that the press release does not mention DRM. Zune’s fact sheet shows you can import audio files in unprotected WMA, MP3 and AAC formats. But Microsoft’s new DRM system also wraps these files in the protection scheme which makes sharing your own music a bit awkward as it only allows you to play it 3 times over 3 days, a serious limitation. Then again, many consumers might just want a media player to play music they purchase in an online store.

I guess time will tell…