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PC World

Top 10 sound tools

Looking for more blast in your Sound Blaster? Here are some popular downloads that make the most of your PC's audio system.

February 24, 1999
Web posted at: 4:16 p.m. EST (2116 GMT)

by Max Green

(IDG) -- Whether you have a tin-can sound card or one with cutting-edge fidelity, you'll want to make the most of your PC's audio capabilities. You can download audio shareware that lets you play CDs, convert text to speech, and edit and record sound on a variety of different formats, including wavetable, MP3, and RAW. Here are the most popular audio tools in our FileWorld shareware library; if you want still more options, click "More Audio Extras," link below.

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  1. WinAmp: Pump up your PC audio experience with a player that handles many popular formats. WinAmp provides taskbar scrolling, an HTML playlist generator, a spectrum analyzer, a CD audio decoder, an MPEG decoder, and a digital equalizer, to mention a few features. (Shareware)

  2. CD Extreme: Pop audio CDs into your PC's CD drive, and crank up the tunes with this feature-laden player utility. It comes complete with a real-time audio analyzer, miniature control bar, animated eject tray, date and time, 3D interface, CD identification, autoplay, background play, program play, shuffle play, volume and balance control, LED display, and custom mouse pointer. (Shareware)

  3. CD Audio Recorder: Easily record .wav sounds from audio CDs. The program automatically detects a change in discs and displays the marked block length in microseconds and kilobytes. (Shareware)

  4. WinSpeech: Convert text to speech with this powerful tool that lets you adjust the speech rate and voice pitch; select voice "fonts" for preconfigured speech, and edit the sound dictionary or build custom dictionaries. (Shareware)

  5. RealPlayer 5.0: Use this plug-in to view videos and listen to live stereo music, radio broadcasts, and other audio offerings on the Web. (Shareware)

  6. CD-DA Extractor: This program lets you extract digital audio files from CD as well as DVD media and then convert the files to .wav, MP3, or RAW files. You can edit track names and change output levels. (Shareware)

  7. Christmas Music Player: Are you nostalgic for the holidays? Revive the Christmas spirit with popular carols including "Jingle Bell Rock," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Joy to the World." (Shareware)

  8. ScreenDance: Amuse yourself with this program that creates animations for music from your CDs. (Shareware)

  9. Cool Edit 96: Spice up your sound effects and music clips by changing echo, reverberation, and pitch, and adding other studio effects. (Shareware)

  10. CD Player for Win 95: This full-featured CD player with a touch-sensitive LED displays the song titles, seeks, and skips forward and backward. (Shareware)

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