Ashampoo Music Studio 6 : A first spin - Review

Discussion in 'Reviews and Tests' started by jasonX, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member Member Of Month - Tweakbytes Defender

    Ashampoo Music Studio 6 : A first spin - Review


    Almost any music lover or even a non-enthusiast will have a couple of albums in the nook and cranny of his house or if it's a soft copy his/her pc system. Music has been part of humans even when the savages were still, well savages! Music will ease the pain and relax our minds especially after a hard days work, a breakup with the girlfriend, a frustrating moment after a game loss, tame a weary heart..weary soul that needs rest and beer, etc., Now as with life sometimes we need tools to organize ourselves, what we do and all. The same goes with our music/audio files and CD's. The right tools we use will help us get more of what we have and later on help us enjoy it more.

    Come in Ashampoo Music Studio 6.

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    This program promises to rip, burn, cut, convert, mix, organize, print covers and create playlists for you. The possibilities with this program is as diverse as your music compilations.

    Ashampoo Music Studio 6 will:

    • Smooth burning and converting of iTunes songs
    • Ultra-precise song mixing, cutting and editing with up to 3 tracks
    • Split audio books or live concert recordings with smart splitting technology
    • Create playlist for any device
    • Solid sound converter with individual format and quality settings
    • Audio disc ripping with powerful automatic features
    • Easily create and design individual covers with various templates or use custom motives
    • Convert audio tracks from videos into single sound files.


    I have never used Ashampoo Music Studio 6 (and it's predecessors though I have Ashampoo Music Studio 5) before because I have other programs that does the job for me. Have been accustomed to them and they NEVER failed me! Yeah! But then again, why not try Ashampoo Music Studio 6 and see what it is (taste what it's like --like a new beer or burger), check out what it can it offer me and perhaps TBT members also.

    This is a review of Ashampoo Music Studio 6 - AMS6 (first time spin etc) in line with our upcoming Ashampoo Official Giveaway sponsorship.

    The Interface

    Running the software you will see that the gui has a Windows 8 interface look with large buttons for the different tasks that you are offered to select. "What would you like to do?" it says there and just click on the boxes there and you will be guided accordingly.


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    So...."What would I like to do?"....Let's get it on!!!!

    Rip Audio CD

    Ashampoo Music Studio 6 - AMS6 makes it easy for you to rip audio files from any of your audio CD. You just have to load the CD you wanna rip, select the source drive. AMS6will display all the tracks in that particular CD. Placing a "check-mark" inside the check-box at the end of each track signifies you want that particular track to be ripped. Editing music tags (lay in the information of the track#, title and the artist) can be done by clicking the "pen icon" at the end of each track. Likewise you can also edit album information via just typing what you want for that album you just ripped.

    See image below.

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    You will also see an "Extended Setting" button which you are given two options, (1) Choose to eject the CD after reading, or (2) create you own playlist.

    Select the type of output format and quality options you prefer for the rip. From the interface you can select output formats (codec) mp3, aac, wma, ogg, wav, flac and opus formats. For the quality, you are presented with either, Medium, Good, CD or High Quality (--Sample Rate and Bitrate differences are shown as sound type --Mono or Stereo).

    See image below.

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    Select destination where you want the contents to be ripped and you are good to go. For a 23 track audio CD of Jim Croce Greatest Hits it took around >5 minutes to rip the whole album into a folder. That was MP3, High Quality>Sample Rate 48000Hz / Bitrate 320kBit/s. For a 19 track James Taylor Greatest Hits album (MP3, High Quality>Sample Rate 48000Hz / Bitrate 320kBit/s ) took about >4 minutes. Pretty good!


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    Burn

    Burn function is simple with pretty straight forward instructions even a kid won't err in this parts. So if you are still into burning your music to CD's this is for you.

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    The "Create MP3 Disc and Create WMA Disc" adds a select output quality option(Medium, Good, CD or High Quality --with Sample Rate and Bitrate differences are likewise with sound type --Mono or Stereo). After you have added audio files take note of the "gear icon" which will show the "extended settings" for the "burn function". Burn settings are shown in the image below.


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    The "Create Mix Format Disc" and "Create Audio CD" in contrast does not show additional options for "quality". You get a pretty much straight-forward shot instructions to (1) Select files for your CD (2) After files are added --set preferred burn settings (3) Select target drive for burning and then boom burn it! Creation is pretty much fast also. Please see images below for the burn-step creation I tried.


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    Modify

    AMS6 allows you to modify your audio files. Let's check out some of these functions.


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    Analyze Files
    This function in AMS6 checks the integrity of your audio files based on available metadata and provides on-the-fly editing capabilities to correct any errors.

    AMS6 analyzes your audio files for the proper information that each audio files needs. Proper in the sense that AMS6 determines an audio file to have complete information for the user. How are the audio files verified? Versus what or how..? Zit zero..no explanation there. Ripped audio files from original audio CD's gave a constant "Fail" always pointing to the "Edit File tags" stating -- "One file does not include all important file tags"

    To check again I loaded another original audio CD and ripped a track. Tried to analyze it again. Lo' and behold' the verdict was the same. 'Fail' and it again points to the "Edit File Tags". Now this I do not understand, the information is complete and "IS" from the original audio CD itself! AMS6 creates a verdict of FAIL even when the file tags are correct.

    Checks the "metadata" and "integrity of your audio files" Shades of Windows Media Player behavior here... I have an inkling I will need to allow AMS6 to connect to the internet in order to get a "PASS" verdict. But this is a "fuzz" so you can disregard the 'Fail>Edit file tag'.


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    And then it hit me...AMS6 may be telling me to load the Album Art of the audio CD of James Taylor's Greatest Hits. Now I did not have that so I tried to load one from Colbie Caillat. Then suddenly all was well. AMS6 will honor the user preference given. It will let suffice whether a correct album art is attached as a "tag" or not --as long as the "user" defines his/her "own" complete tag data.


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    Convert Audio Files
    As self-explanatory as it gets this function helps you convert your audio files to whatever codec you prefer. You just have to load the audio files you want converted and select output formats (codec --mp3, aac, wma, ogg, wav, flac and opus) and output quality either Medium, Good, CD or High Quality (--Sample Rate and Bitrate differences are shown as sound type --Mono or Stereo). See image below.


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    Normalize Files
    It has always been observed that audio files sometimes do not have the same volume level. Sometimes you come from a hard day's work, lay back have a beer and listen to your soothing compilation and then 'boom' out of nowhere there it is the sound is so low you can't hear properly! So you'd get up the remote adjust the volume right then and there. Then later when your sipping that ice cold one 'BOOM" the volume turns into a loud one! This AMS6 normalize files function will help you 'normalize' the volume of your audio files to a standard level --to a standard level (select from 79dB to 93 dB) you prefer. Doing so will hinder you from changing the volume level all the time and let you sip that ice cold one to the max!


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  3. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member Member Of Month - Tweakbytes Defender

    Edit Files
    This is where you will have a handful with AMS6. This feature set gives you multiple functions to modify the audio signal of your tracks by cutting, mixing or applying fading effects.

    The audio editor will allow you to save your current settings as a project file or load an existing file that you are working on. It is important to note that all project files contain links to audio files. So if you edit your audio files they will change. So it is better to make a project folder first and copy all those audio files that you want to edit inside that folder. From that same folder you can load the audio files you want to edit and do the editing. For further processing, these files must reside in the original location specified in the project. You can also insert additional songs into the current project. That is always a sound decision to do so as not to alter any original files to may have.

    In the audio editor the playback will always start from the current cursor position. Specified as "A" are functions always apply to the currently selected area: Zoom in/out, Undo/Redo, Copy selection to clipboard, Cut selection, Paste from clipboard, Delete selection.
    Process features are marked as "B" . It with these combinations "A" and "B" you will use the audio editor correctly. Once you have had your preferred music cut (modified version) it always wise to "save" your project. Remember you can "also" save your settings and later use it again for another project.

    See images below.

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    Audio Splitter

    AMS6 helps you split up audio files into smaller segments based on existing pauses, e.g. to turn a lengthy live recording into separate songs. Select one or multiple files. You can then either left-click into the track to select a marker and click the scissors to add a cut or use Auto split to let the program do the work.


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    Edit Covers

    AMS6 helps you make the proper cover for your audio CD(either it be a Slim case, Jewel case or just a plain CD cover). You can select any print/design template included or create your own covers. To edit the paper format for your selected case you just have to select the "Edit paper formats" and the available settings and parameters will appear for your choice and preference. AMS6's cover editor allows you to edit and make whatever title or subtitle you want to be included in the cover. Moreover the cover-editor has themes/template where you can select an appropriate design for your CD. Take the case of James Taylor, I selected "Country" for it. Text and background can be added. Furthermore a "table" can be added so if you desire you can add a table-like text to your cover.

    See image below.


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    Organize

    AMS6 helps you organize your files properly in a separate folder of your choice. One thing to remember is that AMS6 re-writes or re-names the original file and it moves it to the destination that you select. So it would be wise to make a copy of your files first(as with a project editing of audio files) prior using this feature because this isn't reversible. in any endeavor it is always a sound decision to make a project folder for all project files first. Copy from the original files and place it in the project file folder. From there you can do as you please and if anything goes wrong you will still have the original file with you. See image below of how to use the "organize function" and the end result of the "organized audio files". Pretty neat there.


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    Playlist Generator

    AMS6 helps you to great a playlist that can be used with the popular music players you own. It has a pre-selected 5 most frequently used formats that cover 99% of all devices: M3U8, M3U, PLS, WPL and XLPF. That may be the case but using GOM Media Player the playlist file that was successfully read was ONLY "M3U" and "PLS". The same was for Daum PotPlayer and KMPlayer. Portable VLC Media Player on the other-hand read all playlist format thus the playlist was played. All of them. Very nice. I did not try with Windows Media Player but surely as the "WPL" playlist file is included I am sure ti will play. The rest gave an error so you may have to consult the manual/documentation of your favorite player or device. Please see image below.



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    Mix Tape

    AMS6 allows you to combine any number of songs into a single file via it's "Mix Tape" function. Songs will be combined in the order specified using cross-fading for seamless transitions. You can specify the duration for the fading effect between tracks as well as whether to begin/end the mix with a fade effect via Extended Settings. See image below.


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    Video-2-Music

    AMS6 enables you to extract the audio from your videos and store them as audio files on your PC via the Video-2-Music feature. All you need to do is to select a video file and once you have selected a video file, its audio will be extracted and opened in the editor. As in "Edit Files" AMS6 allows you to save your current settings as a project file or to load an existing project.

    Warning:
    Project files contain links to the affected audio files. For further processing, these files must reside in the original location specified in the project. Displays the audio data. Left-drag your mouse cursor create a selection. These functions always apply to the currently selected area: Zoom in/out, Undo/Redo, Copy selection to clipboard, Cut selection, Paste from clipboard, Delete selection. The actual processing features are bundled here. They will be described in the next section.

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    Record

    AMS6 enables you to record audio through any Windows audio device currently set as the default recording device through Windows Control Panel. You will need to select a recording device. To do that, select a category (1) and an associated device (2). You may also test the device (3). As in the "Edit Files" and the other 'modify' scenarios you will be asked to provide the desired output format / quality and the target destination for your recorded file. The "Make recordings" box will appear and you will have the option to: (4)Adjust the signal level here and review your format and bitrate settings. (5)Use the start button to start/stop the recording. You may record multiple segments. (6)Displays a list of completed recordings. You may select individual entries and play them using the playback control or delete them.
    See image below.


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    I have not verified this part because as of the moment my Mic doesn't work. Thus I got the "No recording device found".



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    The Bottomline (Observations etc.,)

    Ashampoo Music Studio 6's interface for me is too big! On me it should not be that "big" and it reminds me of Emsisoft AntiMalware and Emsisoft Internet Security interface. Ripping any audio CD is superb and fast. The "Edit Tags" was a bit confusing at first but got the hang of it when I used the "Analyze Files" where I came ti understand that AMS6 will honor whatever the user wants for his audio tracks including the image(album art) that will banner that audio album.

    That "Burn" function/feature will be useless unless you have a blank disc around. The word "burn" is really "burn-to-a-disc". No option to "burn" a project into an ISO file. Maybe Ashampoo may consider having that function to save/export to ISO file. Definitely if considered and adapted will be a great addition.

    The "Modify" feature and all it's functions are I think the best of this program. You will enjoy all it's capabilities and the options AMS6 have in store for you especially the "Edit Files" where the real power of this program is. Like every new program or software you need to practice using the editing functions. A newbie or a non-enthusiast will find it a bit hard to use but then again that was like me when I used for the first time Cyberlink's Wave Editor and then later Cyberlink's Audio Director 13(of course Audio Director has more punch and more options than AMS6 --but Ashampoo's is pretty good if you get the hang of using it I must say).

    One thing that you need to be careful when using the "Edit Files" and also "Organize" is that AMS6 re-writes or re-names the original file and it moves it to the destination that you select. So it would be better if/or when starting to do some editing or just organizing your audio files, you first need to "organize yourself" and make a project folder for whatever you wanna do. Copy "from" the original files and paste it inside that project folder. From there you can do what you wanna do. It will also be a sound decision as when you want to compare the "original file" to the "edited/modified one". You cannot compare both "if" you fail to backup those files first or as I advise it make a project folder of it because ASM6 will modify it with what you have set it to do. That was what made me scratch my head as I was doing this review. The audio files that I previously ripped I also used in the trial "Edit Files" and "Modify" and the "Organize". Files were re-named/modified from the original location to the destination target location I set up. I had to rip the James Taylor and Rod Stewart CD's again twice so I can compare the quality of he modified file from the original. So dorks and nerds alike please beware :)

    In Video-2-Music, if you need just a portion of an audio/soundtrack from a whole movie, it might be a good thing to use a video editor first to get just the portion of that video with your desired soundtrack and then use AMS6's Video-2-Music instead of loading the whole movie in AMS6. Playlist Generator is okay but as seen I encountered issues with playlist file when I used PotPlayer, KMPlayer and GOM Player. VLC played it all though. MixTape creation is a nice touch as when you need to do a non-stop music mix this is the feature you will want to use!

    All in all Ashampoo Music Studio 6 - ASM6 is a keeper of a program and will make you happy with the audio files you have. A studio definitely with all the tools you will need for all your audio files and what you plan doing with it. The more you use it the more yo will get the hang of it and the more you will like it. I definitely would not mind having one!

    Latest Version 6.0.2, 2015/05/07

    Home Page HERE

    Download HERE


    Stay tuned for the Ashampoo Official Giveaways soon!


    ;)
     
  4. BC2Tweak

    BC2Tweak Reviews Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent Review/Information!! :)

    Happen to have this program, but have not used. Now, I think I will do some tinkering with it. I'll check the Recording function out and let you know how it works!! :)

    Thanks!! ;)
     
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  5. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member Member Of Month - Tweakbytes Defender

    That will be super BC2Tweak! Now this review will be complete with it! Thanks mate!
     
    BC2Tweak likes this.
  6. guardian

    guardian Administrator Staff Member

    please check copyright infringement laws for your slice of the vast globe you live in...

    great review jasonX. .. very informative,
    must have taken a few beers and then many caffeine implants :S to get all if this information onto your screen .. nice work
     
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  7. BC2Tweak

    BC2Tweak Reviews Moderator Staff Member

    Always glad to help!! :)
     
  8. BC2Tweak

    BC2Tweak Reviews Moderator Staff Member

    It's not too hard to do. ;)

    Plus, it gives me some great ideas on how to do multiple graphical screenshots. Hadn't thought of that before!!
     
  9. dinosaur07

    dinosaur07 Senior Member

    Is the review finished? :D
    Thanks for this exhaustive work, jasonX.
     
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  10. Gdant

    Gdant Senior Member Known Member

    Wooah, nice review jasonX:):).
    Ashampoo has line of products and to continue these as quality product is a real challenge which they are trying to accomplish :)
     
    jasonX likes this.
  11. yarrix

    yarrix Member

    have not seen a better review for this software
    tis good work
     
    jasonX likes this.
  12. BC2Tweak

    BC2Tweak Reviews Moderator Staff Member

    Here's some additional information about Ashampoo Music Studio 6. :D

    The "Record Function" apparently was not working for -jasonX- so he gave me permission to test/review this particular function of the software. Thanks -jasonX- for the opportunity to do this!! :)

    I've "annotated and highlighted" the screenshots more than before, so I will not write much text concerning these functions, unless it is necessary. I trust and hope that you find this information a bonus to the already provided "Most Excellent Review" by our -jasonX-. :)

    * This is the only function of "Ashampoo Music Studio 6" that we are providing information about.
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    - Step 1
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    -- Now, since we have selected both the "Driver Option" (white outlined rectangular box) and "Record Device Option" (white outlined rectangular box), so we are ready to proceed to "Step 2".
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    - Step 2 (Record Level Test)
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    -- Now, that we have concluded the "Record Level Test" and have adjusted our System Volume where it needs to be, we are ready to proceed to "Step 3".
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    - Step 3
    -- Here is where you select the "Output Format" you want to "Record" to, and some very specific "Output Quality Settings".

    --- You have several "Output Formats" to select from. The "Default Output Format" is ".mp3", and for this Test/Review we left it there. Here are the "Output Format" Choices:
    • .mp3 [Our Recommended Setting]
    • .aac
    • .wma
    • .ogg
    • .wav
    • .flac
    • .opus

    --- You have Four Different "Quality Levels" to choose from.
    • Medium [Equivalent to a cassette tape]
    • Good [Equivalent to a phonograph record]
    • CD [Equivalent to CD Audio]--> (We'd recommend using this setting, or the "High Quality Setting")
    • High Quality [Equivalent to HD Output]--> (We'd recommend using this setting, or the "CD Setting")

    --- You have Three Final "Quality Settings" here. You can either leave them as they are, or change them to your specific needs.
    • SampleRate--> You can slide this from: 8000 Hz to 48000 Hz.
    • Bitrate--> You can slide this from: 32 kBits/s to 320 kBit/s.
    • Mono (Record in one channel) -or- Stereo (Record in two or more channels)

    -- Now, that we have set our "Output Format & Quality Settings", we are ready to proceed to "Step 4".
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    - Step 4 (Select the target folder)
    -- This is where you are going to tell "AMS 6" where to put your "Recorded File".
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    - Step 5 (Make your recordings)
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    - Step 6 (Final and Closing Step)
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    ** And there, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you can "Record" something within "Ashampoo Music Studio 6". It is an amazingly easy and very user-friendly process. I believe it to be easy enough that a child could do it. Yet, the process provides very powerful functions to "Ashampoo Music Studio 6". May all your recordings be successful and enjoyable!! **
     
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  13. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member Member Of Month - Tweakbytes Defender

    Thanks mate!
     
    BC2Tweak likes this.
  14. BC2Tweak

    BC2Tweak Reviews Moderator Staff Member

    You're welcome!! :)
     

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