A USB Enabled Sound Machine?

Using The AZ2555 Sound Machine, Continued

This version of MusicMatch Basic (7.10.1508) is unregistered, which means not all of the functions will work. You will need to purchase the "PLUS" version separately if you want all of the features of MusicMatch to be enabled. According to Philips, you will be able to update this version of MusicMatch, however we were unable to complete this process successfully during our time with the AZ2555 Sound Machine. We can only guess that there was no update available at this time.

The display shows the current time of the track playing in MusicMatch Jukebox as well as its title, which scrolls across the LCD display. When the title of the song is displayed in the LCD it can be a little difficult to read, but the positive thing is that the display is well back-lit with an orange lighting that is easy to read from across the desk or table. Using the remote, it is also possible to move a track forward or backward. This is a pretty nice feature, but it will not work outside of MusicMatch, so keep that in mind if you wish to use another MP3 player. Although you can use another MP3 player to play songs on the AZ2555 Sound Machine, you can’t move forward or backward within your play list, this feature is exclusive to MusicMatch. (Of course it would be possible to use another remote, like the ATi Remote Wonder or the Soundblaster Remote.)

A quick look in the Windows XP device manager shows that the Philips Composite USB Hifi device is using about 16% of the total USB bandwidth. This was confirmed by the task manager, which showed, while the AZ2555 Sound Machine was in use during a typical MusicMatch play mode, that the CPU utilization was from about 5% to as much as 15%. Not bad at all for a USB sound device, but it does show that, as with any USB device, you are going to take some sort of a performance hit.

As you can see in this screen shot, Philips reserves 16% of the USB bandwidth for the AZ2555 Sound Machine.

For our test system we used a system in the following configuration : ABIT NF7S motherboard ; AMD Athlon 3200XP ; 1 GB Corsair TwinX 3200LL RAM ; two Seagate 120 GB SATA Hard Drives ; ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB ; Toshiba 16X DVD-ROM Drive ; Mitsumi Floppy Drive ; Vantec Areoflow CPU Cooler ; Antec 400-Watt Power Supply ; Coolermaster ATC-201B-SXK mid tower case ; and we had it loaded with Windows XP Service Pack 1.