Software Better Organized!, Continued
The other tabs on the controller offer access to configuration options for the S/P DIF digital inputs and outputs as well as the headphone output.
Another innovation we asked for is an equalizer that is more directly usable than the previous one (which still remains available) on the EAX console. This new equalizer is a seven-channel graphic equalizer. It can thus be treated as a super-corrector of tone and not a genuine equalizer - but it's perfectly suited to the kind of user this sound card is likely to have. A model containing settings or one with a third of an octave would probably cause more problems than it would solve...You get various pre-setting options but nothing forces you to use them. We would even tend to advise you to avoid them and create your own settings, which are best suited to the kind of music you listen to, to your speakers and the acoustics of the place where you listen. You can save them to memory and with a little effort on your part, you'll get a much better sound.
Software enabling the conversion into a series of sound files is also supplied. Creative Audio Converter lets you change a Wave, MP3 or WMA file into a different format. In the case of WMA, it's the same format but with various options, such as normal, Pro or without loss. You can also convert your original stereo into multichannel sound up to 7.1! This tool should be of interest to quite a few users.
The final innovation is the THX settings console. This is a really cool item that we'll discuss in detail further on, when we review multichannel sound and the possibilities it offers. Overall, it can be said that Mediasource has developed considerably and today constitutes a good tool for managing all the aspects of sound reproduction, including MP3, extraction of the tracks of a CD and burning disks (if you have a CD or DVD burner, of course). As in the previous version, it has an audio DVD player but it's a shame this hasn't been upgraded. If it's capable of reading audio DVDs at 24 bits/192 kHz, the management of certain aspects of their content (especially the video sequences) has been forgotten. So you can listen, but you can't see! An improvement in this area would be welcome, even if Creative appears for the time being to be the only manufacturer to offer playback of the audio part of DVDs.