Vol. 26 Issue 1 Reviews
MusicMatch Jukebox MP3 Software for Macintosh
Distributed by Macmillan USA, Inc., 201 West 103rd Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46290, USA; telephone (+1) 800-858-7674; World Wide Web www.musicmatch.com

Reviewed by Joseph Reinsel
Troy, New York, USA

O.K., so here is another MP3 software program. The thing to note about this one is that it is a very thorough program which includes a CD ripper, MP3 and AIFF encoders, an audio Music Library, MusicMatch Music Guide, and a portable MP3 player software all in one package! (Description taken from the Web site.) Pretty exciting, eh! It is slightly different in its make up from other MP3 programs like Apple’s iTunes or Casady & Greene’s SoundJam because it is set up to control large libraries of MP3 files and to organize them effectively.

Upon first opening the software after installing it I was greeted by a dialog box that asked me if I wanted the program to gather all of the MP3s on the hard drive so the Jukebox could play them. This is a great feature. It means I don't need to search around for the files in the labyrinth of folders on my computer; the program will find them and link them to the program for me so I can access them easily from within MusicMatch Jukebox. Another rudimentary finding was that the screen aesthetics are very nice; the program will even try to find the name of the song and a graphic of the CD cover online through the CDDB Music Recognition Service (www.cddb.com).

Next, to get into "ripping" audio from your CDs onto your hard drive, this program lets you have more control than other programs over the file format of the converted audio. I have used Audiocatalyst, SoundJam Plus, and iTunes for taking music from audio CDs to produce MP3 files. All of them do a great job. The only thing they don't seem let you do is specify with precision the resolution of the converted file. MusicMatch JukeBox gives you three presets that are the normal codec schemes for MP3 files. In addition, it allows you to choose the kbps rate from anywhere between 16-320 kbps. This is a feature one may not use that often but it gives you that flexibility if you need it. One thing that I didn't get to try is the MusicMatch Downloader. I am sure it is a great asset to the package as it allows you to download your encoded songs onto a portable MP3 player.

In one other way, this software is a step above other MP3-encoding programs I have used. It allows you to create libraries of files very quickly and organize and catalog them efficiently. There are many such products out there and most of them work well. But MusicMatch Jukebox is a great program in particular for those who are hungry to create mass archives of digital music and access them whenever they like.