Visionic PCDJ

PC World.com (US)

The Internet is getting noisy, with the growing popularity of Net-based radio. A new entry, PC DJ from Visiosonic Ltd., aims to rise above the din by both fitting a need and doing its job simply and efficiently.

The free 2.6MB download lets you create music mixes from different sources, then broadcast your live program from your PC. For input, you can plug in a microphone, use your CD-ROM drive, or load up MP3, .wav, .wma, and other audio file types stored on your hard drive. You can change the volume level from one song to another, as a DJ would, while mixing your voice in to introduce a new song (or talk show guest, or sports clip, or whatever the virtual deejay dreams up).

Simple and Slick Sound

To open an audio file into PC DJ, you drag and drop it from a folder on your hard drive. The program also scans your computer for compatible files and will load all of them if you choose.

The interface presents two panes side-by-side, one for each song you have queued to play. Controls on each pane allow you to change a song’s volume and speed. A control in the middle of the mixer lets you “cross fade” or increase the volume of one track incrementally, as the volume automatically decreases on the other. Overall, the interface is slick and easy to use.

When you’re ready to meet the public, the program connects you with free Internet-broadcasting services, including Live365.com, Shoutcast, and Ice Cast.

I have two small complaints. Clicking a button marked Email, which I guessed would allow me to send feedback, produced an error message. And when I clicked the Help button, the program tried to launch a nonexistent, readme text file. However, the program is intuitive and requires little hand-holding.

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Prices listed are in Cdn currency.