jetAudio 6.2.8 Plus VX

Reviewed by: Howard Carson, February 2007
Published by: Cowon Systems
Requires: Pentium 200 or faster CPU, Windows 98 through Vista, 64MB RAM, 40MB available hard drive space, DirectX 9 or higher, QuickTime 4 or higher
MSRP: $29.00

jetAudio Plus is a multimedia entertainment player which provides software controlled playback of just about every kind of digital audio and video file you can think of. From WAV to MP3, AIF to SND, MID, AVI, MPG, MOD, and so on, jetAudio Plus can play them all. The software is designed around an interface that resembles stacked, home audio/video equipment, in an attempt to create a familiar look and feel for end users. For people who listen to a lot of music or watch a lot of video on their PC, jetAudio Plus is a comprehensive utility capable of replacing most of the single-purpose players you may already be using.

The software is supplied on a single CD-ROM or as a download and includes MP3 and mp3PRO encoding Pack, Special Sound Effect (BBE) Pack, Sound Pack, Enhanced Recording Pack, Application Pack, and all the features of jetAudio 6.XX Basic. We tested the software on a 3.2GHz Pentium and a Pentium D 524 (3.06GHz, 533FSB), both running SoundBlaster cards, and ATI X1600 video cards driving 20" Dell Ultrasharp digital LCD monitors.

As a straightforward multimedia player, jetAudio Plus is efficient, easy to use, and is designed to be a viable alternative to any collection of audio, video and movie players you may already have on your system. Jet Audio Plus uses all of the existing media players in your system to do its work. Windows Media Player and QuickTime to run video, WMP for streaming internet radio and many other formats as noted above.


jetAudio used to feature an enormous, 8 section interface: the Power Station (used to switch the other sections on and off); the Effects and EQ Processor; the Sound Mixer (with all the different volume and gain controls); audio CD Player (programmable); the MP3 & Digital Audio player (programmable); the MIDI & Karaoke player (programmable); the Video player (for CD video and digital video files); the Remote Control (capable of controlling whatever section is active). Familiar transport controls displayed standard icons provide obvious hints to functionality. In addition, popup tooltips told you what your mouse was hovering over. Create an album, load individual files, or access a CD audio or CD video disk. It was big and unwieldy. Things are much better now however, with a much more compact, easy to understand (and navigate) interface and much broader media file compatibility including:

  • Windows Sound Files (WAV)
  • MPEG Audio files (MP1, MP2, MP3) including mp3PRO
  • MPEG Audio Playlist Files (PLS, M3U)
  • MPEG Video Files (MPG, MPEG)
  • Windows Media Audio files (WMA)
  • Windows Media Video Files (ASF, WMV)
  • Windows Video Files (AVI)
  • DivX Video Files (AVI, DIVX)
  • Ogg Vorbis Sound Files (OGG)
  • Apple Audio files (AIF and AIFF)
  • QuickTime files (QT, MOV and MP4)
  • SUN Audio files (AU and SND)
  • RealMedia Files (RA, RAM, RM, RMM)
  • MIDI files (MID, RMI and KAR)
  • IMS file (IMS)
  • Module files (MOD, S3M, XM, MTM, STM, IT, ULT, 669, FAIR, MED, MDL, MDL, NST, OKT and WOW)
  • Monkey's Audio file format (APE)
  • MPEG Plus Audio files (MPC)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec files (FLAC)
  • Ogg Media Files (OGM)
  • MKV Video Files (MKV)
  • Audio CD
  • Video CD
  • DVD

Not all codecs are supplied — you'll need to download them for DivX, Ogg and MKV.

jetAudio Plus has programming features to accommodate endless combinations of custom playlists for playback of CD audio disks, MP3 archives, MIDI files and so on. You can easily create albums containing MP3, WAV, MIDI, CD Audio, and MPEG, MOV or other video and audio file combinations. Imagine sitting back while your PC plays a multimedia list automatically? It's possible. And if your PC is located in a main living area, you'll be able to use your PC monitor and speakers as multimedia entertainment devices (for something other than games). Jet Radio helps in this area too, providing hundreds of preset stations to choose from. All in all, the software is interesting and worth a look (and listen).

CD ripping is much improved. Sound quality and encoding is clean and error-free for the most part. You can rip to WAV, MP3, mp3PRO, WMA, RealMedia, OGG and APE. We were generally pleased with rip speeds and as far as we can tell, your RAM and CPU should be the only limiting factors when using jetAudio.

Older versions of jetAudio Plus were missing one mportant thing: a DVD player. I suspect that the lack of a DVD player was the result of exorbitant licensing costs for CSS encryption and Dolby AC3(R). Well DVD is present with a vengeance now and the result is quite good — certainly good enough to draw your attention away from WinDVD and Cyberlink. You still need a third-party DVD decoder, but the jetAudio Plus player works extremely well. DVD movie playback is full featured, providing access to most DVD menus and features on most of the commercial DVDs we tried. HD-DVD and Blu-ray playback are not here yet, but Cowon Systems is working on the next version of jetAudio Plus with integrated hi-def playback features.

Cons: The Jet Audio Plus manual is still a marvel of poor writing. As the software has grown and improved over the past few years, the product documentation (online help and so on) hasn't followed suit.

Pros: jetAudio Plus VX is fun to play with and seems to operate flawlessly. For anyone who wants a do it all player from someplace other than Microsoft or Apple, this is the one to try. Cyberlink and WinDVD are two other competing companies that are pushing this market very hard with their multimedia DVD products and continue to carve out a solid niche for themselves in the face of the market leading dominance of Microsoft and Apple. With v6 however, jetAudio has toed the line with a respectable offering too. Definitely worth a look. Recommended.





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