Pelican once again brings us one
of those really cool extras that we crave for our game systems. For a long time it has
been rumored that Sega would release an MP3 player accessory most likely in the
form of a modified VMU. Well, that hasnt materialized, and I, for one, am not
holding my breath. Fortunately, Pelican has released their MP3DC Audio Player for
Dreamcast, effectively turning your DC into a fully functional MP3 Player.
The MP3DC is
just a disc, and it works by using a disc-swapping technique. Boot up your DC with the
MP3DC disc, and when prompted insert your own CD full of MP3s. The biggest drawback to the
system (well, the only drawback) is that you have to be able to burn CDs with MP3s on
them. Or you need a friend who can kick you down all the latest MP3 goodies. Thats
not a real big hindrance, given the availability of CD Recorders these days, but it might
prevent your DC from being your only MP3 player.
Once loaded, you can select songs to play and edit playlists. Unfortunately, you
cant save your playlists, which seems a bit strange. It would be nice to save
playlists to your VMUs, especially considering how much of a pain it can be to set up a
playlist on a disc with some 200 songs on it. Still, its not that much of a pain,
and the directory system is very easy to navigate. Ive seen other MP3 players that
have done a much worse job of navigating and not allowed you to make any playlists, let
alone save them. So it seems that, especially compared to other MP3 players available, the
MP3DC isnt so bad.
Ive never found an MP3 player that actually plays all MP3s (barring PC software).
I dont know whats up with that I guess MP3 is just a tricky format, and
I remember similar problems with JPGs in the early days. The MP3DC wont play every
single MP3 on a disc, but it will play about 99% of them, which is a good ratio,
especially compared to other MP3 players. In addition, it reads the ID3 tag nicely, so it
will display artist and track info, too.
Basically, this is a no-brainer. If youve got a DC, and youve got discs
full of MP3s, then you need the MP3DC. Its really nice to play your MP3s in the
living room, and even if it is a little bit of a hassle to set up playlists all the time,
its worth it to enjoy ten hours of music without thinking about it. More than Sonic
Shuffle or any other party game thats been released, the MP3DC is the program that
will really turn your Dreamcast into a party machine.