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GamesFirst! Magazine

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by Pelican Accessories

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 hasn’t 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. That’s 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 can’t 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, it’s not that much of a pain, and the directory system is very easy to navigate. I’ve 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 isn’t so bad.

I’ve never found an MP3 player that actually plays all MP3s (barring PC software). I don’t know what’s up with that – I guess MP3 is just a tricky format, and I remember similar problems with JPGs in the early days. The MP3DC won’t 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 you’ve got a DC, and you’ve got discs full of MP3s, then you need the MP3DC. It’s 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, it’s worth it to enjoy ten hours of music without thinking about it. More than Sonic Shuffle or any other party game that’s been released, the MP3DC is the program that will really turn your Dreamcast into a party machine.

Shawn Rider

Snapshot

Ups: Good interface; works well.

Downs: Quality of media and files can make a difference.

System Reqs:
Sega Dreamcast

 

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