Bang & Olufsen BeoPlayer
The Internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for enjoying music. BeoPlayer, introduced in 2000, provides a handy way of organising and playing your downloaded and your own software-created music files. BeoPlayer turns the tables and tries to look at things from a user's perspective by bringing Bang & Olufsen's expertise in simple functionality and ease-of-operation to the world of the computer.
BeoPlayer acts like an advanced CD-changer that lets you play, pause, stop, change tracks or select another play list. It will automatically sort your Internet music alphabetically by genre, artist, song title and album title via the online CDDB database - and lets you create your own play list of favourites from the different groups of tracks. If you have already sorted your tracks in folders, these are listed as well. And this is only the start. Future generations of BeoPlayer - already being developed - will introduce added functionality that makes it easier to upload and download music files, access Internet TV and radio and transfer your favourite music to a small portable player. BeoSound 2 has been developed specifically for playing pre-recorded MP3 files 'on the move'.
With BeoPlayer Bang & Olufsen has taken yet another step towards the intelligent and intuitive music service. Via a unique graphic interface, Bang & Olufsen looks at things from the user's point of view and brings Bang & Olufsen's expertise in simple functionality and ease-of-operation to the world of the computer. Everything should be easy to use and simple to understand, regardless of whether it's a complete surround-sound setup, a state-of-the-art cordless telephone or a piece of intelligent software. The operation principles remain the same.
Once the downloadable software has been installed on the user's PC, it is just a matter of simply moving the cursor to the right-hand side of the monitor and clicking on the small triangle. From there. the BeoPlayer control bar emerges smoothly and elegantly. From then on, it automatically retracts when not in use.
BeoPlayer takes on-screen control to a higher level and offers consistent and recognisable daily operation. It has a unique way of organising your music into folders and allowing you to drag and drop music files into play lists of your own. The software will automatically find all the music files you have on your PC, regardless of where they are placed. If you add tracks at a later time, BeoPlayer will also automatically find these as well.
You listen to your favourite music again and again. Why be troubled with changing CDs, just because your mood changes from classical to heavy rock? BeoPlayer allows you to easily record your CD collection directly into your PC’s hard drive. Simply click on "PC CD" followed by "RECORD".
BeoPlayer / Beolink PC2 FAQ:
Can Beolink PC 2 / BeoPlayer be used to copy a CD to the hard drive?
Yes, in the PC CD view on the left side of the screen, click copy and a view representing the hard drive will appear. Now you can simply drag single tracks or complete albums from the PC CD view to the Folders view. The naming of album, tracks and artist available in the PC CD view will automatically be transferred together with the tracks to the hard drive
Can I burn an audio CD from WMA/MP3 files in BeoPlayer/Beolink PC 2?
Yes, you can burn an Audio CD from BeoPlayer/Beolink PC2 very easily. You make a play list with the tracks your want on your CD and then you 'drag' it out to a CD burning program that supports drag and drop (e.g. Nero or Roxio's Easy CD Creator)
What does N.MUSIC mean? Why this name?
N.MUSIC stands for Net Music and this is a mutual description for digital music from the Internet on the PC. This function can also be found on the Beo4 remote control and it is possible to distribute N.MUSIC through MasterLink to any room in the home, with Beolink PC2
Can Beolink PC Office and BeoPlayer be used at the same time?
It is not possible to have both programs installed and running at the same time. However Beolink PC2, where the BeoPlayer is an integrated element, has replaced Beolink PC Office
Can I place Beolink PC 2 / BeoPlayer to the left/up/down on my screen?
No, it can't be placed in other positions in this version
MP3.com BeoPlayer Review
When a high-end, respected consumer-electronics hardware firm like Denmark's Bang & Olufsen comes out with a piece of MP3/WMA software, it makes you stop and think: "Hey, the big guys are finally jumping on this bandwagon" .
The free BeoPlayer shares the sleek, classic design that is B&O's hallmark. It's a combination MP3/WMA player, standard audio CD player and WMA encoder. But after trying BP for a few days, our first thought was: "What were they thinking?"
Granted, this is the first rev of BP and there's always room for improvements. But we would've expected this international firm to have done more research before releasing it to a community already blessed by a wealth of features in players/rippers from much smaller developers.
After you download and install the rather large (10MB+) executable file, register online and launch the program (14MB installed), it scans your PC for MP3 and WMA files. It only took a few minutes to find and list all 1,500 or so on our test PC.
Then it pretty much takes over your desktop. Functions such as volume, track advance and setup/config appear in a thin panel on the right side of your screen. Icons that can be sorted by album, artist, folder, genre, play list and title are in a larger panel on the left. Both panels "float" off the screen when not in use, although the left panel can be locked in place — it goes to the background if you click on any open application. To access either panel in "float mode," drag your cursor to the extreme right or left of the screen. A small arrow appears, which you click on to reveal the panel.
It's when you start digging into the handsome black-and-grey interface that you realize what the BeoPlayer lacks in its three key areas:
An equalizer or presets
The ability to play M3Us and other Internet streaming audio
A play list window that lets you drag and drop tracks from your PC's file folders for easy creation of play lists
The ability to recognize or play CD-Rs or CD-RWs burned with MP3 or WMAs
A radio feature
Skins, visualizations and plug-ins
Standard CD playback:
Track information. Even though the BP is CCDB2-enabled for ripping, it only shows the current track number when playing CDs
Fast-forward or fast-reverse with tracks
WMA ripper: The ability to:
Rip multiple selected tracks - instead, you can only rip an entire CD or one track at a time
Encode CD tracks as MP3s
Other quirks abound. For example, when you click on the up arrow for next track, it moves down the list - and vice versa. To fast-forward or fast-reverse through an MP3 or WMA track, you first click the Info button on the right panel. Then your entire screen is taken over to show track/file info. At the bottom is a slider bar, which you use to move backwards or forward in the track - why not just put FF and FR buttons in the right panel? In the panel itself, you can only jump from track to track or folder to folder, based on your current sort criteria (genre, artist, etc.).
And each time you insert a new CD, BeoPlayer has to scan it, which takes a minute or more - again, with no CCDB support until you rip it. The Help guide also takes over most of your desktop - you can't resize it and have to close it to reclaim your screen.
Ripping standard audio CDs tracks to WMA is a very slow process: we tried the same album on BP and on MusicMatch; ripping it took about five times longer with BP. (Windows Media Player is BP's "engine," supporting rates of 64 to 192kbps, no VBR.)
We could go on, but why? By now you should have the impression the BeoPlayer is a product that - unlike B&O's excellent hardware - needs lots of fine-tuning. At this point, one of the only things we liked is that it doesn't install itself as your default audio player!
BeoPlayer acts like an advanced CD-changer that lets you play, pause, stop, change tracks or select another play list. Furthermore, it also offers you access to track information about the artist, title, genre, album name, duration and data size.
BeoPlayer will automatically sort your Internet music alphabetically by genre, artist, song title and album title - and lets you create your own play list of favourites from the different groups of tracks. If you have already sorted your tracks in folders, these are listed as well.
Created: 11th January 2007
Modified: 3rd April 2007
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