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January 29, 2003

One Strike Out and Then A Hit

A few days ago we got to talking about music (mp3) players in #lockergnome. On the recommendation of Mouse I downloaded dBpowerAMP and also decided to give dBpower Converter a try. Both applications are free.

After using dBpowerAMP for few minutes of I already made up my mind that I probably wouldn't like it. Figuring it might just be an indifference to the change in layout and features from my favorite MP3 Player, MusicMatch Jukebox Plus, I thought I should at least use it for a week to see if it was that. However after just two days of use I've decided I must uninstall it.

dBpowerAMP is a worthless piece of shit. Yes, I dislike it that much!

First off, it does a horrible job of organizing your music collection. It's also painful to create play lists as it's clumsy interface is very unintuitive and not as well designed as MusicMatch's or WinAMPs. The software also has a nasty habit of changing your stereo levels by-itself every time it starts up and even sometimes when it switches songs. I think it came close to nearly blowing my amp and speakers a couple times. Who needs that kind of aggravation!

The only positive thing I could say about it is that it has the ability to cross fade songs. However it does it automatically and doesn't allow you to manually control where you want it to start fading into the next song as most DJs would prefer.

Now on the other hand dBpower Converter does seem like a neat tool and has its uses despite a few annoyances. It features Volume Normalization, ID Tag preservation & Editing, and the ability to Convert files to and from Wav right from Windows Explorer. Very useful.

But it also has Explorer Audio Info Pop-ups which display the ID Tag and other useful information on any audio file in explorer. This sounds good and actually looks neat the first time you use it but can be potentially problematic. For it to get this information it must execute the file and does this every time you simply hover over or click on an audio file in explorer! I think this is a flawed implementation as I never like the idea of any program executing any file without my explicit direction. If you just downloaded an audio file and want to virus/trojan scan it before running it, you cant with dBpower Converter's Explorer Audio Info Pop-ups enabled.

I also suspect that one might be able to apply the same techniques that were used in a vulnerability discovered in WinAMP to create a buffer overrun condition related to handling of ID3v2 information in MP3 files. In that case the overrun occurs when MP3 files with 'Artist' ID3v2 tags of excessive length are opened via the Media Library interface. Here it seems like you might be able to apply the same type of attack and simply by hovering your mouse over an audio file create a buffer over run. Not good.

At least you have the ability to disable the Explorer Audio Info Pop-ups in dBpower Converter's configuration program, and I would highly recommend doing this for the reasons I outlined.

dBpowerAMP star.gif (1 our of 5 Stars)
dBpower Converter star.gifstar.gifstar.gif (3 out of 5 Stars)

Posted in Software & Downloads by usrbingeek at 2003-01-29 14:09 ET (GMT-5) | 0 Comments | Permalink



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