Accessibility
http://www.gadgetspeak.com/gadget/article.rhtm/751/492438/KWORLD_SnapMusic_Studio_715.html
email articleprinter

Music Conversion 

As vinyl and tape recordings fade into obscuring, I decided to look for a method of safeguarding my out-dated music collection using modern technology.
KWorld SnapMusic Studio 175

My music collection spreads over vinyl, tapes, compact disks and MP3 tracks with the latter consisting of duplicates from the compact disks.  Recently I have been looking at a way of converting the first two categories into MP3 tracks that can then be burned on to optical media.  The product under test is SnapMusic Studio 715 from KWORLD.

Opening the box reveals a small SnapMusic Studio 715 device; various cables; a couple of CDs; and a multi-language Quick Start Guide which leads the user through the process of linking your computer and music source by using the SnapMusic device.  Coloured black over white, the SnapMusic Studio 715 unit measures 110 x 64 x 20mm with connection sockets on the front for USB plus SPDIF and audio output while the rear houses SPDIF, audio and microphone input connections.  As standard you are supplied with a USB cable; double-headed RCA audio cable; plus an adapter that is meant to allow you to use the headphone jack of whatever is your audio source.  Unfortunately my Hi-Fi system featured a 3cm jack socket rather than the 1.5cm jack supported by the SnapMusic adapter.  A quick search through my assortment of Hi-Fi leads produced an extension adapter that allowed me to make the necessary connection and also gave me greater freedom in positioning of the various elements by adding length to the connection.

Bucking the normal trend, you need to attach the SnapMusic Studio device to the computer and allow it to be recognised prior to installing the supplied software.  As mentioned earlier you get a couple of CDs holding the SnapMusic software and a copy of Roxio Easy Media Creator 9.05LE.  You should install the SnapMusic software first which allows you to define the type of connection being used; the file format to be applied with a choice of WAV, MP3 or WMA; and designate the folder for storing any recordings.  One point that you should be aware of is that the SnapMusic software grabs control of your audio record and playback settings.  While this is necessary for any recordings using the device, the same is not true for playback and you might feel the need to switch back to the playback device used previously.

The second installation, which consists of the Roxio software, does tend to stretch the patience due to its long drawn procedure.  At one point I though the installation had stalled but it was just taking its time before moving on to the next stage.  Once this installation has been completed you will need to restart the computer.

Both applications allow you to use the SnapMusic Studio device to capture and convert content into a designated format.  SnapMusic operates from a floating control panel.  This allows you to make adjustments to various settings with buttons to select the appropriate connection type plus start and stop recordings.  By default files recording by SnapMusic will be named using the current date and time.   

The Roxio software has far greater functionality including the ability to record a complete LP or tape and then split the recording into individual tracks that can have appropriate tags attached.  The splitting feature is not present in the SnapMusic software nor was I able to transfer a recording using this software into Easy Media Creator for splitting. Generally I felt that the quality of recording was slightly superior when using the SnapMusic offering and there was a definite difference in file size with the advantage going to SnapMusic

However the quality achieved by both software methods shown some degradation with regards to the original recoding.   This product is more suited for use with developing podcasts rather than converting and burning your vinyl or tape collection to CD.  Available for £45.51, SnapMusic Studio 715 requires a Pentium III 500MHz processor with 256MB RAM running Windows XP (SP2) or Vista - a driver is included for those running Vista.

http://www.kworld.com.tw/product_overview.aspx?P_ID=36

Follow us on Twitter!!

add to del.icio.us Digg this review
StumbleUpon
Reddit

Reviews by related category

Have your say!

What's your experience of this product? Agree or disagree, or just have a question? Use the box below and let everyone know.

[ Add your comment | Watch this articleNew! ]

Rating:

Comment by signum505, Mar 2, 2012 17:15

Marti,

This is what you need to do:

1. Place the SNAP Music product and respective packaging back in the box.
2. Take the box back to Maplins and demand a refund. I got one because I argued it did not work with Windows 7.
3. Go Online and search for AUDACITY freeware. Download this and install it.
You will also need to install the LAME plugin for MP3, and i think there is another plugin for iTunes. Scratch around for comments and tutorials if you need help.
4. Go to Richer Sounds and purchase a "Phono Stage" if you dont already have one.

This was ultimately what I did.
I then spent the next 6 months cutting my whole vinyl collection into mp3, and have spent the last year mixing those mp3's to amazing effect.

A bit of effort involved but you will be glad you put it in, in the end.

Good luck!
Rating:

Comment by Marti, Mar 2, 2012 5:40

I have just installed SnapMusic Studio 715 but like previous members I cannot get any sound and I've tried everything I can think of.
I was assured by the salesperson that it was compatible with my system Windows 7 (64). No idea what to do now.
Rating:

Comment by bluesunday, Dec 15, 2010 22:18

Unfortunately I bought a SnapMusic Studio 715 from Maplin, so the reason I have now read Signum505's helpful comments is because I have had similar problems.  However I found Signum505's experience really useful so here goes.  Firstly, you load the drivers for the device, but the SnapMusic software is not on the driver disk, this is hopeless, why are Maplin selling this? the instructions are dire, so Signum helped enormously by pointing me to the kworld site where I downloaded the software and managed to fathom out how to install it, eventually.

Still didn't work properly, so I managed to fathom out, eventually that the Roxio DVD software already installed on my HP laptop conflicted with the Roxio Easy Media Creator in the pack, so uninstalling the much bigger DVD program meant that i could run the Creator software (what sort of crud is Roxio though where it conflicts with its own branded products??) I've probably lost something useful on the DVD side there, but don't know just yet.

Anyway, here's a bit that might help Signum, and anyone else, the box in the pack is not a pre amp, so it seems, so unless you run your turntable through an amp the signal won't carry enough ooomph, I have an elderly NAD amp, and I am using the Out connectors on the tape side and it seems to work, you could use the earpiece jack, helpfully not supplied, but then you can't hear to cue the records.

Yes I know the (pretty limited) instructions seem to indicate a turntable can be connected in the picture bits, but remember now, this is a bit of kit where they don't bother to include all of the software, the instructions don't tell you where to get the software that isn't included, or that they haven't bothered to put it in, in the firstplace, and indeed they use another program that conflicts with its own stablemates that may be on your machine already, they don't even tell you how to use that either, so you can't really expect too much, come on what were you thinking eh, eh??.

I can't recommend this product as it should be plug and play, it's not 1982, at the moment I haven't recorded anything because I've lost the will to live, when I get some heart back I'll see what it can do, but I can't say I'm mega hopeful.  The packaging looks good though, all seems very plausible, if only they had given as much thought to what was inside the box, but what would be the point, by the time you've worked out that it is a right dog's dinner they've trousered your money.  Maplin shouldn't be selling this, they really shouldn't!
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 14:03

In-depth review PART1
I bought this product from Maplins yesterday and it was supposed to be a replacement for the ION AUDIO POWERPLAY LP (which was very easy to use but offered terrible sound quality).
I already own a traditional Technics turntable so bought this thinking I could just plug the turntable in and start to record - that's what it says in the manual.

I have a brand new laptop with WINDOWS 7. This should be easy, I thought.
When I unpacked the box there were 2 CD ROMs. The manual said I should hook up the peripherals, then Studio 715 software, then Roxio.

I connected my turntable to AUDIO IN on the device, and the USB back to my PC so now I have a simple all round connection.

One CD had the drivers, the other was Roxio. It transpired that neither of these had the actual Studio 715 installation software, so before I could do anything I had to go on the web to source it. This is a bit rubbish, I think. I found it w/o too much effort and installed it. By now I had already installed the drivers not realising that it was ONLY the drivers I could install from the first CD as the installation software was just not there. How could it be missing? No idea, but it definitely is.

I put a record on. It was “Follow Me” by Jam and Spoon. The familiar sight of my turntable silently revolving with the glowing pitch control LEDs gave me a warm feeling.
I couldn’t help feel just a little excited as it has been about 10 years since I last heard it this legendary tune.
I heard the tinny noise of the stylus going over the vinyl and I hit the record button, and it seemed to be recording. But there is no equalizer (or sound monitor graphics) so I couldn’t tell if it was actually recording anything.

I located the WAV file in My Music directory, double clicked it and iTunes sprang up. The track was playing but still there was no sound.
I played a different MP3 in iTunes and again there was no sound. I had lost the sound on my laptop.
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 14:03

In-depth review PART 2
Went to the manual on the CD 1 and followed the instructions to set UBS Device as my default sound device. Set it as default, went back to iTunes and played my old MP3. I could hear it now. Phew, that was close. So I selected my new WAV file just recorded…. No sound.

I checked to ensure I had the correct (AUDIO IN) light selected on the floating control panel. Looked ok.
Checked the sound level to ensure it’s not muted. Looked ok. Pushed it right to the top just to be sure.
Went into settings and saw that ‘Recording Level’ was set to Zero. THAT’s the baby, I thought, so jacked it all the way up.

“Follow Me” was still playing (it’s an epic tune) so I hit record again. The excitement started creeping once more but I tempered it with caution.
Just as well because once again, the resultant WAV file was as silent as a funeral procession. Possibly even more silent than a snowy alpine forest at midnight in the dead of winter. I tried an old MP3 for a sound check and it played ok. Studio 715 was definitely pressing silent WAV files.

I rechecked the settings. There aren’t many settings to check. I tried changing the output type to WMV. I noticed that there isn’t an MP3 setting. The manual says I should be able to press in MP3, but maybe that’s Roxio that does that. Anyway, I tried the recording process again as the vinyl continued to revolve.

Now I had a silent WMV to go with my collection of silent WAVs. If silent track collections become collectors’ items in the future, I’ll be minted. Perhaps I’ll put them in the loft with my crates of vinyl which it seems I’m no closer to getting anything out of.
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 14:02

In-depth review PART 3
“Patience” I thought as I considered what else could be wrong. Perhaps my turntable wasn’t outputting any sound.
So I thought about how I could use my iPod to soundtest it. I routed through a box of old cables and found an RCA>headphone jack cable. I connected the iPod to the AUDIO IN and started playing an MP3. Restarted the recording, jacked up the volume on the iPod, waited a few seconds, stopped the recording, opened the resultant WAV file and…. NO SOUND.

I rummaged in my box of bits again and found a cable with headphone jacks on each end.
Plugged one end into the iPod, one into the MIC IN socket on the Snapmusic Studio 715 device. Checked my sound levels again: all ok. Hit record.

On playback now I have a file with sound in it. HALLELUJAH.
It sounded good quality as well, so this was promising.

I have narrowed down the problem to the AUDIO IN socket which doesn’t seem to be working. I wondered if there was a problem with the drivers.
I uninstalled the software, then re-installed it and rebooted the laptop. Tried again but the situation remained unchanged.

So I needed to get the turntable connected to the devices MIC IN socket. I used the RCA to female headphone socket cable they supplied connected to my own cable (with headphone jacks on each end) to connect the turntable to the MIC IN socket. It is funny how the manual doesn’t tell you that you’ll need to do any of this.

I restarted my vinyl and hit record once more.  
On playback I now have a sound file which has a distant cry of the track I am trying to record. The volume level is so unbelievably low that it’s barely audible. But it IS there.
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 13:59

PART4
Remembering back in the day when I used the turntable, it was running through an AMP. But the amp is no more, and it occurs that I now need to get a new amp to put in the middle of the turntable and Snapmusic device just to boost the incoming signal to something I can hear properly (and maybe even enjoy). It was obviously too much to expect Snapmusic to put a warning on their manual, as I suspect all classic turntables will have low output levels.


The following day I took the Snapmusic bundle into work and installed it there on an XP platform. I also took the installation software I downloaded myself.
After some more faffing around with silent files I got a track which recorded with the iPod plugged into the AUDIO IN socket.
So it seems the AUDIO IN socket works ok on XP, but not in WINDOWS 7.
Also noticed that MP3 now appears in the choice of output types.

To summarize, these are the major issues:

1. Snapmusic didn’t supply installation software in the box
2. the AUDIO IN ports do not work (WINDOWS 7)
3. MP3 is not an option for output (WINDOWS7)
4. no graphic display (equalizer) for monitoring sound levels (leading to lots of frustrating trial and error)


WINDOWS 7 users BEWARE – this is not a viable product, is tedious in deployment, and has little or no troubleshooting tips in the manual.
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 13:58

PART4
Remembering back in the day when I used the turntable, it was running through an AMP. But the amp is no more, and it occurs that I now need to get a new amp to put in the middle of the turntable and Snapmusic device just to boost the incoming signal to something I can hear properly (and maybe even enjoy). It was obviously too much to expect Snapmusic to put a warning on their manual, as I suspect all classic turntables will have low output levels.


The following day I took the Snapmusic bundle into work and installed it there on an XP platform. I also took the installation software I downloaded myself.
After some more faffing around with silent files I got a track which recorded with the iPod plugged into the AUDIO IN socket.
So it seems the AUDIO IN socket works ok on XP, but not in WINDOWS 7.
Also noticed that MP3 now appears in the choice of output types.

To summarize, these are the major issues:

1. Snapmusic didn’t supply installation software in the box
2. the AUDIO IN ports do not work (WINDOWS 7)
3. MP3 is not an option for output (WINDOWS7)
4. no graphic display (equalizer) for monitoring sound levels (leading to lots of frustrating trial and error)


WINDOWS 7 users BEWARE – this is not a viable product, is tedious in deployment, and has little or no troubleshooting tips in the manual.
Rating:

Comment by signum505, Dec 7, 2010 13:56

In-depth review PART 2
“Patience” I thought as I considered what else could be wrong. Perhaps my turntable wasn’t outputting any sound.
So I thought about how I could use my iPod to soundtest it. I routed through a box of old cables and found an RCA>headphone jack cable. I connected the iPod to the AUDIO IN and started playing an MP3. Restarted the recording, jacked up the volume on the iPod, waited a few seconds, stopped the recording, opened the resultant WAV file and…. NO SOUND.

I rummaged in my box of bits again and found a cable with headphone jacks on each end.
Plugged one end into the iPod, one into the MIC IN socket on the Snapmusic Studio 715 device. Checked my sound levels again: all ok. Hit record.

On playback now I have a file with sound in it. HALLELUJAH.
It sounded good quality as well, so this was promising.

I have narrowed down the problem to the AUDIO IN socket which doesn’t seem to be working. I wondered if there was a problem with the drivers.
I uninstalled the software, then re-installed it and rebooted the laptop. Tried again but the situation remained unchanged.

So I needed to get the turntable connected to the devices MIC IN socket. I used the RCA to female headphone socket cable they supplied connected to my own cable (with headphone jacks on each end) to connect the turntable to the MIC IN socket. It is funny how the manual doesn’t tell you that you’ll need to do any of this.

I restarted my vinyl and hit record once more.  
On playback I now have a sound file which has a distant cry of the track I am trying to record. The volume level is so unbelievably low that it’s barely audible. But it IS there.

Remembering back in the day when I used the turntable, it was running through an AMP. But the amp is no more, and it occurs that I now need to get a new amp to put in the middle of the turntable and Snapmusic device just to boost the incoming signal to something I can hear properly (and maybe even enjoy). It was obviously too much to expect Snapmusic to put a warning on their manual, as I suspect all classic turntables will have low output levels.


The following day I took the Snapmusic bundle into work and installed it there on an XP platform. I also took the installation software I downloaded myself.
After some more faffing around with silent files I got a track which recorded with the iPod plugged into the AUDIO IN socket.
So it seems the AUDIO IN socket works ok on XP, but not in WINDOWS 7.
Also noticed that MP3 now appears in the choice of output types.

To summarize, these are the major issues:

1. Snapmusic didn’t supply installation software in the box
2. the AUDIO IN ports do not work (WINDOWS 7)
3. MP3 is not an option for output (WINDOWS7)
4. no graphic display (equalizer) for monitoring sound levels (leading to lots of frustrating trial and error)


WINDOWS 7 users BEWARE – this is not a viable product, is tedious in deployment, and has little or no troubleshooting tips in the manual.
Rating:

Comment by Royston, Nov 24, 2010 7:10

In reply to John James I have recently installed "Snapmusic" on Windows XP system recently upgraded from SP2 to SP3 and hardware is recognised.After installation of driver, icon appears in toolbar every time device is plugged into USB socket.After experimenting with sound levels etc Snapmusic produces very good digital copies of audio tapes which can then transfered to Windows Media player
Rating:

Comment by John James, Oct 9, 2010 6:12

I have recently bought "SnapMusic" but can't get my computer to recognise the hardware. I have Windows XP (SP3)on my computer. On the box it says that this technology is only usable with SP2. Do I need to download SP2 in order to be compatible, or is SP3 merely an upgraded version of SP2?
Rating:

Comment by wexcombe, Apr 1, 2010 17:22

Sn/apMusic715. After installation all sound from PC stops. Any ideas please.
Rating:

Comment by Teri 1957, Dec 31, 2009 7:29

Can this usb audio recorder be used for recording audio streaming into your pc?
(stereo mix)
Rating:

Comment by mfereday, Apr 8, 2008 13:48

Since writing this review KWORld has changed its website link to http://www.kworlduk.com/products/ad715/
Rating:

Comment by JudeVFR400, Apr 8, 2008 12:02

Thanks for this, really useful.

Add Comment

Member of GadgetSpeak™?Not a member?

required but never displayed
 If you're asking a question - join GadgetSpeak first. Then you'll automatically receive an email when someone replies!
Rating for article:

Are you human?

Access code : 2270

 

Smiley Rating

Features2
Performance2
Value2
Ease of use2
Overall2

If you like this article then why not link to it from your site!

Use a text link, or download an image

 

Our current Free Prizedraw!!

Why join GadgetSpeak?

Well - there are lots of reasons to join, depending on you and your interests :

  • Member prize-draws
  • Real reviews - by real people
  • Membership is free
  • Email summary of the weeks reviews
  • Share your product feedback with others
  • Keep in touch with all that's new in gadgets
  • Full of great ideas as the Christmas deadline looms!

Convinced? Come along and join in the fun!

close

Invite friends and family to GadgetSpeak

Why not invite friends or family to join in the fun?

Help us make GadgetSpeak the place to come for free and impartial reviews of the latest gadgets!

Start inviting your friends along!