Ashampoo Music Studio 3
Note: This review addresses v3.50 of the software.
Ashampoo (I'd say the A is for audio if the company didn't also market security and other types of software) Music Studio 3 is a sweet little suite of audio tools that let you edit, record, convert files, burn audio discs, repair some types of broken files, and even design and print labels and jewel case inserts. The interface takes a step-by-step approach which makes the program both easy to learn and use. In my hands-on, the program performed admirably and suits the needs of the average user just fine.
As a semi-professional musician, though, I find myself feeling a bit constricted. There's no FX and--more important to most users--no noise reduction that can be applied in the editing section. The only processing you can perform is normalization, i.e., setting all file volumes to an arbitrary level. Also, while the program loaded and converted WMA, OGG, FLAC, and 16-bit wave files easily, I missed support for iTunes .mp4 and AAC files as well as the 24-bit and 32-bit wave files produced by my high-end DAW software. Most users will only possibly care about the iTunes file types.
Despite my nitpicking, Ashampoo Music Studio is a nice program that is more than adequate for the average user. Everything it does, it does well. It even burns to Blu-ray, if you're one of the lucky few to own a Blu-ray burner. Take a look, and take a listen.
--Jon L. Jacobi