Note: This review addresses version 3.32 of the
Well, it’s sure not as pretty as Tunebite
Platinum, but the plain-Jane Sound Taxi Platinum does basically
the same thing, albeit with less formats. Using the same
dubbing-a-copy-while-the-original-audio-file-plays DMCA “loophole”,
Sound Taxi frees up your iTunes or other download service
collection for transfer to any player or location you choose.
Sound Taxi Platinum is half the price of Tunebite Platinum, but
there’s also a more expensive Sound Taxi Pro version that’s faster,
and a Pro+Video version that’s the same price as its “rival.” As a
matter of fact, the price isn’t the only thing that’s similar.
Check out both Web sites and you might come to the conclusion that
you’re looking at the same program with different faces.
Installing Sound Taxi takes a while. It pauses for a minute or
two while it installs eight sound dubbing drivers (just like
Tunebite–look in Device Manager under Sound, video and game
controllers). It also installs a rudimentary CD-ripping utility.
Performance of the Platinum version I tested was very slow (hence
the faster and video versions). The demo converts only the first 30
seconds of each song, and nags you after every file is converted.
As far as formats go, Sound Taxi Platinum creates MP3, WAV, and ACC
and in my limited testing read 16- and 32-bit WAV files up to 96kHz
(not 24-bit), MP3, WMA, AAC, and M4A. It failed to read Flac, Apple
lossless, APE and VQF formats. The latter two will be of little
lament to most users.
I might have better things to say about the Pro Version–if it
were available for download. As it stands I’d opt for the faster,
more effective, and more versatile Tunebite even though it’s twice
as expensive. Speaking of cost, you might want to do a Web search
of free DRM removal before you plunk down cash on anything.
–Jon L. Jacobi