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Nero Music2Go Review: A Software Tool for Transferring Music to Your DSi

Nero Music2Go converts music CDs and audio files for the Nintendo DSi

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Music2GO Start Screen

Music2GO Main Screen

Image © Nero, Inc. 2010

If you've got a Nintendo DSi, then you'll probably already know that it can be used as an MP3 player by using its built-in SD card slot. With this in mind, Nero have released their Music2Go software program that is specifically geared towards converting your music collection to work with the DSi.

Pros:

  • Technophobe friendly software tool for converting your music collection
  • Built-in CD Ripper uses GraceNote for automatic music file tagging
  • Inexpensive solution for working with your music library and the DSi

Cons:

  • Doesn't convert DRM protected files
  • Installer program contains irrelevant Ask Toolbar browser addon.

Getting Started

Requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows 7, XP (SP 2+), Vista 32-bit (SP1+) ¦ 64-bit (32-bit mode)
  • Minimum Processor: 1 GHz (2Ghz minimum for Windows Vista and higher)
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM (512 MB minimum for Windows Vista and higher)
  • Hard drive space: 150Mb minimum
  • Network connection: LAN/WAN
  • CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray drive for audio CD ripping
  • SD Card compatible with Nintendo DSi / SD card reader or slot in PC

Installing: The installation of Nero Music2Go is a simple and straightforward process using the customizable installer package. However, one thing to look out for is the inclusion of the Ask Toolbar browser addon -- this optional extra is installed by default unless you uncheck it. Your browser's home page and default search provider will also be changed to Ask.com too unless you uncheck these options. Even though the Ask.com toolbar can be a useful browser addon, you may find this part of the installation process an annoyance and deem the addon as irrelevant.

Interface: Music2Go's interface is intuitive and easy to use. There are 3 main options to click on, which are: Rip Audio CD, Transcode Files, and Manage SD Card. There's also a useful help icon situated at the bottom of the screen to gain access to the help file.

User-Manual: The user-manual which can be accessed directly from the help icon provides a good amount of information on each of Music2GO's functions. There's also a PDF version that you can read via the Windows Start orb (Start > All Programs > Nero).

Ripping a CD

Music2GO Audio CD Ripping

Music2GO Audio CD Ripping

Image © Nero, Inc. 2010

If you've got a selection of audio CDs that you'd like to convert and play on the DSi, then Music2GO's CD ripper is an indispensable tool. Not only does it provide a simple way to rip your CDs into the right audio format, but also uses GraceNote -- this is a CD database service used to automatically tag music files. This is a great time saving feature that will save you having to manually type in the metadata for each file. There are 3 CD ripping quality settings which are: small file size, medium quality, and high quality. During testing, we found that the medium quality setting gave a good balance between file size and audio quality.

Transcoding Files

In order to play your music on the Nintendo DSi, you'll need to convert it to the correct audio format; simply dragging and dropping any type of audio file onto a spare SD card isn't enough. The Nintendo DSi only plays AAC files and so other types have to be transcoded. Nero Music2GO can transcode the following formats:

Music2GO can't convert DRM protected files, but supports a good selection of popular formats. You can queue up files from different sources in Music2GO before beginning the audio conversion process. There's no easy way to select multiple files in one go and so you'll need to use the common Windows keyboard shortcuts such as CTRL+A, holding down the CTRL and clicking files, etc. There are 3 transcoding quality settings to choose from which are: small file size, medium quality, and high quality. These all produce reasonable results although it would be nice to be able to have a custom mode to set your own preferred encoding bitrate. There's also a simple metadata editor built into Music2GO that you can use for editing the different tags. However, if you've got a lot of files to edit, then a mass-editing software program is best to use.

Managing Your SD Card

Music2GO Transcoding

Music2GO Transcoding Screen

Image © Nero, Inc. 2010

Even though you can use Windows Explorer to manage the contents of your SD card, Music2GO gives you a simple and convenient environment. You can use this part of the program to: create/delete folders; rename files/folders, and also copy the contents of your SD card to another device like your hard drive or other connected hardware devices.

Conclusion

Nero Music2GO offers the user a simple and inexpensive way to get their music collection onto SD card in a format that the Nintendo DSi can use. This is an ideal software program for the technophobe in particular who might find the idea of transcoding files and CD ripping a daunting prospect. It also serves as a useful time-saving tool for intermediate and advance users who want to quickly transcode multiple files in different formats and transfer to SD card for their DSi. Even though the installation of Music2GO contains the unnecessary Ask toolbar browser addon, Nero's DSi music tool is certainly worth keeping in your digital music toolbox if you regularly use your DSi for music.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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