I already did a bit of a review of the Winamp plugin version of Predixis MusicMagic Mixer but I’ve since had a chance to play with the full standalone version and it’s definitely worth a post of its own.
Predixis is an extremely smart program, and the substance of this review comes down to: Get it now. If you’re tired of trying to set up playlists in large MP3 collections, hearing a slow song during a loud playlist, or if you’re just really lazy, this is a must-have. Predixis goes through your music collection and when you choose a song, it will literally create a playlist for you immediately based on that song. The parameters are all customizable, and you can make it as narrow or wide a focus as you want.
A few days ago I downloaded the standalone, plugged in the registration key, and away we went. It installed very quickly with no fuss. Next it analyzed my music collection. This took some time, about 20 minutes or so. Once that was done, it took me to a website that explained how everything worked. It’s actually quite easy to use, and doesn’t have much of a learning curve for maximizing its features. Leaving default features on it’s still an amazingly nifty program, but playing with the options really unleashes it.
For testing’s sake, I decided to see how much better the standalone was over the plugin version. First of all, I chose a song: Let Me Go, by 3 Doors Down. I clicked the New Mix button, and immediately I had a mix of songs that included Nickelback, Switchfoot, Rob Thomas, Lifehouse, Staind, and others. I was pretty happy with that, and could have just clicked Play, which launched my Winamp and plugged in the playlist. However, we’re here to test the limits, so I opened up the options and had some fun.
I could set the size of the mix using number of tracks, time period, or megabytes. There are slider bars for artist style and variety, which allow you to really narrow down or open up the mix itself. You can restrict duplicate artists in the mix if you’d rather hear only one song by each artist, or restrict the mix to a specific genre.
Predixis offers several types of shuffle for the mix as well. One of them smooths out the mix so songs flow, and one of them stacks a soft song behind a hard one. Two other shuffle types are also available.
Once I was done setting up the options for the mix, I went back and requested a new mix off the 3 Doors Down song. It filled my requests and option choices perfectly. I did see one song I didn’t much care for, so I simply right-clicked it and chose “Less like this”. That song was pulled out and replaced with something else. I loved the resulting mix, so I asked it to Morph Playlist, and it regenerated a mix using the same criteria, but repeating none of the songs used in the original.
I think one of the best things about this program is its ability to not only set up playlists for what you already have, but also make suggestions for songs and artists you don’t have yet. I’ve found quite a bit of new music I enjoy based on the suggestions Predixis made.
The program has two versions. The Premium version is what I have, and it’s got all the fun things I described above plus more. It’s $29.99 and worth every penny. You can use the free version if you’d rather, with a few limitations. If you have Winamp 5, you already have the plugin version and you can take a look at its capability. it’s not nearly as powerful, but it’ll give you an idea.
All in all, this program is one of the best pieces of software I’ve picked up all year. I give it 10 out of 10.