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Creative Introduces Xmod - the First External Device that Improves Music Playback Quality

Discussion in 'News' started by malware, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. malware New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Creative, today announced that it has invented the Creative Xmod, a device based upon its X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio platform that improves music playback quality for MP3, WMA, iTunes or AAC songs to beyond the original CD quality. The Creative Xmod is a small device just about the size of a candy bar. It connects between stereo speakers or headphones and either a PC, Mac, iPod, ZEN or any MP3 player, and it dramatically improves the listening experience by upconverting the music during playback to the X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity standard - very high-quality 24-bit surround audio. The Creative Xmod enhances the low and high frequencies while improving audio dynamics for cleaner, richer sound that surpasses the original audio CD.

    Without requiring to install any software, it takes just seconds to connect to a PC or Mac, allowing users to instantly improve the playback quality of their music to the X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity experience. For connecting iPod, ZEN or any MP3 players to the Creative Xmod, an optional AC power adaptor is required.

    "There are more than 100 million people who listen to MP3, WMA or AAC music on their PCs, Macs or iPod or ZEN players, but the quality of these compressed music are highly compromised. The Creative Xmod enables them to listen to their music with audio that sounds even better than CDs." said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "Now with Creative Xmod, all your music is instantly upconverted to Xtreme Fidelity standard in realtime through a simple and compact device!"

    There is no need to re-purchase music in a new format to experience X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity. Just connecting the Creative Xmod enables Mac users to experience award-winning X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio for the first time, and PC users can now enjoy it for the first time on the notebook. The Creative Xmod does not require cumbersome or time-consuming conversion of files - it literally connects in seconds to play back existing music files in X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity.

    X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity provides two important audio functions, X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D, which improve and enhance music listening experiences. The X-Fi Crystalizer upconverts MP3 music by analyzing and identifying which parts of the audio stream have been truncated or damaged during compression. It intelligently and selectively restores the highs and lows such as the snare drums, basses, cymbals crashes and guitar plucking that are damaged during the compression of MP3s.

    Ideal for movies or an immersive audio experience, X-Fi CMSS-3D creates virtual surround sound through speakers or headphones. It expands audio for superior headphone listening so music completely surrounds the listener like a multi-channel speaker system instead of sounding like it is stuck between the headphones. X-Fi CMSS-3D also uses advanced techniques to place specific audio elements, such as the voice of a movie character, in the virtual center channel while ambiance is played through virtual surround channels.

    Pricing and Availability
    The Creative Xmod will be available in October at a suggested retail price of US$79.99. For more information about the Creative Xmod and X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, please visit http://www.creative.com/.

    Source: Creative
     
  2. spectre440 New Member

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    yeah, but what about the stuff lost in conversion from CD to MP3/WMA/whatever?

    i hardly think it can recover that...

    nice idea though... i'd love to read a detailed review on one of these... see exactly what it can or can not do...
     
  3. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    They must be doing some weird harmonic effects and dyamnic range tricks to make you *think* it sounds better. Probably improves the "impression" of qualty, but the description is totally marketing crap, if not outright lies.
     
  4. creidiki

    creidiki New Member

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    Hah. Hahahahahahahahahahhaaaa... oh god, thanks guys, I needed a good laugh.

    Yeah. Lets add information WE DONT HAVE to the music to make it "better".

    You know how you convert 16-bit audio to 24-bit? Fill the blanks with 0s. I'm sure thats going to make it sound a whole lot better...
     
  5. Jimmy 2004

    Jimmy 2004 New Member

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    I'm guessing it just extrapolates the sound... monitors what is being played and fills in the gaps with what it thinks the music should sound like. In reality it can't actually get past the quality of whatever it has been encoded in but it can be made to sound like it does.
     
  6. XooM New Member

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    a glorified headphone amp at best. Any affect it has will be totally unnoticeable unless you've got 100+ dollar cans, but at that point, you probably know your stuff and probably already have a headphone amp too, rendering it even more useless.
     
  7. trog100 New Member

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    i bet they sell plenty of em thow.. he he he

    trog
     
  8. Helmi

    Helmi New Member

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    QfT.

    Interesting to see what they believe people will spend money on.

    Then again, they probably will...
     
  9. Jimmy 2004

    Jimmy 2004 New Member

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    I'm guessing this technology will be integrated into the MP3 (or MP5!) players of the future.
     
  10. Specsaver New Member

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    I have regular X-Fi and like Crystallizer effect. I do not apply it all the time, but with some compressed mp3 like e.g. all Metallica records it sounds much better. I leave it at about 60% usually.
     
  11. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    I wonder if creative are aware that improving the quality of the original audio CD is basically impossible as it would of been done in a recording studio with all manner of high grade equipment then recorded in .WAV format. lolz, another creative bs story :D
     
  12. kurtnelle New Member

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    X-FI Rocks

    Hello All nay sayers. Being the proud owner of an X-FI for months now I must say that 1) the technology does improve the sound quality beyond the original cd quality! 2) The 3D sound technology is utterly fantistic. 3) you don't need 100+ "cans" to listen, as it will make even cheep 10 cans sound better (I know because I had those too, yes I was poor but now I have Sennheisers!) 4) Sound information is not like regular data. When sound is converted from Digital to Analogue it usually comes out as a square wave of sorts, and 16 bit sound is more square than 24 bit sound. So technology designed to "smooth out the wave" is entirly possible. If the XMod is anything like the X-FI card then I know it will rock!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  13. Helmi

    Helmi New Member

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    That would imply you actually did listen to the high-quality studio recordings (before they were mastered to CD) in order to be able to compare.
    While I'm not denying the fact that it may sound better, it's just that, to you it sounds better.
    It's all about subjective perception.
    If you are contend with that, fine.
    However, be aware it might not sound the way the artists intended it to sound.
    And that is what High Fidelity (HiFi) is about.

    Also, I do have to admit, having experienced several studio recordings myself, mastering the samples to CD immediately means a loss of a lot of audio quality!
    I couldn't believe it myself at first but compared to the HQ recordings, a CD sounds really, really "flat".

    While it may be possible to "smooth it out", you cannot restore information that is no longer present.
    It simply does not work.
    You can try to guess it and based on the algorithm you use your try can be more or less successful but you will never be able to restore it 100%.
     
  14. Jimmy 2004

    Jimmy 2004 New Member

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    I don't want to start an argument, and I'm not denying that the quality may appear to sound better but basic knowledge of physics and maths quite simply does not allow the quality of the original to be exceeded in such a way... the only way would be to re-record the whole thing using better equipment.
     
  15. kurtnelle New Member

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    Original Studio Quality

    Granted their isn't anything that can restore the stuido quailty, all i'm saying is that it sounds better than the original cd quality. In the end it's all about the end user's perception of the music, so if the technology makes it "appear" to sound better then why not. Also it's not like it 100+ dollars!
     

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