Review: Play, mix, record, and jam with Disco XT

Mix, make, and play music with this unusual all-in-one audio app.

Disco XT is an audio playback application for Windows. It's not a media player, though it can play, mix, and manage your music collection. It's not a recording tool, though it can record and export high-quality audio; nor is it a DJ console, though with five decks, mixing, effects, sampling, and more, it's ready for both the dance floor and studio. Disco XT is a bit of each, but unlike tools that try to be too many things at once, it succeeds. Disco XT is free to try, though the Demo stops audio playback every 30 minutes and limits recording to 15 minutes with no Export and limited Save options. But despite these and other limitations in the Demo, we had no trouble trying Disco XT's features.

Whether you click "Buy" or Continue with Disco XT's free Demo, we recommend clicking the Setup wizard's "Guide" button to open the Web-based manual. Setup also offered to import songs and playlists from iTunes or Add Initial Audio Files, but we clicked "Skip" since we like to see what a music library tool does before we turn our tunes loose! Disco XT's Speaker, Headphone, and Microphone setup tools let us select default devices from a menu of our system's sound cards and audio channels. The program's layout proved surprisingly attractive and manageable for this type of software; or so it did after we'd dismissed the first of a regularly appearing series of nag screens. The top tier of the default tab, Samples, features both player controls and five mixing decks, each with individual playlists and controls, including a small but useful turntable control for scratching and sampling. But that's just the program's front door: Feature-packed consoles abound in Disco XT. Clicking P List, for example, opened a sophisticated player, while Mixer features dual pro-style consoles with sliders, cueing controls, and more. Decks CD offers dual digital decks, and Lib View opened an impressive library manager.

This all-in-one audio tool has a lot to recommend. If you're looking for something better than the typical freeware audio player, definitely download Disco XT's Demo!

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Disco XT 7.1.5.

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