One of the best things about the Dreamcast was it's being powered/compatible with Windows CE. This has given rise to a culture of emulators, movie players, games and other items made in living rooms by gamers, for gamers to enjoy on their DC. I am here to review 2 such products that do the same thing: Turn your Dreamcast into an mp3 player that you can listen to through your stereo!
The first is MP3 DC, a retail product, and the second is DC MP3 by Strat76, which is a burnable version found on the web for free.
First I'll review the retail product, MP3 DC, by Pelican:
This product is utter garbage. It does in fact play Mp3's on your DC, however, it has zero special features like shuffle, which would come in handy with a 8 hour CD! Also, it's interface is clunky as hell. Even worse, you have to create playlists, meaning you have to manually add each mp3 you want to hear each time you want to listen to any of them(you can play each song individually by choosing it....one song at a time!) This would make it easy to burn sveral different music genres onto one disc, and then make a playlist for whichevr you desire, but it's pretty much a pain in the ass.
Add on the $15.00 price tag and you have a product that isn't worth buying at all. You hear me? DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!! You have been warned.
(In fairness to this product, anybody who has a Dreamcast who does NOT have a CDburner and has absolutely NO DESIRE to get a CD burner, would be well advised to get this product. At the moment, any mp3 playing stereo component will run at minimum $150, so $15.00 is a LOT less. Unfortunately, you have to have a CD burner to burn mp3's so DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!)
Now let's get to the 2nd Dreamcast mp3 player, DC MP3 by Strat76, a great, great person(I have no idea who he is but he's cool in my book!).
He has created an mp3 player that isn't as easy to get, but is infinitely better. The interface is clunky, but not clunky AS HELL. And the simple fact that you can use shuffle makes this one worth the effort required to get it. One of the differences between the 2 players is that in the retail player, the player is loaded in the DC RAM so that you load a CD with mp3's on it and it plays them. With Strat76's version, you burn the player AND the mp3's on the same disc, so they are embedded. So for each batch of mp3's you want to hear with your DC, you have to burn them on a disc with the player. Not only that, but Strat 76's version requires the use of the Utopia Boot disc. So you could easily make a seperate player for each of your music genres and shuffle at will. Different than choosing each song manually.
It takes a little bit of tinkering, but once you burn both discs and have Strat76's DC MP3 loaded up, you'll find that it is the best, cheapest mp3 solution (providing you own a DC)you will find ANYWHERE.
Click the link below to head to DC Emulation.com, where you can download Strat76's mp3 player and learn about all sorts of cool things you can do with your Sega Dreamcast:
MP3 DC (retail DC MP3 player) 3.0 out of 10.00
DC MP3 (non retail) 9.00 out of 10.00