Date: July 25th, 2003
Article by: Tristan E. Kay (News Poster & Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner & Head Editor)
Product was donated by: Hercules
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Included with the card is the Hercules Media Station, which acts as a movie/music player. The media station is great because its smaller and faster than programs like winamp and windows media player. Aside from its excellent movie and sound capabilities the media station will also display images such as jpegs.
Cyberlink's PowerDVD XP 4.0, is part of the software suite which was quite a nice addition as PowerDVD is one of if not the best DVD players on the market today. PowerDVD will run any DVD along with VCDs and various movie files like mpegs.
Hercules' volume control program works much like the default volume control included with windows Unlike the windows volume control, each audio setting has a balance bar, so that the user can set the audio primarily to one side or the other, i.e. the user can direct all sound to the left speakers or the right speakers.
The volume control is broken into two sections, the second is the control of recording devices like microphones and/or video cameras. This is great for those who do a lot of recording; this volume menu allows them to control the volume of their recording devices before they record, instead of having to increase the volume of the file after it's recorded like in windows sound recorder.
The advanced settings for the volume control, allow the user to set the amount of speakers he/she is using. There are volume control settings for each speaker in a surround sound set. Environmental settings such as echo's and such are available along with hot keys for various volume settings.
Once installed, the Muse shows up in device manager as a Game Surround Muse 5.1. Before I disabled my onboard soundcard, the Muse and my AC'97 conflicted quite a bit. To the point where the drivers for the Muse wouldn't even install properly. So when installing the card, especially for those who have onboard sound, it is crucial to remove or disable your old soundcard.