Ashampoo Music Studio 5 is a capable collection of tools which makes it easy to build, manage and share your music collection.

There are modules to rip your CDs, or burn audio files to disc. You can edit your files, check or edit audio tags, or convert music between various formats (MP3, OGG, WAV, FLAC, WMA, Opus). An Organizer renames or moves files based on their tags, a "Video to Music" function extracts and cuts video soundtracks, and there's an audio recorder, a normalisation tool, a cover art and inlay designer, and more.

These functions are often more complete than you'd expect. The CD ripper doesn't just grab all the files from a disc and dump then in a folder, for instance. You can now choose exactly which tracks to import, selectively edit key tags, define quality settings (sample rate, bitrate, channels), and pick your preferred file naming scheme (artist-title, track artist-title, track artist-title year, or some other custom arrangement of your own).

Ashampoo Music Studio doesn't take much effort to use, either. A straightforward interface organises its features into eight categories, and several of the modules deliver maximum power for the very minimum of effort. Point the "Analyze Files" option at your Music folder, say, and it'll scan for incorrect file extensions, missing tags and more, before fixing them all with a single click.

Even the lesser functions don't disappoint. The audio editor can't compete with a specialist tool, but it still displays the waveform of your chosen track, can trim sections as required, allows you to insert, mix or crossfade new files, tweak volume, apply fades and more.

Ashampoo Music Studio 5 extends the previous edition in various ways. As we've seen, the new "Analyze Files" option finds and fixes common problems. The audio ripper now includes cover art support. Disc copying is now customisable (you can omit tracks), there's an enhanced "Organise" function and tag editing, the program now supports the Opus format, and it's all presented in a revamped and simplified interface.

Please note, there is one potential gotcha: Windows XP is no longer supported.

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It's not always a significant improvement on the best-of-breed freeware, but Ashampoo Music Studio 5 does provide a great deal of music management functionality in a straightforward and easy-to-use package.