Creative Nomad Jukebox 3

MP3 Player

The new Nomad Jukebox 3 looks like a Discman and plays music - that's where the similarities end. Creative Labs puts the Jukebox 3's capabilities quite succinctly: "[it's] like having a 250-plus disc CD changer with you all the time".

The $999 Jukebox 3 follows on from Creative's 2000 Nomad Jukebox release in much the same vein, adding a few notable features. For starters, there's the 1394 FireWire connection for faster data transfer (in addition to USB), a lithium ion rechargeable battery and a bay for a second battery, a scrolling wheel for better navigation, and increased antishock buffer (16MB SDRAM) to seven minutes.

Now for the wow factor: its 20GB can hold around 5000 MP3s encoded at 128Kbps, and with two batteries (you'll need to purchase the second) the Jukebox 3 will give you around 22 hours of continuous listening time.

Getting music into the player is simple. The bundled app Creative PlayCenter 3 rips CDs, records and encodes audio in MP3, WMA and WAV format, and transfers files between PC and player. Standard optical and analog line-in jacks allow direct source recording and MP3 encoding by the player on the fly. Line-in recording from a stereo was a snap.

Also bundled is Audio Stream Recorder (ASR), which lets you record streaming audio and transfer it to the Jukebox. But don't get too excited - to take advantage of ASR, your system will need one of the following Creative cards: SoundBlaster Live!, SoundBlaster Audigy or SoundBlaster Extigy. You'll also be able to automate recording - ASR will connect your PC to the Net at a specified time for recording. And while this is clever, it wasn't clear which time zone the software is set for, something I was a bit concerned about considering the US-biased nature of the streaming sites listed.

Extending portable audio technology further, the Jukebox 3 incorporates Smart Volume Management, an EAX audio technology, which allows users to adjust the dynamic range of music to suit the listening environment, such as loud traffic or a quiet room. What I consider less useful is EAX Environment Effects, which transforms tracks to virtual settings such as a bathroom, cathedral, and theatre. One EAX feature I quite like is Time Scaling - a handy tool to work out lyrics - which remarkably slows down tracks without distortion.

Creative has set up the Jukebox 3 for a number of after-market purchases - the player includes four-channel output for surround-sound speakers, and the optional FM Wired Remote can be connected as a remote control, microphone and FM tuner. And for the fashion conscious, there are a variety of interchangeable faceplates.

My one small criticism with the docu-mentation is that the supplied PDF is on the light side - while this may satisfy some users, others will be left with some questions unanswered.

Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 *****

Worth the hefty price tag, the capabilities of Nomad Jukebox 3 go far beyond portable audio technology as we know it.

Price: $999.

Phone: (02) 9666 6100.


Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Molly Furzer

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?