Nuggets: Creative's MP3 keyboard

Get Creative with keyboard MP3 add-on

The Blasterkey is a 49-note MIDI keyboard that plugs directly into the company's Sound Blaster Live! audio card. It comes bundled with a suite of interactive software that lets you download, play and create tunes, and anything else MP3-ish.

Its built-in MP3 authoring software means you can download new content, loops, software upgrades and what Creative calls "fun-mixes" from a dedicated Web site.

The software suite includes a music tutor mode to get you going, an intelligent chord mode to provide automatic chord accompaniment to melodies played, and a fun mode that lets you introduce stuff like drum grooves and loops.

To help you get your musical creations off the ground there's a song teaching mode to help you with new songs and there's even instructions on how to encode them in MP3.

Other features of this versatile little keyboard accessory include one-touch MP3 recording, connecting and downloading music and reprogrammable buttons for changing instruments and rhythms.

It's out in the States for $99 (£60) this spring. Go straight to the Web site if you can't wait for it to hit UK shops.

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