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Print 29 comment(s) - last by militaryguy.. on Dec 8 at 3:19 PM

Creative's new ZEN serves up 32GB of storage space

Apple may know how to tickle the fancy of portable audio enthusiasts around the world with innovative features (i.e., the iPod touch), but manufacturers like SanDisk and Creative continue to lead the way in value and storage capacity.

In late October, DailyTech provided details on SanDisk's yet-to-be-officially-announced 32GB Sansa View. The tiny player can playback audio/video and features a 2.4" QVGA screen. Pricing for the player is a relatively reasonable $329.99 which rings up $70 less than an iPod touch.

Creative, not one to be left out of a capacity war, is following suit with the official unveil of its 32GB ZEN. The ZEN features a 2.5" display, an FM radio turner, a Secure Digital expansion slot for those who crave even more storage space and includes support for a multitude of file formats (WMV9, MJPEG, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4/5, XviD, MP3, WMA, Audible 2, 3, 4 and non-protected AAC).

Creative says that the built-in lithium-ion battery is good for 5 hours of video playback or up to 30 hours of audio playback.

The new 32GB Creative ZEN will be priced at around $380 USD in Singapore. The player is priced at $329.99 for the United States and is currently available for pre-order on Creative's U.S. website.



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and ....
By HighWing on 12/3/2007 12:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
like all the other gadget geeks out there I think this looks like a great iPod alternative. However, I am some what annoyed at the mention of such devices without any mention of any kind of US release. To me it seems like these companies all want to SAY they have a device that is better than the iPod, yet they don't want to actually release it in the USA for fear it's not going to sell. In which case to me, this might as well just be vaporware until any kind of real release date is set. I mean come on, this is just like teasing the public here and the public AND press will only take so much before they just stop caring.




RE: and ....
By Lonyo on 12/3/2007 1:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
It might be because most of these companies are not US based, and decide to cater to their home markets first, rather than the US (Creative to Singapore, Cowon to Korea etc).

The press release is also from asia.creative.com, so it's hardly like they are teasing you, it's the technology websites using Asian press releases on primarily US based websites who are doing the teasing.


RE: and ....
By Omega215D on 12/3/2007 1:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for the 16GB Zen to appear in stores other than the Creative site since many times those players sell at lower prices else where.

At B&H Photo the 8GB Zen has dropped to $150 and I already have an 8GB SD card to increase it to 16GB.


RE: and ....
By TimTheEnchanter25 on 12/3/2007 4:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I already have an 8GB SD card to increase it to 16GB.


I just got my 8gb Zen yesterday and so far I like it a lot. I didn't have too much time to play with things yet though.

But, you should know that creative handles the SD cards poorly. SanDisk seamlessly groups the internal and SD memory together. But, Creative keeps them completly seperate for some reason. To play songs off your SD card, you have to select it from the main menu, as far as I know you can't add those songs to a playlist on the internal memory.

I'm really hoping that a future firmware update can / will fix this issue. I was close to getting a SanDisk View because of this, but several reviews pointed out that they don't sound as good as the Zen. I can live with 8gb for now.


RE: and ....
By Omega215D on 12/4/2007 1:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
I know, I had the 8GB version for a week before I "gifted" it when a family member's ipod broke, so I never upgraded the firmware. I figured I could wait it out with my D2 or steal back my Sony A818...

I get picky with function over form. =P


RE: and ....
By militaryguy on 12/8/2007 3:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have a 30gb Zen Vision:M. I have had it for well over a year and I have discovered it is far superior to any apple media player. My Zen is far tougher and has better features than the ipod. I have seen ipods break on a run while, as a member of the military, my Zen has been smashed against rocks and trees but still works. Creative doesn't NEED to make media players to compete with Apple. They already make the best sound cards in the world.


Competition drives the market onwards
By psychobriggsy on 12/3/2007 1:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully feature-wise these devices will encourage Apple to up the specs on their iPods. Maybe there'll be a 32GB Touch soon, and a 16GB nano to accompany it. Sadly they'll never add support for any of those useful video formats. Grrrr!

Although the Touch is rather more sexy and has a far bigger screen than these devices, so a direct comparison isn't fair. Doesn't Apple's 160GB Classic offer similar battery life with a similar sized screen in a similar volume? Yeah, hard drive, not flash ...




RE: Competition drives the market onwards
By Omega215D on 12/3/2007 1:55:55 PM , Rating: 3
hopefully Apple will also include a better sound chip for the iPod as well if they're going to update it.


By MGSsancho on 12/3/2007 5:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
I would mod you up but I already posted


RE: Competition drives the market onwards
By Oregonian2 on 12/3/2007 2:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hopefully feature-wise these devices will encourage Apple to up the specs on their iPods. Maybe there'll be a 32GB Touch soon,


Would be great if they did, but seems unlikely. Apple seems to only change to new models in the Sept/Oct sort of time frame. Like auto dealers they only come out with yearly models even if the competition spins quicker. The 16G max is what is keeping me from buying a touch, if they'd up it to 32G, I'd be pushed immediately off the fence to get one. In the meanwhile we'll see how long it takes this unit to arrive in the US.


By littlebitstrouds on 12/3/2007 2:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah same thing for me... 16bg just isn't big enough for me considering I get away from my computer for a week at a time but use my ipod almost non-stop for my traveling. I can easily go through 16gb worth of film/music in a week.


Vista related...
By Screwballl on 12/3/2007 1:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
So are there any known Vista related driver problems much like there have been for other Creative products???




RE: Vista related...
By ZipSpeed on 12/3/2007 2:07:28 PM , Rating: 3
I've been using Vista 64-bit with my 8 GB Zen without any problems.


RE: Vista related...
By tdawg on 12/3/2007 4:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
I use my zen vision:w perfectly fine with vista u-64bit. No need for software install for me--just plug it in and drag media to the device.


RE: Vista related...
By MGSsancho on 12/3/2007 5:23:28 PM , Rating: 2
same here. been using it with out drivers since January. you need the software for win2k3 server systems and non SP2 XP machines. works fine on linux with gnomand or something like that. works fine on OSX too.

oh and the ZEN is an mtp device http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protoc...
notice apple products are the only ones who do not comply


RE: Vista related...
By tdawg on 12/3/2007 7:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
You got yours working on OSX? I tried plugging the zen vision:w into my friends macbook to transfer some files and it was flat out unrecognized.


329.99
By Suomynona on 12/3/2007 1:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's up on Creative's website (http://us.creative.com/products/product.asp?catego... for $329.99, and they're taking preorders.




RE: 329.99
By Suomynona on 12/3/2007 1:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
OK, apparently my link got butchered, but it's there. http://www.creative.com/products/mp3/zen/ might work.


So I made up my mind...
By ZaethDekar on 12/3/2007 5:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
"Or 10 episodes of Scrubs!"

I want to get one. Haha.

That is the first time I have ever seen a company post scrubs as a use for the video player.




By martinrichards23 on 12/4/2007 6:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
Scrubs is actually a new unit of measurement of disk space, as in;

byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, episode-of-scrubs, terabyte etc...


Mini review of the 8GB version
By oTAL on 12/7/2007 12:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Pros:
*Screen is awesome (video looks great).
*Music quality is great.
*A lot more flexible in format files than most competition.
*Plenty of small features (FM radio p.e.).
*SD card reader than can handle 8GB cards.
*Reads DivX (kind of).

Cons:
*It's not as intuitive as Apple products but anyone reading this will handle it fine after 30 minutes.
*Does not read high resolution video files (they are converted automatically and it's a simple - although lengthy - process to add videos).
*SD card reader is poorly implemented. You can't do anything else when using the SD card. If you're listening to music it stops as you access the SD and if your listening to music on the SD you can't even browse the phone without without shutting down the music. How about some flexibility with the external media? You can't copy files between external and internal storage. It SUCKS.

Bottom line: Great player but needs improvements. A little rough around the edges but I have some hopes that firmware updates will make it better. I believe this is the best buy out there for a small media player iPod Nano style.




OGG
By whickywhickyjim on 12/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: OGG
By Omega215D on 12/3/2007 1:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe there will be a RockBox for the Zen soon that'll allow this. So for now you may have to stick with IRiver. I don't think my Cowon/ iAudio D2 supports OGG


RE: OGG
By gradoman on 12/3/2007 2:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
the Cowon D2 plays Ogg format. Doesn't play MP4 though.


RE: OGG
By Screwballl on 12/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: OGG
By MGSsancho on 12/3/2007 5:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
i used to think the same way with my zen, but at 50mb a song, it was far more economical to use 128Kb on my zen and keep flac for my pc. besides unless you can hear the difference in your ear buds or headphones, I recommend going with something smaller. only way i can hear the difference between 128 and 320wma/mp3 is hooking it up to an external amp and speakers. Oh keep this in mind, the Zen has the best DAC for a portable device.


RE: OGG
By PurdueRy on 12/4/2007 1:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
That's a fairly big overstatement. It takes a eight minute song to reach approx 50MB. I would say typical for the standard music fare out there currently is 3-4 minutes max. These are about 20-25MB. This means you can fit 356 or so songs on a 8BG player. Or 1422 approximately on this player. That is more than enough for those of us who don't use a mp3 player as a complete music library storage device.


RE: OGG
By shamgar03 on 12/3/2007 4:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah thats what I always look at to. I doesn't make sense. OGG is free, as in beer. There are no strings attached. You can even find code that decodes ogg online. How hard can it be to put it in?


RE: OGG
By TomZ on 12/3/2007 4:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
The reality is that, looking at the market as a whole, the percentage of customers using OGG or FLAC is tiny. Therefore, the device manufacturer may not be able to make a business case to invest the engineering resources to add that feature if it doesn't help the product sell better in the market.

Think about "Average Joe" - he doesn't know or care about OGG or FLAC. He just gets whatever kind of files come from iTunes, what kind of files get saved by default when he rips a CD, or what kind of files he gets when he trades files with his buddy. I'm not arguing for mediocrity and ignorance; I'm just saying this is 90% of the market which is what product managers think about.


"DailyTech is the best kept secret on the Internet." -- Larry Barber

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