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Whilst this has now been discontinued in favor of the MX model the Zen is a nice little player - does everything you'd expect from a colour-screen DAP with a few extras like, memory card, video and photo support tacked on.
I bought on of these because the hard drive DAP market was pretty stagnant apart from a few overpriced competitors to the iPod Classic.
That being said I found 16GB does me fine - it easily holds a hundred albums. It's nice to have a player that syncs via Windows explorer too - unfortunately doing so leaves me without the album art - the remedy being "Creative Centrale" which takes much longer to transfer music.
I have no complaints above the sound quality. I love the inclusion of an EQ as I like a little extra bass to my music. There's also a preamp function for ReplayGain tags which prevents sound distortion (something shamefully missing from iPods).
I haven't really found myself using many of the extra features. The microphone I've used on the rare occasion for making little revision audiobooks - the quality is okay - fine for voice clips. There's also the video playback which really depends on making a decent encode.
Photos can be sluggish to display if not resized I've found. There's also an organizer for tasks and contacts which I've never used since it requires Creative Sync Manager. The calender does come in handy sometimes though.
In terms of durability the Zen is a scratch magnet - after a few months my screen was literally covered in little surface scratches. Though the player itself has withstood accidental drops onto concrete and whatnot.
Design-wise it's really slim, it feels pretty sold. You really have to squeeze the device to make the screen flex. On the right-hand side it has the common mini-USB connector, 3.5mm jack and a hold/power slider-switch.
The memory-card goes in up top and whilst it's a great idea any music you put on there doesn't show up in your main library - but rather under the memory card menu. You also can't navigate the player whilst anything off the memory card is playing.
I think that about wraps things up. The only thing I've missed is battery life - which is pretty decent - I haven't got any exact numbers but on a full charge it usually lasts me through the week with the walks home.
I bought this to replace my old 2GB mp3 player and have been very happy with the purchase. I've had it a few months and use it for background whilst at work as well as active listening.
The user interface is very easy to navigate and songs can be listed by artist, album, genre, etc. The shortcut keys are easy to get used to - it does appear to be designed primarily for right handed use though - I am left handed and did not have any problems operating it with my right hand though I guess this varies by individual.
The only issue I found with interface/navigation was that although normal use allows you to 'backtrack' one level at a time from a song that is playing (e.g. 'Wonderful Tonight' > Best Of album > Eric Clapton), this does not seem to be possible when the player is first switched on and it defaults to the last played song, you then need to go back to the 'Music' menu.
It's capable of a good sound quality - the Creative earphones that come with it are "ok" but I found that a pair of 'good' headphones (rather than in-ear ones) really transformed the sound and in particular made the low end much more distinct and would suggest for audio enthusiasts that a better pair of headphones will really make a difference. However the default Creative earphones that come with it are of a reasonable quality for 'in-ear' type and I am now using them on my laptop for occasional listening instead. The EQ settings on the player allow for one of several pre-defined groups (e.g. rock, classical) as well as individual selection of levels.
It can also be used to store and display photos - I have not done this in depth but based on testing with a few photos the image quality was clear.
The only downside I found is that it did 'crash' a couple of times and would not switch on, however this was easy to remedy by hitting the reset button (worked fine after this with all songs and settings etc intact on the player).
As well as using with Microsoft Windows Media Player, I also have a slightly 'minority' setup in that I use Ubuntu Linux for all of my personal use and the player is recognised and can transfer files to and from it easily in Rhythmbox.
After many years of service from a previous Creative Zen Touch 20GB which was (is) still going strong, I decided to get something I could watch video on too. My selection criteria were 1. small, 2. support last.fm scrobbling (yes, I'm addicted to it), 3. support BBC iPlayer downloads, 4. a radio and 5. good battery life (use it on planes a lot). The Creative Zen 16Gb was about £80 and streets ahead of the competition on paper so I opted for it.
I sort of debated the Zen X-fi version with wi-fi but decided this is for use while I'm on the move so I dont need wi-fi. 16Gb is more than enough for me - I'm only carrying the tunes I want, I've got a 500Gb disk at home to keep everything else on.
I've had it for about 4 months now, so this review reflects this use including lots of commuting and some long haul flights.
On first opening the box I was delighted by how small and sleek it looked ! Got it charged up and got some tunes on it which was nice and easy, just connect to the PC and haul them over then started using it. Sound is excellent and the controls are easy to get used to. I was worried my fingers would be a bit big for them but in use have found no problems.
The headphones supplied are not great, but I've got another set anyway which I use with it. It is a bit cheap of Creative not providing a case for it as the screen must be prone to scratching, but I picked up a leather one for a few pence on ebay next day (something like £2.99 including postage from Hong Kong !). So I'm all kitted out and ready for action.
Listening on the bus to work or on a plane is good. I'm getting up to around 24hrs battery life if I lock the screen when playing. If you dont lock the screen its a lot less. Anyway, its enough to do a flight to Australia on one charge. The radio has an autoscan and picks up FM stations, this can be a bit hit or miss but the quality is fine. I've recently started watching lots of BBC iPlayer stuff on it and although the screen is small, the quality is superb and its OK for watching a 30min / 1 hr show on a bus / plane. I'd agree with the 5hr battery life when playing video.
It can store photos but I've not made use of this much, although the quality of display is great and very bright and sharp.
One -ve feature is that it doesnt come with a charger ... you need to charge from your PC via a USB cable (and the one supplied is very short). One charge does me for a week or more. It theoretically charges in a couple of hours, but I find I get best results if I leave it plugged in overnight. There is an optional charger available if you aren't near a PC. There isnt an option to run it from a mains adaptor either, so its always battery you need to use. It doesnt have a replaceable battery but by the time it cant hold a charge there will probably be some amszing new one that makes this look like a brick.
The software that comes with it is easy to use and intuitive.
I scrobble my music plays to last.fm with Zenses (thats not a Creative software, its a free 3rd party thing) and that works fine.
I use it in the car, playing through my car radio via a line-in ... it needs to be cranked right up (Zen and car stereo) in this situation but its perfectly acceptable.
It does have a memory card slot which I've not used yet. From other reviews the access to the tunes / vids on this seems to be a bit restricted, but as I've not tried this bit (16Gb is a lot) I cant make any useful comments on it. [If I get round to doing this I might update the review].
All in all, I love this thing and have had no problems with it and not a single regret about buying it. Its a real beauty and I'd recommend it to anyone. If you want a good value mp3 player that you can also watch BBC iplayer downloads on and dont want to spend a fortune to be one of the ipod flock, this could be the pup for you.
The Creative Zen - somewhat less popular than an Apple ipod - is, I think, a sleek, attractive MP3. 16GB is a decent size memory - double an 8GB but not double the price. It also has the added bonus of a memory card slot for extra memory if you wish it. The display is large and clear, with good features of being able to change the background colour, or uploading a photo for it. Not only does it play music, you can listen to the radio, watch films, set an alarm, fill in your calendar, look at your photos and record sound with astonishing clarity. Creating playlists can be done on the player whilst on t he move, or slightly more easily on the computer. The 'shortcut' button can be set to your preference - for example to play your favourite album when pressed. The 'DJ' feature has several options including playing your least heard songs, or your most heard. A 'lock' button on the side means you can have it in your pocket without fear of switching songs. Movies can be put on the Zen, and if it is not the correct file size, the software that comes with your player will convert it for you (although this is time consuming if it is a feature length film).
Down sides are that it cannot be used on a Mac, there are several buttons - perhaps more than necessary if compared to an ipod - but easy to get the hang of. Battery life is not that long if you do more than just leave it to play, and can only be charged by computer, which is a pain if you do not go on often, although you can buy a plug charger for extra. I found that the headphones break near the plug after a few months with everyday usage - not that sturdy. Also, if in a noisy environment the volume doesn't go as loud as I would like, but perhaps that is a good feature to stop damaging my ears! There is a common problem that Zens freeze, but this can be easily rectified often by pressing the reset button, and the Creative website also has a useful help section.
When I first received this mp3, it was as a gift. I was over the moon! So much memory, and it worked really well, so it seemed at first. I was wrong. My Creative Zen had to be restarted many times at first, and I even had to delete the whole library and start again. Also, the battery life is something to be considered when buying this product. You will find that even after charging it for what seems like forever, the life of the mp3 will go and will go very quickly! If you are only to use this mp3 player for a few hours, or just a day and can charge after 6 hours of use (or just don't change the songs), then you'll be fine. Aside from this the outer case is very durable and lasts well. Creative Zen's - so I have been told and from my own experience - do have a tendancy to be slightly slow at times, even if you have a lot of memory left.
As being a fan of the Apple Ipod Classics for many years, I thought it would be a good time for me to take an interest in finding an Mp3 player that could hold enough music but be small enough to fit in my pocket. The size of this device is a huge positive for me as its small enough to fit nicely in your pocket while it doesn't get in the way when walking, the way the developers made the Mp3 player as a small as a common credit card sends fans of small music players into ecstasy.
As the appearance goes its a nice simple look but in my opinion after buying this device, you have to look at the "Creative Zen X-FI 16gb" with it's stunning elegant look, as it just makes you feel like you should of just gone further down into your pocket and purchased that model. Too me it makes you feel you've just bought the cheaper unrefined model with a few features that have been took out. In a postive light it has a 2.5" screen which shows a nice amount of vivid bright colours and really pleases the eye. As it has an animated menu list its great to look at but you can find it could of been improve to higher standard. Another negative point on this device is the plastic construction again this makes customers feel like their have bought the cheap low-priced model and I don't know why the deveolpers have made the Zen feel and look like that.
To me I'd rather spend that extra amount of money on a device that has a nice smooth sound to it as it really helps me enjoy the music that little bit more. My first impression of the sound didn't really blow me away but after a few days it certainly started to grow on me. After a week or so my opinion on the sound changed I really thought the developers added a nice feature to it. As the bass boost feature and the EQ adjuster feature on the device really made me feel like the sound was getting better each time I turned the dam thing on, but after a few weeks in my opinion it wasn't getting anyway as it really made me feel the developers could of spent a little more time of the sound quality as most customers in this market are always looking for new devices with a nice sound quality. 6/10 in the sound department
((Transferring the Music))
The Creative Zen 16gb Model behaves as a portable media player should, it's basically a simple hard drive that plays its contents of music and videos onto your Laptop or Mac. As it has the feature of just plug in and play it really gives customers something to talk about, as their can also transfer files onto their Laptop or Mac without any trouble. As this really does help it get a upper hand on the Apple Ipods.
With a micro SD slot on top of the Creative Zen it gives customers more of a choice to expand the memory, for me that was the selling point. The mirco SD card is put in a separate list than the music on the device's internal memory and this is a really pain espically if your a big music fan and want to fill up more than 16gbs of music. which again the Creative Zen lets if self down again.
To me this was a huge postive as it was around the £100.00 a great deal for what other Ipods were going for at the time of the buy.
((The Zen problems))
After a month or two I have found that the device keeps frezzing and crashing which is a mjor problem as I know this could really hit the way the Mp3 sells on the market but if I knew problem before I purchased the device I would of gone somewhere else.
Its an all around good model but certainly isn't the one to replace your Apple Ipod, just keep waiting for a small high powered large memory based Mp3 player or Ipod to come your way. With so many problems it just isn't the Mp3 player for me. Anyway for now its time to take the dog for a walk, which in this department its miles better than the Apple Ipod Classic as I don't feel the device slamming against my leg when on the walk.
Thank you for reading my first review, any opinions on the review just leave a comment much appreciated.
CREATIVE ZEN PMP (Portable Media Player)
Storage Capacity: 16GB
Titled: Play with me - Zen, I'll play sweet music to you
Manufacturer > Creative < Creative Worldwide network is called LABS > The company in UK is known as Creative UK even though it is headed under the Europe labs which established itself in 1993.
Networks include - America labs- Asia labs- Europe labs.
-Product > CREATIVES ZEN V Plus MP3 Portable Media Player 16GB
Stylish Black design - Available RRP date: 02/2008
- > Start < - Creative Zen PMP (Portable Media Player)
The V plus series has a much more noted curvy design finish than the micro series a year ago. component packages whether it's a standard screen model, or whether it is HD quality or touch-screen quality. The OLED screen is extremely well manufactured, the only bother is the glare while in bright environments. - It failed in the 'glare test' The OLED did not feature and therefore made it impossible to work in sun-light environments. - It is a major flaw however, in the UK it is well suited, not for the LA babes I'm afraid. sheer gloss and glamour which is very user friendly; The Creative brand has a Nokia feel for me even after the more noted curvier design that emulates the Apple iPod; not surprising really as both companies originated in the East and Chinese market before setting their sights on the Western digital market.
The 2.5" X 2.5" squared OLED screen is of very high quality as in the function stakes. The MP3 Player only is compatible with JPEG customary images. That you can load off from a digital camera, the PC, or from the internet itself. It is the first ever Creative product that has flash technology inbuilt in the player capabilities. The only downside is the fact you have to download the Zen software from the website to activate the PMP before using the digital media files, most files are traceable and can be converted but the AVI files tend to require more conversions and can be off putting for the less technical consumer. The audio quality is crystal clear, of course depending on the size of file the MP3 file as the higher the size of the file the better the quality.
PLEASE NOTE > NO - MT - Mobile Technology functions are available with this product. ** No MP4 converting or encoding is available**. For any songs that have been downloaded onto your PC from paid music sites (Protected by copyright) will be able to be played by this MP3 Player - iTunes subscribers can use this PMP to play their audio files, eventually for less than the current 0.79p per track; worth checking out their price list in the near future.
- 16GB of music storage -
The storage space is more than sufficient to play over 20000 MP3 audio tracks. The transfer rates are fast due to the fast USB transfer fast - track Windows music browser software. What is a noticeable difference is that it is not an ipod. There are not so many features nor as stylish and slick. Naturally, there is no iTune extravaganza, with freebies and membership options that Apples ipod do include. In my opinion there is only one iPod MP3 player. No-one can emulate it. If, you're an iPod fanatic this MP3 player could put your nose out of joint; it carries a slightly clumsy portable player look and feel than Apples' iPod marketing dream machine. The display is of good quality but now looks a little outdated; amazing really as it is only 10 months old. Just shows how quickly this market turns over digital products and designs.
- The V Plus verses the Apples iPod -
The timing for the Zen launch co-incided with the earlier ipod nano launch in the year (2007). I'm no Creative fan as they seem to miss out on the boat regards to style and nano technology; however, they may have re-thought out the 16GB V Plus Zen as the features do out weigh apples iPod features. The fact that there is an organizer now available on the V Plus as well as an alarm clock - (which may not be a welcome add-on) - Creatives vision certainly for the 16GB has taken on the problems of the brick-type 8GB which is more clumsier and heavier than the iPod. The V Plus has made big leaps in my opinion in this regard. Taking on all the successes of iPod's generally and have installed in into the 16GB V Plus series.
- Size matters -
Weighing in at 44g - It is just that Zen V Plus is not part of the nano technology revolution. 2007 is the year where nano technology popped over to the UK
Available online from www.dabs.com - 189.00 GBP - For even great offers checkout a cash-back offer before buying this product as you can save up to 30.00 GBP - Worth checking out online for these deals.
- My verdict -
I'm going to give this PMP a 8/10 overall. It really is a great improvement from Creative compared to the 'M' series PMP. Creative do the storage capacity and features very well on this PMP; however still lacks in navigation and design, as I'm not too sure whether a joystick navigation method is the way forward. Their always seem to have a few bleeps that occur over time; hopefully they have been ironed out. This is worth the price at present, however like all storage media PMP, they will shoot down in price in the near future.
I hope you have found this review helpful.
DooYoo - Review
The Creative Zen is incredible value given its low retail price at this mintue in time and probably will fall further down in price this year. As I have had this device since July I have had no problems with it at all, apart from having to purchased more earphones. For the price of £100(back in July) I was so pleased when I took it home, especially with the video quality. The battery life for me has been average and really does last, but with my lack of intelligence and consideration leaving the Zen playing for most of the day it still had a little life left for me to listen to at work. As an Ipod fan I couldn't believe how many features are presented on the device and with the low price tag that was set at that time it looked a must buy. With a mirco SD slot on top of the Creative Zen it gives customers more of a choice to expand the mermory, for me that was the selling point and off a popped to the shop. Obvisiously on all products they is going to be a downside and this falls straight into that category. The mirco SD card is put in a separate list than the music on the device's interal memory and this is a really pain espically if your a big music fan and want to fill up more than 16gbs of music. Another is the platic interface for me it wasn't a problem but for my girl friend she hated the feal and look of the device. The device has only been manufactured in the colour back(haven't seen any other colours around) and for me its no a problem but with peoples' different tastes then Creative Zen could of been more creative and given different choices of colours for customers.
Back to the positives, with the 2.5" screen its absolutely beautiful and with the vivid birght colors it really does please the eye. With animated menu list it was great to look at as I was so use too looking at the Ipods interface menu.
Thank you so much for reading my first review much appreciated.
Was in the market for a new MP3 and i choose a Creative Zen based on previous experience with Creative products and becuase i can`t stand the ipods. Firstly it is tiny- about the size of my credit card, however on first impressions it is built solidly.
The video playback and screen is very clear however i feel the size of the screen could have been a bit bigger. The headphones provided are of ok quality and do the trick. You also get a data cable. My favourite feature of the Zen is the "d-pad"- i find navigating the menus very easy, however i do have small fingers. The memory is expandable and the player also has a FM radio. I have dropped the player a few times and although scratched it is still in perfect working condition.
The only downside is that the charger is not included- you can charge up your Zen via the data cable using your computer however you will need to purchase a charger at extra cost. There are alot of accessories for the Zen floating about so it`s a case of shopping around. For the price of a Zen you really can`t go wrong and it's a great alternative to an ipod.
The Creative Zen is seen as an iPod competitor, but I don't think it will overtake the iPod any time soon.
The player is very nice and the price is quite low compared to iPods. It can player music and videos as well as show photos. Everything is great quality.
It has very good battery life, for me it is brilliant for this. iPods have batteries that don't last very long, but the battery in the Zen seems to last forever.
It isn't as good at transferring music as the ipods. With the iPods you can just use itunes and everything will sync.
With the zen you have to use some software to manage your music (eg. windows media player) but you also have to use the creative zen sync manager to transfer the music to the player, which is slow.
For me, this is a good player for it's price and has amazing battery life. However, it doesn't have the same features or finish as any iPod so I would take an iPod any day.
This is my third Creative Zen MP3 Player - earlier Zens I've had have tended to not be hard-wearing or have problems syncronising with the software provided. Despite this, I remain a loyal customer and have recently bought this Zen for my commute to work. Firstly, they've ironed out many of the bugs and problems I've had with earlier products - the software sync works perfectly and this is obviously a harder piece of equipment than earlier models. There's no difficulty in transfering any music or video files, they play back extremely well and there's a host of comprehensive playback options to ensure you have optimal performance that is tailored to your personal preferances. It will sync to any computer with a standard USB cable which is handy for downloading music from friends computers and charging on the go. My only problems are: 1. It doesn't come with a standard plug to recharge with (not a problem for me as it charges while downloading music and has a fairly long battery life and 2. It doesn't have a delete option built in and you have to remove songs manually but these really are little nitpicky things. Overall, I'm very happy with this Zen and remain a fan.
Good little player, mine was fine for 3 weeks then stopped and froze, but play.com did refund me so I presuming it was just that machine alone and everyone elses was fine.
I can review what experience I did have with it though, and I have to say this is a really cute product. Its quite small, the size of a credit card and the depth of about 2 x £2 or so, its really light and the screen is nice and big.
It holds upto 16gb and will hold apple-plus tunes too which is great as you then dont loose all of your itunes (just most of them!) it works with napster and also will take any cds you use.
The software is very easy to load, it takes a few minutes to load- mine too 30 minutes, but its worth the wait as it seems to be flawless and seamless and easy on the eye.
You can also load your videos on here, I didnt get around to this so I cant review it, but I was able to load afew pictures and jpegs on, the picture quality is fantastic and really bright, its also great as you can select one as a background image.
It also holds a radio, you can preset the stations you want (up to 10) and the reception is actually quite good (though not a patch on dab I have to say).
While it is a good player, it does have its bad points..
Firstly, dont use the earphones they are rubbish, buy your own as they will actually give you decent sound quality.
Battery life is also rubbish, if I didnt load this up at the end of every day, it would die on me as the battery life is only 24 hours a charge, this is alot you may think, but in reality, its rarely in power savings mode, sure the lights go down on the screen, but its still lit and if you pause it and it turns itself off, to start it up again, you need to press a button which starts it up again. While you dont loose your place in the song, you do have to wait for a few seconds, and you will loose power everytime you press and get the battery surge to start up the plaer.
cases! you will need one! but cheaper ones are in short supply- unless you dont mind haveing a georgous player and hiding it in a grey silicon cover which seems to attract dust. Covers which look half decent start at around £15, and rise from there- this is ebay included.
The screen is apparently easily scratched, I covered mine in a screen cover (plastic mask) but unless your able to get ones to cut your own size, to get covers it is very expensive and if you het airbubbles or finger marks on the wrong side, you cannot get rid of them and it can become really irritating that you paid £5 for a screen protector which has a finger print on the inside of a corner.
The buttons on the player need to be improved, they are plasticy and clicky, a bit to late 1990s personally, it would have been better to either have a wheel, a touch pad or buttons that were matt rather then glossy.
By definition Creative are one of the best innovaters of sound products on the market today. I've never yet gone wrong with a creative product and once again i'm not disappointed, just purring over another yet another high quality product that does exactly what it says on the tin!
I've owned an ipod, and lesser branded mp3 players over the past few years, but for me this beats them all hands down....
Firstly its small, compact and extremley lightweight... For a moment when your sat on train listening to one of your many music created playlists, you can even forget that, you've even got the device sat in your coat jacket pocket....
As soon as you switch on the "Zen" on, your presented with a very clear, crisp display, giving very good colour definition. Choose between your music collection, pictures, videos clips/movies, microphone for dictation and FM radio..
You can adjust your player settings or perhaps check any tasks, contacts or notes that you've synchronised onto the Zen. The software bundled is easy to use and quite efficient at converting and transferring your files in reasonable time.....
The menus are easy to navigate and a total breeze.....
The sound clarity is excellent and the equaliser presets extract the most out of the different music genres you'll play. Note you can also create your own presets too!
As always with most players, the earphones bundled with them are not going to blow you away. So an earphone upgrade might be necessary somewhere along the line if your a big sound enthusiast...
There are only a couple of issues (nothing is perfect).. It can be slow to load up when you player is packed full and the additional memory expansion doesn't intergate itself with the rest of your player as you would expect.
For example, if you want to access the data on your memory card then you have to go into that the via memory card menu. In other words the memory card itself does not integrate into the main library of files on the player itself. Equally if you wish to create a playlist of the tracks from your memory card then you simply cannot do it, unless you duplicate the songs onto the main players internal memory......
So therefore, i'd recommend this 16gb version of Zen if you've a sizeable catalogue of files you wish to store. (Previously i owned the 4gb version)
However despite those negative aspects, its truly a wonderful player that can handle many files extensions. Video playback is superb and despite a small screen, the picture quality is excellent... I've often used my player to watch movies and tv programmes while travelling around.
Also With other players i've used and played around with sometimes synchronising movie/video files onto players don't always work that well, but this player is upto the task time and again...
To sum up...
Its a must buy if your looking for a good alternative to an Ipod or Sony Walkman. I would recommend anyone to weigh up their file storage demands first before deciding on which storage size zen to get, due to the issues of integrating a memory card.
Its still rock and roll to me:-)