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I have owned a Creative ZEN 32gb mp3 player for approximately a year - previous to this I had a much older creative zen which lasted well until it was finally drowned in a deluge of water. As such I was veering towards buying another zen due to my previous positive experiences.
I came across this one online and read a number of reviews - half claiming it was the best mp3 ever and the other that it was the worst. Never had I seen such a difference of opinion(!), but much of the negativity came from the fact that many people had bought the mp3 player only to find that it stopped working rather quickly. After some consideration I decided to go ahead and purchase one.
After 2 weeks it stopped working - the screen turned white and the reset button had no effect. I got it replaced and a year later it is still working fine - the only problems I've experienced is the screen freezing a couple of times and the mp3 having to be reset (this does not wipe any information from it).
It would appear that this model has experienced wide spread issues with reliability and durability, but if you manage to get hold of a good one then it's a great mp3 player. Of course 'getting a good one' is somewhat pot luck.
When using an SD card (there is a slot on top of the MP3 where you can insert one) - the information on the card does not become integrated with that on the mp3, it remains separate and whilst this is not the end of the world it can at times prove a little frustrating.
Furthermore unlike earlier zen models this seems rather 'delicate' and less durable and so easier to break. The screen in particular is prone to scratching and it is advisable to place some kind of protection over it to prevent this from happening. The battery life is decent, but drains quickly when viewing photos or watching movies - if you 'lock' the mp3 this will help to preserve battery life.
Aside from the above issues it has alot going for it - a large viewing screen, ability to play movies (although they must be of a certain format), photo storage, ability to record sound, radio and an SD slot enabling you to increase the storage capacity.
The sound quality is very good and the MP3 itself is a sleek and stylish design which can easily fit into most pockets. The menu is also easy to navigate.
The software is simple to upload and use. On the CD provided there are several different programmes associated with the player which can be uploaded to the computer - most of these aren't necessary for use although it only takes a couple of minutes of 'playing around' to work out what you need and what you don't.
To charge the MP3 you use a USB cable which is provided - the USB is on the short side (a couple of inches) although it's easy enough to buy a longer replacement if need be. There is no mains charger provided which is a downside as you may come across instances where there isn't a computer available to charge from, this is something I feel should be addressed by Creative.
Although this MP3 has many plus points compared to the negative, it's the reliability and durability that drags it down to 3 stars overall, a working one I'd give 4.5stars. However I took a chance on it and even though I had to have the first one replaced - I do not regret choosing the creative zen 32gb to replace my old mp3.
*I have posted this review before on ciao*
It seems that unfortunately Apple has managed to shake off one of its leading competitors in the race to produce the cheapest and most stylish mp3 player. A few years back, the Creative Zen:M was actually a better product than the 5th Generation iPod.
But nowadays, lets face it - mp3 players aren't just for playing music. They are about video, photos, ease of use, size and style. Zen released this product in late 2007 in time for Christmas; but it was no match for the iPhone and iPod Touch - both of which have a touch screen and internet access.
Nowadays, this is a product you should steer well clear of. The iPhone is not only much brighter and beautiful; it has a Phone, Camera and an application store. Apple have been successful in demolishing the opposition and making this Zen model completely redundant.
The Creative Zen 32GB is nice and small, fitting into your pockets; but it lacks all the things that consumers have come to expect within the last 8 months. Another problem with the Zen is its lack of suitable software. iTunes is one of the world's most downloaded music programmes - so the Zen software is not only outdated and slow, it also makes the Zen even more unappealing.
Finally, the Zen lacks a touch screen - with the alternative of cheap plastic controls. The screen is small and lacking brightness; making this a useless product unless you literally don't want to look at your mp3 player.
Size: WxHxD: 3.26" x 2.16" x 0.44"
Weight: 2.1 oz
Display: 2.5" High resolution color TFT display (320 x 240 pixels, 16.7 million color support)
Up to 30 hours of continuous audio playback
Up to 5 hours of continuous video playback
ZEN puts a world of entertainment at your fingertips. This amazing, credit card-sized digital media player, with its incredible screen, is the ultimate choice when you want to enjoy your music, movies and photos, whether downloaded from your digital library or from web sites around the world. It also includes an SD card slot, so you can add extra memory or more entertainment whenever you want. If you're ready for a world of enjoyment, then you're ready for ZEN!