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I bought my Zen about 2 years ago and I have had very little trouble with it. The battery life is good, it is very easy to customise and change themes and it has good sound quality. It also plays videos which is a bit of a bonus, I tried converting an Avi from my computer (had to use a guide, a little hard, but doable) and I watched a movie on the train, the video and sound quality was great! The 8GB memory was, for me, enough, but I can understand people wanting more. I have a large music collection but found I could put on all my favourites with loads of room to spare. There have been two issues, however. Although the Zen comes with a USB cable, it didn't come with a charging AC cable which I needed for on holiday so I had to buy separately. And the other issue I had is that sometimes it will crash (perhaps on a certain filetype) and need to be reset with the small hole in the bottom. These two issues can be annoying but considering the quality, price and general reliability of the Zen, they are not deal breakers. I am very happy with my Zen and believe it is a very good, underrated MP3 player.
I purchased the Creative Zen 8gb instead of splashing out £140+ for an iPod of the same capacity. For around a year, I was happy with my purchase.
The MP3 player features everything you may want to use it for, in particular music and video. Importing music is just as easy as on an iPod, either a simple drag and drop or using the Creative Import Wizard. The player supports a large amount of formats (I believe more than the iPod), so you will rarely have issues importing the music. The music is organised nicely and easily accessed using the keypad on the player. The same applies to videos, and there is a nice converter included in case the video is of the wrong format. All in all, it is a good MP3 player that has everything you will get with an iPod (except games- but who really plays them?)
But, it does have a few downsides. Navigating through the music is slightly slow, as the player uses a button rather than any kind of track pad. There are ways to speed it up, but it can still be a hassle. My main concern with the player however was when it crashed. This was after at least a year, however when it did fail there was no redeeming it. Supposedly there is a simple reset button, however when I pressed this, it did nothing. I believe this situation is quite rare, however it does have to be noted and should be considered when buying this player.
On the whole though, it is a great little player at a lower cost than an iPod. Nothing about it is better than a new iPod, but nothing is worse.
As I lost interest in iPods I wanted to find something else that would do just the same job or better. This was the device for the job! With a 2.5" high quality screen I can easily watch videos/movies and view photos on this small and thin player. Sound quality is brilliant, although I would recommend buying a new set of headphones and to set the Bass enhancer on as the the headphones provided are a bit uncomfortable and do not play the music to its full potential. If 8GB is not big enough for you, the problem is easily solved with an expandable memory using the SD card memory slot on the top of the player. Battery life is brilliant for this powerful, little player. When just listening to music, this baby will last for around 20 hours. On the other hand if watching videos it will last 3-4 hours, which is still quite decent for a portable player. To be honest I haven't used the FM radio yet, but it is still pretty good however I do wish you can manually search but the device only scans so you do miss out on channels you want to listen to sometimes. As for the voice recorder I hardly ever used that either, but whenever I've used it I found it isn't too bad, could be better. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a decent, cheaper MP3 player.
I got this last christmas (dec 08) and have found it to be really good. Battery time for listening to music is fantastic, not yet used it for films so not sure whether that will drain it but it is easy enough to charge through a USB. You don't get anything to plug it in to the mains which can be a bit of a nuisance but just remember to plug it into your pc when you're on it or buy an adapter and you'll be fine. Only other downside I'd say is that it could very easily start to look worn. It's rather 'shiny' and with it having such a big screen I think it could get damaged quite easily if like me it gets shoved in a handbag with keys, mobile and everything else - I bought a case for it on ebay for about £3 - would definitely suggest it.
Had no problems with it, much better than ipod etc in my opinion.
I researched my mp3 purchase for sometime before settling on the Creative Zen 8Gb model. I went to a retailer that had all the top mp3 players so I could get a hands on them all before I decided that the Zen was the best buy, and here's why!
For me the really cool thing about the whole zen experience is the Zencast Organiser software that is installed on your PC. This allows you to organise all your favourite video podcasts, then when you connect up your Zen to the computer it'll automatically transfer the podcast videos to your zen in the correct format for viewing at your leisure. If you don't use podcasts at the moment this is a great opportunity to get into them, they are available for just about any subject matter, and for free!
This brings me nicely onto the video playback on the Zen. The screen uses OLED technology which is brighter than LCD. It's an expensive technology for large screens, but for MP3 players it is perfect. If you tilt the screen slightly while viewing, do you get a slight variance in brightness, but I would not mark the player down for this because the screen is simply stunning. Before purchase I was a bit concerned about the size of the screen for watching videos, because at the time I used a Sony PSP for portable movies. However the sheer pocketability of the tiny Zen makes up for the small screen size. It is perfectly acceptable to watch movie son, you'll be surprised by the clarity if you have never seen a small screen like this in action before.
You can use the included software to put any kind of video clips you like on the Zen, home movies, movie trailers, full movies and music videos (which look great!)
It's primary function is of course mp3 playback though, and it handles this superbly. The quality of sound is brilliant, and the menu options are really cool. I wanted a player than I could quickly navigate to either a particular song, playlist , genre, album or even artist, and the Zen allows this quickly and simply. There are some cool features than I like to use here too. The DJ option automatically selects tracks according to your preference. You can tell it to play the tracks you play most often, least often,the tracks you have rated highest or even the tracks that have not been rated. These features are superb, very useful and not at all gimmicky.
A note on rating tracks, as this is not made clear and it took me a while to figure it out. While a track is playing, to press the main select button, and a series of 5 empty starts appears, you then push the up key and each time one of the starts will be filled in yellow. In this way you can rate each individual track from 1 to 5!
Those are the Zens primary functions and it does them very very well. In addition though, there is an organiser, a calender, FM radio, and photo storage.
In day to day use the Zen is great, it has long battery life, is extremely small, thin and light and the buttons are instinctive to use. Charging is done with the same USB cable that transfers the files, so no need for a separate charger which is a bonus.
Finally, because the zen is so popular, there is a lot of online support in the forum of official Creative support and also peer to peer support in Zen forums. There are also lots of accessories that are pretty cool. For example, I couldn't decide which protective case to buy and ended up buying three. The one I use though is a clever neoprene type rubbery case that does not add much bulk but does prevent scratches and has a clever design that allows storage of the headphones/cables so you never lose them and they never get tangled - to me, that was almost worth getting the zen for!
The Zen really is a great device, and I cannot fault it at all!
I purchased the 8 GB Creative Zen a few months ago (Aug 08) from Amazon, after being advised that Creative offer excellent quality by family and having read some reviews, stating little difference between the Zen and the X-FI.
I was very impressed by the sound quality and how easy it was to use. I'm no technophobe but it was my first MP3 player and the simple layout and instructions from Creative made it a pleasant experience.
I have had some problems with the player, it wouldn't turn on for a while and my computer wouldn't recognise it. However Creative were extremely helpful giving step by step instructions on how to fix the problems, which turned out to be a software rather than hardware issue, and its been working well ever since.
The screen size is perfect, not so big that the Zen has to be massive, nor too small to see clearly. The only thing I would advise anyone considering purchasing the Zen is to definately buy a holder/screen protector as the screen is easily scratched (thanks to jean pocket buttons!).
All in all I would say the Creative Zen is the perfect alternative to the Ipod for those who are not huge Apple fans.
Creative Zen Review
This is a fantastic little product. The credit card size makes it perfect for fitting snugly in your shirt pocket. As with any MP3 player you will buy the earphones are rubbish. The battery life is excellent and Creative can sell you a replacement which is very useful if you are a heavy user who commutes daily like I do. I run batteries out annually and usually have to replace a machine because of a flat battery.
I have purchased Creative Products since the early Jukebox MP3 players, and I have always rated their machines highly in terms of functionality.
The clincher for me, when choosing this product was the expandable memory slot, which makes it much better value to buy and 8GB system plus an 8GB SD card.
The most recent MP3 player I owned was an Archos. When browsing through tracks it would take a long time to get to the track I wanted by scrolling through every track. In comparison the Zen has a brilliant way of searching for songs, tracks or artists and this is to scroll through the letters and select the letter of your desired artist track or song, then scroll through tracks. Playlist functions are also great you can create them and add to them as you are listening to your music.
With regards to the short USB cable that is mentioned on here and other sites, it is a very universal connection, so you can use leads from your old digital camera. I have purchased the armband which is great for taking running and to the gym.
The main disadvantage I believe is the Zen has is the inability to easily watch video files. Absolutely every type of video file must be converted before it will play on the Zen. The video converter function on the Zen software works but takes a very long time to transfer any files, making the process feel more laborious than is truly worth it. I found the Archos much more capable of playing different types of video files and podcasts.
I remember when the first iPod's came out; I didn't really like iPods because they didn't have a radio! The Zen can do so much more than the iPod in so many more ways.
Generally the iPod is a unique, sleek, sexy mp3 player. It's the size of a credit card and is about 200mm thick. The buttons are great and strong and there isn't much chance of breaking this as it may look delicate however is very strong and can respond to any heavy handed individual. The display is easy to use - the display is great for photos and videos if that's your thing - I know I have a couple of videos on mine and they are a delight to watch. The quality of the sound is fantastic it has a full equaliser with presets set in and also the option to make your own preset. It works as a flash drive on your computer and doesn't really need any software to get it up and running unlike the "glamorous" iPod (hehe). the player has a shortcut button which allows you to set a shortcut to somewhere - I have mine set to voice recording - the voice recording is absolutely fabulous and is crystal clear not fuzzy and muffled. Radio is fantastic (FM only) and you can save 20 stations. the player also has an SD slot which allows you to add more memory, however, this memory is not the same as the zen's and you can't play the zen's music and the sd cards music together, nonetheless good feature - I usually store my films on my 4gb sd card. one feature I love is the backgrounds, you are able to change then as you want and then further to that you are able to change the tone, example; warm, normal, dark etc, little detail feature however makes all the difference to me as I don't like players with cold generic displays on them.
A couple of drawbacks are that fingerprints can be seen on the screen and the headphones they provide, well... aren't really that great - but then none of the headphones that are provided with any mp3 player are!
I got my player off Amazon for around 100 pounds and an extra 40 pounds for some fantastic senheiser headphones, they go absolutely great together - I have the senheiser cx500.
In conclusion, I have absolutely no regrets in buying this player, recommend it to all of my friends and also say that, if you buy it for yourself or a gift, you will not regret either!
The best thing about this is the videos you can get on here, I was a bit dubious about the size of the screen and thought there is no way you could comfortably watch a film on it, but I was so wrong.
The picture quality is unbelievably good and it is a nice size so it's good for long journeys. It is such a great size as well so it's not heavy or chunky and can fit in your pocket easily. I don't really have anything bad to say about this product and would definately recommend to anyone.
Added extras are it has FM Radio, Photo Viewing which I love because you can make your creative zen more personal. I think this is so simple to use and you will manage to find your way around it so quickly so if your like me and don't like having to read the user guide then you will quickly teach yourself
It is shiny black in colour, with quite a smooth feeling, pain for finger prints all over it though. Battery seems to last quite a long time as well, I use this in my car daily for a couple of hours each day and it usually lasts Monday to Friday without having to charge it up at all. A+ product
I have owned this mp3 player for a good few months now and I love it! Its credit card size (width and height) and the depth is small enough so I can easily fit it in my pocket comfortably while listening to music.
This player has an FM radio, space for (as well as music!) videos and photos. I also has an SD memory card slot in it so you can not only expand the memory capacity, you can view your photos on it easily on a bigger screen than your camera if you want to.
The sound quality is brilliant and even the display design, and the design of the buttons is well thought of, easy to use and well worth the money.
You can get this player in a lot of different sizes as well including 4GB, 6GB, 16GB and 32GB.
Admittedly I first started looking at Creative because I don't like ipods, but now I look because they are so much better! I have owned another Creative mp3 and when I wanted to upgrade I immediately looked for another Creative one because the quality and the players on a whole are so good.
The only slight downfall is the earphones that are provided, they were a little big for my ears and had foam covers that weren't very soft. This was easily fixed as I bought some Creative in-ear bud things for about £13 which are excellent and they are so comfortable and the sound quality is really good. Saying that I don't think any earphones you get with a player are all that good anyway!
Another thing I like about Creatives more than ipods is the fact that (on my last mp3) the battery is removable which allowed for multiple batteries. Unfortunately this player does not have a removable battery but that is because the player is so slimline. Which is why I am happy to sacrifice the removable battery.
Also, the software supplied with the player is really easy to use, it allows you to rip CDs, renaming tracks if desired and easily transfers files onto the player. If you don't like using the software you can also 'drag and drop' the files.
The Zen is also a decent price and well worth it.
I recently purchased this item (from amazon with insurance and a case; excellent service as always). It is a simple plug and play device that can play both audio and video files, as well as having a radio function.
I found this product to fit my needs perfectly. It is smaller than other players of this size and capability and cheaper in some instances (check www.pricerunner.co.uk for up to date prices). The product comes with software which i found to be a little confusing, however just a simple search on google i found updates which makes the whole 'adding files' easier and quicker. The ipod is the best product for searching for music (the wheel) however i have found that the search functions on this product are just as easy to use.
The battery life is a bit suspect, but this is the same with all the products in this category (about 3 hrs while playing video).
Finally extra memory space can be added using an SD card, which is a function that not many other players offer.
The sound-quality is fairly good, but to make it better, a small investment in new earphones is needed as the ones that come woth the product are useless.
I can recommend this product as it is a nice piece of kit which is put together nicely (good build quality).
I am one of the weird people who have never liked I-pods at all, so I just had to find an alternative Mp3 player to an I-pod. I was just browsing the net and BINGO I came across this Creative Zen MP3/Mp4 player. The pictures of it looked tremendous and smart.
The 2.5" screen was so attractive and I knew from then this was my mp3 player, my prayer had been answered
I had never really been a fan of Creative products till I saw this mp3 player. I usually used to buy Sony or Samsung mp3 player. But I guess it's true what they say, 'there is a first time for everything'.
Since I got this Creative Zen mp3 player, I have always been hooked up to my music, I even listen to the music I hardly like just because the sound quality produced is just amazing, you can hear every texture of the sound and all the counter melodies etc.
The main things I like about the mp3 player is its looks, it just gets me going.
This Mp3 player has an 8GB internal memory. Therefore it can keep up to 4000 songs. However you have to note that it will only keep 4000 songs if you use the WMA or WAV format on music, otherwise if you use the mp3 music format it will only keep approx 2000 songs.
The big advantage to the memory is that you can upgrade it to 16GB if you use an 8GB SD or SDHC memory card, which you can easily eject whenever you don't want to use it. Of course you can use other memory types e.g. 1GB, 2GB 4GB etc.
I really like the memory features, as I never got depressed when transferring my music or videos as I knew that ii got sufficient memory to hold all my documents etc.
<<<<<<<Price and Packaging>>>>>>
I bought this mp3 player about 2weeks after the New Year. I bought it from Amazon for £69.99!! How did I get it that cheap? Well thanks to the January sale Amazon has got the mp3 player from £129 to £99.99 which is £29 off. I also redeemed some of my dooyoo miles for £30 Amazon vouchers which I used on the purchase of this mp3 player. Therefore it cost me £69.99 to buy the mp3 player. I have always wanted to buy it since the day it came out (around August 2007) but it was rather expensive then at £129.
Before I bought it from Amazon I checked in other shops like PC World, Currys etc and they are selling it at £119 which is rather a lot still but worth it really.
It comes in a small black box and you can see the mp3 player via the plastic coated front.
In the package you will have an installation CD, the smart looking headphones, the USB 2.0 connection cable, the manual and of course the mp3 player.
---This Mp3 player does have an alarm and a clock, didn't even know that till I started taking a tour around the mp3 player.
However for the alarm to work, the mp3 player has to be connected to speakers/hi-fi system. I have used the alarm system before and never had problem with it, it was a great experience and the music was very loud.
---The mp3 player has an organiser where you can view the calendar and set appointment reminders or just anniversary reminders.
---Just like an I-pod, you also get the Zen Cast which is software you download to your computer (like I-tunes) and you will get free videos which you can upload to the creative Zen instantly. Transferring the files does not take long at all and the video quality is way beyond excellent.
---Whilst playing you music it will show you the picture of the album.
---The mp3 player has a DJ feature which I find very useful as it will play you it's album of the day (it will chose a random album to play from the music that's on the mp3 player. The DJ function also let you see the music you listen to a lot, the music you hardly listen to and the music you have not rated (you can rate your music via the mp3 player).
---You can buy a cover for this mp3 player, they normally come in a pack of 3 but you can always buy individual covers to protect the mp3 player from scratches.
---Speakers, you can buy external speakers for the Mp3 player so that you can enjoy the music on the mp3 player whilst cleaning the house or just chilling in your room.
---Just like the I-Pod you can also buy an armband for the Creative Zen Mp3 player, possibly for those who are into running; this could be useful to you.
---Of course you can charge the Mp3 player using your PC or laptop but you can always buy the mains adaptor if you want, in case if you have to travel somewhere were you don't want to carry your laptop with you.
<<<<<<10 Quick Advantages>>>>>>
--- You can upgrade the Memory by using a memory card. U can also use the memory cards like a CD whereby you eject a memory card and insert another one. Creative Zen or other shops like Amazon do sell the pouches were you can put your Creative Zen and the Extra memory cards.
---You can store any Documents into the Creative Zen mp3 player.
---The mp3 player is easy to navigate around, if you don't like the lay out of the mp3 player you can always go to the system settings and change it or if you can't find the file you are looking for in the mp3 player you can just type in the keyword of the file and off you go. I actually find it helpful as I got more than a thousand songs in the mp3 player already.
---You can use your personal picture as a background through out the whole mp3 player and you can use the sounds you recorded via the microphone as your alarm signal.
---The mp3 player is small and can fit in your pocket with no problems.
---You can view videos, if you are watching a movie and you want to go and do something else e.g. listen to music or go to the toilet you can pause it and switch the mp3 player off, when you turn it on the video will continue. Or if you want to listen to music you just pause the video and go to the music file and start listening to your music, and when you go back to the video files it will continue or you can just watch another video whilst the other one is still on pause.
---The mp3 player has a good multi-function system. Basically you can do many things whilst listening to the music, e.g. view your pictures, change the mp3 player system, browse your music and sorting them out etc.
---You can view the time on the mp3 player by just turning it on in the system settings and it will be viewed next to the battery power icon.
---If your movies or music video etc are not compatible with the Creative Zen you can always convert them using the Creative Zen converter that comes on the installation CD or you can get it from their website.
---I disconnected the mp3 player whilst it was transferring music, by mistake and it crushed. I therefore had to do nothing but to reset the mp3 player thinking that it was going to delete everything as I already had more than a thousand songs transferred. To my astonishment after pressing the reset button nothing got lost in the mp3 player, it just restarted its self that's all. This very much impressed me.
<<<<<<10 Quick Disadvantages>>>>>>
--- You can't use the mp3 player in the dark because the buttons don't glow and you can't see the writings on them.
---The mp3 player only comes in black, so this could be a disadvantage to those who don't like black. However, you can change the colour by buying a different colour cover for the creative Zen.
---Transferring a full movie does take quiet sometime, I was transferring Ice age2 and it took me just above 30mins to transfer the whole movie.
---The headphones that come with the Mp3 player are not that stylish and they are quiet fat to fit in your ears, therefore you might need to buy new quality headphones.
---The written manual doesn't tell you much about the player, just the main basics.
---The buttons don't show you which one is the volume as some of the buttons are not written on, so you will have to get used in knowing which button directs you were.
---The mp3 player is quiet expensive.
---The USB cable is very short.
---The mp3 player does not come with the mains charger (another extra cost)
---The mp3 player does not have any games, possibly the only things it does not have that the I-pod have.
I definitely recommend this mp3 player. It's very stylish, got extra feature that you wouldn't find on other popular mp3 player such as the I-pod e.g. increasing the memory.
The mp3 player has a better picture quality (16MP) than the 8 GB I-pod. The buttons are soft and don't give you any hassle. I have not yet any problems with the mp3 player, its quiet durable comparing to the I-pod (the I-pod scratches fast, I know through experience). This mp3 player is very secure as you can pass code protect the content you don't want anyone viewing, I find this function very useful and easy to use as I don't have to worry bout losing my mp3 player, as all my important documents on the mp3 player are pass code protect.
If you transfer your music it will sort it out for you, in putting the music in the right albums and grouping the same artist songs which makes the mp3 player easy to navigate around.
I recommend this mp3 player to those who want to try out new technology with style, those who like watching movies on the go, and those who like music.
Some people might not want to hear this, but this 8gb mp3 player is better than the 8gb I-pod 3rd generation.
---The mp3 player does not come with a mains charger, therefore you have to buy one or just charge the mp3 player via USB connection.
---It takes only an hour to charge the battery full, though you have to charge it for four hours the first time you use the mp3 player...
---You can get this mp3 player in different memory but the same function (2GB, 4GB, 16GB or 32GB)
---This mp3 player is not touch screen.
---For more information about the mp3 player just have a click around the manufactures website: www.creative.co.uk on the site you can also find the software to upgrade the firmware and other extra goodies.