Product Type: Creative MP3 players
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Affordable, great sound quality MP3 player
Creative Zen Micro 4 GB
Member Name: bertles86
Creative Zen Micro 4 GB
Advantages: Sound quality, price, reliability, not an iPod
Disadvantages: Can't buy them new anymore
I have had my trust Zen Micro for about three years now, bought second hand it is very reliable and does everything you could ask of it.
*Age & Battery Life*
Regardless of the age of the Micro (Creative don't even manufacture them anymore!) it can still outperform many more modern MP3 players - including some of the latest iPods! The battery life beats a vast array of the latest gen iPods hands down; listening at around half volume, you can get a good nine to eleven hours playback before needing a charge.
Charging can be done either by the supplied USB cable, which requires you to leave your PC switched on, or by using a USB to mains charger which is around £4 on eBay. Both work perfectly, and have very simple connections as the Zen has a mini USB jack built in. It also has the standard 3.5mm stereo headphone plug on the top side.
Size wise it's about 2cm thick, 8cm tall and 5cm wide, which is larger than many more modern players, but you still do not notice it much when it's in your pocket. With a belt clip you can easily go jogging with this without too much hassle.
At 4gb the Micro is far from the largest MP3 player on the market, but you'll find it will easily meet your needs, you can easily fit 800-100 mp3's on the player in 128kps quality. This suffices for a couple of months at least before you need to refresh it!
The quality of playback from the player is perfect, you cannot fault it. The headphones that come with it though leave something to be desired, as they are cheap and not designed well to fit into your ears, often fallning out. I personally use Sennheiser PMX 70's, which cost around £20, they have a rubber wrap around for your neck and slip over your ear fitting perfectly. With a pair of these the quality of playback is excellent and great for going jogging.
The Creative software for loading tunes is okay, but you don't have to use it which is a massive bonus in contrast to iPod's where you are forced to use their bloated iTunes software. With the use of any number of 3rd party applications, you can choose the best software to suit your needs. I found this to be Notmad Explorer, which allows you to drag and drop your mp3's into the Micro in a File Explorer interface, really straightforward!
I highly recommend you look for a Micro on eBay, as secondhand the performance does not drop and one should only cost about £30-50 these days.
Summary: It'll never let you down!
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