* Prices may differ from that shown
I must first start by saying that I bought this as a present for my mum, but I quickly reclaimed it back, as she found it difficult to use due to the small keys.
From my point of view this is a brilliant allrounder, as it has many other functions, other than just as an mp3 player. It also includes a video player, an organiser, a sound recorder, a memo section and an alarm setting. Also has a radio reciever.
The mp3 player is really good, it doesn't lag aat all (even though I have had it for a couple of years now.) It is really accurate when oragnising the music into artists and albums, and includes many different ways for which you can search for your music on the device. You can search using the search terms: artist, album, year, genre and composer (as is common with many conventional mp3 players.) The fact that this mp3 player has 16gb is really useful, as it means that I can keep all of my music o it, without worrying about the memory usage.
The video player is also a nice little feature, however I found it difficult to change the format of the video to one which the player would accept, as I couldn't seem to playactual mp4s on the device, and therefore I had to use converters to allow myself to watch the videos on the player. Another issue with the video player is that the screen size is small, so its very hard to see what is going on, especially if the video isn't HQ.
The sound recorder is a function that I haven't actually used much, however when I have used it, the quality seems to be moderate, and pretty much what you would expect from a phone/mp3 recorder.
Overall I would say that this MP3 player is good value for money as it has many different functions, howevere many may be put off by the small screen size and button size, as my mums fingers were actually too big to use the device.
I don't have a great track record when it comes to portable music players, dropping them off cliffs, down toilets... Yeah. So I've always decided to opt for a fairly cheap one in whatever size memory I think is best and this has always ruled me out of buying an iPod; as lovely as they are Apple's things are expensive and come with extra features I don't really want. My sister had a more expensive Creative product than this when I was looking around and compared it very favourably to the iPod range, whilst being a lot cheaper.
The Mosaic will play MP3s and video files, whilst you can also store and view pictures on it. 16GB will hold about 4,000 tracks, so if you're collection is huge this size is not for you. But 4,000 tracks is still a lot of listening time. Personally I have about 2,000 tracks and I barely listen to nay of them, but it's always handy to know that I've got them on my MP3 is I have the sudden urge for Daft Punk or ABBA overcomes me.
The Mozaic has a rather unique look to it and I think it's great. The black is sleek and stylish and the pink... well you won't soon leave that behind by accident! It has nine buttons for you to navigate your way around the menus, which are very simple to find what you're looking for on your player.
For an MP3 player this size the screen is a good size, showing you the track name, artist and any attached artwork for music, and has a good quality picture when it's playing a video or you're browsing through pictures on there.
A simple mini USB to USB cable does all the charging and file transferring. The player comes with software to install that will rip CDs and transfer music and videos etc. The only necessary thing about this is it will transfer a video and convert it to the right format for the player to play, music can simply be dragged and dropped like using an ordinary USB stick.
The only thing I've noticed wrong with it is that its clock gains time, and always stops gaining at the same amount every time too - 5 minutes fast. Whilst by no means is this the end of the world, it is very odd and has me intrigued. But I can't find out why it does this, or if indeed it happens to anyone else. And the headphones that are supplied with the player are not that good, I'd recommend substituting for your own or buying something new.
I have always trusted Creative when it comes to mp3 players and I purchased this player after my Creative zen micro finally gave in after years of use.
16 GB is a fair amount of memory, plenty enough room for the typical person to fill with their favourite music, those people with hundreds of thousands of tracks may have to look else where, but if you are looking for a player that has enough room to fit a couple of thousand songs on, then look no further.
This product is much cheaper than its main rival, being the Apple Ipod Nano which has basically the same features, same memory, the only difference being that Ipods having far more docking stations to purchase, and has the online site itunes to purchase music, reflecting the higher price compared to this product. This product though, does have an inbuilt speaker, that is od good quality for the size, and can be quite loud if the user so desires.
It is a simple machine to use, a simpler inteface of buttons, 9 buttons in total plus an on/off switch, including volume control, track selection, pause/play, speaker, headphones. The actual player is very small, very thin, but not too small to make it un usuable, while still being of sturdy build.
The screen is large, and complete colour, with the ability to play videos on the player aswell, like you would be able to with an mp4 player. The menus on the screen are clear and easy, displaying all the information you could need, allowing for selecting music from different artists, albums, genres or playlists you have created.
The software included with the player is not the simplest to use, to put music on the player, but once you get used to how it works it is simple enough.
Creative have a fantastic support website that reply to any query you have quickly, being as helpful as possible. They helped me with my old player, the battery needed replacing, becuase it was such an old model they were unable to sell me a replacement battery, suggested i try ebay, and even gave me a 10% off voucher for my next purchase on their website when they couldnt help me with replacing the battery.
CREATIVE ZEN - Mosaic -
Storage Capacity: 16GB
Titled: Squaring up to Apple
Manufacturer by Creative Hong Kong The company brand is known in the UK as Creative UK, even though it is headed under the Europe labs which was formed in 1993.
Creative branch networks are - America labs- Asia labs- Europe labs. They're available in three corners of the globe.
-Product > CREATIVES ZEN Mosaic MP3 Portable Media Player - 16GB
Comes in all colours - Available RRP date: 10/2008 - Skins available on purchase
Squaring up to Apple
The Zen or rather the mosaic zen series have squared up to Apples iPod MP3 market evolutionary takeover. Whether a squared MP3 player will takeover the world as the iPod has I favor not. It lacks a recognizable simplistic navigation that all can relate to. Instead the squares complex viewing and they're supposed to be aesthetic, which is rather like saying we don't know what to fill the navigation area with and here are a few squares. The main reason why Apple has a large market comparison to Creative is due to the interface model, Apple brings down the user visuals and Creative does the opposite. The basic MP3 model is held the same as does its soft touch and smell. So it all comes down to user-friendliness and aesthetics. Creatives route is predominantly creating a style which doesn't actually need to be created in my opinion; however, through Apples' domineering brand, I've felt the Creative Zen Mosaic series is all about re-branding and re-inventing itself; which could be a losing battle against the main player the iPod. I review the Zen products because I like to see how model brands respond to main product dominance. It is more interesting to see how Creatives production team can hit out and capture a MP3 market that continues to expand in technology and performance and has been leaning towards Apples iPod for getting on for a decade. What else is in Creatives teams 'think-tank? I'm tough to win over.
The MP3 wars are probably the most competitive out in the market-place. Many designs have fallen by the way-side, by creative as they search for the ultimate design; comparing it to Apple there has been only one recognizable slick MP3 design we all know of. Why play on a successful model that is well known world-wide? Creative reveals many stark odd or delinquent designs to the table but I question whether any have been as beautifully crafted. Creative may have a secure market in the Mozaic brand and in some journals it has a good write-up, but never a raving one.
The Mosaic's component packages never changes as does the interface, whether it's a standard screen model, or whether it is HD quality or touch-screen quality. One thing to note on this one is the OLED screen is slightly clearer; maybe the visual area is a little bit smaller squared than the Creative Zen V series model. The Mosaic is snappier than the V series generally, but that is probably on the fact the 16GB storage is the main reason. This comes to the fact that the bigger the size of storage, the more likely the MP3 player will not cease on you when playing your favorite track; something to think about when purchasing a smaller storage facility.
Squaring up to Creative Zen's Mosaic
The jury is still out when it comes to the Mosaic, in the open market. In my opinion it does not answer the brief to contest the richly contested Portable Media Player market place. Creative have obviously gone back to the drawing board and tried to capture Creatives brand by imploring state of the square design instead. On a professional hearing I do wander whether it is worth buying. It may become a talking point for those of you who collect Kitsch styled memorabilia, or just maybe this MP3 Player could be a collector's item in 40 years time. Personally, I feel Creative have tried to recaptured their own corporate branding with the Mosaic. The PMP quality is no different to the V series, but it has likeability qualities. However, if you are just after MP3 quality, go for the V series it does the job just as well and has a conservative interface to fit the bill.
The Mosaic is a smaller MP3 player overall with no notable features that would make all gadget lovers wet their lips with envy, but what it does do is simple and solves the problem if your in need of a cracking MP3 player that has second to none sound quality. For storage and MP3 capabilities it is purely what the 'audio-bility' is. Navigation and speediness of getting to a particular track in my opinion plays a close second fiddle. Basically, all audible digital players have neon supreme quality that is unsurpassed in other mediums, so the Mosaic doesn't do anything more different than most MP3 Players, but it would have been a different story if Creative had unleashed this checkerboard design concept in 2004, when storage facilities were less able than today, it would now been talk of the town, but alas the market place are now littered with mega MP3 Players with extreme storage facilities that would imitate a PC 4 years ago. Overall we are harder to please, partly due to the number of choices of MP3 Players there are, including their over featured gadgetry-ness; that many have and now become part of the furniture of what we the UK public kind of expects now.
The Mosaic is just a MP3 Player with a FM Radio and a self-record voice recorder, (for those who like the sound of their own voice) The 1.8 inch (Squared) screen is deceptive of a slightly higher HD quality than the V series but that could just be a figment of my imagination, or it just maybe the smaller the screen the more focused the graphics appear. Nevertheless, it is worth a mention and may just be a selling point to the 'sharp eyed tech-design savvy' audience.
16GB of Mosaic storage
The storage space is more than able to play over 80000 MP3 audio tracks. The transfer rates are quicker due to the fast USB transfer fast - track Windows music browser software. The Creative lacks the number of downloads that we the MP3 public have been getting use to. Hence, that there are not so many features available as the iPod. Creative will be improving this conundrum I'm sure by next year as the demand for downloadable data will become even more apparent, giving more options for users and of course better wireless connectivity.
Available online from www.amazon.com - 119.00 GBP - For even great offers checkout a cash-back offer before buying this product as you can save up to 20.00 GBP - Worth checking out online for these deals. Or you can order it directly from the Creative Labs online www.creative.com
The Mosaic has also devised a number of useful add-ons when purchasing this MP3 Player - including a Docking Speaker System, a soft pouch with a clip, an armband and the set of all three skins that is also available individually.
Overall statistics for Creative Zen's Mosaic Portable Media Player
Sound and Graphics - 17.35 out of 20.00
Storage - 17.25 out of 20.00
Features - 14.62 out of 20.00
Design and Navigation - 12.77 out of 20.00
Originality - 16.00 out of 20.00
OVERALL SCORE - 77.99 out of 100
Thank you for reading this Mosaic review, I hope you have found it helpful.
Copyright 1st2thebar 05-2009
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