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This is an iPod beater, if you have a budget and don't mind an mp3 player that doesn't quite have the usability and feel of an iPod.
The glossy black design and colour menus are all nice enough, clean, crisp and easy on the eyes.
The most interesting features are the fact the Zen can play/show any video, music or photo files you want.
Music plays fine but video and photos can seem too cramped in the small screen. I suupose you do get used to it though, and you can just put the screen right near your face when needed.
The storage size is adequate enough to hold many many hours of video, photos or audio, so unless you have a massive collection, it will do the job.
One downside is the fact the Zen is missing some menu options that would be very useful and save on searching time when you want to find a particular song or video. Such as, newly added songs/video and a search box.
My Zen has a tendency to shut itself off randomly and drain the battery by leaving itself on even when I've told it to sleep after 20 minutes. Although these issues may be partly my fault, I have to admit, I've smashed the Zen on hard floor many times and it's still come back for more, so credit has to go to the design build quality!
Creative seem to be the only (fairly) strong contender against the commercial giant that is apple. I bought the old Creative Zen Micro 5GB - Silver way back when and it still works to this day, because ipods aren't exactly everyones cup of tea. So being fairly loyal to Creative, I got the MX and it generally does the job, although I don't see why they insist on adding video/image capabilities because the screen is about half the size of a phones which also include fullscreen options. Sure you could watch a film or music video but its not going to be the easiest watch. The MX looks slick in black, has a beastly 16GB memory for either a ridiculous amount of songs of a few videos, the sound quality is basically as good as its always been, or at least doesn't seem distinguishable to other similar products. However Creative have decided to bin the touch sensitive buttons and slam on noisy buttons that merge with each other so you can easily press multiple buttons at once or turn up the volume of a song you wanted to skip. That said, the stuff on the inside is what really matters and during my 1 year stint, it never really had any issues except for resetting it after a freeze.
The Menu's were quite pleasant as well, easily navigated and you choose one of many colour schemes or get really personal and upload your own photos to use as backgrounds which is a nice touch. Volume was never a problem either being more than loud enough when necessary and the on/off and return options make it even easier to use. Battery life seemed to last quite long. As always, the 'creative centrale' app that comes with it is pure garbage.. you'd be punishing yourself to put up with it, but luckily you can find other software options about online. The best way I can sum up my opinion of the MX is about the way I lost it - During a party I tried to handle my dangle whilst skipping a song I wasn't fond of and ended up watching my MX get flushed down the toilet, I barely felt anything but slight annoyance and I certainly didn't feel the urge to rescue it from its urine whirlpool demise. I admit I was unhappy about the whole ordeal but.. after about 10 seconds of silence, all I could do was laugh. R.I.P Rosie.
The Creative ZEN X-Fi2 16GB is a nice little mp3 player that plays videos as well as music. It has a touch screen which is quite nice to use. The whole thing is very small up to the mp3 player I used to have before. It is very slim like a mobile phone and quite light weight. The screen is 3" so not a bad size,
The machine came with some earphones and a usb lead to plug it into the computer so you can transfer your music etc over. You can also store your photos on there and view them and the screen gives a lovely colour. The earphones are nice ones and they have three different sizes of tips so that you can find the ones that fit your ears
The machine was easy to set up and once connected to the computer I was able to transfer my files over easily and it didnt take long to transfer either.
The player has a lovely feel to it, it is very shiny around the outside and feels sleek in your hand and nice to touch.
It has a good sound to it, I found I didnt have to have the volume up to high to be able to hear it nicely and it would have gone up quite a bit more if needed. A good thing with it is it has a speaker so you dont need to have the ear phones in to listen like a lot of them do. One problem was actually trying to find out how to set the volume as there is no manual with the player but after playing about with it I managed to find out how to do it. It was not as straight forward as it could have been though.
You can store about 4000 mp3s on the drive which gives you approximately 266 hours of music (according to their numbers, I have not even half filled it yet so cant tell if this is true or not).
The battery has a good life to it, it lasts for ages without having to be charged up. It says 25 hours for music and 5 hours of video but this would have to be non stop to have it run out. I just usually have mine on when I go to bed or sometimes if I am out and having to wait for someone so it is not on for hours and hours at a time.
You charge up the player by plugging it into the computer via the usb lead. This is one thing I wish was different as I am used to plugging things in to the mains to charge which means I can charge things up when I go to bed and they are ready in the morning. With this way you need to have the computer on while charging it up.
I was pleased to find that the player has some other functions built in that are handy like an alarm, a calculator, and a clock. It also has a built in mic so you can do voice recording but I have not tried this out yet.
You can expand the memory on this player via a micro SD card, but it comes with 16 GB of space anyway so not as vital.
All in all I am quite pleased with my little player. I am giving it 4 stars out of 5 as I think a manual would have been a nice addition to the package and also I think it should have had some volume buttons on the side.
Copied to Ciao under username Harveydog52
The Creative Zen MX 16 GB looks great - in a glossy piano black, the Zen boasts a 2.5-inch, 320 x 240-pixel display - the QVGA screen is capable of displaying 16.7 million colours which makes for vibrant video playback.
The Zen is a lot more than an mp3 player as it is a fully paid up media unit, with video playback which is of a high standard (obviously the better the picture the bigger the file, and on a 16GB unit, you can suddenly find a few video files eating into a large chunk of your flash memory. So if you do watch a lot of videos..it might be better to go for the 32GB version).
The battery could be better, 30 hours for mp3 is OK but 5 hours for video on a full charge is rather disappointing - long journeys may be difficult with this unit if you were using it to watch videos. On the plus side it does support MJPEG, WMV9, MPEG4-SP3, DivX3 4/5 and XviD videos.
The Zen is easy to use, the buttons are nice and chunky and feel well made as does the entire unit. The supplied earphones are again decent quality, not cheap, and the sound quality on playback is excellent. One problem however is that the earphones do not have in line volume control, and the Zen does not have a dedicated volume control button - this is quite annoying because you can't quickly change the volume or mute without actually having to look at the unit itself.
I would give this model 3/5 because though it offers quite a lot, it doesn't deliver quite what it promises. The iphone or ipod touch does everything the Zen promises, does it better, and does a lot more besides. I can't say I'd really recommend it or buy it as a gift for anyone - there are better players out there.
If you do want to buy the Zen 16GB, the price is around £70 online.
When you have products on the market like the I-Pod, it can be quite difficult for other MP3 Players such as the Creative Zen MX to come to the wider attention of the consumer market. However, in my opinion, I don't see why this product cant rival the I-Pod, and in fact there are so many features to the MX which some would say were actually better than an I-Pod.
For example, at first glance, this mp3 player looks more like a digital camera, or a new flash mobile, mainly due to its size, not with many products this would be a bad thing but not really a problem with the MX. This is due to the fact that as a result of its size, there is a larger screen than you would normally find on other mp3's. There is also a light behind the screen so that you can easily read off it. Another advantage to using the mp3 player is a that in comparision to the I-Pod there isn't many buttons on it, which screams the fact that the MX is easy to use. With a touch of a button you can will be a find, select and play your favourite tunes.
One thing that I will say about this product, is that the headphones that you are provided with, aren't that good, so I just used the one's from my old I-Pod, and you could think of an advantage, as you can use any type of headphone will the Creative Zen MX. I found that you can store quite a number of songs on this mp3, but no where near as many as the I-Pod, however, the MX is a whole load cheaper, and for that reason, if you looking for a cheaper version of the I-pod, I would definitely recommend purchasing the Creative Zen MX.
Firstly, this is a very good looking mp4 player. The shiny black makes it look modern and stylish. The screen is very clear and is also quite a large size. Reading off it is no problem. There are not too many buttons which makes the navigation easy. I still think the menu system and navigation is slightly inferior to that of the ipod touch though.
The software supplied is great. It's easy to use for even the most inexperienced user. This is where it gains ground on the ipod. There is no problems with things like itunes or file types. Transffering media on the player is very quick and simple.
The sound quality seems to be good provided you have a decent set of headphones and good quality music. It also has a few extra features like a radio which is pretty handy. However, it is nowhere near the ipod touch in this department. I have only had this a few months, but so far it has been very reliable.
Of course the Creative can only be viewed in comparison with the iPod. Neither is far ahead of the other. It has a plasticky feel to it which doesn't sit well in the hand, however this 'plastickyness' does appear to give it more durability than an iPod. The best thing about the Creative is that it does not require any programme to download music and videos onto it. No iTunes, no nothing. Unlike the iPod you can put a huge amount of different formats onto it with no trouble.
As a continuation of the Zen line it lives up to it's ancestors, practical, tough and much more stylish than any previous incarnation.
As I said at the beginning, it can only be measured up to the iPod.
DON'T buy this if you have an iPod now as transferring songs over is a nightmare as it is the other way around.
However, if you are looking for a reliable, lightweight and practical mp4, I would really recommend this over the Nano.
I was given the player from my father, and for the first 6 months it worked perfectly. However, it is now starting to show the signs of age. The screen is sometimes eligible, and things have been deleted are still on the player. I have tried re building the player numerous times, on advice from the booklet, however it seems to lose songs and remembers the ones I wish it didn't.
It is true that it holds a lot of information; however it just seems with age to be losing its staying power. On recharging the unit it can, especially on a few occasions lose the date and time which isn't all that bad but when the player is not working to its peak performance in the place can become frustrating. On a positive note, the pictures of the albums and the fact you can have a screen saver to in deer this player however overall I am glad I didn't waste good money on buying it.
This has been an excellent gadget that has provided me with movies to watch when im on my break and a soundtrack to the gym. I have owned it for over a year and it has been completely reliable. Chargable from the USB port on a PC or Mac the battery keeps its charge well. It has a few extras such as a microphone and FM radio and I still laugh at the weird American radio DJs I picked up when over there. The earphones are fine but I think i will be buying some new ones soon.
Pictures and other files can easily be saved onto the memory. It would be better if the buttons lit up as it can be a bit of a guessing game when using it at first in the dark. It is a robust wee machine with very few moving parts to go wrong.
I bought this particular MP3 player as an upgrade from my 4GB iPod nano, as I eventually had aquired more music than would fit on it! Aesthetically it's a very good looking piece of kit, the screen takes up the majority of the front and the back has a nice rippled effect. The screen itself is very bright and clear, I found it was very good indeed for watching videos. In terms of controls the new ZEN feels very 'windows-like', scrolling through folders to access music, and it even has a button functionally similar to the left mouse button on a computer. The buttons themselves are a little bit heavy, it requires more effort than should be needed to scroll through music quickly, but the intuitive alphabet scrolling capability was a nice touch. Moving from the iPod to the ZEN in terms of controls was a bit dis-satisfying, I found that button pressing isn't nearly as efficient as the scroll wheel of iPods and it took a lot longer to get to the song I'd want to play.
Songs sounded much the same through this as they did through my iPod (unsurprisingly) so I was pleased with the quality. Putting music and other fils onto the device is very easy, and it's not difficult to get your itunes library onto the thing.
The SD card slot was a really nice feature, instantly increasing the memory of the device, the only downside being that songs on the SD card are not added to the library and have to be accessed seperately to songs on the device.
After about 2 months of using the ZEN MX it began to frequently freeze. Sound would stop coming out, the screen would freeze and the controls would not work. The first few times I let the battery drain completely, then recharged the thing and it worked again, but eventually I stopped bothering and have since gone back to my iPod!