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I'm not one for technology, I don't have to have the latest IPhone or IPod, I don't need a 4G phone, give me something simple that does what I want it do do without all the bells and whistles.
Well the Creative Zen Stone does just that, it plays music, nothing else and that's all I need it to do. I bought mine some years back for around £10 it has a 1g memory, plenty big enough for my needs as I only really use it on long plane journeys and occasionally when my other half is watching something on the television that I'm not interested in. It came with a white silicon case and in ear headphones, which I personally don't like, so I bought myself another pair. My particular Stone is blue and is approximately 1.5 inches in length and extremely light but at the same time robust, especially if you pop it in it's protective case. The controls are very simple, there is a circular disc which incorporates the on / off button, fast forward, rewind and volume up and down. It's that simple. There's also a little green light which comes on to tell you that it's on.
The Stone supports MP3, WMA and WAV formats and it's easy to download music from your computer, simply plug it in via a USB cable and transfer away, there's no need to convert your music into another format, it's also very quick to do. The sound quality is excellent as well, I was quite surprised when I first heard it, I thought it might be a bit tinny, but no, it's very clear and crisp.
They've stopped making the Stone now, which is a shame, as I find it is a lovely little item, it's a very tactile little thing, you really feel like you're holding a pebble off the beach in your hand, perhaps they should have named it "The Pebble" instead. Maybe we should start a campaign to bring it back, I know I'd buy another one.
I have had my Creative Zen Stone for many years. In tech terms - the Bronze Age.
I was looking for an mp3 player, back in the days before smartphones and saw this on display in PC World. It did fit all the things I wanted. It was very small - it fits my very small hands like it was meant to be there. It was idiot proof - which I did appreciate as it made learning to operate a new toy so much easier. There were very few controls for me to accidentally press and have badness ensue, as I had form even before the Turning The Droid Bulgarian Incident. It would let me stuff it with mp3's and play them back to me without nuking my brain.
But most of all, it was so very pretty.
I do love sleekness in design. I like sleekness in function and adore that my mobile phones have got ever sleeker. But the Zen Stone was and remains a triumph of sleek and smooth design. With only the built-in central track control circle and button to break up the front it seems designed to be stroked. Which I have done a great deal and not had the plastic wear out, as has happened to me with keyboard keys and laptop finishes.
There are a couple of small buttons on the top to move it in and out of shuffle mode, though these do not damge the sleekness of the design at all. They don't do much of a job in shuffling though. What it tends to do is shift between two sections of the mp3 list inside it rather than being really random. This can be weird when you get Techno, Techno, Techo'd into Slade though.
The headphones it came with were hopeless as well as uncomfortable to my oddly shaped ear and were soon replaced with in-ear better quality ones.
The other main disadvantage of this mp3 player is that the memory is really small. The one pictured above is the 1GB, though the more capacious 4GB is identical and better, if still small of memory by modern standards.
So why am I still using an antique when I have a Droid?
It is incredibly light, which makes it ideal for workouts. It stays put in a pocket while I move without risking it making a costly jump to the floor or having problems with sweat. It wipes clean really easily and still looks great.
And while it does not last forever on a charge, it will play music to me for hours without draining the Droid battery. This is why it gets taken on trips to do Family History work which can't be done from the comfort of the sofa. Plugged into this, I can keep reading hard to read microfiche and zone out everyone else in the room without draining the phone so I can't make a call, text or check Facebook if I have to.
It is easy to charge. The supplied USB lead lets it charge up from the laptop or desktop and the light on the front tells you when it needs to do this as well as when it is finished charging.
The same lead also lets you drag and drop mp3's on and off it and the computer, which is essential as the memory is quite small. This is quite easy in Windows.
One can be bought for £15.99 on Amazon, though cheaper options are available on eBay.
This is an mp3 player which does just that. There is no screen telling you what is playing. No other options to watch videos. It plays back the mp3s you put onto it and it does that very well. As well as looking stylish and not dragging a girl down.
Which I why mine is still in service and shows no signs of heading into the box of old tech any time soon, despite the arrival of the new Droid to replace the old.
A good little mp3 player.
May be cross-posted to Ciao.
The Creative Zen Stone was my first ever MP3 player. I pooh-poohed it after I found myself the proud owner of an iPod touch, but recently exhumed it from the box of electronics under my bed and found myself falling in love again.
The Zen Stone is one of the smallest MP3 players I've ever seen. It's a little glossy oblong with a round set of buttons on the front, power buttons on top, and subtle, slick "ZEN" branding to the side of the buttons. Holding it, it becomes evident that it's extremely light, too - it weighs under an ounce. The lack of a screen might put some off a little, but the design itself is very nice.
The sound quality of the earphones that come with the Stone is appalling. Fuzzy, flat, and with a constant stream of background white noise fizzing in every quiet moment. Once I switched them for my Sennheisers, though, a new world opened out before me. The Stone pumps out surprisingly high-definition sound through a decent pair of earphones.
The Stone is small enough to fit into virtually anything. It's the ideal MP3 player to take on the move. It's robust, mainly due to its size - mine has taken quite a few knocks, and keeps working as ever. The battery life isn't perhaps as infinite as would be expected of something with no screen - about ten hours. The Stone plays MP3, WMA, and WAV sound, but sadly has no FLAC playback.
The Stone's main disadvantage is that it holds only 1GB of music. With WAV or WMA files ripped from CDs on board, that doesn't add up to very many songs, and I often found myself having to delete older tracks to make way for new music.
As a simple MP3 player, for versatility, sound, design, and size, it'd be difficult to fault the Stone. Its small storage space can be quite a hassle to deal with, and it would be really nice if FLAC playback was supported, but, for everyday, light use, the Zen Stone is simple and impeccable.
This most humble of music devices has been in my use for four years. It is my gym buddy and represents the best £25 I have ever spent.
This device is tiny and it is light. But it is not fragile, it's been tossed with impunity. I wouldn't want to throw it at the wall, but I know if it falls out of my pocket, it will grip onto the headphone jack like grim death without damaging itself or the wires. I can't say the same for my iPod touch.
There's no screen. Just a wheel around a select button and a slide. It is incredibly easy and intuitive. The wheel controls volume, and track skipping. You can also fast forward and rewind by keeping your thumb down on skip forward or back.
The select button will pause or power on and off. On the top is a slide which can jump between playlists or randomise. There is an adapter socket between it and any PC with a USB slot for recharging and access to the creative software.
Battery life is around ten hours. My humble 1GB device holds about 80 songs at highest quality. This does mean a limit, but nowhere near my average gym session. You could literally run a marathon on a single play through.
Music quality 8/10
I've no idea how creative have managed it, but even through a cheap pair of headphones music sounds absolutely great. Bass comes through without the tininess you might be expecting. Volume is absolutely no problem, though a pair of inner earphones is advisable to avoid sharing your music with people close by.
The creative labs software is as simple and easy to use as the device itself. The libraries are simply folders. Nothing fancy, can rip CDs faster than a speeding bullet. Copying songs from an Amazon MP3 download library is an exercise in utter simplicity. It handles principally MP3s and WMA formats. Creative labs claim up to 500 songs on a 1GB device, but if you're anything like me, you will want quality over quantity.
I've cut the specs from Amazon for those that may be interested. Amazon typically sells the Zen stone plus which has twice the storage and a very small display for the price I paid for this one. When (and if!) this one dies, I would have no hesitation in buying one.
Size: 53.7 x 35.3 x 12.8mm (WxHxD)
Battery: 1 x Rechargeable Lithium Ion
Supported formats:MP3 (Up to 320Kbps)WMA (Up To 320Kbps)WMA with DRM 9
MP3 Playback Performance:Signal To Noise Ratio: Up to 90dBChannel Seperation: Up to 65dBFrequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHzHarmonic Distortion Output: <0.1%
Connectors:Headphone Jack: 3.5mmUSB 2 port: Standard USB mini-B
Earphone specifications:Frequency Range: 20Hz to 20kHzImpedance: 32 Ohm +/- 15%Plug: 3.5mm stereo minijack
This is a really great player for the price. The player holds loads of songs and I haven't reached the capacity yet. I have even stored documents on it like a USB when I didn't have my flash drive. The sound quality is really good aswell. Only thing I found a little bit difficult was not having a screen and just using buttons. This was only a probem as I had miss placed the instruction. There really isn't anything that is as good value for money that I have found.
It did felt a little bit 'cheap' in the hand but for the money you can't fault it. I got the white version which looked really good. Small size means it can fit almost anywhere and isn't too obtrusive.
I would recommend to anyone wanting a nice small music player that is very reasonably priced and doesn't want to store great amounts of music.
I bought the Zen stone because it was cheap, had enough storage for what I needed and most importantly, because it was small. I did not need a screen.
I bought it with the intention of using it whilst running or walking so it is vital for me that it is small and unobtrusive. The zen stone fulfils this task beautifully. It is so small I never notice I have it in. It is also quite solid with no flimsy bits to fall off so this is useful. The buttons are also really nice and can be used with gloves.
I found it really easy to put songs onto, just drag and drop and I also managed to put some word documents on it (lost my normal USB temporarily) which was a useful touch. The sound quality was better than average but I would definitely recommend different headphones as the ones supplied were uncomfortable and tinny.
The battery life of the product is great for its size and it glows red when it is low on battery. It is also easy to charge via USB but this is where I eventually encountered problems... After about 9 months it just wont charge. I have used different USB cables to no avail. I plug it in and absolutely nothing happens. A real shame as otherwise is a fantastic MP3 player.
I wish it still works and will probably buy another one.
I'm not a big techno-freak nor am I an avid music fan but, when I go way on holiday, I do like to listen to the music I like when travelling or on the beach. I have no need for an mp3 player elsewhere as I tend to travel anywhere in my car and have the radio for that. With that in mind, when I was going on holiday a few years back, I started looking for an mp3 player that would meet my requirements and my limited budget for something that I would use, at best, occasionally.
Researching on the internet was not easy as I am easily baffled my technical specs and terms. However, I seemed to be coming across consistently good reviews for the Creative Zen Stone model. At £25, it was priced at about the level that I was willing to pay, so I purchased online and awaited delivery.
Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised at how good this player looked. It was very small and compact and looked sleek and modern. I purchased in black and this had a glossy finish so it looked really stylish to me. After a fair amount of transportation, dropping and use in different environments, this look still remains so it's also pretty scratch resistant too. It is also available in red, pink, white, navy and yellow. It has no screen and on the front have a simple round button that can be directed upwards, downwards, left and right to perform functions such as play, pause, fast forward, rewind, skip.
The dimensions of the player are reported as 53.7 x 35.3 x 12.8mm, so you can imagine the size and how neatly this fits in the palm of your hand. The weight is somewhat more disputed and I have seem weights ranging from 17 to 18.5g. Needless to say, whatever the actual weight, it is very light in your hand. All in all, I think it looks good!
The player also comes with earphones and a wire USB attachment for attaching to your computer to charge and download your music.
SETTING IT UP
As I have mentioned, I am no expert at all thing technological but I was surprised that there was no disc or software contained to allow me to transfer my music onto the device. Instead, you have to access the Creative website and download the software from there. The software is really easy to use and it is just a matter of dragging the music from your menu and dropping it into the device's playlist. This was really easy to work but is a little slow. I'd be quite confident that most people would be able to work this. As the device has just 1GB of memory, I don't think that it being slow to load is too much of an issue as you won't be loading too much music. If there was more memory to fill, I could see this being rather annoying!
The device is really simple to use. As mentioned, the front of the player has a round button that can be compressed in different ways to perform all functions. This can be a little fiddly at first to ensure that you are directing it in the correct way but once you get the hang of it it is really simple.
There is also a light on the front which flashes different colours to indicate how much battery that you have left - a handy feature. It also flashes green when in use so, if you have accidently left it on (and the music isn't loud enough for you to tell!) this gives it away.
I didn't find the earphones supplied particularly comfortable to use and swapped these with another pair almost immediately. I don't think that this is a particularly rare problem though as I often find accessories supplied with things like this aren't of the highest quality, but it is worth mentioning.
Some of my friends who are more in to things like this than me have used the device and think that the sound quality isn't the best. I have no complaints with this though, to me the music sounds clear and there is certainly no fuzziness or interference of any kind. The one thing that I will say that is a little irritating when using the player is that there is no clip attached so that you can fasten it to your belt or bag strap. This means that if you have no suitable pocket, you are left carrying the device. This, for me, is a simple design flaw. It seems that you can buy pouches to fasten around the outside of the player to rectify this but I feel that it's a feature that it should have anyway, even if it is removable
For the price paid and for my needs, this player is pretty much perfect. It probably would not be suited to anyone who regularly listens to their music as the memory capacity would not be anywhere near large enough. It does, however, hold a sufficient amount of music (I have about 200 songs loaded onto mine). I have also found the battery life to be pretty good - it is said to have a life of 10 hours but I have found it to be nearer 12, which is rather decent.
For me, the best feature is that it looks so good. It is well designed and looks like it would be more expensive than it was. The curves around the edges add to the sleekness and it does feel quite sophisticated. Coupled with it's small size and weight, this really is a neat mp3 player.
I never really needed an MP3 player until a few years ago, when I started dating my current boyfriend, and ended up spending a fair amount of time on coaches and buses travelling to visit him . Thankfully, he's now moved in, so I no longer need to travel, but I still use my MP3 player sometimes.
I actually got given this by my mum when she became convinced that 1gb was not enough - she ended up spending a fortune on some shiny gadget with massve storage space. However, I would say that for my use, 1gb was ample storage space, easily allowing for the hundred or so tracks I put on it for travel , with plenty of space to spare. Apparently it can store up to 500 tracks, but I just don't have that many I like!
Putting tracks onto the player was remarkably easy - plugging the device into my computer via the included mini usb cable (which is also the only means of charging this device) was easy, and the computer easily picked it up. Putting tracks onto it was a simple drag and drop procedure, taking only a couple of seconds for each song.
The mp3 player itself is very small and light, fitting easily into a pocket, but also coming with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck if you choose to . It weighs just 18.3 g, and it's light weight has the added advantage that if you pick it up by the headphone cable, it won't fall off and come crashing to the floor.
Not that this couldn't handle it - mine has been dropped more times than a tarts underpants, and apart from a couple of scratches is none the worse for wear, still looking sleek and shiny. This MP3 player is a looker, smooth curves, a glossy black finish, and just a few simple buttons to operate it. The buttons are quite small however, and as a fatter fingered person, I do find that I occasionally hit the wrong one!
The included headphones are basic, but do the job, giving clear sound. They are however those horrible in-ear type that I dislike, but not to worry, you can easily buy a new set of headphones, so long as they have the same 3.5mm jack size.
The lack of screen might be an issue for some people - you can't really select which song you want to play next. For me, havign only added songs I really liked to the player, this really wasn't an issue, but if you like to listen to different music depending on your mood, you may find this a disadvantage .
I find a full charge gives me about 10 hours listening time - and I like that there are no batteries to replace, with this player instead charging through your computers USB port. Again, I like this, but some may find it a disadvantage.
Overall, I really like this player, which can still be purchased for around 35 quid. It's small, compact, and attractive, with a good amount of space, and is sturdy . Whats not to like?
I've had a Creative Zen Stone for some time now and I wouldn't think about buying another small mp3 player. The build quality is fantastic with easy to use buttons and a lock slider. Sound quality is still one of the best features of the Creative players. Once you have your own headphones plugged in you will notice the difference. There is no volume limiting like there is on some mp3 players these days which is a good thing.
One of the only downfalls is not the mp3 player itself but the software it comes with. The creative music player and transfer program has never been the best. It is pretty slow and clunky. I'd recommend using windows media player or media monkey with this product.
Since the player is so small its perfect to put in your pocket for train journeys or if you go running. Due to it being flash memory based and not a hard drive there is no skipping.
Overall, the zen stone is a brilliant alternative to the shuffle.
This is a super design, small, sleek (like a polished stone clearly), ultra-light, a joy to hold and twirl between the fingers. 1GB is more than sufficient for a day's listening, and loading new music is easy - Creative supply their own music manager software but Windows drag n' drop does the job just as well. performance through earphones seems pretty good.
Unfortunately, despite how much I like looking at it, there are too many things on the downside when judged against what I want from an MP3 player. For a start the lack of a display is a real problem when trying to select a particular chapter of an audio book. With individual music tracks it wouldn't be such a drawback if it had a real shuffle function like its nearest iPod competitor - but it doesn't, it only plays the same tracks in the same order every time. The internal battery, while it gives amazingly long playing time for such a small, light device, doesn't have enough oomph to power the line-in of my Blaupunkt car sound system (though to be fair to the zen its designed for earphones).
In summary if those limitations don't matter to you then it's worth considering (especially if you have a music library with lots of WMA tracks which it plays, unlike Apple products). Personally I'll definitely opt for a player with a nice, clear display next time.
The Zen Stone is clearly Creative's attempt on challenging the Apple Ipod shuffle, it is similar being lightweight, compact and with no display screen.
As expected the navigation on the Zen Stone is rather confusing. It does not allow you to browse various menu, instead it only allows you to skip individual tracks until you find the desired one.
In terms of battery stamina it is exception, providing an average of 27 hours from just a 90 minute charge. Making it quite convenient.
It has an average rate of file transfer, on average it takes about 4.3 seconds to transfer 10 megabytes of audio files.
However, the device is quite basic and lacks other features and functions. It even does not have some of the bog standard features that are expected, let alone a radio or voice recording capabilities. Shockingly, there isn't a hold feature which constantly caused the player to be turned off whilst moving around.
When using the supplied headphones, the audio quality was absolutely repulsive, lacking bass and treble, upon using a more expensive additional pair of headphones (purchased separately) a slight improvement was noticeable, which makes it not worth while due to the extra cost of the other pair of headphones.
I personally feel that in rushing to attempt to rival Apple, Creative have produced a product with giving much thought to its ergonomics and technical details. As a result of rushing, we as consumers are having to put up with a poorly designed.
I bought this little gadget a good while ago now, probably about 18 months ago!
I loved it, I mean what is there to say. It is light, stylish, great value for money, and the sound quality is fantastic on the included earphones. I also really liked it, because of it's drag and drop capabilities. This meant that I could just drag any of my MP3 files directly into it when it was connected to my PC. This also meant that I wasn't tied down to Itunes, and could source my music elsewhere.
I found that it was easy to use, and wasn't over complicated, which I liked, because I hate reading instruction manuals!
I did however, find one or two things wrong with the device;
My USB lead that came with it, broke only after a few weeks, and so I had to buy a new one. Also, when I was in Holland visiting my Family, my cousin, managed to break it, with very little effort. I also disliked the fact that, it came with no wall charger, and so if I was away from my PC, I couldn't charge the player, so when traveling, this can become a pain.
Overall, I think this gadget is very good value for money, but you need to make sure you are happy with charging from a PC, and you have no little people coming round, who don't understand delicate electronic devices.
I love this MP3 Player. However, I did lose one already - they are so small you have to be careful where you leave them, or where you put them around your body! The sound quality is fantastic (I use this with in-ear headphones). I travel a lot on the train, and I like to exercise. This little player is perfect for both, it is light, robust and slips easily into a pocket. It works on a plug and play basis, connects directly to your PC and you can drag and drop sound files directly to the player. I have folders on mine, you do have to kind of remember what songs and where you have them, as there is no display, but to be honest I have never viewed this as a problem. This player is very popular with blind people. For the price, this player is worth every penny.
The 1GB Zen is a great little MP3 player, and it's so light, you could easily forget you've got it.
It matches the iPod Shuffle well in terms of features, performance and style - the shiny plastic of the Zen is scratch-resistant as an added bonus; and easily beats the Shuffle in terms of value for money.
It lacks the integrated clip that the iPod has, so it needs to be kept in your pocket or bag, though it's so light, you might be able to leave it hanging from the earphones!
It is incredibly easy to use - you transfer music files to the Zen simply through drag-and-drop, without the need to download an annoying file transfer program.
Whilst it lacks a screen, you can arrange your files into folders and use the Skip Folder button to find the desired tracks.
The 1GB of memory will hold a fairly decent amount of songs, up to 250 depending on the size of individual files.
There is a small LED light on the front to indicate the battery level, so you know when it will need charging.
My only gripe is with the method of charging the Zen: it is supplied only with a USB lead as charger, thus it has to be connected to a computer to charge which is a tad annoying.
In conclusion, this is a fantastic value-for-money MP3 player. It is fairly basic in terms of features, but then so is its closest competitor, the iPod Shuffle.
It is well worth considering if you want a decent little MP3 player that won't break the bank.
I got this as a birthday gift 18 months ago, (I believe £25 was the ball park cost) I have loved this simple yet in my opinion stylish little MP3 player.
The stone comes with all the accessories that you would expect. A USB mini connector so you can transfer music (and other files I will get to that later) from you computer; a set of functioning headphones and an instruction manual.
To get started you need to charge the unit for three hours, this done via the USB lead so whilst the unit is charging you can transfer the music you want onto the device. I tend not to bother with the Creative software as you can use this player (like most other MP3 players) just like an additional hard drive on Windows Explorer.
Once the player is charged you can use it, I found that the battery charge lasted almost 10 hours (almost one week going into work and back again) but after time the battery need to be charged more often and as a result the player is now holding 4 hours of charge. Having said that I do use this player everyday and it is fantastic.
I love the intuitive navigation options, which means that I don't have to take it out of my pocket to choose another track/album. The volume is loud enough for me (I do like it loud!!) The size is just right as it fits into shirt pockets easily and if you are unlucky enough to have it pop out of your pocket it is so light that it will hang from your headphones without falling!
Like other reviews I find that 1GB is very adequate for all the songs I want to have access to. I told you that I would mention other files that you can store on this MP3, when I was abroad and did not have a great amount of memory on my digital camera I used my MP3 player to store some of the photos on. This worked out very well for me as all I needed was an internet cafe and I could move the photos from my camera to my MP3 and I was off again to take more photos! I suppose I was using it like a memory stick.