* Prices may differ from that shown
I have several players and I think that this one is very good.
I bought it used for 20 Euro and I think it does the work very well.
It is tiny, but with a beautiful screen that shows the tracks or information.
It has an equalizer to adjust the listening practice with the type of music.
What is very rare is that this type of player can read DRM-protected files. Moreover, it reads all types of files, I have never met a problem with any type.
The listening quality is really very good, even at low volume (I like it), you can hear lyrics perfectly, and this goes on for all types of music. The bass is amazing too.
For cons, the headphone's quality is really poor. I have changed them because they are no longer functional. Before the change, they sizzled and their shape hurts my ears. Also, they didn't keep well in the ear. Since then, with the new headphones, I never had a problem.
As I hate the way that Apple make you download their software and want to run your whole life in every aspect when I needed a new mp3 player I wanted something other than an Ipod. I bought this about 3 years ago, so has it held up?
Spec wise the Zen Stone has everything you want out of an mp3 player. Of course it plays your mp3 files (and wma's amongst others) but it has a FM radio, microphone and stopwatch. I don't ever use these extra features but they are always handy.
2 GB is a nice amount of space. You will get easily 15+ standard albums on there and it is so easy to change them over, just plug in your Zen stone to your computer with your USB lead (which is provided) and just drag your new files over. Much quicker and easier than using Itunes.
The player is small and light weight so it is very handy if you want to use it during your runs or trips to the gym. It will fit right into your pocket and stay there and not feel chunky or annoying.
So how has it doing after three years? Well it's started it's decline.
The battery is not up to much. But again it's been three years and when I first got it there were no problems. It just means charging it more often when means connecting it to your computer again unless you buy an additional charger.
A problem that I have had with this player since day one is for some reason which I still have not figured out, when playing a certain file (or two) the player will just cut out. When you restart it will then play the file. Then the next time it will cut out again. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it does it at random and when I check the files there are no difference to the ones that are playing fine.
Other than that file I have no problems with this file what so ever and when it is well below half the price of an Ipod and twice as easy to use it's a bit of a no brainer to those who like to save money.
at first people critisized me for buying this MP3, when the new ipods had just came out. And now, after a few months of ownership, i'm thinking they where right.
First off, the screen size is just silly, other small-size mp3 players get away with it due to the bar shape of their screens, but the circle shape of this screen means that inorder to fit a whole word on the screen, it has to write it so small that you need glasses just to see it. the menu is easy enoug to navigate, but by no means the most intuitive menu i have ever seen.
The buttons on the Stone do, however, make the player extremely easy to use, as they are big and sturdy, and i found no difficulty in being able to recognise and push the next button without looking, or even through my jeans when it was in my pocket. you will, however, sometimes find yourself nudging the microphone slider, interupting your song in mid flow. not the most helpful feature, the microphone provides grainy low-quality recordings, which is only to be expected from a budget mp3 player.
the weight of this player is another defining feature, as it weighs about the same as a pen, and its compact size also helps in keeping unsightly bulges protruding from your pockets, and unlike my old mp3, it wont pull your trousers down if you decide to run for a while.
the sound quality is tolerable, but it severely deminishes as the volume increases, especially when heard through the flimsy creative headphones that you get with them. the earphones are also not the most comfortable, and i frequently find myself with sore ears after about half an hour of listening. if you like your music and your comfort, i strongly suggest getting a separate pair of headphones.
the battery life is commendable, although i was a bit dissappointed that there was no way to charge it but with the tiny computer lead supplied, unless you want to buy a usb charger plug separate, which i would reccomend for long journeys in a car.
the memory of 2GB is perfect for the size of this MP3, as it was obviously only intended for use as a lightweight easy listening MP3. therefore, about 1000 songs should keep you happy for a long time on this little thing, a good lightweight alternative to the bigger brands, if you can stick its display
I have had this mp3 player now for just over 14 months, and overall I have found it to be quite disappointing.
When my girlfriend bought me the Stone my first impressions were 'looks very funky and extremely compact' and I could not wait to get my tunes uploaded onto it. This was extremely easy to do due to it being a USB connection and plug 'n' play compatible. I easily got the whole of my Windows Media Player library onto the player with about 10% space left, which I thought was very impressive.
These initial positive opinions quickly changed though the first time I took the player to the gym with me. The first problem I encountered was quite simply the lack of volume, even when turned up to the max: instead of just a motivating Foo Fighters track, I could also hear Coleen Nolan wittering away on the gym's TV!
Obviously his was much less of an issue in quieter environments, but unfortunately the volume is not the only problem with the Stone. A few days later I decided to try out the shuffle feature which was great for the first 20 minutes or so, but then the same tracks kept coming on in exactly the same order. Bearing in mind there were easily over 200 tracks on the player, this was extremely infuriating!
The player itself isn't the easiest to use, which I put mainly down to Creative trying to make it as small as possible. I just feel it would benefit greatly from having clearer menus, which of course would require a bigger screen.
The overall feel I get from this mp3 player is that Creative focussed a heck of a lot on making it as small and funky as possible which is great, but in doing so they sacrificed the wrong things: the basics (i.e clear menus, decent random shuffle) have been lefft out, and instead we get a microphone and a stopwatch which I believe maybe 1 in 10 people will actually use.
For all the fashionistas who are obsessed with the next in thing, let them have their iPods. For the rest of us who don't want to fork out extra for the name, we look to Creative and the like to supply us with our mp3 player needs.
The Zen Stone shouldn't be seen as the main home audio device. It's designed to be portable, and should be considered just so. I used mine in the gym, along with the strap and case that you can buy from Creative (why they don't supply it with the unit I'll never know) and for that use, it's spot on.
The fact that the unit comes with a very clear screen, navigation pad and power switch in a very small space (including 2gb) of space is very impressive. However, minimising the space has had some effect on the quality: only with a very decent pair of headphones - in ear noise cancelling ones are my choice - will you get decent bass and range out of of the little beastie.
Despite this, the Zen Stone is good value for money, is capable of holding enough songs for a bit of variety when you're out and about or in the gym and has enough battery life for a decent trip or workout.
The Zen Stone Plus for me was a bit of a backwards step, having previously used a Zen Vision M, which had a 60gb capacity and colour screen, videos, photos all of those kind of luxuries. A few months ago it broke and after going a month or two without an mp3 player I decided I couldn't wait around any longer for the magical self healing of my poor Vision M and hit the second had electrical store: CEX. What a store that is! But I'll save all that for another review perhaps.
My eyes ignored the colourful iPod nanos and older generation iPod videos and rested on the Zen Stone Plus. Sleek, black and undeniably stone like in appearance I directed the man behind the till to the Zen and I was soon out of the store with a brown paper bag clasped in my hand. Those brown paper bags really are a nuisance aren't they? They always break and inexplicably have no handles (probably because they wouldn't only break more easily).
What first struck me was the incredible beauty of the Zen, its small, like a stone, rounded like a stone but deliciously black with a mirror-like gloss. It's a damn sight more attractive than the clunky, brick-like object that the Vision M was.
You don't need to know the details but the initial 2 hour charge was a hell of a wait. I synched up my tunes, a selected number I should add as the collection once happily filled a 60gb player was not so at home in the tiny little 2gb Stone, synching isn't as fast as my old player I'll tell you that. The controls are very simple, utterly perplexing if you're an iPod user though I must admit. What looks like an ipod wheel is actually four buttons which allows volume up, skipping songs, fast forwarding and rewinding. In the middle of the wheel is a button which is used to select and when playing music takes you to the menu. On top we have a simple play/pause and shortcut button, which I think is a great advantage over the iPod, as a shortcut button is bloody useful. These buttons did not take long to get used to, it probably helped as I was an experienced Zen owner and the controls were similar to the Vision M.
The screen is a simple what would be black and white but the background is black and the text is bright electric blue. Not particuarly advanced but attractive and simple none the less. I kept in mind the fact I paid £22 for a never used player. The layout of music is pretty much a bog standard shuffle but with a screen so you can see what you are listening to. It supposed to be ordered alphabetically but inexplicably mine seems to go A-Z then got A-Z again with a completely different set of songs... You can put it on shuffle though of course and then there's that problem eradicated. There is a handy feature in that under options you can choose to browse music which allows you to jump to albums, which is useful if you're after listening to something particular.
The features a few but again probably more than most competitors. The Zen has a microphone which would probably be greeted as an innovation for iPod users, a radio which is quite nice and again new to iPod users without an iTrip opr whatever it's called, an EQ adjustment option which allows a choice of presets and a personalisable option with 3 band EQ. But hey all these are a bunch all I was lookingg for was something cheap and reliable to play my music on.
The sound quality is surprisingly good. Different to Vision M but I'm not sure if for better or worse. Change is almost always well received nonetheless and through my own more expensive in earphones, which surprisingly cost almost as much as the mp3 player itself. Baffling.
One criticism I have read about the Stone Plus is the battery life, which is bewildering to me. On one charge this player seemed to run forever, well... 7 hours or so (its reputed 8 but it's never as much as it says) which was surprising as with a player of such size I was expecting to charge it pretty much every night!
The only problem I have had with is a couple of time during a song there has been a little skip, this is not exclusive to any one song and I'm not sure what the cause is. The songs all played fine on my old player and so I am unsure as to an explanation but untroubled as the skips are barely noticeable and occur very very rarely.
I have used this player whilst running, I have poured coffee on it and dropped it more than once and it runs happily. It looks great, sounds great and is not an iPod, a big advantage in my book. I have no qualms about how long the player will last as my old one lasted almost 3 years, have you ever heard of an iPod running as long?
It is immediately distinguishable by the resemblance of its predecessor, the Creative Zen Stone. It is described as Creative's second attempt to challenge the Ipod Shuffle. Sadly, the supplied headphone still produces awful sound quality, which requires a set of additional headphones to truly enjoy music.
One of the most noticeable feature is the tiny display screen placed next to the controls. Despite its size, it does effectively allow you to tune settings, search for tracks and show information on the current song playing. Even with the pressure of the display screen, the player still only weights 19 grams which is undoubtedly lightweight.
The build-in rechargeable battery has a decent stamina, taking 1 and a half hour to be fully charged and providing around 27 hours of continuous audio playback.
Its file transfer speed is only satisfactory, on average it takes 1 sec to upload 1 megabyte of audio files, none the less it is still easy to download audio files to the player.
Although the buttons are of reasonable size, the interface of the menu is slow and has a delay, that is annoying. Furthermore, its display screen is almost impossible to read in direct sunlight.
I bought this MP3 player when it was released as my first ever media device- I was not disappointed.
The Zen Stone Plus is light, compact and has a very sleek design, some may think it is better looking than some iPods. The blue on black displays is a great idea- it works in any light and is very clear.
The player itself is easy to use, the circular control pad works in conjunction with the two buttons on the top. The volume and the tracks are very easy to change; the play/pause button is tricky to use at first, but you will soon get used to it. The EQ is extensive, from jazzy to spoken word and even a custom EQ gives music buffs an added bonus.
The radio receiver is not very sensitive, so you will not always get a great signal. When you do, it is very easy to tune, you can set it either to auto-tune or you can manually tune it. The quality of sound is great when it works properly.
The voice recording works brilliantly, the background noise is almost non-existent. The stopwatch is also a good (but rarely used) feature which works fine. A useful bonus is the timekeeping feature; you can set up a screensaver which shows the time in a very neat way.
Overall, this is a fantastic entry lever MP3 player worth the very affordable price of £33.
This little jukebox perfectly met my criteria:
2. Enough space to hold a few files and audio books
3. Small enough to put in shirt pocket/hang from lanyard
4. Works like a memory stick/drag'n'drop
5. Blind/tactile controls
I bought it in 2007 for less than £40 (from Amazon). That price to meet my criteria is a bargain.
2GB is easily enough, I don't feel the need to carry my entire music collection about with me and I'm frequently sitting in front of a PC so I typically choose what I want to listen to on a daily/weekly basis. There's easily enough space to fit an audio book or a week's commute worth of podcasts. The battery life is outstanding, so there's ample power to listen to an entire book.
It's so small and light that I can literally wear it. I've dropped it umpteen times and it seems indestructable - and so cheap I'm not too bothered if I broke it anyway. Don't feel it in a shirt pocket, could just hand from my ears.
4. Drag and drop
I exclusively use open source software e.g. I don't use Apple or Microsoft products so I needed to have a player that plugs into any computer and appears like a disk. This does - I can just drag and drop files or have any program monitor it for changes.
It's easy to feel the controls so I can skip, pause etc. through my shirt pocket - no need to get it out to look at it.
The radio works well, I get crystal clear BBC reception even with a short headphones cable.
There are other features but I don't use them. Generally, it fits my purpose very well. Small annoyances worth mentioning (for balance):
* When a file is being played, the on-screen navigation is sluggish. I feel that if it were instantaneous, it would be a joy to use but then, that can be levelled at any electronic device.
* It could be even more blind/finger friendly e.g. I have to use the headphone plug and the central navigation wheel depression to target the volume buttons - easily done but I feel soaks up more of my neurons than is necessary.
* Lanyard attachment loop too small. No reason it couldn't span the player. This is a common issue with miniaturised devices - controls, functions shrunken unnecessarily.
* Boot time is a bit slow. Again, it would be great if it could switch on instantly.
* Seeking a bit tedious - especially with big files e.g. audio books. Even without an analogue control like the ipod click wheel, I feel this could be better. I don't need to do it often so not a big issue.
I got this MP3 player for my birthday and I am very pleased with it. I like the fact that is is small, but do not let that fool you. It is perfect for taking with you for a walk or run and is stylish enough for any age.
It is very easy to download songs to as well. Just find the songs to download, then download them to your computer and transfer your songs to the MP3 player.
I like the fact that when I download the songs, the song title is transferred to my MP3 player so I know what song I am listening to as well as who it is by.
I do have to say that it does have lots of power in terms of volume. The first time I turned it on and listened to it, my ear drums got quite a surprise. So just make sure you have it turned to a safe level for your ears.
Since it was a gift I am not sure what the price was. It was bought at Target though.
I've had this MP3 player for almost a year now, and I recommend it, with some reservations.
It holds a lot of music (have yet to reach its limit, but am not an obssessive music fan), it is tiny and therefore portable in even a very small pocket, it has great sound quality as far as I'm concerned, and it seems to be pretty reliable.
However, I have no idea to this day what some of the functions do (I literally just play music on it, but it claims to have a radio and microphone and other stuff section, no idea what that's all about), and the functions take some getting used to. Also, you have to charge it from a USB port, which is fine, unless you're on a train, with no power to your laptop and therefore no charge for the player. The charge seems to last about an hour and half if you use the back/forwards buttons a lot, or longer if you just let it play.
Now that I've done further research, I think there are better designed products out there.
This is a very basic MP3 player. This mp3 player was obviously designed for people who are not very good with tech or not don't understand much about mp3 players. The two gigabyte capacity can hold about 500 mp3 songs and about 800 to 900 wma songs. This player plays basic Mp3,wma, and even protected wma. This means you can sign up for the great sites like rhapsody and napster that give you an all you can eat buffet of music for one low price a month. The speakers are a nice addition though the quality is not great but it is use able and a great feature in a music player like this. One thing I hate is that there is no way to see what song you are playing or about to play. This is a great alternative to the shuffle and i highly recommend it for those who are not to good with tech.
I brought the wife a pink one of these as she wanted something to run with and her hard drive based one would have died instantly.
She's had it 6 months now and its been great.
She dumped the headphones that came with it as they were not very good and she uses it now with a sony pair. The sound quality is really good and the battery seems to last for ages.
It's really light and small meaning it fits almost anywhere, the user interface is simple and quick to use whilst the screen gives enough info to make it the prefered choice over the non screened version (non plus version).
The only problem I can mention with this mp3 player is that the plastic gets scratched very easily and as such I would recommend that a case is purchased with it to keep it in the best posible condition.
For anyone looking at this and the Ipod shuffle I would recommend this one every time as although marginally larger the screen is great for actually being able to pick a certain track that you might want to listen to at any given time.
We purchased the zen stone plus directly from creative's refurbished store where we paid £21 which was less than half the retail price at the time. I would happily buy from there again as it was as new except it arrived in a plain white box. The web address for anyone interested is http://uk.europe.creative.com/shop/welcome.asp?category=111&refurbished
Creative Zen Stone Plus 2 GB
I have this mp3 player in the pink colour and i love it.
It is so light that i hardly know its there ( i suppose that could be a bad thing a si wouldnt know if i have lost it.)
So far i have about 100 songs on mine and i still have over 1.5gb of space left so it can hold loads.
you can set the time and date which is always handy as i dont wear a watch.
There is one big downfall with though and that is the reason why i chose this mp3 player is that it comes with an FM radio already on it and i thought that would be brilliant if i got fed up of my tunes but so far i havent been able to pick up one station on it which is very dissopointing.
overall great lightwieght mp3 player a nice colour just a shame about the radio.
The Zen Stone (2GB) is a stunning piece of design which is amazingly small. It looks simply amazing, and for anyone who just simply doesn't want to be part of the whole iPod obsession this seems like a worthy candidate to take the Shuffles crown as one of the leaders in flash memory based mp3 players.
Over the Shuffle it has the advantage of featuring a display, it also has inbuilt radio and a very useful stopwatch function (Which means you no longer need to cart around a stop watch as well when you go running!) I would choose this over an iPod Shuffle every day, but it is nowhere near perfect...
My first issue with it is when the memory becomes full the interface on the display becomes incredibly slow, which means selecting the track you want to listen to takes minutes! Furthermore you cannot view the albums you have while listening to something else, the mp3 player changes to the album which you are scrolling through. This is a huge problem, and is probably the reason for the slow interface, I would guess!
But if you want a cheap mp3 player where you are not going to be changing album and instead just listening straight through your music collection this is ideal, however if you are thinking of doing anything else, invest a little more money
The tiny ZEN Stone Plus is designed for life on the move. Compact and sporty looking, it comes in glossy color and can store up to a thousand songs. You're sure to fall in love with its smooth curves, round blue display with clock/stopwatch, FM radio and microphone. Whether you're running between lessons, keeping fit in the gym or commuting to the office, just pop the ZEN Stone Plus in a pocket and keep it with you all the time... because it's the MP3 player you'll love.