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Not being one for the latest gadgets or trends, and preferring durability over looks, I purchased this little and affordable Creative Zen V Plus with 4GB at least 4 years ago, and it is still my one and only mp3 player.
Measuring about 6.5cm x 4cm and 1.5cm in thickness, it's perfect to hold whilst jogging, and small and thick enough for it to fit in pockets without it slipping out whilst running for the bus etc. I have found it to be very solid as it has withstood my clumsiness resulting in many drops and knocks! The screen now has some light scratches on it which are hardly noticeable - pretty darn good for at least four years of regular use I think! My constant misplacing things means that I have probably lost the USB cable that came with the device, but since it is just a standard one I can use any one that I find nearest to me! You charge the player up via USB also.
The front design is very simple - it has a small colour-screen display, a joy-stick-type navigator, a play/pause button and a back button. These buttons require some pressure to use, but personally I prefer that as if I forget to lock the device I haven't found that the track accidently changes.
On the left-hand side you can find a reset button (for which you would need a needle to press) and then also the on/off/lock slider. Along the top are the line-in and headphone jacks and the USB 2.0 port. On the right-hand side is the volume control and a small button which you can hold to make recordings. Again, all of these buttons require some pressure in order to be pressed and I have never experienced any accidental changes in volume or it suddenly jumping to record me etc.
This MP3 player does have some features that I have never used such as synchronising a contacts list or calendar and tasks list, and the ability to add videos, photos, Line-in recording as well as to portion off a section of the drive to use as portable storage.
Over the last four years my music choice has changed a lot, but I used to love the sound quality for underground hiphop and instrumentals, and now that I listen only to audio books and lectures the sound is still great! You are able to use the pre-set EQ or to custom your own, you can turn Bass Boost on, or restrict the volume also. I find the battery very long-lasting, and you play around with other settings in order to lengthen it, such as adjusting the display timer and the contrast. You can change the screen orientation, set a wallpaper or slide, and it has quite an impressive selection of languages for such a small thing, including Korean and Japanese (no Arabic).
You can add bookmarks to the track you are listening to so that when you turn the device on again you don't lose your spot - this is extremely useful if you are a lover of audio books and listen to a lot of recorded university lectures (like me!). A major plus is that it is Audible compatible!
Creative software for the device does come with it, but I don't find it that great, and it's hard to remove tracks also - so I prefer to just use the usual computer folder browsers to do this. Personally I don't like products that keep me tied to using their own software etc.
Lastly, I must mention that it takes about 8 seconds to turn on, so I'm sure this is pretty slow compared to today's standards, but maybe it has just become slower over time. Either way, it has served me well thus far, and I'm not about to throw out my little friend in search of another!
I received one of these as a birthday present a few years ago as a cheaper alternative to iPods.
They are very small, small enough to fit into your palm, I love how it feels because it's very smooth and all edges and corners are curved. The black plastic is scratch resistant and over the course of a year only got a few scratches over the screen. The screen is very small and I personally don't like it much as I prefer the clear simple layout of iPods whereas this one is more coloured.
The thing that stood out most to me about this product was the joystick control. It moves faster than an iPod would and then has a back button and play/pause button next to it, theses two buttons can be hard to click as you have to really make sure you press for it to work. I think there are only a few variations of colour for this mp3 player and if you've read my other mp3 reviews you know I love colours!!
The next Christmas I got an iPod and much much prefer it to this creative zen personally as the screen is clearer and it is much easier to hold. I recommend this as a cheaper alternative to an iPod or for younger teenagers but definitely for people with large hands, even my hands were a little bit because my thumb sometimes ached as it had to awkwardly bend to use the joystick.
I've owned this Mp3 player for over 3 years and in that time it has been my constant musical
companion living it's life in my pocket or rolling around my car and van dashboards attached to my
car stereo or through the FM transmitter in my van.
The little Zen cost me £100 when I bought it my main reason for choosing it was because it was one
of the few players which worked with the Napster unlimited account which is has now sadly been
removed by Napster. The Napster unlimited account allowed you unlimited downloads to your MP3
player for a monthly fixed fee of £15 which I loved as I could listen to a new album without
purchasing it then finding I didn't like it.
The MP3 player is small and compact and looks quite sweet with rounded edges and shiny black
plastic finish. There is a joystick control in the middle for flicking through the options and tracks
on the player a play/pause button and a back button on the front of the unit with the volume control
and on/off slide switch on either side. I find the Zen easy to operate even without taking it out of my pocket I can skip tracks pause,play and adjust the volume which is handy on freezing cold mornings
when you really don't want to take your hands out of your pockets.
As well as music the Zen can store photos The Zen has a 1.5" coloured display screen which
although good enough quality isn't big enough to be worth putting photos on the player so I never
really used this option it also shows the album art of the track that is currently playing but it's too
small to be of much use.
The menus are easy to navigate with a flick of the joystick the first screen gives access to the
music library,now playing,photos,extras and system. The music library lets you choose by playlist,
album,artist,genre or dj allows you to play at random. The extras section has access to time,date
line in recording, organizer and removable disk which allows you to configure a section of the drive
to use as portable storage like you would use a memory stick.The system menu gives you access to
audio,photo,player and clock settings. As well as being able to tweak the bass,treble and mids to
suit yourself in custom EQ mode the EQ option also gives a variety of presets to choose from such
as rock, classical, pop, acoustic and jazz.
I find the sound quality on this to be very good especially if you tweak the settings to suit the music
you are playing but as with any music player it's only as good as the earphones or speakers you
are listening through. The standard headphones that came with this were reasonably good but I
replaced them with a pair of Sennheisers which although not the cheapest give great sound
quality so I find they are worth the extra.
The 4GB model should hold roughly 1000 songs depending on the length of the tracks which
although quite low capacity compared to some of the newer models is plenty for me since I tend
to change the music on my player quite regularly.
The Zen comes with a drawstring pouch, USB cable, headphones, user manual and software cd
I never used the software as the player works perfectly with Napster and Windows Media
players already on my PC and laptop. It's easy to use with Windows Media or Napster with no
set up required just attach it by the USB cable and drag and drop tracks onto it with a click of the
The battery life on this is pretty good and when new it lasted around 15 hours although this has
now dropped to around 7 hours. It does take a while to charge through the USB cable and for
some reason unlike my partners Sony MP3 player it won't charge through my car USB charger
or the plug in charger we bought for using on holiday. Both my partners and his sons MP3
players will charge on either of these but mine just switches on and flattens the battery as
we discovered after leaving it charging overnight on holiday.
The player occasionally freezes but is easily fixed by pushing a pin into the tiny reset button
which is recessed in the bottom of the player or by letting the battery go flat and restarting the
player after charging it up.Once I discovered this I always keep a safety pin in my bag so I'm not
left without music if it freezes.
Unlike Ipod there aren't many accessories specifically for the Zen although there are some cases
available and expensive chargers they aren't as readily available from third party manufacturers
so they usually cost more.
After 3 and a half years of use the Zen is starting to give up on me although it still sounds great
and plays perfectly there is a line of dud pixels across the centre of the screen and the buttons
aren't quite as responsive as they once were. To be fair the player has been used daily in all
conditions from snowboarding and cycling to rolling around in my pocket or car all day and has
never let me down.
This player is no longer in the Creative line up although they are still available on Amazon and
Ebay at around £30 - £50 for a refurbished one or £10-£20 second hand. I'm seriously
tempted to buy another one when this finally gives up and would happily recommend this
to anyone who doesn't want a touch screen player.
This little machine was one of the first MP3/ multimedia players that I have ever owned or purchased. I think I was a little late in joining the whole digital world I very much liked my CDs and portable CD player in that you could read lyrics and band information while you listen, something that I think I will always miss with the digital revolution. However rather begrudgingly after much persuasion by my brother I was convinced to get this.
Packaging and extras
Coming in your typical cardboard and plastic box accompanied with a matching set of durable headphones which are still with me years later, a USB charger, some paper instructions and a CD for programme instalment.
The machine itself unlike the ipod range has no real edges and it is 100% smooth to the touch, which unfortunately has resulted in me dropping it quite a bit as there, is a lack of grip in my opinion which I am sure has done it no good. The top half is taken over by a really top notch screen which displays song information and time if you are listening to music with really sharp image display should you want to look at photos on it or watch uploaded videos.
The machine is relatively easy to navigate between menus though and I found it much easier to use than an ipod or similar mp3 players. It largely operates through one central circular button which moves up, down, left and right accompanied with a pause/play button to the side and a return/back button that is represented by a little arrow. Volume control is easy to manipulate as there are big buttons on the side with a + and - which are fairly obvious to understand.
There are 3 out puts at the top of the machine too one for your headphones, your USB charger and an input should you want to use a microphone with it. I however have never used it for this purpose however, though it would be a great idea for students or people who attend lecturers or meetings and need to record spoken information as it is rather discrete.
There is a slide at the side also which can turn the MP3 player on, off or locked, this s pretty straight forward or self-explanatory, though as with most of the little symbols on this machine you may need to wear your glasses at first to figure out what button is which.
It even has a little hole in the bottom for a phone charm.
As said before the headphones are still going in my current MP3 player which is a Samsung even if the creative is not, so at the very least I can recommend them. Creative does have its advantage in that it dosent seem to have programme or computer preferences and it works with Microsoft media player which is a definite plus for me since I have no idea and no interest to know how ipods or itunes work.
In being a multimedia player the machine can store and play videos and music which I liked very much as they are both played at a very high quality.
What I didn't like
There is one large problem I have found with any creative MP3 player I have used to date, they all freeze on me for no apparent reason at really inconvenient times which has really annoyed me. I have no idea why as to whether the machine is close to capacity or if it just wants to be awkward, the bigger the creative's get the worse a problem I have found with this make. I am happy to say it has never happened with my little doggy Samsung which I love to bits.
When I first discovered these I thought that they were amazing, I mean imagine I can watch videos on the go! I also loved the fact that it was so compatible even with the ancient desktop we had at the time. However after the problem with freezing I decided to boycott and this was not an isolated problem associated with this model, I even had a problem with the larger 30 G which was physically four times the size. No luck however same problem to reiterate. My little Samsung just does so much of a better job, though on the plus side the creative earphones still work! £39.99 is just too much for an unreliable product.
By freezing I mean same image stuck on the screen with no audio or movement until the thing runs out of battery power. Annoying!
I have had this mp3 player for a few years now, and at no point have I felt tempted to buy a different one. I bought it for it's small size and good reviews. The sound quality is great, I like that I can put videos on it - ok its not great if you want to watch long videos for little clips it is fine. I have put a few photos on there, and again, whilst the screen is quite small, the picture quality is good. I can totally understand why people like ipods and the like as they are multi purpose with the real possiblity of using it as a picture viewer or for watching films, but I wanted something tiny that I could put in any handbag and for using in the car and for that this mp3 player is ideal. I have even bought a second one for podcasts and audio books. One thing I am really pleased with is the battery life - it is really good! Even though my mp3 player has been well used and charged many times, the battery seems to last and last! If you want a tiny mp3 player for listening to music and spoken word, then you can't go wrong with this one!
If you are trying to make up your mind which mp3 player to buy, I will try to help you by telling you about the good and bad about my Creative Zen V Plus 4 GB.
The battery life is excellent.I listen to mine about 4 hours a day, and normally only have to charge it every 4 days or so.It is even less when you dont fiddle around with the joystick and light up the screen.
Great sound quality.
It has a radio, which is handy if you like to listen to the radio while on the move put want an mp3 player as well.
It is very small, it can fit into the smallest pocket.This can also be a disadvantage aswell though, because it is very easy to lose.
The features are great.As well as a radio,other features are the ability to play Videos and look at pictures(Although the Zen's screen is probably too small to watch a movie or a programme),a voice recorder,an alarm clock and a calendar.One of my favourite features is the option to look at the Most Played and Rarely Heard songs on your mp3.But be warned,this can work against you aswell,I was nearly killed when my friends found out my most played song was a Good Charlotte song and the new Metallica album they had insisted I put on my Zen featured among my Rarely Heard!
Its easy to use.All the menus are relatively simple and ripping CDs to your player is pretty straightforward.
Its Durable.I've dropped mine countless times,but it still functions perfectly.(That does not mean you can smash it with a hammer and expect it to survive though!).
The Joystick is fiddly and quite hard to use sometimes, and large thumbs might find it hard to operate(No problem for me,but my pet gorilla Joe found it a nightmare to operate!)
The screen is very hard to see in sunlight,which is very annoying when your stuck on a train between 2 crazy homeless guys and can't move.
The estimated capacity of songs is a good bit off from the real figure,but this is the same with most MP3 players have.
The (Not So) Ugly:
The Creative Zen V isn't the most sophisticated looking MP3 player, but its not exactly ugly either.
Overall, I completely recommend the Creative Zen V for anyone looking to buy an MP3 player.
The player is about the size of a thin matchbox, you would hardly notice it in your pocket.
Ease of Use
It will let you save play lists and sort by different things, so if you had a thousand songs (the max capacity) you would still be able to choose the selection you want easily and quickly.
It does give a good non tinny sound, and the volume setting goes up very high, I usually have it on 8/40. Getting music onto the player is easy as well, as it comes with software on a disk, to easily transfer music onto the player.
Compared to an ipod of the same size it is a lot cheaper, and not much noticeable user differences.
The player does have a radio, but it in my area I have found I cannot get good signal, so it always sounds fuzzy and it is not enjoyable to listen to.
You can also use part of this devise as storage, like a USB stick so good for data also. They have also allowed you to add photos, but the screen is quite small to look at any. The recorder function is fun to mess with too.
It lasts for a surprisingly long time, and it automaticly blacks the screen to save power. You have to charge it from a computer though, through a USB cable, but again the charging time is quick.
This creative is in the same league as the ipod, but with a much smaller price tag. Its clear menus and features allow you to easily use the player to its full potential. A very good buy for anyone. But looking back I would have bought a smaller one, as 4GB is a lot for me, I would have been happy with a 1GB.
I got this as a present as i asked for a small mp3 player. This is definatley that, it is really tiny and you do not notice in your pockets. I use this at the gym or in the garage when using the punch bag so it is real handy to have the locking feature so my movement doesnt skip the track.
For functionality it is quite basic which is fine for what it is, i would maybe after having this like one a bit more packed with features.
The buttons dont feel great and can be difficult to know whether you have pressed it correctly or not. the menus are basic and the screen is ok, i would prefer a better resolution and a bigger screen but that would not be an mp3 player in this range so i cant hold that against it.
I would recommend this as a first mp3 player probably better for kids where it wont be wasted money if they only use it once then never again.
I've had my Creative Zen for about 6 months and it has been an excellent MP3/MP4 player! My friends have had Ipods but as with many of them, they begin to break after a while due to them having an internal hard drive. The Creative Zen is different, small, reliable and efficient. It has more or less the same features as an Ipod but is less than half the price and will work just as good, if not better! That's a strong comment to make but is true as I'm sure anyone with one of these products would agree.
The Creative Zen is simple to use and easy to put media onto. Its small design means it is great to use in the gym and on the move with another bonus being its shock proof ability meaning the songs don't skip or jump when running etc. It accepts all formats of music and video meaning the need to convert songs or videos to a different format is eliminated, as well as it having a radio function.
I would strongly recommend this product to anyone and at such a good price you can't go wrong.
I had my creative zen 4gb before i got my zune, and it served me well. It is small so it was easy to do sports with, and was easy to take around with me. It has the capability to play videos but i found if i put any on there it would A take up to much space or i would find myself putting the player up to my eyes inorder to see the picture. But the zen had a great battery life one of the downsides, though was that sometimes the player would randomly freeze and it does not have a removable battery so you would have to wait until the player died, that was a huge hassle but beside that there were no other problems beside the hard drive being too small. it always seemed like i had to switch out songs for other songs but that has nothing to do with the player its self but more of a personal problem but overall the creative zen was an awesome player if you dont have many songs, or are willing to switch them out depending on the mood.
Not an IPod but who cares?!
I love this little machine, and having got it for xmas 2007 it hasn't left my side since.
It holds so many songs, i've got a ton of music on it and its not even eaten into the memory at all! And having different types of file isn't an issue either, MP3, WMA, its plays them all!
The display is great, although small its really clear, so the picture I have accompanying my songs look great!
The radio is fantasic, reception is always good and although I generally prefer in-ear headphones the ones that come with this player are surprisingly good.
The software that comes with the player is easy to install and I use it as my 'music library' rather than using media player or the like.
Its a funky looking light weight machine, excellent battery life and is LOUD when cranked up! The silicon covers are great too for adding a bit of additional personality.
And, personally, I think for the price, its an absolute bargin, there is no way I'd trade it for an IPod!
one of the best players on the market. its not an ipod but thats just a name right. it works exactly the same an is a lot cheaper. the screen is not brilliant but with 4 gb you can hold over a thousand songs. with a good battery life and additional accessories the creative zen models will do well to rival ipod and other manufacturers.
This is a cute little mp3, simple interface and simple functions. It's even got the ability to view video (although the 1 inch screen isn't really big enough to watch a feature length film).
The big problem (in my experience) with this player in unreliability. The display ceased to work after a few months, so I sent the player back to creative and they sent me a replacement (almost certainly a refurbished player). That solved my problem until less than three months later the replacement player contracted the exact same fault, player working except no display. I have sent the player back to creative again but they are yet to replace it.
In a nutshell, no matter how nice a mp3 player works, you just cannot forgive 2 critical faults in the player's reliability in the space of one year. As a result I could not reccommend this mp3 player to anyone.
CREATIVE ZEN V PLUS - Zen are we getting creative?- 05/12/2007
Networks include - America labs- Asia labs- Europe labs.
-Product > CREATIVES ZEN V Plus MP3 Portable Media Player 4GB
Stylish Blue Black design - Available RRP date: 02/2007
- > Start < - Creative Zen PMP (Portable Media Player)
The OLED screen definition is very good for sheer gloss and glamour which is also user friendly; it has a brand Nokia feel for me; not surprising really as both companies originated in the East and Chinese market before setting their sights on the Western digital market.
The 1.5cms X 1.5cms squared screen is of very high quality and holds it's own in the function stakes. The MP3 Player only is compatible with JPEG customary images. That you can load off from a digital camera, the PC, or from the internet itself. The audio quality is crystal clear, of course depending on the size of file the MP3 file as the higher the size of the file the better the quality. The one thing that saddened me with this product was the fact that it has limited file recognitions.
**The Software include are; MediaSource - MediaExporer - ZenCast Organiser ** The Zen does have some excellent features that do include these free PMP applications that comes with the package.
NO - MT - Mobile Technology functions are available with this product. ** No MP4 converting or encoding is available**. For any songs that have been downloaded onto your PC from paid music sites (Protected by copyright) will be able to be played by this MP3 Player
- 4GB of data storage -
The 4GB is sufficient to play over 8000 MP3 music tracks. The transfer rates are determined by the fast USB transfer fast - track Windows music browser software. What is a noticeable difference is that it is not an ipod. There are not so many features nor are they as stylish and slick. The display is of good quality but now looks a little outdated; amazing really as it is only 11 months old. Just shows how quickly this market turns over digital products and designs.
- Does size matter? -
Weighing in at 44g - Yes this is a hefter, no it has not put on weight since the beginning of 2007. It is just that Zen V Plus is not part of the nano technology revolution. 2007 is the year where nano popped over to the UK and gave out the Werthington humbugs; thanks nano.
- Zen's extras -
Yes, the 4GB is a fanastic amount of digital MP3 space for a start. The voice-recording is a fab utility - please try it; I did it was a revelation. Extreme quality; not that I like my own voice of course, though it does help. External recordings again superb.
- Now that important price -
Retails for over 159.99 GBP-
I rate this PMP a 8/10 overall. I've seen and had better but is reliable and has some very favourable attributes as mentioned.
I hope you have found this review helpful.
dooyoo - Review - copyright 1st2thebar 2007
A seamless integration of design and functionality. Your music and your life now fit perfectly in the ZEN V Plus. Enjoy a full suite of entertainment in a petite design - loads of music, full color photos, FM radio and view short video clips.