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Creative Zen Vision:M 30 GB

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    38 Reviews
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      15.04.2012 00:34
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      If you're after a cheap MP3 player that isn't all about the apps, this is a steal :)

      Are you one of those people who dislike Apple products? Are you also one of those people who just want an MP3 player for listening to music at a high quality rate, and leave all the apps out? If so, you've found your (admittedly slightly retro) perfect choice right here.

      Lets get the boring specs out the way first, shall we?

      Capacity: 30GB hard drive
      Size: 104 x 62 x 18.6mm
      Weight: 163g
      2.5" LCD @ 320 x 240 Color Display
      15,000 WMAs/ 1,000hrs (at 64kbps)
      7,500 MP3/ 500hrs (at 128kbps)
      Store tens of thousands of Photos
      Store 120 hrs (MPEG4 videos)
      Up to 4 hrs video playtime
      Up to 14 hrs playtime (MP3, 128kbps, 4mins/ song)
      Up to 8 hrs playtime (WMA, 64kbps, 4mins/ song)
      Up to 14 hrs FM playtime
      Album Art
      FM radio, FM recorder and voice recorder
      Contacts, calendar and tasks
      Repeat, resume, and random play
      Sleep and wake timers
      Customisable main menu
      Functions as an external hard drive
      8 EQ settings (Acoustic, classical, disco, jazz, new age, pop, rock and vocal)

      (Many thanks to Amazon UK for providing those specifications.)

      Right, on to the more interesting part of the review!

      The Creative Zen Vision M is quite a weighty beast, it's not as slim as most of the touch screen alternatives out there, but it does feel well made and of good quality when you hold it in your hand. So a little more old fashioned maybe, but worth it at such a bargainous price.

      It may not be equipped with the latest touch screen technology, but it has its own retro alternative - the touch scroll button. This is exactly as it sounds, you run your finger up and down the oblong button to scroll your way through your albums, playlists and artists. The speed and pressure strengths can all be tweaked in the settings too.

      Now the screen might not be massive, but small as it is, it doesn't compromise on quality. Try storing some photos or videos on the Zen and you'll soon find that they're rich in both picture quality, colour and sound. You can even watch full length films on here if you can cope with the diddy screen.

      There's many audio settings on here, but even on the automatic choice the sound quality is pitch perfect. No tinny pop songs in sight here, even the bass is as rich and deep as it can possibly be on such a small device.

      I purchased this unit in 2007 when it was full price at around £180 in pink. I knew I didn't want an iPod, and that was really my own stipulation when browsing the market. I soon found that the Creative Zen seem to be the top choice if you weren't looking for an Apple product. Creative are well known for their excellent product quality and reliability, so on the strength of the reviews I opted for the Vision M. I will admit that I very recently up dated to a Samsung Galaxy, but the Vision M is still going strong nearly 5 years after purchase, having gifted it to a relative. This MP3 player has been on flights with me, jostled around lose in a handbag, accidentally taken knocks, water spillages and even tumbled to the floor on a few occasions (I'm known to be pretty clumsy...) and yet there's not even a scratch on the screen, it still works as perfectly as it did on the day of purchase.

      The only downside I ever noticed was that the unit can be prone to freezing. This is easily remedied by prodding the reset button located on the underside of the Zen, it can take some time to restart but it always does so with no problem.

      With 30GB of space and a fantastic quality of sound (and picture), this little MP3 player is an absolutely unmissable retro bargain.

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        01.11.2010 18:10
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        One of the best players of it's time.

        This was my wife's MP3 player until a fortnight ago when she upgraded. Although I already have an Archos media player I use that mostly for video so it is useful to me to have something more suited to music.

        I gave this to Meg as a birthday present four years ago and the fact that it has never broken and we have had no problems with it whatsoever is testament to the quality of the player. I have always been a fan of creative products and although this wouldn't be my first choice nowadays it is still a fantastic product. Even after four years of fairly heavy use you still get about nine hours of battery life for listening to music.

        The model I own is the 30gb one which is ample for music but would not be enough if it was the player I used for video. The software that comes with the vision M is very easy to use, I find it much more instinctive and straightforward than iTunes. Using the player to create playlists, edit track info...etc is not as easy as it could be so it is much easier to do this whilst it is connected to your computer.

        The vision M has a 2.5" TFT LCD screen which is fine for photo's and to see what you're doing on the player but not ideal for video. As with most creative media players the vision M has a built in FM radio which is a function that is missing even on many modern media players. You can record the radio which is another useful tool. There is a built in microphone so you can use it as a dictaphone if needs be but it is not the best feature of the vision M.

        The headphones that came with the vision M were OK but there is a noticeable difference when you use a decent pair of headphones. By today's standards the vision M is a little on the chunky side. The touch pad has a clicker so when you are listening to music it clicks to tell you if for example you are changing the volume which seems completely pointless.

        I would choose this over an iPod but not over my Archos or my wife's newer creative media player. People are still charging between fifty and ninety pounds for this on ebay and amazon, I would say fifty is a fair price but there are better players you could buy for ninety.

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          21.04.2010 18:36
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          a good alternative to ipod

          A quality, well built mp3 player with very good battery life. Unlike some mp3 players pretty much all audio files are supported and the supplied software will convert the video for you in a decent time ( depending on pc power ). There are a few slight minus points, the forwards and backwards buttons can be fiddly and the screen is a fingerprint magnet but for the hard drive size and features you cant complain too much about that.

          * 30 GB multimedia device holds tens of thousands of photos, up to 120 hours of videos, or 15,000 songs
          * 2.5-inch, high definition LCD screen features a 320x240 resolution and hundreds of thousands of colors
          * Supports many video formats, such as AVI, DivX 4 and 53, XviD4, MPEG-1, -2, -SP, WMV9, and Motion-JPEG
          * Integrated FM radio and recorder, voice recorder
          * Measures 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.7 inches and weighs 5.7 ounces
          8/10

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          05.04.2010 02:01
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          This is how you do it

          The debate constantly rages about what is better - Apple's iPod products or the lesser-known ones from Creative. Well, the Zen Vision M certainly provides evidence that the Creative guys really know what they're doing, because this is a magnificent piece of kit.

          I'm more interested in portal video playing than I am audio, but I want something that isn't just easy and portable, but makes the video look GOOD. The most outstanding feature here is not the 30GB hard drive, but the widescreen, meaning you can watch films without those annoying black bars or a squashed picture. The only issue here is that it depends very much on the formatting of the video, and if the file isn't encoded right, then you will have to put up with black bars anyway.

          I must stress though that this isn't something you can just stick in your pocket; it is quite bulky, but then given what it can do and what it holds, I'm not surprised. Also, I advise binning the headphones you get with the device as they're naff, and you can get far superior ones for even just a few quid.

          Everything about this device is just a lot more accessible than Apple's products; there's no irritating programs to deal with, no annoying DRM like iTunes, and you simply drag and drop the files like you're sticking them on any portable device like a USB stick.

          If you're not too bothered about having something small, this is a great device to get if you want something that has a great output quality and tonnes of space. If you're looking to kill some time on the daily commute, this is a must buy. I'm being fussy, but I do wish it had a few more options and bit more comptibility, though.

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          29.03.2010 16:43
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          good player

          I have long been an advocate of creatives products, my last mp3 player was a creative and i was so impressed i bought this one. I originally wanted to get a creative to be a bit different from the crowd who wwere all getting ipod but i was so impressed i bought this machine.

          First of all the looks, on the face of it this mp3 looks very easy on the eye, the 2.5" display is very bright and the scroll button provides an easy way to navigate around the menus. The only problem with the machine itself is that it is a bit big and chunky, it also weighs a fair bit but after a while you get some what accustomed to these factors and they dont really bother you.

          I have been very impressed with the sound quality which this machine has to offer. Most of the time the sound is crystal clear with any headphone, even when the volume is high, and it does get pretty high!, the sound is still pretty clear and hiss free.

          This mp3 also gives the user a way to view videos through its visual display. I havnt found this feature to be very useful, it is too small to watch any movies or any programmes so it is not very useful or a reason to by this player if you are interested about watching movies on the go.

          The software which is provided with this player is not very good either. I think it isnt very user friendly and not very easy on the eye. I prefer to just sync the player up with windows media player and do my data transferring through that. This works just fine and it really isnt an issue.

          The player is reliable I have had it for around 4 or 5 years ( i think) and its still going strong. Over the years things such as battery life have deteriorated somewhat but this is kind of expected with the age. It does crash from time to time as well which is kind of annoying and my biggest gripe with the player.

          Overall for a simple music player it is one of the best and probably better than the ipod.

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          16.10.2009 15:40
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          An incredibly good multimedia player - it should have been the iPod killer!

          Around the time when everyone was buying the new iPod Nano, I was still using my old reliable Creative Jukebox 30gb. Although there was nothing wrong with it, I decided that I'd like to move on to something a little more elaborate, with video functions.
          I have always had a large collection of music, so I definitely wanted something with a hard-drive, to allow me to make to keep all my music on the device at once. I've always had something against Apple, and see their products as being hugely overpriced for nothing special, so naturally, the next best choice was the Creative Zen Vision: M, which had just recently been released in the 30gb version.

          I was very happy with the size of the device (a little shorter than the iPod video, but a lot fatter), as it was a great improvement on my old player! As always, the earphones that came with it were very poor, and so I bought a cheap pair of Sony ones, which I got a surprisingly good sound out of! The sound quality was a definite improvement on my old player, and sounded a lot better than anything I've ever heard from an iPod.

          After a week or so, I realised there was a decent amount of space on it, and so I decided to put some videos on. This was quick and easy to do, by simply dragging and dropping it on the file manager, and there are no restrictions or anything, unlike on a lot of other mp3 players with video capabilities. Again, the video quality hugely surprised me, as it was pretty incredible! I ended up being able to watch whole films on it, and still being happy about the quality.

          The design was excellent, although a bit plasticy, it still looks very sophisticated. However, I did have an issue with finger prints on the screen, and the controls.

          Overall, I loved this player, and was deeply upset when it got broken, by somebody standing on it! Even then, the player still worked, but the screen had a huge crack in it. I just wish they would release new editions, with larger harddrives, so I won't have to buy an iPod as my next multimedia player!

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            13.10.2009 22:31
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            Good value for money, definatly a contestor for the Ipod

            The Creative ZEN Vision M 30GB Multi-Media Player has everything you could ever want from a music/movie player. It comes with all you need to get going in the box, including some headphones which aren't too bad in comparison to most included MP3 headphones.
            I personally find the interface easier to use than that of an Ipod, though it does take a while to get used to, you will soon be browsing your library with speed and efficiency.
            30G is a good amount of storage, with more than enough room for the average listener without becoming excessive.
            It looks very sleek but may be a bit on the large size but isnt too uncomfortable in the pocket.
            I have had mine for 4 years and I haven't had one problem with it, which is surprising considering the amount of times i have dropped the thing.
            The quality of the screen and its size is brilliant is and is perfect for watching films.
            The audio quality is also great, there is little i can fault it with.
            Overall a brilliant buy, good value, long lasting and reliable. I wouldn't have anything else.

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            27.07.2009 21:53
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            A very good multimedia player that offer more features and functionality than an Ipod

            I have owned a Zen Vision: M for some time now and I can definitively say I would not use any other multimedia player. The price point is just right, Ipods with smaller capacity are more expensive, which shows you are paying for the name.

            Scrolling through music is really easy and the short cut button can be customized to any menu. The addition of a FM radio is good too if you want to listen to something other than your music. You can also record off the radio which is a great feature.

            The sound quality is superb. You have options to change the equalizer which is a nice touch. Creating a now playing list on the fly is so easy and convenient.

            This player supports just about anything so long as it isn't mpeg. Transferring files from your PC to player is easy and intuitive. Videos look brilliant on the bright and vibrant screen.

            The only downside to this player is that it occasionally freezes up. This means you need to use a pin to reset the player. If you are on a train when this happens and you don't have a pin handy it can be frustrating.

            In my opinion the Zen is far better than the Ipod classic, offering loads more features and better file compatibility.

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            27.07.2009 00:54
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            Still an excellent all round MP3 player even 3 years down the line

            I took possession of this great player almost three years ago and I have never looked back! I have never experienced any problems with the system and the battery life seems as good now as when I bought it in 2006.

            The Vision:M is stylish and the quality of the screen is great, outstripping even the newest of ipods by a fair margin in my opinion; the menu is intuitive and easy to use and features such as the DJ program make your music all the more enjoyable.
            I have only two gripes with the product: it is thicker than an ipod and can be difficult to fit into a pocket. Also the connection unit for the usb and charging cables is irritating; it is small and therefore easy to lose so I bought a seperate cable for charging and data transfer very cheaply from a third party manufacturer.

            Finally the software provided with the player is excellent and has none of the restrictions imposed by apple on your music transfer. The player has drag and drop functionality so simply plug it into any computer and get downloading!
            (as an added bonus the price has now dropped dramatically making this a great buy for credit crunch times!)

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            20.07.2009 21:04
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            Manages to realize it's aspirations of style and ease of use, and ideal for first time buyers.

            Creative Zen MP3 players - the thinking man's (and womans!) choice of music player.

            Pros:

            Stylish, smart and ergonomic. The size and shape of the CreativeZEN VisionM is classic Cigarette Pack, with the buttons well spaced, large and visible enough for the older or less dextrous user, but still sleek and beautiful.

            The range of functions is streamlined enough to avoid frustrated minutes searching for playlists or shuffle modes, and are sensibly placed into rational and friendly subcategories.

            The sound quality is a reliable selling feature of the Creative brands, and this mp3 player is no different.


            Cons:

            Size and weight may seem excessive compared to newer models, although reassuringly weighted in your pocket rather than heavy.

            Screen is fairly small considering it's ability to store and play video, but suitible enough for medium to light use.

            Software to convert video formats is quite challenging, and download times can be restrictive, but the music manager software that comes with the player is, again, very rational and user friendly.

            Ability to charge anywhere and anytime is hampered by the necessity to carry an additional white attatchment to convert adaptor.

            Conclusion: Perfect for a first mp3 player, especially for older, stylish professionals, and for those avoiding the popular alternatives who still want reliability. Although recent Creative mp3 models may be smaller and lighter, with bigger screens, the Vision M 30 GB will still be relevent (and most likely working) in three years time.

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            07.06.2009 01:01
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            this it what the ipod should be....minus the capacity!

            My poor little player died a little while ago and now i have a ipod classic.... not counting on the hard disk size, i wish i could have gone back to this.

            Putting in your music is a breeze, you dont even need to put in the software (depending on your os ect.) all you need is windows media player or another substitute like media monkey.

            The video quality is good, i would not use the software that comes with this though to put on movies or tv shows. it had a tendancy to just throw a bit hissy fit if i put in to much videos for it to put on the player.

            You also have a clock and a callander as well, the clock didnt work to well for me at all, it had a little problem with keeping the time.

            i found the headphones to be good, but there are creative headphones out there that can make the sound much better.

            I cant remember if this came with it or i just read it on a fan site or something but you do not need to keep on using creative headphones to use the radio - the jvc gummy ones that sell for a fiver in a high street music store beinging with h, work just as good.

            All in all a really good player - and if you think you are going to be ok with the size or see it as a project to make the size bigger (google it!) - buy it!

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            09.05.2009 13:59
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            A great piece of kit!

            I own the Creative Zen Vision:M in green. I was given it as a birthday present about 18 months ago, and other than it freezing ONCE, I've had absolutely no trouble with it.

            The computer software is incredibly easy to use (though somewhat slow to load on.. I've used the software on both an old desktop and a new, powerful laptop and the loading time is roughly the same. It's fine when you're adding/removing music but when you use the playlist creator it takes a couple of minutes to load) You really don't need to use any user guides or such. My previous MP3 player was a simple HDD, drag and drop like you would do when you were transferring files from any hard drive to another, so I had no experience using file transfer software but had no trouble whatsoever.

            The sound quality is pretty good, through headphones, speakers and car stereos. (again, I've used two different sets of speakers, and used it in two different cars) I use it a lot in the car, especially on long journeys. The battery life is decent. For example, last weekend my total travelling time was around six and a half hours, and when I returned home my Zen still had over half the battery left.

            My only issue with the Zen is that it doesn't play files in iTunes format (so.. MP4, M4A, AAC etc.) and I have a fair few songs on my laptop that I would like to be able to put on the Zen. It is easy enough to convert the files to MP3 but it's an extra hassle.

            The unit itself is incredibly easy to use, and you can switch the clicking sound off on the central slider button, which is a definite plus!

            Overall I think the Creative Zen Vision:M is a fantastic piece of kit. It is stylish, easy to use and great quality! I would definitely recommend it.

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            25.03.2009 17:44
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            A reliable, good value player with a lot of storage and reasonable quality

            I think this is a very reliably MP3 player and I'm rather sad that they appear to have fallen out of production. I've had mine for about 4 years now and never had any serious problems with it.
            It has a good battery life- I generally will have it on for a couple of hours a day and can generally get about a week and a bit out of it, especially considering that it's a few years old, and the fact it can store WMAs as well as MP3s is what attracted me to it in the first place, meaning that it can hold 30,000 tracks (approximately) on its 30GB hard drive, double what you would get with just MP3 storage.
            I don't really use the video or photo features that much, but when I have used them the picture quality has been surprisingly good for such a small screen.
            The radio feature also gives rather good reception, but I don't find it particularly easy to use, as there is no instructions about it in the manual, so I had to ask a friend!
            The only downside is the fact that the battery is a solid state one, meaning it's built into the player and can't be separately replaced, so when the battery stops charging the whole player has to be replaced.
            I've also found that as mine has got older, if I keep it in a bag next to my phone and get a text or call then the player will crash and need resetting. This is a relatively quick, easy process that just requires poking the reset button with a pin, but it's rather strange and has only happened recently.

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            11.03.2009 10:07
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            Nice multimedia player, offers high quality with some minor disadvantages.

            Creative's Zen Vision: M is a player, designed for outdoor people who do not want to separate from their favourite music and film files. Yes, the multimedia player offers also video playback. It will play MPEG1/2/4-SP, WMV9, Motion-JPEG, DivX, and XviD (ASP without GMC) video formats. This means that almost every single film file format can be played on the Zen Vision:M. If, in a very rare case, the file type is not supported, Zen Media Explorer will convert it. The quality of the video player is outstanding and the picture is smooth, running in a 320x240 resolution. Such a powerful feature needs a decent battery. Creative's Zen Vision: M battery lasts approximately around 14 hours listening to music and 4 hours of video playback. It is built-in - you don't have to change it. It gets charged via USB for around 6.5 hours. The player also offers an FM radio, voice recording, organizer, photo browser and so on. The bad things about this player : works on Windows XP only. It comes with some special software - there is no plug and play option. Fortunately, the Drag and Drop function is being developed. A perfect player, with some minor disadvantages.

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              04.03.2009 18:53
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              Really good, sturdy player with many functions providing good value for money.

              This is probably the best value, most hardwearing MP3 player I have come across. I originally purchased this in Black, however, now own it in green after the software went slightly pear shaped! The Black one went through a lot, it even got dropped in an almost flooded road and to my amazement was still alive and kicking!

              The storage of 30GB is really good, I can fit my entire music collection (just over 3500 tracks I think) and around 4 or 5 films along with a good number of pictures and I have still had space to use the removable disk function (you can choose to set aside up to 8GB storage for this function).

              This is just one thing that sets it apart from the iPod in my opinion. It also boasts an FM radio and built in voice recorder functionality (it can even be worked to record the radio) so doubles as a dictaphone and stores the files on your mp3 which can then be transferred over to your computer. It also allows you to sync your Zen without losing tracks previously synced from another music library, which when I had an iPod was the main drawback for me.

              The appearance is flexible, with different colours available and the option to change the colour themes and the background.
              Sound quality is really very good, the provided creative head phones were probably of better quality than the apple iPod headphones, in my personal opinion.

              I really love this product and if you need to know more about a specific function just leave a comment!

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