Creative targets Xmas with colour-screen MP3 player

JPEG-tastic?

Creative has launched its bid to grab the attention of digital music player buyers this Christmas: the 20GB hard drive-based Zen Sleek Photo.

Creative Zen Sleek PhotoThe photography side of the story is told by the player's 262,144-colour OLED screen on which to display digital images - JPEGs only - transferred to the device. And to add a personal touch, users can select from one of at least eight colour themes for the player's UI, and apply a downloaded picture as the UI's backdrop.

As a music player, the Zen Sleek Photo supports the usual MP3, WAV, WMA and WMA DRM formats. The sound-style can be adjusted using the integrated five-band equaliser or by selecting one of eight pre-set EQs. It also has an FM radio and a voice recorder.

The player is controlled using a vertically oriented touch-sensitive strip of the kind seen on the original Zen Sleek and the older Zen Touch. The buttons have a blue backlight. The unit measures 10.1 x 5.9 x 1.7cm and weighs 157g. On board is a rechargeable battery capable of delivering up to 19 hours' continuous play time on a single charge, Creative said. The battery can be charged via USB.

The player connects to a host PC via USB 2.0. The player connects to a host PC via USB 2.0, though the player's port is a proprietary design, so don't lose the bundled cable. A sign of an attempt to create an iPod-like ecosystem of dockable accessories? We'll see. For now, Creative said it's also offering a docking cradle as an optional extra.

The Zen Sleek Photo is available from today for around £220. ®