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Creative slings Stone at iPod Shuffle

Zen and the art of digital music

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Creative is to cater for those "with an active lifestyle" with a new entry-level MP3 player range dubbed the Zen Stone - a compact gadget designed to take the fight to Apple's iPod Shuffle.

Creative Zen Stone MP3 player

The Stone is also remarkably reminiscent of the similar sounding Pebble, but it's the Shuffle that Creative has its eye on.

The tiny Stony player measures 5.3 x 3.5 x 1.2cm and weighs in at just 18.3g, so it's slightly larger than the Shuffle, but offers the same 1GB memory. The Zen supports MP3, WMA, WMA DRM 9 and Audible formats, and has a predicted ten-hour battery life.

Creative Zen Stone MP3 player complete range

Creative said the Stone will be available in six flavours - black, white, red, blue, pink and green - and will be priced at €40/£27.

A range of super sporty accompanying accessories will also be available, including silicon skins, armband, keychain and case. Creative said the Stone requires a Windows XP or Vista PC. It didn't mention Mac OS X, but then this is often the case yet products still work with a Mac. We'll just have to wait until we get a sample to review to find out...

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