Creative Zen Stone MP3 player
More of a pebble than a stone really
Review If you never consider an MP3 unless it comes with a screen...then stop reading now. But if, on the other hand, you may be interested in a highly portable, cheaper version of the second gen iPod Shuffle, walk this way.
The Zen Stone from Creative really does just what it says on the tin – it plays audio tracks and stores digital media. But it also has one or two other little features that just might appeal, not least of which is 1GB of storage.
The Zen Stone is more of a pebble really, weighing in at a tiny 24g. The fact then that it’s actually a little larger than the Shuffle really shouldn’t bother you – it’s still extremely wee, but not so small as to be unmanageable for anyone with above-pixie-sized digits. The device comes with the absolute bare essentials; headphones, mini USB (1.1/2.0) connection lead, start-up leaflet. There are some accessories coming on the market like armbands and keychain cases, and whether you want to bulk-it up is down to individual taste, but for us one of the key selling points of the Zen Stone is its portability…and price, coming in at under £30.
The design ain’t too shabby either – the Zen's skin is pretty good at avoiding scratches, which should please the aesthetes among you, although the earphones are predictably patchy; fine for my girlfriend, terrible for me. It’s best to use your own favourite brand of ear-wear anyway these days, and not bother with the rubbish frequently shipped with MP3 players. You also get a choice of black, white, blue, pink, red, or yellow devices. Along the left side of the player is a hole for threading through something to wear the player round your neck with (to give it its technical term), which should particularly appeal to gym-goers and other health freaks.
Headphone jack is on the top, USB connector on the bottom and on the front left is a small LED light, which uses a variety of sequences and colours to indicate various levels of battery life. This we found quite handy as the player will blink orange during charging – which takes about three hours – for a varied number of times, each denoting how much the device has been charged.
are you really complaining about a battery on something the size of a matchbook?
Seriously? I mean the whole point of this is to make it stupid small so people who dont care about media players can have something to wear while running. People like me.
Id rather not have to go find and shell out much $$ for watch batteries every time my shuffle needs some juice.
This has a couple advantages over the shuffle. I hate the dock setup of the shuffle, a simple cable allowing a dumb interface (not needing itunes) to charge it would be great since there are countless ways to charge over USB now.
Also the folders is big for me. I would love to be able to put 30 or so songs in folders based on type of music so I could change what I wanted to listen to without having to reload my ipod. I know you can fit a bunch of songs on the ipod I just dont like the idea of having to search through 140 songs just to find a certain artist.
Im tempted to get this and let my girlfriend have the shuffle but since she gave it to me as a gift I should probably keep it.
Please, Jobs, do a flash update allowing folders to keep me out of the doghouse.
Another Lithium Ion battery paperweight...
I don't care how long the battery life is on a Li-ion player - when it's flat you're stuffed if away from your PC or other recharger, and when the battery dies it's game over. I have two mp3 players now, both taking standard batteries. Any manufacturer that markets devices with embedded non-user-replaceable batteries now should really know better - "design classic" or not. Hardly environmentally-friendly, eh? Why has no-one used widely available mobile phone cells for mp3 players? Apart, of course, from media-playing mobile phones...
Much as I like Creative's cards, this looks like something Gillian McKeith would wrinkle her nose over...
It's simply Zen
It's simply the art of Zen; a bit like getting blood from a stone !!
What *does* it say on the tin?
"The Zen Stone from Creative really does just what it says on the tin – it plays audio tracks and stores digital media."
How on earth did you get all that from "Zen Stone"?
USB connection and pricing...
Thanks for highlighting those points...
The connection is mini USB (1.1/2.0)...and the pricing was based on information given to us at the time of publication...but as is often the case, that can quickly change. So we'll look into exactly how much this MP3 player is being made available for and update the price information as soon as possible.