The downside is that the memory card's contents can't be accessed from the main Music, Video and Photo options. We don't see this as a major drawback for those folk planning to use the expandability in a hot swappable-fashion, for digi-cam pics or playlists that take your fancy, but if you're hoping to use SD cards as a way to permanently expand the player's capacity, it'll be annoying.
The Zen's video playback is great if you can get past the small screen size. We were really pleasantly surprised at how good vids look displayed in the maximum 320 x 240 resolution. Yes, there's slight blurring/jagging with fast movement, but the colours are brilliant, everything is beautifully crisp and it really is just as good as the alternatives out there.
Don't leave home without it
The screen itself is quite simply lovely: bright, crisp and clear. The viewing angles are good too. Although it's clearly suited for a single viewer, you don't have too precise about how you angle the player to get the best picture.
When it comes to music, the sound is fantastic. The Zen delivers audio quality of 97dB SNR, but actually getting around to listen to it - although the player's interface is super-easy to work out - is a laborious process.
From the ZEN's main menu screen you have to select Music. You then get Playlists, Albums, Artists and Genres options - all the while the album art scrolls through a slideshow in the background, which is quite pretty. Let's say you then press to select Artist. This brings up your list of warblers. Once you've selected one, you get album options, which you also have to press to select. Then you're presented with a song list, at which point you can either press the Play button or select a track and select Play. When the track stops, you have to go back and repeat the process.
Love it! Thanks for the heads up. I will def be getting one of those T-shirts!
Creative Zen? *shudders*
I have a Zen V, and I thought I'd have a shufty at this review to see what the opinion was.
I take it that the sound processing unit is entirely different to that on the Zen V, which is, frankly, atrocious. Using Shure E2Cs [reasonable headphones] I get lots of low end distortion on Nine Inch Nails tracks with lots of lovely bass. Except with the Zen I just get it crapping out and buzzing. Regardless of the settings for the bass in the equaliser, and the bass boost setting itself.
It's not the headphones, as the problem doesn't exist with my iRiver H320 [the Zen was a workaround till I get a new battery/less watt-hungry HD for the H320], my laptop [ubuntu], nor my desktop [XP] regardless of how I set the bass.
Oh, and the oLED screen started getting dead pixels within weeks.
And another thing - why can't I just create the folder structure that I want, rather than relying on ID3 tags? I have rakes of files mixed up by mates and pupils at the school I work with that either have incomplete tags or none at all, and my Zen just won't see them. With the H320, you just drill down to the folder, Explorer style.
And *another* thing, unrelated to the Zen but hell, I'm on a roll, why the hell do you want 'touch' controls on something you will have in your pocket 90% of the time? I don't want to take it out of my pocket every time I want to skip a track.
I'm sure the Zen is a good little player, but the touch controls and [I expect] the same transfer system as my Zen V means I won't be getting one any time soon.
*goes off to get ibuprofen for rant induced headache, and to hunt ebay for H320 batteries and HDs*
Sound quality and volume?
So compared to the Ipod nano, assuming I am playing a high bitrate mp3 which actually sounds better?
And what about the volume ?
My Ipod nano (fatty) does of course come with the EU crippled sound volume, which basically means even with inear phones (Sennheiser CX300) listening to quieter classical music on the street is nigh on impossible.
I have even resorted to using a boosteroo amplifier, which of course is another device to carry around with me.. more leads etc..
Has anyone directly compared the volume between the cripplied ipods and the Zen?
1 of several MP3 players with a DAB tuner
Unless the gvt have changed their minds again (???) analogue radio will not be switched off for the moment - there just hasn't been sufficient take-up of DAB, as the radios are too expensive and too power-hungry.