Feeds

Creative settles MP3 player capacity clash

When is a gigabyte not a gigabyte?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Creative has been successfully brought to book over the way it previously calculated hard drive-based MP3 player storage capacities.

The company was accused of misrepresenting the storage capacity of its players by two punters, Vibhu Talwar and Patrick Finkelstein, who fomalised their complaint at the US District Court of Western California way back in May 2005. Two years later, the case was granted Class Action status.

It was said by the plaintiffs that Creative's definition of a gigabyte was incorrect, leading to false claims about the capacities of its players. Creative worked on the basis that 1GB was exactly one billion bytes 1,000,000,000B. In fact, a gigabyte, is 1,073,741,824B.

Byte multiples should be calculated on the basis of binary, not decimal maths. Essentially, that means 1KB is not 1000 bytes, but 1024 bytes. Megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes and so forth are multiples of 1024 not 1000.

So Creative gigabytes, the plaintiffs said, were seven per cent smaller than real gigabytes.

For its part, Creative has always claimed it was not attempting to mislead consumers, and denied that anyone has ever suffered as a result of the way it states drive capacities. It continues to stand by that claim.

Late last month, the parties reached a settlement now filed with the court and made public. Anyone in the US who bought a Creative MP3 player before 1 January 2004 can file a claim against Creative. At that point, all Creative players contained a warning that explained the company's definition of a gigabyte and that "available capacity will be less... reported capacity will vary".

That's a caveat widely used by companies supplying products that contain storage, from media players to PCs.

Claimants can choose between a new 1GB Zen Stone music player at half price - it usually costs $35 - or opt for a 20 per cent discount applied to a single item bought from Creative's online store.

The deadline to file a claim is 7 August 2008. A month later, the settlement is due to be formally approved by the court. If it's approved, Creative will then - and only then - begin processing the claims.

Related Review
Creative Zen Stone MP3 player

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.