Above and below the 3 x 3 grid are four more buttons - again largely as per the Zen – for play/pause/record, a user-defined shortcut key, options and menu/back. Tucked away around the back of the player is the on/off/lock switch. It took us a while to work out this was actually the power switch as well as the lock switch – the coin dropped only after an fruitless five minutes trying to get the thing to spring into life. Guess we should have read the instructions.
In everyday use, the main control buttons on the X-Fi are just - but only just - big enough not to became a major pain in the posterior. So the control array is an interesting idea that works reasonably well but one unlikely to spark a new trend in MP3 player command and control.
As, of course, Sony found when it tried the notion with its Vaio music player back in 2004.
It took us a while to work out that the lock switch doubled as the power button
Continuing the external tour, the top of the player is home to the SD card slot and microphone. Around the right-hand side you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack and mini-USB port. At bottom is a narrow slot for the built in speaker.
An interesting and useful feature on the X-Fi is the fully configurable menu. If you never use a certain function, you can remove it from the menu tree. In a player with so much peripheral functionality this is a boon, as is the fact you can set the shortcut button to one nine pre-set functions including volume control.
Again, though, editing the menu isn't new - the iPod's had it for a while.
The only thing we don't like about the menu structure is that there is no easy or direct way to get back to the Now Playing... screen, this not being an option to set the shortcut key to.
forgot to mention....
That it was also much better value than in UK/US, cost me 170 quid ($399 SGD) with a free silicon case, for the 32GB model :)
Just bought one......
for my missus, as she needed a device with recording ability for her pesky masters degree lectures.
I've got an iPod touch and have to say that although the touch is a far more pleasant experience to use, the sound quality from the X-Fi is superior in everyway. I used Shure E310 headphones, not the standard kit ones with either the creative offering or the touch and it really is that much better.
Shame the touch doesn't have a mic, otherwise I'd give her that and keep the x-fi for myself :)
And for those of you complaining about USB only charging.....iPods are the same, unless you had an old generation iPod that came with a seperate plug in charger, your also stuck with USB only charging or have to buy a seperate charger....so whats the differance (except that a mini usb charger is cheaper to buy than an apple one)
The MuVo was my first MP3 player - it sounds like they have NOT come very far since then. True, the MuVo lacks the nice big screen, but it also doesn't pretend to be ANYthing it's not.
And at least the MuVo can be powered off cheap Ni-MH or Ni-Cad batteries.
It seems folk are continually experimenting with even worse ways of entering text. Bravo!
It's not a firmware bug, it's the album. My guess is the X-fi prefers Hatebreed or Machine Head!