The 2.5in, 320 x 240, 16.7m colour screen is largely the same as that found in the Zen. Allied to sensible background, text colours and sizes, and simple stylised graphics and icons it makes for a clear and easily read UI environment even in direct sunlight.
File support is resolutely middle of the road: MP3, WMA, AAC (unprotected), WAV and Audible for audio; JPEG for still images; and WMV, MPEG 4, DivX and XviD for video. Video formats have to be encoded to 320 x 240 and 30f/s or less to play, but the bundled Creative Centrale software suite makes a steady if slow job of transformatting – re-sizing a 660 x 272 .avi file of Star Wars: Episode III took a shade over an hour and ten minutes.
The 2.5in, 16.7m colour screen is much the same as that found in the Zen
Loading up content is straightforward for Windows users who can sync via any MTP media player app, the bundled Creative software or with drag and drop. Life is less easy for Mac and Linux users – our X-Fi refused point blank to show up as an MSC device on either nor could we find any way to set it manually to such. With the right hacks and libraries a workaround is doubtless possible, but that's not the point.
On the positive side, once loaded with media the X-Fi had no problems reading ID3 tags correctly or picking up album artwork.
Sound-wise the X-Fi is not at all bad though this is as much down to Creative bundling a more than decent set of earphones as anything else. The in-ear EP-830 'phones are not only very comfortable – and come with three sizes of rubber bud - but they also produce an excellent sound that is both well balanced and tightly focused.
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.