We have to assume this last feature is a bug that a firmware update will fix – right now our test device has a Linkin' Park album sat in the transfer folder and as far as the X-Fi is concerned it doesn't exist. OK, that's not wholly true, we can see the artwork, but that's not really the point.
Just to make things a little more odd, if you want to download media to the X-Fi over the WLAN, it asks you where it should put the file. So why can't it do the same for files imported from a memory card? At the end of the day, the best way to handle the X-Fi's SD expansion is to use the card to store your videos – it's quicker to transfer video files directly to the SD card anyway – and leave the on-board storage for your music.
Despite the function bloat the X-Fi is still a pretty small device
Other minor niggles? Well, as soon as you unplug the headphones the speaker comes on, even if you have manually turned it off beforehand. The player has an annoying habit of switching itself off rather than going into hibernation if left unattended. It can't do two things at once: access your media server while listening to music and the music shuts down. While you can set up playlists, the procedure is Byzantine in its complexity.
Creative quotes a battery life of 25 hours of audio playback and five of video. With the WLAN off, the best we managed was 19 and 3.75, respectively. Use the wireless features constantly and you can reduce those numbers dramatically. Re-charging is through USB cable only.
The X-Fi starts at around £100 for the WLAN-less 8GB version rising to a rather dizzying £240 for the 32GB version and that's iPod Touch money, albeit for one with less storage. In between, you can get a 16GB version for £150.
All in all, the X-Fi's a bit of a disappointment. The lack of storage integration, the odd controls and the truly hopeless text input system all combine to take shine off a decent looking and sounding little player.
It's hard to avoid the feeling that Creative have missed an open goal here by making the X-Fi so small. If it was broader and taller and came with a decent resolution 4 or 4.5in screen, we'd crawl over our dead grandmother to get one, superfluous applications notwithstanding.
Creative Zen X-Fi 16GB
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.