Creative Zen 32 GB Portable Media Player (Black)
This credit-card-sized Zen has a stunning 2.5-inch color screen and is perfect for music, videos, and photos. Enjoy up to 8,000 MP3, WMA, or AAC songs; watch up to 120 hours of videos; and share hundreds of photos with your friends. Even expand your portable music, video, or photo collection by adding additional content through the convenient SD memory slot. The Zen player also is available in 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB capacities.
A razor sharp 2.5-inch display makes your photos and videos come to life. See the Zen in detail.
- Enjoy all of your media on a device that’s about the width of a credit card
- Watch 120 hours of videos, enjoy up to 8,000 of your favorite songs, or share hundreds of photos with your friends
- 2.5-inch TFT color display with 320 x 240-pixel resolution and support for up to 16.7 million colors
- Clock and alarm function, volume restriction, eight equalizer settings, and a USB hard drive mode
- Weighs 2.1 ounces and measures 3.26 x 2.16 x .44 inches (W x H x D)
Rating: (out of 827 reviews)
List Price: $ 299.99
Price: $ 139.99
Creative Zen 32 GB Portable Media Player (Black) Reviews
Review by Harvey Ramos:
This is a great choice for those people who previously limited their flash players to workout duty, or only holding a small piece of their large music collection and having to change the music on it every so often. With a 16GB capacity most people can fit their entire collection on here without difficulty, and even have room for some videos.
First impressions of this player are very good. It is extremely appealing to the eye, everyone who sees it will ask about it. It is about the size of a credit card, just thicker (less than 1/2inch). The front is a very glossy black plastic that looks great until you touch it, instantly covering it with fingerprints The back is a rough, cheaper feeling black plastic. Overall it has a nice solid weight and feel to it, but not very heavy. This will easily fit in a pocket.
The 2.5″ screen is absolutely gorgeous. Very bright with vivid colors. The viewing angle is very good, two people can easily look at the screen at the same time while watching a movie for example. The menus are all nicely animated and intuitive to navigate. The icons and text are big clear and easy to read.
One of the big perks to having so much capacity is plenty of room for videos. This was one of the first things I’ve tested as it was a big reason for my purchase. First of all it DOES play Amazon Unbox videos perfectly. Transferring files was very easy (just a few clicks) and very quick. The quality of the video was great as well. The max size of videos is apparently 320×240, I have not been able to get it to play anything larger than that. If the video is smaller (for example widescreen) you have the option of playing it at the correct aspect ratio, or fill the screen (stretched out). I’ve gotten it to play videos encoded in Xvid and WMV format. Xvid files were encoded with AutoGK, and the WMV files were encoded with Arcsoft MediaConverter. If you synchronize with Windows Media Player, you can put in *almost any* video file and it will automatically convert the file into WMV format and then transfer to the player. How long it takes to convert depends on the type of video you’re encoding, how big the file is and of course the speed of your computer.
Music sounds very good on this player, but please… get rid of the stock headphones they are horrible. Using a decent pair of headphones makes a HUGE difference. The EQ options are OK, there are about a half dozen presets and a customizable EQ. The “Bass Boost” option just made it worse in my opinion, it just distorted the sound. Otherwise it is a very even and balanced sound, very similar to the Vision:M.
The FM radio has a whopping 32 presets and the reception is pretty good. Strong stations are in stereo, weaker ones come in mono. I haven’t had a chance to test out the built-in mic.
I easily transferred music and playlists onto this player from Windows Media Player and MediaMonkey, as well as protected music (WMA) from Napster. Everything was very easy, usually just dragging and dropping. The speed of transfer is probably the fastest I’ve seen. I’ve used this player on XP Home and on Vista Premium 64-bit.
Regarding the SD cards. I think its only a slight inconvenience that the memory card media isn’t directly integrated with the other content. Meaning if you have videos on the SD card you don’t go to the “Video” menu where all the other videos are, you have to access them through the “Memory Card” menu. Once there, you browse through the file structure like normal. If you organize the content smartly on your cards you should have no problem. And really its a small price to pay for that feature. Currently SDHC cards are up to 16GB in capacity, meaning you could double the capacity and carry around 32GB worth of content in your pocket. Amazing. I tested a Kingston 512MB SD Card and a Kingston 2GB microSD card (with adapter of course) and they were recognized and played the content without difficulty.
A quick note about the firmware. Mine came with 1.10.05. When my player turns off, it really turns off. With newer firmwares when it turns off it goes into a sleep mode for a while before it finally turns all the way off. What that means is with the older firmware each time you turn it on it has to “boot” all over again, whereas with the newer firmware you get an “instant-on” at the expense of slightly reduced battery life (since it is asleep and not off). Something to consider before you decide to upgrade the firmware.
Review by G. Carini:
This is an all around solid MP3 Player. I will describe some of the pros and cons about this player. I will say right now the pros strongly outweigh the cons. I have also tested this player adequately and have tested the SD card slot which I find very nice. Despite some complaints about the SD card, I find it adequate to suit my needs.
By the way if you are wondering why I am publishing this review… I received the player from Creative where it is in stock. Amazon is taking a little while longer.
1) Excellent Sound – This MP3 Player is a bit louder, and sounds better than my previous Vision:M. I think the sound quality is quite superb.
2) Bright, Brilliant Display – The display is just stunning, and the 16 million colors really show great improvement over the ZVM.
3) Easy Navigation – I love the navigation on this player, and I really love the different themes.
4) Videos – The videos look incredibly nice… I’ve only played a few
5) Transfer Speed – Extremely Fast! What can I say? This is what has surprised me the most. The speed is an extremely huge difference over hard-drive based players.
6) Good Button Placement – Though small for some, I do happen to like the buttons
7) Nice looks – I really like the looks of this (this is very subjective)
Small Size – This is a very light player, that is only a foot print of what the ZVM was. The most amazing part is that the screen is 2.5″ inches.
1) Power Adapter – It should come with one, but it only comes with a USB power cable (which is acceptable)
2) Crappy Ear phones – Eh. Buy the Creative EP-630. You don’t buy a nice player and use the provided ear phones. The EP-630 are an incredible set.
3) Buttons are a bit hard to push at first – This is something others have experienced… this is true for a while.
4) Can smudge – to prevent this get the plastic case!
How does this stack up against an ipod?
It crushes it in my mind. I really think Creative did a fine job here, and I’m sure firmware will be updated constantly knowing Creative’s attention to the customer.
Edit: Added a few things.
Review by Jeff Rutsch:
MP3 players have turned into a commodity. They’re not terribly expensive, they sound fine, they’re very small, they’re easy to use. There’s really not much to say, and even Apple is tying them in to web browsers and cell phones and video players, to make them stand out.
The big advantage of this player against the Nano (the obvious competitor) is that SD/SDHC cards allows a measure of expandability. I got the 4 GB version of the player; it’s the smallest version but it still lets me put my favorite 60 albums or so on the player. If I want to listen to other albums, I put them on a spare SD card and pop the card in the player, it’s easy.
Of course this will be more and more of an advantage – right now, 8GB SD cards cost about half as much as this player, and I’m sure over the next year 16 and 32 GB SD cards will get released, at comparable prices. I have a very large music collection, I like the idea of being able to stick a very large collection on a very small player.
The interface for this device is, like the iPod, pretty good but not great – sometimes you feel like you’re working against the menu system. The worst fault is, music on the SD card is put in a separate list than the music on the device’s internal memory – it’s a little clunky, if not terrible. Also annoying is that the player takes about 10 seconds to boot up, whereas the iPod turns on instantly.
The screen quality is very, very good, the included videos look excellent – on the other hand, it’s a small screen for watching a movie, and converting a normal .avi file to the required format requires a couple hours. So except in special circumstances I don’t expect to be doing that often.
The battery lasts a very long time, and charges quickly off USB. The sound quality is pretty good, and I’ve heard it’s better than the Nano, but I haven’t done any direct comparisons so I can’t really say.
Also, be sure to update the firmware off the Creative site, it only takes a few seconds. The firmware as shipped would constantly crash when I accessed the SD card. After the update I haven’t had a problem once.
Review by A Kat Person:
I’ve owned this wonderful little player for about a month now, and I am totally enamored with it. The direct competitor to this player is the new ipod nano, and honestly, I can’t imagine why anyone would go for that player over this one. I see that at the moment, an 8 GB nano costs 9, whereas with the Zen you get 32 GB for 5! Hello?? Do the math?? Plus, as always, a Creative player has much better sound quality (they are a manufacturer of sound cards, after all…) and a crisp, brilliant screen that is larger in size (Zen’s 2.5″ to new ipod’s 2″). Music videos look nice on it, and, my Zen also doubles as a portable art portfolio; I can show people my artwork and photography on it and it looks great. Also, as compared with ipods, it is incredibly sturdy. I already dropped it a couple of times (yeah, clumsy…)and it’s perfectly fine! Whereas I have friends who have irreparably damaged their ipods by dropping them once. It’s a perfect size, slips comfortably into any pocket, and has a nice, sturdy feel to it. Compared with older Creative models, it’s also VERY pretty! Pretty-ness is the sole advantage ipods really had going for them before, but this new Zen is definitely on-par in terms of looks.
Also, the fellow who complained that this player is expensive compared with the larger hard-drive based Creative players – well, he’s wrong to discount the importance of this being a flash player. The fact that this is a quite large capacity flash player IS a big deal. Main advantages of flash over hard drive: sturdier, much longer battery life, less prone to crash, less prone to damage if dropped, runs and loads faster. No moving parts, so it’s overall more reliable and less prone to breakage. It’s just a much superior technology overall.
To those who complain about the earphones that come with it: no matter what player you use, if you care about sound quality, then you don’t use the earphones that come with the player!! I think Creative is good to simply include some spares and NOT charge you for what they think are good ‘phones. Why? Because it should be up to the individual what kind of headphones they prefer. I’ve been using my Zen with Bang & Olufsen Form 2 headphones, and this combination sounds fantastic. Also, I rip my CD’s to ~192 VBR; I don’t hear too much difference in sound between 192 and 320, but I DO hear LOTS of difference between 128 and 192, so for me this seems to be the ideal happy medium between file size and sound quality. I would encourage everyone else to experiment and find their ideal bit rate, because Creative sound quality and good headphones won’t help you if you rip to 128 bps!
A quick rundown of some pro’s and con’s in general:
1. As mentioned – great sound and beautiful clear screen. I don’t find that I really need a case (I usually keep it in my pocket so there’s nothing in there to scratch it), however, a screen protector is a MUST! I bought one with the player and put it on before doing anything else.
2. It’s damn cute. Just looking at it makes me smile.
3. The software is fine, and I also like being able to simply transfer files just using folders.
4. The SD card slot is a GREAT idea. It would be nice if they integrate it better in the future, but even un-integrated it’s very handy. I keep my videos on it and my music and pics on the player.
5. Really not expensive at all for a 32GB flash player!
6. Sturdy!!! I have dropped it without crying afterwards…
7. It seems to be very stable. So far I have had to reset it twice while it was docked, but this was due to my own error – both times I had tried to delete an album off the player that was set as “now playing” – so I think I confused it! But as long as I don’t do anything silly like that, I haven’t had to reset it.
8. Very long battery life. I’ve spent practically all day walking around listening to the Zen, and still have half a charge left at the end of the day. My ears get tired before it does!
9. This may not be important for all users, but is very important for me: displays foreign characters correctly. I have music on here that uses Scandinavian languages (with some funny characters) and also some music in Russian – I have had problems with other players displaying Cyrillic letters incorrectly, but not this one.
Not many con’s, just a couple:
1. The cable is indeed short, but it doesn’t seem problematic to me. The player is light enough to just hang off the usb port on the short cable with no problems.
2. The one major con for me – that it doesn’t have a usb host function as its hard-drive based cousin seems to have. That would have been a nice feature, I hope they integrate it into the next model!
3. Indeed the screen is very hard to see in direct sunlight. But, this is another one of those not-very-important cons that I have learned to work around. If I am in direct sunlight I simply work the player while shading it with my hand or jacket, or I step into the shade. Mild annoyance, but really not that big a deal.
Anyway, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, obviously. I can’t think of any other player on the market right now that even comes close to the quality of this one. And no, for all you cynics out there, I don’t work for Creative, I’m just in love with my new toy
Buy Creative Zen 32 GB Portable Media Player (Black) now for only $ 139.99!
Creative Labs Zen Mozaic EZ300 4 GB MP3 Player (Black)
Make your own personal statement with the attractive and eye-catching ZEN Mozaic EZ300.The player sports a mosaic keypad – a one-of-a-kind design that makes you stand out from the crowd instantly. Play back your photos in sharp clarity on the 1.8″ screen while tuning in to your favorite music hits.Featuring easy plug and play, simply drag and drop your songs into the ZEN Mozaic EZ300 conveniently. You can even share music playback from its powerful built-in speaker!What’s more, the player is surprisingly affordable and comes power-packed with dynamic features such as the FM radio, a voice recorder and an alarm
- 1.8″ TFT Color Display
- Impressive 4 GB storage capacity
- More than 32 hours battery life based on 128kbps MP3
- Features FM radio with 32 presets, clock with alarm, calendar, personal informaiton management (PIM) tasks, and contacts display
- Supports multiple music formats, including MP3, WMA, AUDIBLE 4
Rating: (out of 21 reviews)
List Price: $ 59.99
Price: $ 49.99
Creative Labs Zen Mozaic EZ300 4 GB MP3 Player (Black) Reviews
Review by E. A. Brackbill:
The unit shut itself off automatically while I was at the beach. The unit was in a beach bag. Thought it failed but after I got home it worked. Battery was fully charged so I knew it wasn’t that. Few days later, left the unit in the console of my car. When I came out after work and tried to turn it on. It wouldn’t. After I got home, it worked. The only common factor, temperature but in neither case was the unit in the sun. The unit was warm to the touch but not hot. On another occasion the same thing happened when I left it in the car. On a whim, I turned on the air conditioning and held the unit near the vent for less than a minute. It worked again! Obviously, there is a very temperature sensitive component.
Returned the first unit for another one thinking there was a manufacturing defect. The second unit does the same thing. Doesn’t always work at the beach; doesn’t always work in the car. What good is it? Previously had a Zen V Plus. Never had a problem at the beach or in the car.
I really like the unit, its controls and features but they’re of no advantage if the unit doesn’t function. There must be a design or component problem. It’s return time again, and buy the refurb Zen V Plus 4GB available here.
Review by J. R. Croft:
This is the 3rd creative player I have owned. All of them have been excellent. I really like the mosiac the best. The sofware sets up a logical order so I can find stuff like set up the equlizer,turn on speaker ,etc I will say that it did take me while to learn how to navigate the menu options. The speaker is an added bonus. I rarely listen to music mostly audio books. The sound can be addjusted so I can hear the spoken word clearly. I have poor hearing as a result of listening to music to loud when I was younger. Just a word to the younger folks out there. One final thought all of the players Zen nano plus,ZenV plusand the mosiac 300 do freeze up. I just reset the player it always rebulds and goes to where it left off this is annoying nothing more. When I look back to transister radios i listened to when I was a kid this device is a miracle. Jim C PS I would not continus buying creative if I didnot like the product. I did buy a sansa once e140 did not like it
Review by In the Know:
Creative requires that all video be encoded with the supplied “Creative Centrale” software. I attempted to install a (leaglly purchased)digital copy of Hannah Montana the Movie on this player without any luck. The EXACT same video file will install and play on my other Creative players (using Windows Media Player). For a week, Creative and I sent emails back and forth as I atempted to find out why this file would not install on the Mozaic. They kept answering my questions in circles. I finally gave up when their 5th response was the same as their 1st response. Obviously, they don’t know the answer to my question. The bottom line…I bought this player for my 8 year old and she loves it. The menus are easy to navigate and the sound is excellent. Do not buy this product if playing videos is a priority.
Review by Louis E. Delgado:
very easy to load up and use
seems sturdy and is easy to use
Buy Creative Labs Zen Mozaic EZ300 4 GB MP3 Player (Black) now for only $ 49.99!
Creative Zen Mozaic 4 GB MP3 Player (Black)
Buck the trend and create your own style with the eye-catching ZEN Mozaic.The player sports a mosaic keypad – a one-of-a-kind design that makes you stand out from the crowd instantly. Distinctive in form and cool in function, play back your photos in sharp clarity on the 1.8″ screen while tuning in to your favorite music hits.You can even share the chart-toppers out loud with the ZEN Mozaic’s powerful built-in speaker.Surprisingly affordable and power-packed with dynamic features, entertainment on the go has never been so palatable.Time to play a different tune. Time for the ZEN Mozaic.Buck the trend and create
- 4 GB capacity for 2,000 WMA or 1000 MP3 files
- Up to 32 hours battery life on a single charge
- 1.8-inch TFT color display with 128 x 160 pixel resolution
- Supports AVI video format MP3, WMA, WAV (IMA-ADPCM), Audible 4 audio formats; JPEG (BMP/GIF/PNG/TIFF) image formats
- 1-year limited hardware warranty
Rating: (out of 103 reviews)
List Price: $ 79.99
Price: $ 55.00
Creative Zen Mozaic 4 GB MP3 Player (Black) Reviews
Review by D. S. Oman:
I’ve had the Zen Mozaic 4 GB for about a week now, and I love it! Here is just a short list of the pros and cons I have noticed.
Price – It’s very cost-effective for the tons of features included!
FM Radio – The radio signal strength is unimpressive, but a plus nonetheless, since many don’t offer this feature. Note: the radio antenna is built into the headphones, so with just the built-in speaker, there is no radio reception at all. Headphones must be plugged in.
Alarm clock – I love being able to set the song that I wake up to, and with the built-in speaker it works much like a cell-phone alarm clock.
Built-in speaker – Now you can share a song with a friend without sharing your headphones. The speaker sounds better than I thought it would considering how small the device is. I wouldn’t listen to it for hours, but it’s a nice additional feature.
Battery Life – When they say 30+ hours, they’re not joking. Very impressive battery life.
Plastic – The whole thing is made of plastic and feels somewhat toylike. Although I hesitate to call this a “con” because it feels very sturdy and well-made. If you want a metallic feel, you’ll have to fork out the extra money for a Zune or iPod (twice the price).
Headphones – The headphones are pretty cheap. The music sounds tinny when you use them, but if you use nicer headphones, sound quality is good! Once again, the radio antenna is in the headphones if you want to use this feature.
My overall impression is that I am very satisfied with the product. I don’t use it much for videos, but the included software will convert videos to .avi format for viewing, which is nice but the screen is a bit small for using it as a video player very often. I use Media Monkey for syncing, but you can use Windows Media Player or simply Drag and Drop.
Audio quality is great with better headphones and the interface is simple to use. The design, I think, is very sleek and unique, but obviously not for everyone. If you’re looking for a nice little player to give as a gift or just to stash in your pocket, this is a great choice!
Review by Cheap Skate:
I use this mostly for audio books which I download from my local library and it works great with the OverDrive Media console in use by many public libraries. I love the fact that when it times out, it remembers where it left off even if it is left in “pause”. The Zen V Plus would always return to the beginning of the segment if it was paused, which was a real pain when listening to a 16 hour book. In addition to 6 audio books, I also have 8 hours of Christmas music organized into a playlist. The battery lasts way longer than the V Plus and I can still use the charger that I bought for the Zen V Plus. Took a while to figure out some of the differences between programming the Mozaic and the Zen V Plus including the new typewriting but now I’ve become familiar with it I have no difficulty getting it programmed the way I need it. Easy to bookmark and restore. 2 thumbs up!
Review by Dennis Scally:
I was immediately taken aback by this player. Its design took some time to get used to, but after seeing it up close and getting used to its controls, i feel like it is a good choice for any casual music listener.
The Good: 1. I like the design of it. Something new is always good for a market that has nothing different to give these days. 2. The sound quality is excellent. 3. The battery life is Amazing! I clocked in at 41.3 hours with all 128kbps songs and the screen off thanks to the lock. i havent done test with 192kbps songs yet, but i dont think it really matters too much. 4. Navigation is another plus. not just the default layout, but the customizability of it. you can move the menus around, add, delete, and set a certain item to the hotkey. this gave me the feeling that it was actually “My” mp3 player, unlike the Sansa, Ipod, and Zune mp3 players that do not allow any modification of the default layout.
The Bad: 1. Slow buttons. i noticed that when i scroll through the menus, sometimes i would have to push a button twice to get it to respond. i haven’t had to push it three times yet, but if i do, i might have to start complaining about the lazy response times. 2. Creative Centrale. I dont like this program. i didnt have the install problems of the last reviewer, but the conversion times of videos, the hassle of trying to add albums to the program, and the lack of a good “find album art” utility make the software almost useless. so far, the freeware creative Vision:M video converter is doing a great job of fixing the vids, so i have absolutely no use for the bundled software.
All in all, i love this player. i get a couple random looks around town when i have it out, and the built-in speaker has quite a presence. .99US for 2gb and .99US for 4gb is crazy cheap for such a uniquely awesome little player. I highly recommend you go check one out for yourself.
Review by Sunny:
Well, I received my 4gb pink Mozaic today, and I’m very happy with it :]
I once owned a Creative Zen Vision:M, 30gb, until I lost it in the gym… It was an excellent player with a few quirks (it was somewhat laggy) but quite a brick – I dropped it about 4-5x and yet it still survived.
Well, back to the Mozaic, to break it down,
+ The player is small and unobtrusive if you want to put it in your pocket
+ The pink is a nice shade
+ Easy to navigate through the menus
+ I was able to drag and drop music directly into the player’s “Music” folder on my computer and play it immediately
+ Although the shell is made of plastic, it is very, very sturdy. I feel that I could drop it several times with minimal damage (not that I’m going to test this out!)
+ The screen is bright and vivid
+ You can save up to 32 radio stations
+ Radio signal itself is alright; just make sure you have your headphones plugged in, as they act as the antenna.
+ The speaker is decent, but not up to audiophile standards (which I’m not). However, it’s perfect in a pinch – if you forget your headphones, want to share music with a friend, etc.
- I hesitate to call this a con, since the player in itself is quite small, but the buttons are tiny. Then again, we text on cell phone keys that about the same size, so it’s easy to adapt to.
- Watching videos requires that you turn the player to the side. Not really a con, but just something to take note of.
I will update later after my player and I get more intimate ;p
Buy Creative Zen Mozaic 4 GB MP3 Player (Black) now for only $ 55.00!
Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2 8 GB MP3 and Video Player with Touchscreen and Built-In Speaker (Black and Silver)
Introducing the first ever touchscreen player by Creative Technology – the ZEN X-Fi2. No fussy buttons involved, simply let your fingers work their magic across the 3″ TFT LCD screen and gain access to all player features instantly.The ZEN X-Fi2 now allows you to experience stellar X-Fi technology even with your stored movies and FM radio, restoring audio to even higher levels of clarity than before. Immerse yourself in a natural listening experience as the state-of-the-art X-Fi technology intelligently moves the earphone stereo source away from your ears, simulating an audio experience from a pair of high-end stereo speakers. Take
- Incredible 8GB storage capacity with Micro-SD card slot for expansion
- Touchscreen interface and support for iTunes and lossless music
- Built in speaker for superior listening experience
- 3-Inch viewing screen for superior movie and picture viewing
- Slim and sleek design
Rating: (out of 92 reviews)
List Price: $ 129.99
Price: $ 104.99
Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2 8 GB MP3 and Video Player with Touchscreen and Built-In Speaker (Black and Silver) Reviews
Review by R. Hunt:
I’ve owned many MP3 players incl. Creative’s Muvo, Zev V, and Zen. What drew me to the X-Fi2 was the larger screen, the video out, the RSS, plus the touch interface and speaker somewhat.
Display: Very pretty, 400 X 240. Good quality video and images look sharp and bright.
Audio Quality: I did A/B comparisons between the Zen and the X-Fi2, and the X-Fi2 wins. The top end is smoother, and the bass is tighter and deeper, and the overall sound is more open. They’re similar in max volume, but the X-Fi2 sounds better.
X-Fi: I don’t use it.
Creative Centrale: Install it, then forget it.
Audio Storage: Album art is a problem. The art has to be “embedded” in the ID3 tag for it to appear, it’s possible Windows Media Player automatically does this. This can also be done with an app like “Mp3tag”. Which meant going back and doing that to all 350 albums I had on the old Zen. Note that I don’t use any services like Rhapsody, or files with DRM, so for me playback itself was fine.
Viewing Photos: Some jpgs don’t show up except as “?” marks. Not sure why.
Videos: Nightmare. With the avi or wmv that worked fine on the Zen, the audio would break up or the vids wouldn’t be recognized. Creative Central was unreliable and slow, and coverts vids to wmv.
I tried about 6 other converters, and either audio or video was messed up, or just not recognized (XVid, Divx, or wmv). Finally tested Handbrake, and the X-Fi2 was happy playing those XVid files, with very specific settings, about 90% of the time. And when it works, it looks great.
Video Out: Works surprisingly well, but no one will think it’s a DVD.
RSS: Run a sync program from the X-Fi2 when it’s connected to your PC. Kind of a pain, but it works.
Battery: Seems like the charging time and life are on par with the Zen.
Interface: Not easy. A quick light touch mostly doesn’t work. Pressing down a larger area takes longer to process, so sometimes the fingernail trick is best. And sometimes it just takes a long to to respond in general. It also misinterprets gestures frequently. But with practice, it’s usable.
The volume control is not immediately accessible (3 steps) on most levels, and not at all from the main menu. So trying to quickly turn it down on a sunny day (hard to see the display) is almost impossible.
Trying to do things one-handed is difficult (e.g. walking to the train, X-Fi2 in one hand, coffee in other).
Summary: It feels that the X-Fi2 was launched before development was complete. The touch interface is quirky, the video support is very finicky, and the menu design needs refinement. I’m hoping further firmware updates improve things. ITMT, the average user will NOT be happy.
Review by J. Pendris:
First of all, I own the Zen Vision: W,the Zen Vision: M ,the Zen Media “Flash” Player 32gb , the Zen X-Fi 32gb player
and NOW the Zen X-Fi 2 32gb player. So I’m am quite familiar with way these players sound,operate, etc.
With the advent of the X-Fi technology there’s Nothing out there that can beat this sound. (I own the Zune HD 32gb player too, slick but not as good sound wise).
This latest player takes a little getting use to as far as the touch screen is concerned. It is NOT as sensitive as the Zune HD, But with a little practice it works just fine. Using your finger/thumb nail as a stylus works great! Using the flat end of a finger,not so much (it’ll frustrate you).
Like I said, having prior experience with the previous iterations of this player will help immensely.
It beats the hell out the tiny buttons (controls) of the X-Fi.
There is a short learning curve with this device. (as with most device’s, including the Zune HD)Well worth the effort as there are many options to tweak to your particular taste. And it’s expandable with it’s memory card, A BIG plus as you can plug in play any media you have what so ever from a SD micro card.
This is the most versatile MP3 “music” player out there.
It this player perfect ? NO,……………. But it’s another step in the right direction.
One last observation, The Creative Centrale software STILL Sux !!! Because,
The ripping program STILL fails (just like the previous version) (errors) after only two consecutive rips………………..
and you have close the Centrale software program and restart. That’s If you’re lucky !
If not, you’ll have to REBOOT your computer to make the program run properly,………………
BUY/GET/STEAL a stylus, you’ll need it !!!
Review by G. Wernette:
I had high hopes for this player. Creative certainly advertizes it as the ultimate music machine that also plays video. And that is true, up to a certain point.
SPOILER ALERT: The X-Fi2 is not an MP4 player, seems sort of sad for a product of mid 2009. The device will play .avi files, but if you wrap an ffmpeg in an m4v container, it will not work.
1. The hardware is good, not great. The outer casing is slick metal, and can slip out of your fingers very easily. I ordered the leather case as a bumper bra, and at the time of my purchase, there were no ’skin’ accessories to enhance the gripping of the X-Fi2. This is a two-handed device, one to grip, one to operate.
2. The Creative Centrale software sucks. There is no other word for it. Don’t expect it to do anything useful (XP SP3). Fortuneatly, it is a mass-storage device, and you can drag-n-drop your files onto the X-Fi2 to avoid it.
3. Don’t use Creative Centrale to encode video. It will not play reliably. The X-Fi2 has a limited compatibility with video files, so a third-party, one-trick pony application is needed to produce compatible video. Download a program, like HandBrake (free), and you will be able to watch great video on the 3″ screen. The key to successfull video, scale the source video down to the X-Fi2’s size (400 x 240). Observe perspective, get as close to those values as your source video will scale, but don’t force them. keep your quality setting at 80& or higher, and the video will look very close to the source quality. 100% quality gives a great picture on the 3″ screen, with all 16 million colors present, and no blocky pixels.
4. Touchscreen. Could be better. Even after issuing a firmware update just for the touchscreen, it still doesn’t track well, and can be frustrating for diabetics who’s finger tips may not get good circulation. You will do alot of swiping.
5. Music. Sound quality is superb, but the adjustments are not. Users must navigate several sub-menus for EQ, detail, and x-fi enhancements.
6. The supplied in-ear phones are comfortable and sound great. They come with a set of 3 different-size inserts.
7. Tuner. Great sound, poor management. Although there are 20+ presets for storing your favorite radio stations, they are not represented by any shortcut keys. You must access them sequentially, scroll through till you find the one you want. SPOILER ALERT: EQ cannot be applied to the tuner without leaving the tuner function, thereby killing the music. This sucks if you like to change genres of music in the same sitting. In order to select your listening preferences you leave the tuner section to access the EQ submenu, then have to go back and re-enter Tuner. Very bad, because it creates a negative exerience for radio listening.
8. Pictures. I haven’t done many pictures, but the few which have been dropped in, need a few seconds to be loaded, then they are ‘instantly’ accessable
9. Battery. So far, I’ve gotten about 7 hours maximum, while watching video at 3/4 screen brightness. I haven’t tried to stay with just music to see how much longer it could last.
10. Voice. The sample recording was of good fidelity, and I could hear background objects faintly (but cleanly) from about 10 ft. Closer is obviously better.
This is not a competitor of an iTouch. The Apple product costs more for the same 8GB capacity.
Micro SDHC slot, recognizes up to 16GB.
Drag-n-Drop, no iTunes requirement(like an iPod would have)
3″ Screen is high resolution, can have great video IF YOU SCALE.
VERY BAD SOFTWARE: Creative Central application is hands-down worst interface I’ve ever tried to use. The irony is, I have Creative mp3 players (Nomad IIc / Nomad Jukebox) from 2003 that have better software, and everything works. This year’s Creative Centrale interface is pure crap.
Clunky operation: touch screen tracking is finicky, plus submenus are needed to access basic music adjustments. There is certainly enough empty real estate on the screen to program a shortcut or two, but there are none.
Tuner: can’t listen to radio station and select EQ at the same time.
When this player has the proper support, it is a fantastic machine. Unfortuneatly, the need to go out for 3rd party support reduces the smarmy feelings I could have, and I seriously hope that future upgrades will eventually make this the ultimate media player that Creative advertizes it to be.
Review by B. Wofter:
Alright, I’m going to write this first: I do not use Napster to Go. This product is NOT compatible with Napster to Go and never was claimed to be on the manufacturer website. In fact, it says directly that it’s incompatible with protected music. If you use Napster to Go, this product isn’t for you.
Now, you might be reading bad reviews over the touch screen. Well, it’s a bit iffy. BUT, it’s not as bad as everyone says. I work at K-Mart and their registers are touchscreen. They’re worse than the screen in the Creative Zen X-Fi2 and they’re almost perfect. I will admit when going through the music list, you’ll encounter some weird things with scrolling. You’ll try to scroll and accidentally select an artist you didn’t want to. That’s the ONLY problem with the touch screen.
But, the touch screen problems are well made up for. The sound quality is amazing. My computer has HD sound output and these are near, if not exactly, the same in sound. The music is crisp and high quality (note: I usually don’t accept anything under 320kbps so, my music is high quality before hand) and exactly how you would want them. I do recommend turning on Bass Boost. No matter what you’re listening to (metal, rap, I listen to it all), it’ll add that kick you want with your music.
The interface is almost the same as my old Creative Zen (before it became the MX). The main different between the interface of the two is the fact that the icons are all out there to easily access. The menu is easily navigated. I’ve read reviews that have said that the sound control is only avaliable in the “Now Playing” portion of the MP3 Player, but I’ve come to discover this is not true. With the holding down of the “Home” button, you can easily access the Volume Control.
The layout of the player is pretty much perfect. The power button is out of the way and very hard to accidentally hit. Also, it takes about 4 to 6 seconds for it to even begin to start shut down, so if you’re carrying it in your pocket, you won’t have to worry about it randomly shutting off. The power button, like in almost all Zens, is, as well, the hold button. There is one other button. The menu button. It’s just kind of there. Not badly positioned, but not in the best place.
Edit: I’ve managed to find a single other con. The MP3 player isn’t the studiest thing every made. It fell out of my coat pocket and one corner of it shattered (compared to my Creative Zen which survived through a car accident with minor scratches). All in all, this is still the best Zen I’ve owned. As well, a new advantage is the upgrade to the firmware which shows potential in games and applications being added into the players ability, as well as potential for accelerometer (tilt and turn functionality) use.
That’s pretty much all the goods and bads. To sum it all up:
AMAZING Sound Quality
No Napster to Go Support
Not the sturdiest thing out there
Buy Creative Labs Zen X-Fi 2 8 GB MP3 and Video Player with Touchscreen and Built-In Speaker (Black and Silver) now for only $ 104.99!