It’s been a while since I’ve had a portable MP3 player….too long. Rather than bearing with the burden for years and years before I die due to lack of soothing tunes, I decided to satisfy that need. The object of my aural delight is a 2GB Creative Zen.
To all of you technophiles out there, “no, it’s not a Zune or an iPod”. I can’t justify spending over $100 bucks on a device, especially if it has software dependencies. I respect the options out there, particularly the proper potential of Wi-Fi synchronization in the Zune. If I were going to switch to a main player, it would probably be the Zune. That is, of course, if I didn’t get an option to pick up an iPhone first. There’s no contest there.
But anyways, here’s a quick rundown…nothing to earth shattering.
What do I like:
- Physical Size (near credit-card HxW and just large enough for 3/8in plug deep)
- Expandable Storage using Secure Digital Cards
- Drivers compatible with all Windows installs so far (no pc software needed)
- Great WAV Recording Filtering for Clarity and Good Stream Rates
- Loads of standard video support (Even my weirdly formatted videos look great)
- Nice 2.5″ Display
- FM Radio Displat
- Simple Menu Interfaces
- Photo Support (fantastic images)
- Price ($80 new)
What don’t I like:
- No “Play by Folder” Options (I’m an addict)
- No support for Ogg Vorbis formats
- No Soft key buttons (Starting/Stopping recordings is a pain)
- Apparently they don’t use iCal format for calendar
- Integrated Battery (It may be a must for size, but I don’t have to like it)
- Poor earbuds included
But it’s a great product over all. I’ve been more inclined to record meetings now that I have it on my body so I can review discussions after the fact. And the WAV sampling is great, so fair quality speech at the 10 foot range is coming out at about 15 minutes per 2.5 megs. Not to mention everyone who has seen it has asked what it is; it’s very sleek.
If you’re looking for something fairly inexpensive but still sexy I’d advise you to check out the Creative Zen.
Important Note: I have a hard time talking about portable players without saying this but all the MP3′s on my Zen are legal. I know just about everyone might have carryover stuff that may be of questionable legal background from your childhood (when you had no money and didn’t know any better), but it’s no excuse to keep taking money from people who earn it. 99 cents a song isn’t bad. And if you play 100+ hours of that video game, isn’t it worth $40-50?
I also like to take issue with the anachronism that is the modern day music conglomorate and DRM licensing. If I can purchase a player that can just let me use my music the way I need to use it. When I buy it, I should be able to put it on any device that I need without paying more royalties. I’m not advocating sharing and reselling, but the rights of use are there when it comes to entertainment.
Consumers Unite! Please buy your music, software, and movies and buy players that let you use them the way you want. It’s irresponsible to steal from artists and developers, but it’s not time to give money to these companies by locking into a software use nightmare or DRM fiascos. Buy and use freely, respect and enjoy.