Let's start by saying I am shocked that anyone has given this less than a 4* rating. I have numerous friends and colleagues who have one and it is so so simple to use and good at what it does.
It really is the best gadget I have ever purchased - and even though I bought this when it was £40 more expensive I would easily pay that price again.
I spent a good few months looking for a new mp3 player when my shuffle died and due tot he great marketing that Apple has i obviously started looking for video iPods. How much you learn when you start to do some research.
This player comes out head and shoulders above any iPod model out there - and seeing I spent ages deciding on what to get let's dispel some of the doubts for people who are thinking about iPods:
1. "It's so bulky"
Far from it. Even if it is slightly thicker than the iPod, it is definitely not a bulky object. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and has a very nice smooth feel to it. It's not heavy either. The iPod is definitely a little lighter - but not by much.
2. "It's ugly"
The picture doesnt do it justice. The front is a nice shiny black finish and the back is a nice matt white with a nice raised concentric circle pattern in the middle. The silver back on the iPod simply gets scratched within weeks and my creative still looks brand new.
3. "iPod has such great accessories"
true - but Creative has great ones aswell. They are known for their sound technology and their addons are awesome. Whether you opt for the more than perfect headphones or the amazing TV to Creative cable - you will not go wrong.
4. I HAVE had access to an archos and a iPod 60 gig. This is by far the best. My wife got the iPod at the same time as me getting this and managed to get 14 songs onto it with ease. I had the entire 30gig filled in the same time.
After a few weeks of hassle in converting files etc - she sold the iPod and got a Zen.
5. "iPods are so easy to use and the screen is great"
Ease of use - yes, but so is this - or to be honest 99% of mp3 players out there.
The screen on the Zen is amazing. It IS better than the iPods. Clearer and more defined - its a rounded and full bodied watching experience. The iPod is in comparison slightly 2D. The battery life is good - you can probably get about 5 hours of video from a single charge.
6. "iTunes is great!"
If you already have iTunes on your PC, the Zen will not stop you from using it. However the Creative software is as good. I now have it as my default music player and hardly use Windows Media Player any more.
7. "iTunes allows me to put songs straight on to my player!"
Again - true. But you can drag and drop files and folders straight from your PC to yout Zen in seconds - WITHOUT even opening the music software if you so wish. This was one of the great things for me - it really is simple to change playlists and movies etc
8. "iPod file extension software is eay to use and I can convert files quite easily"
Well - firstly you have to download that software and secondly why convert when the Zen plays almost all formats!!
So far I have had AVI, DivX 4 & 5, XviD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, MPEG4, WMV9 and Motion-JPEG all used on my Zen with NO conversion or anything needed - simply drag drop and play. The accessibility to the Zen is great. The iPod although nice, is a struggle at times as there is so much protection on it to stop you putting on files that could be illegal.
9. The Zen can be plugged into ANY PC and you can take songs and films off the other computer. Not possible with iPod where you are locked to the computer you have set up on.
10. There is an integrated FM radio tuner which is good when you get bored of your 15,000 songs!