- Built-in Microphone
Creative Zen 8 GB Portable Media Player (Black)
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Enjoy all your media on a device that's about the width of a credit card
- Watch 64 hours of videos, enjoy up to 2,000 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, SDHC support
- Weighs 2.1 ounces and measures 3.26 x 2.16 x .44 inches (W x H x D)
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The Zen sports a 2.5-inch TFT color display with 320 x 240-pixel resolution and support for up to 16.7 million colors. This razor sharp display is packaged in a device that weighs just 2.1 ounces and measures 3.26 x 2.16 x .44 inches (W x H x D). The internal battery powers the Zen for up to 25 hours of continuous audio playback and up to five hours of continuous video playback. Use the Zen's SD slot to expand your portable media library with music, photos and videos stored on your SD card. There's also a handy built-in microphone for capturing notes on the go.
Load up up your favorite songs, as well as your album art, and get going with the Zen. The device supports iTunes Plus tracks from the iTunes store and MP3 and WMA tracks. Subscription and pay-per-download music services are supported, as well. Discover, save, and play millions of songs when subscribing to services such as Yahoo Music Unlimited and Napster To Go. You can even tune into your favorite stations with the Zen's FM radio. The radio allows you to save up to 34 presets.
The Zen has you covered when it comes to video, too. The device supports MJPEG, WMV9 and--with transcoding--MPEG1 and 2, MPEG4-SP, DivX 4 and 5, and XviD. Enjoy purchased or rented movies and TV shows from online services such as Amazon Unbox and Walmart.com. Watch home videos. Even load your Tivo To Go movies and TV shows onto your Zen.
Additional features include a clock and alarm function, volume restriction, eight equalizer settings, and a USB hard drive mode, which allows you to drag and drop files directly to and from your Zen. The Zen can also function as a handy organizer, allowing you to synchronize with Microsoft Outlook and display your contacts, calendar, and tasks.
What's in the Box
Zen player, earphones, USB 2.0 cable, installation CD, and quick start guide.
Top Customer Reviews
YES, it is iTunes-compatible, and YES it is compatible with Yahoo! Jukebox, BUT ONLY THOSE TRACKS THAT YOU HAVE PURCHASED AS "BURNABLE". In other words, you will not be able to transfer your Subscription or Stream tracks to this device, which is only fair (for that, you have to have Yahoo! Music Unlimited To-Go, which is an invite-based service and thus uncommon). Needless to say, you can import tracks from any CD quickly and painlessly, and/or copy any wmv/mp3/mp4 or whatever that you already have on your hard drive: the device is browsable with Windows and all you need to do is copy/paste to the right folder.
Now for the review.
++ Compatible with an amazing variety of file formats, without conversion, unlike iPods. Whatever is not compatible the software will convert for you if at all possible. This is a HUGE plus for the computer-illiterate.
++ Great sound quality, a bare minimum requirement for a music player.
++ Sleek looks, IMO superior to the trite iPod-like, spin-wheel design. It certainly got more looks and comments than the iPod I had previously. Also, it's more pleasant to hold in your hand: small but not too tiny, and very sturdy/solid (which, if you'll handle it 8-10 hours a day like I do, is a huge plus).
++ The included software is fantastic. It's fast, reliable (never froze), and lets you manage files and create playlists quickly and painlessly. Basically, anything you can do with the player's built-in software you can do with ZEN Media Explorer from your computer. So, go for it.
++ Many complained about the interface, but I actually like it very much. The built-in software is easy to understand and utilize. The buttons are a tad tricky, but all you need to do is play around with them for ten minutes before you're able to find them blindly by just sticking your hand in your pocket (something you certainly cannot do with iPods, whose interface is more visually-driven).
++/-- The SD expansion slot is both a pain and a pleasure. Yes, you can basically make this a 16Gb with an SDHC card for a few bucks--but it's true that only SOME content will run off of it, and that while you are playing content from the SD card you cannot navigate the built-in flash memory. So, caveat emptor... but if you know what you're getting there's no reason to complain. How many times do you really browse your music while you're already listening to something else anyway?
-- Perplexed about battery life info: "25 hours of continuous listening"? I don't think so. More like 10-12, which is on par with similar devices.
-- The shortest USB cable ever bundled. Buy a cheapo extension from Monoprice right away, unless you already own a USB hub. Otherwise, your player will lie on the floor or, worse, hang by the cable while it's being charged and sync'ed, neither of which is good.
-- The joystick buttons make a slightly annoying clicking sound, not when pressed but when released. However, this does not happen on my friend's ZEN, so maybe I got a "bad" unit?
-- AWFUL packaging! What were they thinking? Not only is it one of those impossible-to-open blister packs, but if you use scissors it's relatively easy to harm the contents... not the player, thankfully, which is in full sight, but the manuals and CD and bundled cables. So be careful.
** BUY A SCREEN PROTECTOR! Apply it immediately. The screen will collect dust (and thus scratches) within hours, like any LCD.
** BUY A CASE OR SKIN! Piano-black finish is attracted to fingerprints like flies to s__t.
** 8Gb is perfect for the serious music listener with varied taste. Buffs and pros want to go for 16Gb. Occasional listeners will do well with 4Gb. Media moguls, of course, need not apply: that's what the Vision is for.
Overall, one of the best entry-level portable music players on the market. The price tag may well be the deal-breaker here: it is cheaper than any other brand music player, and it does the same things AND, in my opinion, more and better. Support by Creative is also famously good, so I see no reason not to buy a ZEN.
Got my Creative Zen this week, and have been nothing but impressed. It is a sleek, solidly built player. The #1 thing to me is audio quality, and the Zen is a Ten there. I've been using an iAudio U2, and it sounded great; way better than my daughter's Nano. This is just as good if not better.
What I was looking for in a player: First, good sound. Second, good battery life. Third, a nice screen for video and photos. I was tempted by the iAudio 7, because of that great battery life and my knowledge of their sound quality. But they're irrelevant in terms of video. The Clix is highly thought of by the techie sites, but it is weak in terms of space (still waiting on the 8 GB) and display (2.2 inches vs. the 2.5 of the Zen). So as a confirmed Apple apostate, when I saw the Zen, with its awesome audio, brilliant video, and SD slot, I knew it was "the one".
It seems a little odd to me that a player can claim to "support" multiple video formats, yet I have to convert almost all of them. And the Zen software seems to convert everything to WMV. But I guess that is just the normal fallout of all these format wars. I have yet to find a video or audio format (including audiobooks .aa, which I haven't seen mentioned as specifically suppported) that I can't (eventually) get on the Zen. And the bottom line: the video looks vivid, the audio sounds awesome.
I synched up with Windows Media Player, cuz I'm used to it. It mostly worked, but there was some weirdness; songs that appeared under an artist, correctly, didn't appear under that artist's album. I assume that synching with the Zen Media Explorer would work better. But with the ability to drag-and-drop, or even delete and create folders, directly from Windows Explorer, these glitches are easily fixed.
The key to me is the SDHC slot. With SD cards gaining in capacity and dropping in price, this seems like the future to me. I'm betting the next generation iPod will jump on this bandwagon. I've seen complaints about the SD-card implementation, which sees the card as sort-of a separate device. But I actually like browsing on the card BETTER than elsewhere, because I can structure things there like I want. If you know how to create a folder, and drag things into it, you won't have a problem. Just keep it simple: a Music and a Videos folder, and only WMA/V and MP3. I can see monster "playlists" of video and music, organized by cheap, tiny SD cards. The ultimate in modular expandability.
It is a bit slow to boot up, but that is minor, to me. The battery life is average. But it's easy for the Cowon iAudio 7, with a screen half the Zen's size, to have that awesome battery life. A brilliant, color-rich screen like the Zen possesses must come with a cost.
In sum: This is an awesome player--well-built, feature-packed, with unlimited SD capacity.
P.S. Works great so far with Amazon Unbox. The video is very good, the audio has a little crackle-and-pop; but overall, not bad at all, and easy to load. (No conversion necessary, although Unbox doesn't yet list the Creative Zen as an approved player.) However, the .amzn files aren't recognized on the Zen's SD card--easily worked around.