Thursday, September 07, 2006

Creative Zen V - revisited

The bad:

So, first night with the Creative Zen V, and it locks up while trying to change the owner name. Also? It preloads a ton of useless photos that serve only to take up space. If you don't remember to compress the files, approximately 95 songs will eat up half of all usable space. Just delete the picture files via the software when you're in sync mode. Much easier than deleting them individually on the player.

I managed to "unlock" it by pushing a pin into the reset hole - which is entirely too small and hard to work with. Should it lock up again in the next few days, it's going back in exchange for an IPod.

Oh, and the earbuds...horrible. Either I've got freakishly small ear openings, or they're just too large. They either go in right and hurt like hell or don't go in all the way and fall out. Not so cool.

The good:

Great sound with many different choices for acoustics. Creative is a pretty good name in the computer audio industry and it's easy to hear why; this tiny machine offers as great a sound as its bigger and better sibling, the Creative Jukebox.

Really intuitive software, except for the initial load. Then it required seeking out new firmware, line alteration of the registry and finally deletion and reinstallation of the device driver just to get it going. After that, though, loading music was a breeze, and mine's nearly filled after I added three more cds worth of music before work this morning. Am thinking maybe more storage would've been smarter. Oh, well.

Not sure yet:

As far as I know (no research, yet) Creative doesn't offer a docking device or car converter to play through your stereo for this particular MP3 player. You can get the usual suspects, though: skins, car charger and the small stuff.

One touch memo recording - haven't tried this feature yet.

PodCast downloads - I also haven't tried this yet. The software is intuitive, also, so when I get around to downloading a podcast, it should be straightforward enough.

Calendar and events reminder - this I like. With so many different appointments, it's a great feature.

Navigational Joystick: Well, I didn't much like the menu navigational devices on the bigger Zen, and not so sure I like the dinky joystick, either. It's super sensitive, and hard to use for deletion of items. But it does work, and it's unobtrusive for the most part. Also, you can use the flat "play" and "rewind" or "screen reverse" buttons next to it, instead.

All in all, for the price and features, it appears to be a good deal. Provided it unglitches. Had I known this product just arrived in June '06, I wouldn't have purchased it. Never like first-run equipment because it's always glitchy and there's not been enough time to get the bugs out.

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