Home > lifestyle, technology and us.. > Creative Zen: an usage update!!

Creative Zen: an usage update!!

It seems that the Creative topics yield a certain interest to some of you, thus here we are, after something like a month or so intensive usage…

First and foremost, I bought the screen protection, since the player goes into my messenger bag, coat pockets, on the beach and whilst doing my gym sessions… pretty cool stuff, it looks a bit “foggy” when inactive, whilst the screen performs perfectly well when browsing around the menu or watching a movie.

Movies… I had “This is England” (pretty cool movie, by the way..) on the player, and was forced to watch it in three instances… the visual experience is better than expected, albeit the screen has got some “pixel shading” problem, but heck, you do not want to use the Creative to have a superior movie machine but to waste some time in a more than decent way!! Job done, then. Easy to manage thanks to an “in application” menu (top right button), you may want to stretch the image to “full screen” to enjoy the entire width of the LCD..bit of image distortion, but I guess it is function to the original format the movie was encoded. Sound is perfect, I have changed the original Creative earphones with a Sennheiser OMX 50 VC, due to an useful (whilst gym training) ear clip, but the sound quality was full and rewarding with the Creative set as well, partially due to the customisable equalisation.

The movie upload was straightforward, and codec conversion was handled by the player: open the Media Explorer, fetch the movie, the player communicates it needs to be converted, you click and go minding your business, in a not-too-short while the movie is ready to be uploaded. Done. Enjoy.

Easier than this is the actual songs and playlist management. Not a worry, not a problem, apart from building up the playlist when uploading different songs of the same author from a downloaded collection: you may want to “playlist” the entire collection as to have it played as a whole, which would not be if left into the normal storage of songs: by author, album, genre and so forth.

Playback is perfect, there is an automatic album cover function that will display the cover next to title, author, time left (also supported by a nice progress bar underneath) should you have the embedded info into the download. Whilst listening to mp3 you are able to switch back into other menus without loosing the actual track, something you cannot do whilst listening to the FM radio. With the top-right menu button you play with the song, see artist details, set the track into a playlist, delete if it is absolutely abysmal..  Switching through menus and functions is as fast as a blink, really, nevermind the player is packed full with stuff or almost empty.

The FM is a straightforward affair. The Creative has got some  32 preset stations, which you can clearly change at your liking: press firmly the right part of the central button and the player will go into a granular airways selection, find your favourite FM, top right menu and set it as preference, choose the station number and there you are! Signal clearness is a touch better than the old Creative Zen V Plus I have got.

Whilst listening to your favourite tunes, either in FM or mp3, you may want to browse or slideshow your photos, which you have downloaded in the usual, dead easy way: browse via Media Explorer, choose your “victims” and there you go, upload into the Creative.

Since I have used the 4Gb almost in full, I will play a bit with an SD card to see how the entire thing actually work, but given the icon “Memory Card” into the main menu, I trust the ease of use will be respected!!! Also, if you plan to upload songs and similar from other than the PC you installed the Creative first, you better take care of creating a partition of the flash memory to be used as external drive memory.. otherwise any PC will see the Creative, but won’t be able to use it at all.. this is as far as I went, some amongst you may have further infos or a totally different indication, most welcome to add to the post!!!

By the way, you may want to customise the appearance of your Creative… “System” icon, customise the display.. I personally have chosen the black skin, which comes with a nice orange progress bar and a little purple line at the top… your call anyway!!

Battery life is pretty good. After a full charge, I managed to listen to music and play FM radio for, say, four days of pretty decent usage, four or five hours.. I still have not reached the 25 hours exhaustion (I charged the player before it shut down) as stated into Creative’s website, but admittingly you do not have to worry much when playing music. Same thing apply when watching a movie.. no problem with a full charge.. I started to watch the movie I had with, say, half of battery life displayed and the movie (1h35′ roughly..) missed the last 5′ (bummer!!!)..

Altogether, despite not being able to head-on compare the Creative with an iPod Nano or similar, I must say the experience is rewarding, the ease of use is really one strong plus (I am a fairly skilled tech user, not real geek but not all that dork either… ), it impresses me the fact that the Creative slides immediately into your lifestyle as if you have ever had it.

A nice companion, which I will stick to for a while, I believe!! Recommended?? Most definitely, and the 4Gb is a steal for the retail price tag it has!!

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  1. November 19, 2007 at 17:07 15

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