Creative Zen Vision M: mini review

MP3 players

Well we popped in to the Creative launch today and it certainly wasn’t the damp squib that some were predicting it would be. Sure the Zen Vision: M might have been all over the web so there was no huge surprise, but in the flesh it looked a great deal more than just a video iPod clone. It has the edge over its Apple rival in several key areas most notably its 262,114 colour screen (as opposed to the iPod’s 65k). It is also a tad smaller than the video iPod, is compatible with a lot more file formats and has an FM radio and voice recorder on board.

It is also going to be compatible with the BBC’s new iMP system which means you can port TV programmes directly to the device via the service. You can also add TV programmes that you may have recorded on to your PC’s hard disk as well as any video you download from sites like 7Digital  The only real criticisms we have of the player was that it does look a bit iPod-esque and 30 Gigabytes isn’t a lot of storage when you are loading up a hard drive with video and photo files.

Whether its undoubted charms will be enough to persuade would be iPod buyers to get Creative remains to be seen, especially as they pay a few extra quid to own one. Personally we want a small-ish 30 Gigabyte colour screen player with 40 hour battery life – are you listening Sony?

Anyhow don’t just take our word for it. The Register and Stuff also made the trip to the press conference and they both liked the player too.

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  • I have yet to find any ‘pay’ site that offers content compatible with the creative zen vision:m. 7digital, for example offers wmv files to buy but you cannot upload them to the player due to resolution size and drm. I find often that the video converter is sorely lacking when converting and often offers up error messages particulary missing codecs. Otherwise it is a fine player. Any suggestions would be appreciated as to where I can get music videos legally.

  • i’d been meaning to get an ipod all along but as i read more zvm reviews, i began to have second thoughts. now i’m glad i waited. the extra weight and width aint that bad really, coz there a lot of compensations (great video cfeatures, longer battery life, FM radio (big factor for me), etc.). personally, i go for a balance between aesthetics and function, and believe me (all things considered) zvm is better than what ipod can offer right now.

    i used to think nothing could come close to an ipod, but these days i guess i’ve converted.

  • it’s about 75% thicker, not 100%. In case you were concerned.

    “could they have made the menu system look any more like the iPod’s? Hardly seems innovative.”
    hmm, did you read the above comments about Creative having the patent on the UI? And in case you don’t know what that means, have you ever seen a NOMAD Jukebox (by Creative, btw), which came out way before the iPod was ever announced? Particularly it’s UI…hmm.

  • Creative hasnt stolen the interface at all from my understanding. They filed for the patent on it way back in 2001, BEFORE the iPod was announced. Sounds like it was Apple that actually tried to patent hop it before creative’s patent was finalized.

  • I guess what they’re now saying is that the menu navigation was their idea in the first place. Whether or not that is true will be decided in court but I have a feeling it won’t really change the state of play in the MP3 player market but I imagine Creative are only really after the extra publicity.

    Isn’t the Vision:M a tiny bit shorter than the iPod 5G?

  • I’m not sure where you got the idea that this is a smaller device than the newest ipod. Its almost twice as thick as the iPod meaning it has twice the volume and its heavier as well. I agree that it has some additional features and the more colours, but could they have made the menu system look any more like the iPod’s? Hardly seems innovative.

  • I was waiting for this one and wondering when it would come out. I bought the MicroPhoto to give it a test spin and then write a review on it and now the Zen’s movie player comes out. I wasn’t too satisfied with the space or the design either. I think my highest reviews stay with the MicroPhoto.

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