Creative Zen

Creative Zen

The Creative Zen comes with a heap of ground-breaking features that enable efficient manoeuvring of your music, video and photo files extremely effortlessly. It works competently with the Windows Media Player 10.0 on a Windows XP computer and if you have the Windows XP Media Centre Edition, you get all the more benefits out of it. This feature facilitates a quick download of Television programmes such as those presented by the BBC iPlayer. It works perfectly with the iPlayer and brings your favourite BBC programmes to you to watch when on the move or at leisure. All you need to do is plug-in to your PC and ‘sideload’ the programme of your choice and watch it when you want to.

Its 3.8” TFT LCD gives wider viewing and well-defined picture quality making it perfect for viewing video, photos, album art as well as the menu. The portable media centre’s controls are adorned by the Windows icon Start Button that takes you straightaway to the top menu. The Start Menu has five basic options which make it easier to arrive at your desired location.

The Creative Zen PMC operates on standard hardware, including 400 MHz Intel XScale processor, 64MB of RAM, 2MB of ROM, USB 2.0 and a screen resolution of 320x240 pixels. It can reflect almost all the content on your computer which includes all the content on the MP3, JPEG photos, movie downloads and even home movies.

The formats supported by the Creative Zen include the WMV AT 320x240, 30 frames per second with a bits rate of 800kbps. It can playback WMA, WMA protected, lossless and voice, MP3 and JPEG files. And in case you have files in other formats such as MPEG, MPEG-2, DVR-MS, TIFF, WAV and AVI, you will have to trancode them into a PMC friendly format and size.

A distinct quality in the Zen PMC is the AutoSync feature which enables the player to sync instantly with WMP10. It uses Microsoft’s driverless MTP standard device and with sourced on custom-designed auto play list settings, the Creative Zen can transport 20GB of content through the USB 2.0. Apart from this it can work well with Windows DRM making it possible for subscribers to download licensed music and video albums onto the PMC.

It includes an Equalizer with seven presets, Display, Effects for sound, animated screen effects and you can also Restore Original Settings and Information. The battery life is 7 hours 45 minutes for video playback while music playback is a good 22 hours. The Creative Zen has a commendable transfer rate of 2.5 MB per second using the drag and drop button whereas via WMP10 it takes 2 MB per second.

The 144x81x27mm Creative Zen weighs 340g and is priced at £300 for a device that is a portable expansion of the Windows Media Player which holds its own fort against its rivals.

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