"Could have been great"on by wstt
Pros Great internal software, great sound
Cons headphone jack problem
Summary I usually read the negative reviews and find they are from people with ipods who just want to trash the competition so it appears they have the best player. This is not the case with me.
I have had for 30 days and was about to give a great recommendation until the headphone jack started having problems where the sound goes in and out in one ear. A friend of mine has the same player and is also having the same problem. Then when I looked online I see many, many people are having this problem.
Creative support told me the problem is that the player's headset port is very sensitive and if you hit the plug on your headphones where it connects to the player then port will no longer work correctly. They did say they would replace it, but the problem has not been fixed and they are just hoping it won't happen again before my warranty runs out. Well when my warranty runs out and the jack goes, I'm screwed. They also told me to be very careful not to tug on the cord while it is connected and I am using the player. And finally they told me when I turn the player off not to wrapt the headphones around the player, but to unplug the headphones every time so the top won't get hit. LOUSY SOLUTION for an bad and defective design. They should recall the product and fix the design. I have had other portable audio problems for many, many years and have never heard of this problem. It seems it is happening in tons of their players. I bet all of the positive reviews are from people, who haven't experienced this problem, YET, and the key word is YET. If you want to a player for more than a year look elsewhere. If you want a player you have to mail in every few months until 1 year is up, and then be screwed after a year, then this one is for you.
Pros Intuitive interface, good battery life.
Cons A quite serious design flaw.
Summary The Micro is indeed a fine player, the touchpad is a little sensitive, but other than that, the interface is fine. The included software is also quite user-friendly. Included earphones are excellent quality (as far as bundled earphones go).
There are a couple problems, however...
1) The battery seems not to hold charge when charged via USB... when charged by mains power this problem does not occur.
2) Far more seriously, the headphone jack on the player is a weak point on the player. 3 seperate Micros owned by some friends of mine have had their headphone jacks fail, and my own is heading that way. After about 1-2 months of use, the headphone jack seemed to become loose, and if the jack is nudged then sometimes 'crackling' occurs. It appears that the headphone jack is not soldered onto the mainboard of the player very securely - and having happened to 4 seperate players, I can only assume this is an inherent flaw in the design.
Pros Excellent Sound quality, great functionality, styling, FM Radio, 5gb, voice recorder
Cons None, except for slightly overstated battery life
Micro Hard drive mp3s players are booming more than ever before. The small size, generous song capacity and modern styling appeal to many many people. After finally purchasing my own, I can really understand why they are so popular. I don't know how I made it without my Zen before. I've owned a few other flash mp3 players, but they don't even begin to compare to the Zen Micros ease of use, styling, superb sound quality, and excellent user usability that set it much higher than the rest, not only over the few I've had, but over other micro hard-drive based models on the market.
Ease of use/features
I find the creative Zen Micro very user-friendly and easy to use. Even those new to mp3 players will find it pleasant and convenient to use. The included software is easy to use and install. I had the application up and running after about 7 minutes or so. The included accessories work really well with the unit and add to the appeal of the entire package. I especially like the belt clip and desk stand. The limited edition I bought had the extra battery, which added even more to the value of the Zen. I found the menus easy to get through and easily configurable to what the user likes. Regarding the screen, I find the cool blue, back lit screen to be easy to see, regardless of the lighting conditions. One negative is that the screen does pick up fingerprints very easily, so be careful when handling it. A great feature on this unit is that it has a voice/radio recorder. I haven't used the voice recorder very much to date, but the times I have used it have shown me that its a worthwhile feature that works well. Users will have no problem utilizing that function. Another great feature is the ability to set aside some of the storage space aside for removable space. Adjustable from 128 mb, to 2 gb, users will find that transferring and backing up files with it is a snap.
Transferring music to the Zen micro is extremely easy. Using Windows media player, I was able to upload about 150 songs effortlessly in about 6-7 minutes, which is much better than the previous mp3 players I've owned could handle and at least comparable to other units on the market such as the Ipod Mini or Rio Carbon. It's worth pointing out that music transferring is not limited to just Windows Media Player; any other application that plays and transfers music(Real Player or Music Match for example) will work just fine. For quick uploads, users can easily sync their Zen Micros with the music on their computers, so that every time the Zen is connected, the music that they love can easily be added.
The sound quality of the Zen Micro surpasses that of any music device I've heard. The sound is always crisp and clear, easily adjustable with the sound equalizer settings provided. The stated 98 db sound rating is right on the mark. Even the most critical music fan with a sharp ear for sound quality will be pleased with the sound the Zen Micro produces.
The radio is easy to use and works as well as can be expected for a device of this magnitude. It picks up stations pretty well, with great reception. You can easily have the Zen find and preset stations for you, or you can easily do it yourself, which works for me really well. A feature I like about the radio function is that the user is able to easily name their favorite stations. It's comforting to flip through the stations and have them so nicely labeled.
I'm sure many of you looking at this review are wondering what my thoughts are on the touch pad navigation on the Zen. Contrary to what some reviewers have said, I find the Zen Micros touch pad easy to use and get the handle of. From the moment I opened the package containing my Zen and powered it up, I've been flying through the menus with no problem at all. It's simple to scroll through and select whatever the user wants. I found no need to download the firmware download in order to get the touch pad working best for me. In terms of comparisons to the Ipods Click wheel, having used a few friends Ipods before, I find the touch pad much more intuitive and easy to use. One thing worth nothing is that it's important to make sure to use the hold function, because since the touch pad is touch sensitive, it's easy to select a function you didn't intend on hitting. Not a flaw, just something I've picked up.
The battery setup works really well with the Zen Micro. The unit can be charged via the power adapter or the usb connection, whatever is most convenient for the user. The units blue outer rim will keep pulsating until the charge is complete, so its easy to tell when the charging process is finished. One thing I do agree with other reviewers on is that the battery life doesn't quite live up to its declared 12 hours. A catch some people forget is that the manufacturers always get these exaggerated battery specs because they have the mp3 player configured in ways most users aren't likely to use their players(ie. Low sound volume, back light turned off, equalizer and bass turned off, etc). That may be the case with this unit. I've found that I get approx 7-8 hours of batter life with moderate volume, the back light on with a 10 second delay, and my equalizer settings on. That puts it at around where the Ipod Mini currently is. I'm fine with that, and I'm sure most of you will be fine with it as well. A huge positive that gives it the edge over other models is the removable battery. The battery design is similar to a cell phones design. The battery easily comes out for those that want to put a charged battery in to keep their music coming, or when in case the battery dies, they want to simply swap out the battery. The batteries are approximatively $40 from Creative and I'm sure after market batteries will be even cheaper. Thats a great price when you consider that the Ipod will cost a good $100 for the replacement, plus it must be sent to Apple to be repaired. To put things plainly, the whole battery design works well for the Creative Zen Micro. I really can't think of a way to improve upon it.
I couldn't be happier with my decision to go with the Zen Micro. It has the features, the quality, and ease of use that make it a serious contender in the micro hard drive player market. For those debating whether or not they want the Ipod Mini or Zen Micro, I'd say it comes down to personal preference. Some prefer itunes over other music applications. Some may like the more simple appearance of the Ipod over the more futuristic, different look of the Creative Zen Micro. In my opinion, the benefits of the Zen Micro greatly outweigh those of the Ipod. The Zen has an extra gb of storage, radio, voice record, and organizing features that the Ipod simply doesn't provide. One thing I can say is before going with the Ipod or even another micro drive unit, be sure to consider the Zen Micro. Its a more than worthy contender at an even better price. My recommendation: Get it! You won't be disappointed
"Save your sanity."on by obooster
Pros size, form, FM radio, recorder
Cons short battery life, constant crashes, slow transfer
Summary I had wanted to purchase an mp3 player for years but was turned off by the cheap feeling, cheap looking and the lack of options on most non-ipod mp3 players. Then the Zen Micro came to the market. I was finally willing to put some serious money towards such a small peace of electronics. It had all the options I have been looking for and I thought it looked better then the Ipod/Mini, plus it works with Napster to go which i thought was just a great idea... A true Ipod Killer.
I wish I had waited... The extras (fm radio, recorder, size, Napster to go, looks) does not compensate for the headaches that come with the unit...
Within the first day the unit had locked up twice causing me to reload firmware, which in turn caused me to reload the entire library of music on the device which is a pain in the a$$. It took me nearly 2-3 hours to transfer data from pc to Zen Micro. The next thing I noticed was that the battery life was not even close to the stated lifespan of 12 hours... The best I could get out of it was 4 hours. So when the battery was not dead and the player was not stuck on the boot screen, I noticed that it had terrible search time... While playing a track if you try to search up or down a few tracks it would normally take about 5-10 seconds to begin playing the selected track.
I ended up giving the player a few extra days (2 weeks) of testing and I was still not satisfied… After numerous crashes (about 10) and having to reload the library every time, I gave up. CompUSA was nice enough to allow me to return the device (I wish they were nice enough to have a display model of the Zen Micro so that I could have seen some of the issues prior to purchasing) without any restocking fee’s.
I then went straight to the apple store and purchased a 4gb Ipod Mini. I could not be happier. My music transfers in minutes (4gb’s worth of data) the battery last’s longer then the Zen’s (still not to published spec’s) and I have not had one crash within 4 weeks of owning the Ipod Mini. I miss not having the radio and Napster to go, but I don’t miss the headaches…
And another quick note is the lack of accessories. I think that there are a few must haves for a mp3 player that Creative should offer. A docking station, armband (a must for the serious jogger), and a fitted pouch (not that cheap baggie that is included with the Micro).
Pros Great sound, navigation, bundled software and touchpad
Cons Headphone jack not very stable and prone to break inevitably, battery life not as advertised.
Summary I have this player for over a month now. The sound quality is extremely good, even with the provided headphones. The navigation and menus are great and the software provided makes it easy to change tags and upload mp3s.
Unfortunately, 2 days ago the headphone jack started behaving in a weird way. Even the slightest movement of the jack causes the sound to stop or get distorted. This didn't happen from misuse since I always take great care of my electronic equipment. The problem is the headphone jack input which is not firmly attached to the inside of the player and there is a gap between it and the plastic body of the micro. This caused it to move too much and in the end fail.
Unitl I looked it up at the Creative forums yesterday I was unaware that it was a common problem and I was furious that not many reviewers online addressed this problem. Furthermore, Creative has not acknowledged the problem and will not attempt to solve the problem other than give a new device to the customers (many of the times refurbished) which will eventually have the same fate. Visit the creative forums to see for yourselves. There are many users reporting this problem, many of which are now in their 4th micro. If you cinsider the fact that the dozens of users reporting to the forums are only a small fraction of the total users then this is a serious problem that creative refuses to efficiently deal with.
I contacted the support department of creative and luckily they will provide me with an answer today. The truth is that I have lost faith in Creative and will probably sell my newly provided micro and go with an iPod or an iriver player. Sorry Creative but the attitude towards customers and quality control is disgraceful for a big company like you....