Pros Got to love the 8 Gigs
Cons Can't use the Zen MicroPhoto Media Explorer and MS ActiveSync at the same time
Summary I have had the Zen Micro 5 gig since last holiday season, and as I was loading my CDs into it, I ran out of space. My goal is to get all of my CDs into the Zen, and never have to carry a CD around again. My collection goes back to music from the 60's, so there is lots of stuff to download.
The Zen MicroPhoto has 8 gigs of hard disk (about 7.6 actual usable space), but this was what I needed. I have loaded nearly all of my music into this player and I have about 2 gigs available for new music.
I love the fact that you can search by Artist, Genre, Song Titles, Album titles, and I love the Playlists I can make. I have one for Blues, one for Classical music (Beethoven, Bach, etc.) and one that I created of my favorite music. The software makes it so simple to drag a title over to the playlist. It took me all of about five minutes to create each Playlist. When I am on a business trip, My Favorite Songs is my best. I have about 50 songs in this list - and they are all my favorites.
FM radio - how cool is that? No matter where I travel anywhere in the US, I just go to the FM radio and I get the local stations.
The colors and photos are cool too, but I did not buy it for the photos. I bought it for the disk size, convenience and ease-of-use.
The only problem I had was after launching the Zen MicroPhoto Media Explorer while I had my PDA connected to my computer. It would continuously tell me my Zen was not connected, although it was. I realized this, when I disconnected my PDA, and then all the selections within the app started to be available. Until then they were all grayed out - nothing was available to use. Once I figured this out, I was fine. But Creative does need to fix this bug.
Finally, the sound. I think it sounds great. If you want to get thousands of songs on the Zen, you can record at a very compressed size, but the quality will not be good. If you do this and the music doesn't sound as good as a CD, well, this is no fault of the Zen. I record MWA at 128 minimal and sometimes even higher to get all the sound the CDs deserve.
In summary, this is one amazing player. It plays MP3 and MWA files, allows you to adjust the recording quality (compression), and even allows me to syhcronize my calendar, contacts, etc. from MS Outlook, if I choose to do so - which I don't, since I don't need to.
This Zen makes the iPod look like a toy, with its 8 gigs of disk space, FM radio, voice recorder, synchronization with Outlook and a place to copy data - this is a winner!
"Hard to beat"on by MachoWoman
Pros Price, Music quality, multi-functional
Cons Heavy, dim screen in direct sunlight
Summary Who am I to review:
My Zen MicroPhoto 8 gb is my first mp3 player, and my brother has an iPod shuffle. I've had it for 9 months now, using it nearly everyday. I can say that I don't regret buying a MicroPhoto. I've read dozens of reviews before I bought it, and I think it's worth the $200 I paid for.
Hard to see the screen in afternoon sunlight. Even after adjusting it's light contrast to 100%, it's still a little difficult to see.
No music while viewing photos nor a slideshow. If you're listening to music, and you decide to see your photos, the music will stop playing automatically once you click on your "Photo" file.
Although it uses Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connectivity to give faster file transfers, make sure that your computer can actually TAKE a 2.0 speed! I didn't pay attention to that before I bought my MicroPhoto. My computer with the all my songs can only take 1.9 or less. Total disappointment. Luckily my dad's computer can take 2.0 speed, but I have to go through the trouble of saving my songs on a flash drive and trasferring it to my dad's computer in order to upload songs to my MicroPhoto.
You must have your computer on in order to charge the MicroPhoto. After a month, I decided to spend the $40 to buy Creative's bulky Universal Power Adapter.
The earbud phones that come with the player are pretty crappy. They started to hurt my ears after 2 to 3 hours of wearing them, and they fall out of my ears from just a slight tug at the wire. I just gave them to my brother and bought new ones.
It will only upload songs from registered computers. So you can't just get songs from a friend's computer, unless you upload the program from the cd that comes with MicroPhoto.
Unless you're purchasing it online, expect to get a gray colored one. All the stores that sells them in my area only ordered gray ones.
Cheap for an 8 gb compared to iPod's 1 gb for $150. Or, at least, at the time I bought it, it was.
Has more options [like the fm radio, microphone, pictures, optional removable disk…] than other mp3 players out there, and for this price, it's even better.
The Fm radio isn't crappy. I actually have 9 different radio stations saved on my MicroPhoto and over 5 of them have consistently excellent reception wherever I go [unless I go like underground or something].
It's microphone isn't too shabby either. I'm a college student, so I sometimes use it to record lectures. I was surprised how sensitive the microphone is, and I've used it in 300-seat lecture halls when I sat two rows from the back. The sound comes out pretty well; though you need to turn up the volume a little more to listen to the recording compared to than when listening to a song.
The quality of music is crystal clear. I love it. I'm pretty sure most buyers would agree with me on this too. Though I wish the base can be adjusted to stronger settings.
It's pretty compact. I stick it in my jeans pocket, my jacket pocket, or hold it. And it's not too thin, so I'm not afraid to break it in half.
The color screen is wonderful. Very colorful, and can be seen from any angle, unlike your typical cell phone screen where it looks an x-ray image when seen at a steep angle. Pictures turn out pretty well. But not eye-popping excellent. But hey, what can you expect from a 1.5 inch box?
Part of it can be used as a hard drive to save stuff. Although it's handy, I haven't used this feature yet.
Surprisingly durable. I dropped it from a height of at least 4 feet above the floor a several times, and it didn't even skip. I've dropped it on concrete, tiled floor, and linoleum [pretty clumsy]. But it's kinda heavy because of it's metal frame, so I wouldn't recommend to stick in your shirt pocket.
It is incredibly easy to upload songs. I finished adding about 20 songs to my MicroPhoto within 1 minute from the time I sat down and touched the mouse to unplugging my player from the computer.
The battery is lithium, removable, and replaceable. Lasts about 10-12 hours of constant music playing. I noticed that waiting until the screen says "Low Battery" to charge is best for the battery life.
May you find the benefits of buying non-iPod =)
Some side comments:
The touch pad wasn't that hard to use. Despite other people's reviews, I had no trouble using it.
After switching it on, it takes about 15 seconds to start up and get to the menu. But hey, I'm a patient person. Patience is a virtue [especially when I can save money!]
It has time/date display and even a calendar to put your little notes and meetings and what-not in, but I've never used it.
Pros ten bookmarks, easy to use
Cons not as sleek as new flash players
Summary When our local library joined forces with netlibrary allowing (limited time) audiobook downloads, I decided it was time for an MP3 player. I first bought a Sansa e260, which I really liked -- pretty, small, easy to use, -- but it did not support bookmarking, which is a real problem for the long (10 or more hours) files from NetLibrary.
I exchanged for the Zen Microphoto, and am so happy I did. This player is easy to use, & syncs great with WMP 11. Sometimes the touchpad is a little quirky, but not enough to be a deal breaker. I do like that the seek feature seems to be touch sensitive, so if I do need to scroll through a large file it is quick and painless.
The photo feature is OK. Ease of use is great, WMP automatically found all of my photos and synched them to the device in their original folders. However, the screen is small and the clarity is so-so.
Overall, this machine works very well for what I bought it for, audiobooks and music.
Pros OLED screen, 8GB for the price of a Nano, I like the blue surrounding the Player, Creative software easy to use
Cons Really hard to see in bright light, can't play video, no music and video at the same time, no album art with music. no AC adapter with the product
Summary I got this as a gift for christmas, and I was so excited to use it. But I had to wait until I could install XP Pro service pack 2. Which was about a day, so the software requirements were kind of annoying. But, the sound of the player is great, beautiful screen, large storage. All the time people ask "Is that an iPod?" And I say no, its a creative. It's so much better for the price. The compatability with napster to go is super quick, it was even fast on my old rig w/ USB 1.1 But, I really would have like video capability and an AC adapter. Also, there's very few accessories for the player and it's impossible to see in direct sunlight. Now that I have a new computer (with media center 2005) the creative software is really quick and easy to use which is fantastic. overall, for $200 its a great choice.
Pros rich color, portability, superb sound, great photo quality, good batery life, variety of colors, replaceable battery
Cons photos not very well integrated with music
Summary This the best mp3 player that i have ever owned. Most of my friends are stuck on the ipods, which are also good. However, I have listened to both brands, apple and creative and I must say that creative has won me over and I anxiously await their products to come. I am also enjoying the mp3 player battle between creative and apple. Go creative and keep the good stuff coming.