"To buy or not to buy is the question"3.5 starson by zelta
Pros: Huge storage, FM recorder, Color OLED display, Great sound
Cons: Music shuts off when viewing photos, short USB cable, poor controls design
Summary: When I first heard about the Zen Microphoto (ZMP) at the end of 2004, I had a Muvo2 which I quickly dumped in June before the warranty expired.
I had to wait until Oct 05 before I actually got my hands on a ZMP - what a long wait!
I was immediately impressed by the cute design and click controls - however, it became problematic as even the simpliest of touch could distrupt the entertainment.
While it's true the ZMP has a button lock, the controls are too "BIG" (50% of the face plate) and the slighted touch can select the wrong button. And one shouldn't have to use the lock button everytime to prevent accidents. The best bet is to hold the unit skillfully on its sides.
The FM radio and recorder worked well - but doesn't have the pre-record feature nor does it label and tags songs on the fly as some others do.
The ZMP doesn't ship with a powercord which is sold seperately and very expensive - more than 10% of the unit's price.
You must use your PC to recharge the unit during which you cannot use your player to listen to music.
The USB cable is way too short - my USBs are all the way in the back of the PC where it is dusty and very hot. Perhaps this unit is meant only for PCs with the USBs in the front. However, it was only useful as a converted power adapter. Saved big too.
The old MuVo2, you could drag and drop files on the fly. With the ZMP, this is not so. You have to use a program to transfer music or use the ZMP file transfer mode to use it as a harddrive - gone is the simplicity of drag-n-drop. And oh, you don't share the same space - it's now divided.
The ZMP software works on my PC but failed on my notebook - so I tried to use the file transfer mode to download music from my notebook, but couldn't play it on the ZMP. You MUST use the ZMP software to download the MP3. Wish I had a MuVo2 with drag and drop.
The microphone is very poor. It works but you must be close to the sound. A Mic Jack would have been better or perhaps that tiny hole they drilled into the unit is way too tiny - not even the sounds can get through.
There should be a menu control to turn off or turn down the lights and or keep the screen lights low.
Other than these things, the unit is great, however, the EQ is just basic and oh, even though it's a MP3 player, the music shuts off when you view pictures. Several attempts have been made to contact Creative Labs to fix this problem. Currently, the only fix is this solution and it's easy as 1-2-3:
1. Select the music you want to play and style.
2. Press play.
3. Get a second ZMP to play the photos...
or just get an iPod (think about how much you'll $ave!
This means you are forced to watch photos is silence and it doesn't suffle photos at all. For these fancy features, you have to get an iPod Nano.
Even though we are in digital world, Creative has put us back in the silent movie era!