Creative Zen Vision :M Review

creative vision m main Creative Zen Vision :M Review

The Vision:M is Creative’s newest creation poised with an impressive set of features. The most notable feature is the video playback file support which easily handles MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV9, and Motion-JPEG. The video, as well as photos, play back on the Vision:M’s bright 2.5” 262k color 320 x 240 pixel screen.

Features and style aside, you cannot argue with the massive amount of quality content providers- Napster, Yahoo!, Rhapsody, MSN Music, AOL Music, to name a few, along with the upcoming content deals with MTV, Microsoft, BBC, TiVO, and others. When selecting a new MP3 player, this one should not be overlooked. It is a well built, well designed, easy to use player with lots of useful features. Overall I am very impressed with the Vision:M, despite some of its shortcomings.

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Weighing in at 5.7 ounces and measuring 4.1″ x 2.4″ x 0.7″ the Vision:M has a smooth design with soft edges making it nice to look at and easy to hold. Music fans will have the option of 5 different colors: black, white, pink, green, and blue. All of the controls are located on the front of the player, except for the on/off/hold which is located at the top next to the headphone jack. All buttons, including the on/off/hold switch, glow blue making it easy to use in the dark.

The Vision:M sports a brilliant 2.5″ 320 x 240 pixels 262,144 color screen. On the screen the pictures are crisp and the video is smooth. The viewing angle is somewhat limited top to bottom but is fairly standard when viewing it left and right. Since the screen is not trans reflective, it can be tough to see in direct sunlight (more or less the same way your color cell phone screen would wash out in the sun). The screen will dim to 10% when inactive but will shut off when the hold switch is turned on.

A major design flaw is the material used to cover the entire front of the player. It is made out of a soft plastic which scratches easily, even under normal use.


The Vision:M comes with earphones, AC adapter, USB/AC/Video connector, USB cable, carrying pouch, software, and manual. The earphones are your typical Creative earphones, not the best but not the worst. Creative has chosen to include an AC adapter which charges the player faster than USB. Like the Zen Sleek, the Zen Vision:M has the same proprietary connection on the bottom. Proprietary connections are never a good thing, so included in the packaging is the next best thing: a USB/AC/Video connector. It is a small piece that snaps into the docking port and it gives you audio/video out, AC, and USB connections, which is a little better than carrying around another cable. You can then attach the supplied standard mini-USB cable to transfer music and data. Finally, the carrying pouch is a nice touch to help keep the scratches away. The supplied pouch is made of some sort of synthetic chamois. (You know… that leather like cloth you use to dry your car off with.)

It would be nice to see third party manufactures make some accessories for the Vision:M, but don’t hold your breath. In the mean time, Creative has a decent set of accessories to go along with this player, like a leather case (in black, white, or tan), AV cables, wired remote, docking station, and car charger.


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There are a couple different pieces of software that help you transfer your media to the Vision:M. The easiest and best method to transfer music to your player is to drag and drop- if the device supports UMS, which the Vision:M does not. However, it is still easy to load music onto it with the provided software.

Creative Media Source

Creative Media Sourc
e is Creative’s answer to the jukebox media player. It rips, burns, and organizes and it will also allow you to transfer music to your player. I would not bother installing this program. It is just another lack luster media player. Windows Media Player 10 is already installed and it does the same thing.

Creative’s Technical Marketing Engineer in charge of CMS contacted me the last time I put CMS in the Zen Sleek review. He wanted to know why I thought it wasn’t worth installing and wanted additional feedback. I was impressed by this. Creative soliciting ideas from the outside shows they are truly interested in improving their software. And they are. Creative is currently working on a new version of the MediaSource software with a “cleaner and sleeker user interface” along with a more consistent design and will probably integrate video along with Creative’s ZENCast podcasting portal.

Zen Vision:M Media Explorer

This is the main tool to transfer media, browse media, rip CDs, convert video, create playlists, manage data, and sync with Outlook. Everything is straight forward and easy to use. The Zen Media Explorer has a familiar browsing screen just like Windows Explorer where you can brows your audio, video, pictures, playlists, and data.

I was, however, disappointed that it did not work exactly like Windows Explorers in some ways. Zen Media Explorer will not allow you to create, rename, edit or move files and folders. It is very limited to basic functions, such as browsing files.

Despite the minor annoyances, this program is useful for synchronizing all of your media as well as converting your videos to the optimal formats for viewing on the Vision:M

Windows Media Player

If you like the bare minimum then Windows Media Player works just as well. Having the Zen Vision:M work with WMP allows you to transfer media on a Windows XP machine that does not have any Zen drivers installed. This is great for when you are at a friend’s house.


ZENCast is Creative’s podcast and video cast directory that works with the Zen Vision and Zen Vision:M. It will probably work with the rest of the Zen family in the near future. Both types of “casts” can be downloaded directly from links on the site or they can be downloaded and transferred to the device automatically with ZENCast Organizer. The software is still in beta, but I have had no problems with it so far, as it is still very basic.

User interface

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Navigation Controls

All navigational buttons are located on the face of the player. The vertical touch pad is located in the center with small forward and back buttons located on the edges of the touchpad. Additionally, the pause/play, menu, back, and short cut buttons surround the touch pad. The shortcut button is a new edition to the Zen player line up. This is a nice feature that can be programmed to jump to any menu item, whether it is the EQ, Volume, Now Playing, or any menu item for that matter.

By brushing up and down on the touch pad, it allows you to scroll through tracks and menu items. By tapping on the center of the touch pad, it selects the current item. Also, by pressing and holding the top or bottom of the touch pad, it will rapidly scroll through the several hundred songs you may have on the player. The touch pad sensitivity can be set just like in previous Zen models, but even at the lowest setting I find it to be still too sensitive.

I never liked any of the “touch” interfaces- not on the iPod and not on the Zen Vision:M either. I would much prefer to have something that has tactile feedback, not just a clicking sound. With the iPod’s click wheel and the Zen Vision:M’s touch pad you often miss select menu items or accidentally adjust the volume. However, if I had to choose one over the other, the iPod’s click wheel is more accurate and less likely to miss select menu items. Most manufacturers share a common myopic view on touch interfaces. They assume that the touch interface is the best interface but in most cases it may not be. Tactile interfaces are much more user friendly.

Graphical User Interface

The graphical user interface is very familiar to anyone who has used one of Creative’s Zen players. Even those who have never touched a Zen player will easily be able to navigate their way through Creative’s very intuitive and easy to use hierarchical navigation. The menu is highly configurable, allowing you to change the order, move, remove, and add menu items pretty much wherever you want.

One of the problems with earlier Zen models had to do with the repetitious navigation of hundreds of tracks with the brushing up and down of the touch pad. This has been fixed in two ways. The first, as discussed earlier, was rapid scroll by pressing and holding the top and bottom of the touch pad. The second is the alphabetical sidebar. When browsing your media, if you press the forward button on the side of the touch pad it will jump to the alphabetical bar on the right side. By selecting a letter automatically jumps your selection to the corresponding item with the same starting character. You then press back or tap on the touch pad and it will return you to the left column with the media.

The only complaint I have about the GUI is that it can be a bit sluggish at times, especially when dealing with video and photos. It is not horrible but it can be a minor annoyance.


The rated battery time for the Zen Vision:M is 14 hours of audio or 4 hours of video playback. The battery times are dependant on how you use your MP3 player- how much you skip or scan songs, how bright the LCD is set at, what volume it is at, if you use the EQ. These are all variables that will effect the battery time. The battery time that manufactures give are times at optimal use. I found that under everyday operation, you will get between 10-13 hours of audio only playback. I could easily watch an average length movie or two shorter movies, both with a few hours of audio playback. Under several tests I continually got a little over 3 hours of video playback.

The battery charges with the USB cable or the AC power adapter. The AC adapter takes 2.5 hours to charge it completely, where as the USB adapter plugged into your computer will take 6.5 hours to charge completely.


FM Radio

The FM radio is there for those who still use it and it is also rich in features. The player uses any headphone plugged into the jack as an antenna so the reception is very good. A unique feature of the FM radio is a signal strength indicator that shows you how strong the FM station is coming in, much like your cell phone signal indicator. With this player you will not run out of FM presets, as there are 32 of them which can be named and not just given a number. Additionally, the stations can be auto programmed and simply flipped through like TV. The Vi
sion:M will also record radio in IMA ADPCM 22kHz stereo WAV format. It is not the best quality but is good enough to record radio. Recording the radio is very straight forward, but also has a feature that lets you split the recordings on the fly. The recorded files get dumped into the radio folder and are available for immediate playback.

Voice Recording

The Vision:M’s voice recorder is very straight forward and the recordings sound good. The recording screen shows the levels before and during recording. In the middle of a recording session the track can be split into two files with the track split feature. It would have been nice to be able to choose the recording format other than the only option, IMA ADPCM 16kHz mono WAV format.


Zen Vision:M Media Explorer will let you sync your Outlook contacts, calendar, and to do list to your player so that you can view them on the go. However, you cannot edit this information from the player. If you do not use Outlook you can edit this information with the Zen Media Explorer software on your computer. How useful this feature is would be up to the user. For me this feature is useless due to the fact that if I have my digital audio player, I almost always have my mobile phone with me which has everything I need. On the flip side other people may find this useful.

Removable Disk

The main down fall of the Zen Vision:M is that it is not UMS (Universal Mass Storage) compliant. You cannot simply plug and play then drag and drop files to the player on any operating system without additional installation of drivers. However, you can partition a section of the 30GB drive in order to use it for universal mass storage. But the catch is that all you can use it for is storing data and not playing music. The storage partition is only recognized by the computer you plug it into, weather it be Linux, Mac OSX, or Windows XP, but will not be recognized by the Vision:M’s own operating system. None the less it is a good feature for those who use removable storage devices for anything from office documents to school projects. Either way, you can allocate 512MB, 1GB, 1.5GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB on this player.

Other Features

The content protections feature allows you to lock or hide individual folders with a password so that you can hide your porn highly classified photos from prying eyes. Date and time are also an available option along with an alarm function.


With the Vision:M you can easily carry around every photograph you have ever taken with more than enough room for music and video. I have about 5,500 personal photos and they take up almost 4GB of storage space on the player with plenty of room left over. Not bad for every photo you have ever taken, but if you really wanted to get crazy, when you transfer photos to the player you can automatically have them resized to the Vision:M’s native resolution to save space. The player only supports JPEG format, but when being transferred over, the software will automatically convert GIF, TIFF, PNG and BMP to the supported JPEG format.


There are two different views while browsing the photographs. The list view shows a thumbnail on the left, the file name on the right and the folder in the top bar. When browsing a folder in the list view, it will show folder thumbnails with the folder name to the right and the parent folder name on the top bar. The thumbnail view shows 5 x 4 thumbnail matrix on the screen with the file name at the top bar. When browsing the photos in thumbnail view it will show the same matrix with folder icons with the name of the selected folder on the top bar. To select just tap the touch pad and it will go to full screen mode and the pictures can be flipped through with the forward and back arrows.


There are a few different things you can do with the pictures when you are looking at them full screen. You can rotate, zoom in, rate it, delete, view the details, and set it as wall paper. The rating system is a 5 star system which just basically allows you to mark your favorites and not so favorites. The player can read a select amount of the pictures EXIF meta data, showing the image size, file size, date taken, lenses speed, and whether or not the flash was fired. The last feature worth discussing is the wall paper option. Creative has done a fine job with this one. When you select a photo to be set as wall paper it will take you to an editing screen where you can set the brightness from 10% to 100% so that the wallpaper can be more subtle and not wash out the menus. In this editing screen it also gives the option to change the colors to original, warm (redish), cool (blueish), grayscale, and sepia.


The Zen Vision:M has a slide show option where you can simply play an entire folder or create your own slide show by making a photo playlist with the Zen Media Explorer software. Also, on the upside you can listen to music while the slide show plays. This would be a nice feature to have while playing a slideshow with music in the background at a party piped in thought your TV. The options for the playlist allow you to set the intervals between the slides as well as the type of transitions.


The Zen Vision:M does fall short for supported audio file types. MP3, WMA, and WAV are the only audio file types supported. Granted they covered the majority of codecs and most consumers will be just fine, but there are quite a few hardcore users that would appreciate FLAC, OGG, or AAC.

Despite the lack of codec support the audio play back from this player will not disappoint, even with the use of higher quality headphones. The :M plays loud and clear even at high volumes. I could only get it to distort if I really boosted the low end and turned the bass boost on. I like that Creative kept the audio setting to the essentials. They did not include the extraneous and unnatural sounding audio tweaks like WoW SRS, 3DSound or any of the other synthetic “audio enhancements”.

EQ and Sound Options

The custom 5 band EQ is very responsive and works well, but I would have liked to have been able to save more than one custom EQ setting. The other EQ settings are pre programmed into the player at acoustic, classical, disco, jazz, new age, pop, rock and vocal, which are actually useful and not just another feature.

The “Bass Boost” works very well for some music, but not for all. When the bass boost is tuned on it boosts the low end but at the same time it boosts the lower-midrange in cases, which makes it sound “muddy”.

Many times you will turn up a track that was recorded with a lower volume, then the next track comes along and plays twice as loud, thus scaring the hell out of you and damaging your ears. Well this moment of terror is over thanks to the Vision:M’s “Smart Volume” feature. This normalizes the volume of every track played, so that each plays at the same volume. This is a really nice feature which all MP3 players should have.


The question that the hardcore digital audio player enthusiasts want to know is: Does it do gapless playback? Sorry, it does not. The gap between tracks is very slight; better than a lot of players that have a second or two pause between tracks. Gapless has been a feature that DAP enthusiasts have been requesting since they got a taste of gapless on two gapless players, the Rio Karma and the Sony HD5 (but the latter only plays gapless in ATRAC format). Gapless is great for continuous DJ mixes when the mix is broken up into individual tracks. Are you listening Creative? We want gapless playback!

Audio Playback Options

Under the Music Library menu item there is a selection called DJ which gives you the options to play the most popular, rarely heard, all tracks random, or album of the day, which is nothing more than a random album selection. While listening to a song you can rate it by tapping on the touch pad while the track is playing and give it a one to five star rating. A re
ally nice option is the “seek to” option. Rather than scanning through the entire track, this allows you to stop the music and scroll to the part of the track you want. This works well for very long single track DJ mixes. Oddly, there is a “Purchase This” option. There is not an explanation for this anywhere, but I am assuming it will be an integrated feature in upcoming media players or online stores.

Playlists & Bookmarks

The Vision:M on the go playlist management is very nice, and it is vastly improved from previous Zen models. Playlists are created by adding all the tracks you want to the now playing queue then saving that queue as a playlist. The playlists can be named by using the on screen virtual keyboard.

Bookmarks on the other hand, will keep your exact place in the middle of a track. This feature is great to use with audio books which can be really long audio files.


Video support is one of the Vision:M’s fortes. It will play MPEG1/2/4-SP, WMV9, Motion-JPEG, DivX, and XviD (ASP without GMC) video formats. So what does that mean to you? Almost every DivX or XviD file you can download from P2P or Bittorrent site can be played on the Zen Vision:M. If the file type is not supported, Zen Media Explorer will convert it.

I would have liked to see native support for MP4 due to the mass amount of video out there supported by the PSP and iPod. The MP4 is convertible by the supplied software but takes a very long time even on a fast PC.

If the video is less than the supported screen or a different aspect ratio there are two options that will allow you to enlarge it. The first “fit to screen” will enlarge it to fit the screen keeping the aspect ratio. The second option “stretch to screen” will fit it to the screen but will distort the aspect ratio.


The quality of the video playback is superb in all the formats. The frame rates are smooth and the video has no artifacts. The video also scales down nicely if the video is larger then the screen real estate of 320 x 240 pixels.

There were some earlier reports that the DivX and XviD video would freeze for a second due to a buffer problem. I found that the problem only exists in earlier firmware versions and the problem has since been fixed in the latest firmware that can be downloaded from the Creative web site.

Video out

The video out is handled by a 3.5mm plug on the bottom of the USB sync adapter that connects to the bottom of player. It appears that it is a common 3.5mm to RCA “camcorder” cable that will simply then plug into your TV. It is a standard “camcorder” cable but Creative has made it proprietary by switching a few of the contacts in the cable. If you want video out you are now forced to purchase a Creative $20 video cable from their website as apposed to an off the shelf cable for a third of that price. It is extremely frustrating.

At the time of testing this, Creative did not have these cables in stock on their website nor did they sell them in stores. However I was able to test the video out by cutting up a standard camcorder cable and switching the connectors inside. The video out is just what you see on the LCD screen outputted to 640 x 480 on the TV screen and it looks great. It is just as smooth and clean as if you were watching it on the LCD screen.


I have one major problem with the Zen Vision:M. It is not the proprietary dock connection, nor is it the non-removable battery. I can live with that. It is, however, the fact that I am not able to simply plug it in without drivers and drop music onto it. In other words, it is not UMS compliant. I am forced to install software and I am restricted to using Windows XP. By making an MP3 player UMS compliant, you open it up to all operating systems and you give the user the freedom and ease of transferring and managing their media. Update: Drag and drop has become hassle free with Vista and much better with XP SP2. This is not longer much of an issue.

The Zen Vision:M is an impressive personal media player. It is well deserving of the Best of Show and Best Portable Audio & Video device awards it recently won at 2006 CES. The greatest appeal of the Vision:M is its ability to playback the majority of popular video files (especially DivX and XviD), which saves you a lot of time by not having to convert all of your video. Audio and video is top notch on the player as well as on the TV. The battery allows you to get in a full movie or two while on the go. Even though the user interface can be a bit slow at times it is still extremely easy to navigate. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a hard drive based digital audio player. The Zen Vision:M is everything the video iPod is and then some.


In the US the Zen Vision:M is selling at major online retailers like Amazon and should be in many brick and mortar stores. As for the UK and the rest of the world check out AdvancedMP3Players.

Update: The Zen Vision:M A/V cable is not really proprietary, it is just uncommon. Here is a post on the pinouts and places to get a Zen Vision:M A/V cable.

The Good

  • Video Codec Support
  • Bright Screen
  • Video Out Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • User Interface
  • Many Content Providers
  • Battery Time

The Bad

  • No UMS Support
  • Proprietary Video Cable
  • Windows XP Only
  • Non-Removable Battery
  • Sometimes Sluggish UI
  • Scratches Easily


John Q. on January 19, 2006 11:14 PM

Thanks for the review, it’s very informative. I have been thinking about picking up one of these to replace my rapidly filling Zen Micro. Much of what you mentioned (faster scrolling methods, originally not UMS supported, playlist creation) sounds very similar, which is not a bad thing. I’ll bet a firmware update will come along in a few months and fix the UMS thing for you. I have a few questions about the differences between the two, though:
-How are the left and right buttons? They look small from pictures. Do they respond well?
-IIRC, the depth of the player (0.7 in) is close to the Micro’s. Is it bulky/unwieldy at all to carry around in a pocket?
-How long does wall charging take?
-Is the proprietary connecter a large hassle?
-I didn’t hear many UI differences, like I said. Is it improved in any way in your experience, besides the shortcut button?
None of these are major issues (I’m really trying to decide if video is worth $100 USD, since I could just get a Sleek instead), but if the thing’s really spectacular, I might just bite the bullet.
On a side note, Creative reviews on audio are sounding like a broken record. Memo: Add more codecs and lossless already! I know at least one audiophile to whom this is the dealbreaker.

EnzoTen on January 20, 2006 9:52 AM

If you dont mind the extra bulk then the ZVM is definitly worth the extra $$The left and right buttons are better than the ones on the Zen Micro for the simple fact that they are tactile not touch.Yeah it will fit in a pocket. But the Micro is more comfortable in the pocket.Check “Battery” above for charging times.The proprietary connections is not that bad, it is just a jumpack on the end. But it could be a pain when you are traveling with it.Beside the short cut button, the alphabet browsing is great when you have to scroll through hundreds of artists or tracks.

bakersdozen on January 20, 2006 10:25 AM

i was just wondering what it felt like in the hand is it shiny like the ipod videos or a dull plastic? does it feel well built or a bit cheap and tacky?

Whisky on January 20, 2006 10:35 AM

Any idea when it will be available in stores? at least to look at it. Creative people were not very helpfull, they said “no idea” I would really like to get it, but can’t hold off so long.

Davin Peterson on January 20, 2006 10:45 AM

I can’t wait to get one. How’d you get a white one? Only black is available to purchase.

EnzoTen on January 20, 2006 11:09 AM

-I would say the build quality is just a slight notch below the G5 ipod, but it still feels sturdy in your hand, its just a little less dense. I would note however that the plastic on the front is the same as the iPods and scratches just the same.-I have called creative a few times to ask when it will be available in the store and they had the same response: “no idea”. (when it would be available in the stores)-Got the white one imported from a friend in Singapore over a month ago.

Pecanha on January 20, 2006 12:06 PM

One doubt about the AV out: what have you done to make a non-Creative cable work? I mean, doesn’t it work just like the Ipod Video, where you only have to switch the connections?

Breeze1138 on January 20, 2006 12:06 PM

I’ve seen the black one at Fry’s here in SoCal. I’m still waiting for mine that I ordred when I was at CES.

Goodman on January 20, 2006 2:02 PM

QUESTION: I’d be reluctant to get a Creative player, due to battery issues they’ve had in the past. With prior Creative Plays-For-Sure players, when you turned them off, they actually went into a kind of stand-by, and the battery kept depleting. I’ve got a Dell Pocket DJ and they’ve got the same problem, you’ve got to charge them every night. Not too good if you want to listen to music on the way to work, and then on the way home 8 hours later. Does the Creative Zen Vision M remedy this? Otherwise I’d be inclined to wait for the Gigabeat S with Vongo support.

Zim on January 20, 2006 2:48 PM

What do you mean they censor? Sure, if you curse I’d imagine they would, but is there any information you posted about the pictures that people would want to know?

EnzoTen on January 20, 2006 3:31 PM

Some 13 year old was going on about how much he doesn’t like this site and the people here… accusing us of manipulating photos to show that it is thinner than it really is… blah blah blah… of course in much more harsh words. that’s why both comments where censored or rather deleted….anyway… here here and here are the original photos, this site has nothing to hide

Dan on January 20, 2006 7:43 PM

What an idiot. The Vision: M isn’t thick as most people think. I prefer the extra thickness, because it feels better and more solid in your hand.

Graham on January 21, 2006 10:53 AM

I love this Mp4, but the thing that there is No UMS Support and thats its easily scratchable is pissing me off. Things i can live with .. I’ll have to buy covers apart from the Fm transmitter .. (Damn can’t they make a mp4 without having such drawbacks..).

James on January 21, 2006 5:26 PM

I bought mine early from an Ebay seller in Singapore. The one greatest hatred I have for the ZVM is that its an MTP device. While it features UMS for data storage only it would’ve have been nice for creative to let users choose how to transfer and manage their data on the ZVM.There is nothing on the packaging to tell you that the ZVM is an MTP device. I would’ve have second thoughts had I known this.Instead you must go through that process through the ZVM media explorer or WMP which is a pain because I can’t get the damn thing to work properly on my main computer. Many users are also having the same problem connecting their ZVMs. Thank goodness I have a second PC that works with it properly.Otherwise this thing is definitel better than iPod video. Its Fantastic!

Chad on January 21, 2006 9:28 PM

Which firmware is this review based on? In the link above, Creative indicate this is fixed in this 1.11.01 firmware release which would make a huge improvement to the device.Can someone verify this?

David H. on January 21, 2006 10:04 PM

Breeze1138, where did you see the ZVM displayed in SoCal? At what Frys location?greatt review btw

David H. on January 21, 2006 10:20 PM

EnzoTen, Do you need Service Pack 1 and up to use the ZVM?

stephen on January 22, 2006 12:08 AM

They have this at my university book store (along with the iPod) and I’ve seen it in stock at

Ray on January 22, 2006 2:07 PM

I been useing a archos av500 great for movie but not friendly for music,so decided on a ipod video or vision M,the shop keeper showed me both and the vision m had the better color screen and longer battery life 4 hour vs ipod 1.5 hour,there were only three color green,black and white,i decided white unit as it will hide the finger prints the best.There lots of good features,1 You can delete photo,movies,music and files from the player,(not on ipod)2 You can adjust brightness from the player,(no adjustment on ipod)3 Played my divx6 movie ( box say divx4 and divx5 only)4 back of the unit has rounded edges and is very comfortable to hold,5 Ipod movie looks wash out compare to Vision M6 My version had the early firmware and had little pause but the latest firmware has done the trick and now it give even smoother play back,Hope this information will help any one deciding on one.

Ray on January 22, 2006 2:12 PM

Forgot the best bit,7 The PSP usb cable with the charging socket work well on the vision m,save me from useing the creative mains charger.

John on January 22, 2006 8:13 PM

Are the buttons just like the zen micro? Im thinking about trading the micro in to get this.

mike on January 23, 2006 1:33 PM

i cant wait to get this, only 2 days to go until it arrives from, im getting to black model because the white is too clean for my lifestyle, lolThank you creative for beating the iPod, i always hated them anyway

nathan on January 23, 2006 3:51 PM

windows XP only?! does this mean all of us windows 98 users are screwed? or is “windows xp only” just one of those catch phrases people say?…ugh…

Rock Lee on January 23, 2006 6:07 PM

@ nathan: Looks like it’s about time to upgrade your OS. :p

lanceb713 on January 23, 2006 9:02 PM

Got my ZVM today!It’s great at start but then I ran into lots of problems…with the video.Don’t know if this is a bug or video compression problem.I mix my videos into long clips 10 -15 minutes long. On large clips, the unit FREEZES!! and you can not POWER DOWN.THe only thing to do is reset…and lost all your settings…this sucks..!!I works fine with short clips…I compressed all my clip down to SVCD MPEG, so they are all uniform in format…But this FREEZING bug is annoying!!

EnzoTen on January 23, 2006 11:32 PM

Chad: The review is based on the latest Firmware 1.11.01David H:I don’t think you need SP1 for XP to use the ZVM. Regardless, you should probably have the latest windows update to keep you safe from bugs and attacks.Nathan:Yes you need Windows XP. Windows 98 Will not work. Take the $329.99 you were going to spend and buy yourself a new computer. =)Lance! Update your firmware buddy. All the freezing bugs will go away. I have not had any video problems with the new firmware.

Zurvan on January 24, 2006 1:51 AM

I just made my own review which is of course from my own perspective :

Doug on January 24, 2006 4:08 PM

One of the biggest problems with the last generation Creative players (Zen Touch, Mirco, etc.) was that over time the headphone jack would wear, you’d first lose audio from the left speaker, and then finally you’d lose all audio (I learned this lesson myself with the Zen Touch)… has Creative done anything to address this issue as it is a big one and I’ve never heard of similar problems with ipods.

Matt on January 24, 2006 10:21 PM

Anyone know when Amazon should have the green ZVM in stock? I ordered one weeks ago and I’m still waiting. Meanwhile, I’m ripping CD after CD…

Thoreau on January 26, 2006 11:51 AM

Anyone know how to make this thing work with Windows 2000?

Peter Miller on January 27, 2006 8:57 PM

can you browse and look at the photos while having music playing in the background?

MALDATA on January 28, 2006 1:18 PM

I just got one and I’m really enjoying it… my only question is how you “cut up” the camcorder cable to make it work. I just tried plugging each RCA into each input until I found the video and audio, but the video is all scrambled and the audio sounds scratchy… what am I missing?

MaT on January 28, 2006 2:04 PM

Hello i got the same question as MALDATA. If anyone know how to switch the connection in a simple cable, to put the player working with the Tv, please EMAIL ME: mat1983@mail.ptSomeone help me please

Breeze1138 on January 28, 2006 9:38 PM

David H.: Fry’s in Burbank had two last weekend. I was just at the Canoga Park Fry’s, but it looks like they sold out there. But there’s one on display to play with. I finally got mine in the mail and it’s even impressing my friends who have the new iPods.

you on January 29, 2006 2:29 PM

How do you create a video-out cable from a standard a/v cable?

sam on January 29, 2006 2:33 PM

I have a zen xtra jukebox 30 gb and I got it for my graduation last yr and it all ready stopped working 3 tymes and the creative labs just keeps giving me a new zen xtra 30 gb in the mail finally they asked d me if idd liek to replace it and gave me recommendations of mp3 players of 1 gb that hold way less then my zen and are way cheaper so i sent them an email requesting for a zen vision:m in pink!! matches with my zen xtra!! hey might reply 2 morrow hope so!!!!! I want the vision real bad!!! It cost 1oo$ dollers more but come on I had to deal with problems with my zen 4 tymes it just stopps working!!!

A.J. on January 30, 2006 1:01 PM

I really like the ZVM but i m really confused wether i should buy the ipod its thinner its more stylish and there is the itunes (i think biggest digital music store) anywayz the ZVM has a whole bunch more options and by the way the ipod is too thin it looks as though it will break so i advise ZVM

Jay on January 30, 2006 9:00 PM

So can this thing output divx video via its tv-output?that would sell me right there

Jelle on January 31, 2006 9:13 AM

My standard AV cable didn’t work either eventually, but I found out a litlle trick: When I put my cable in for about 2/3 in the sync adapter instead of completely, it works perfect! I know it sounds odd and it took a while before I discovered it, but I hope it solves your problem too!

Jan on February 3, 2006 1:50 PM

I just recently bought a Zen and already I’m having problems with the darn thing. When I plug it into the USB-port it does recognize a mp3 player (MTP Media Player to be exact) only the problems included to transfer files to it, Creative Zen Media Explorer and Windows Media Player 10 both say that there are no portable devices connected, or atleast they detect one.I tried all my USB-ports with no succes and updating my firmware is not possible cause in order to do that my Zen has to be connected, which it is according to my computer, but not according WMP10, Creative Media Explorer and Firmware Updater. Anybody have any experience with a Creative device or happen to know what’s wrong? Thanks in advance.

Baker on February 3, 2006 2:23 PM

Can I place a DVD in my PC, transfer it to the Zen, and watch it?

Gabor on February 4, 2006 4:03 PM

Hi,I am thinking on buying a ZEN and the only thing is keeping me atthe moment that I don’t know if I can connect my digital camera to the ZEN and upload my photos to it directly. Or do I need a pc 1st.Please let me know so I can go and buy one :) Thanks

EnzoTen on February 4, 2006 7:31 PM

No it does not have USB host support. You cannot hook a camera up to it directly. The iAudio X5 is a nice MP3 player and has host support, but it just doesnt have the nice screen the Vision:M has.

ZazooPits on February 5, 2006 11:01 PM

Can you delete songs while playing? I need something that I can delete the song right away if I don’t like it rather than rating it, taking it back to my computer and deleting the file.

Ricta on February 7, 2006 2:22 AM

ZazooPits, You can delete on the go.

Larry on February 7, 2006 1:22 PM

Well….I love the little booger but my primary use was to show videos on my TV for presentations.I’ve had it a month now and Creative still does not have any accessories for my Vision M. I’m still lugging around my laptop to show 3 min. videos to clients. I want my A/V cable NOW!!!Sheesh, make a fabulous product and forget about the necesary add-on accessories. Maybe they just have rocket scientists at Creative or they hired outside marketers on contract. Buy one….and wait for the accessories.

Glenn on February 7, 2006 9:43 PM

I was curious about making a partition on the 30 gb drive. Do you use that select amount to store files and the rest for music? Also, if you were to connect it in to a different computer it still wouldn’t recognize the files that you put in? Because I was thinking about also using it was like an external hard drive that I can save my school projects and to work on them else where.Thanks in Advance

Richard on February 9, 2006 7:24 PM

Question. I am an NW-HD5 owner. Soundwise I am very satisfied with the unit. I am satisfied with the size and satisfied with the battery life and the fact that it is removable. I usually get 10-15 hours per charge, because of the bit rates I use and constant button pushing. Yeah I have the silver with the cracked buttons, but that doesn’t bug me at all. What bugs me is the lack of a now playing list. There is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to que up the next song to play while the first one is still playing. I know you have a bookmark feature but it is not the same thing. This really bugs me because other players have it. I thought they might introduce that feature with the new walkmans but they are sticking with the bookmarks. I know this is not a terribly important feature but it bugs me more and more each day. I don’t want to have to use my computer to create a playlist. Who knows what I’m going to want to listen to? Plus I’m tired of sonicstage. It uses up too much memory and whenever I am playing music from my computer the harddrive always makes strange noises. omg.exe always hovers between 60-80 percent and I have a very new high spec computer. For this reason I am in the market for a new Dap. Specifically the Vision:m and the upcoming toshiba model. GETTING TO THE POINT: For those who possibly have owned both hd5 and the vision:m how does the sound quality compare? HD5 is the only dap I’ve owned or listened too. For the ipod lovers in the house: NO. Lets just leave it at that. I use the digital preset on hd5 for both atrac and mp3 tracks, heavy on the bass, just a little bit more treble. I use e2c’s (But about to try the sennheiser cx-300 this weekend) (yeah I would love to get the e3c’s but I for some reason I cannot make myself spend more than $100 dollars on ear buds. And at home I use the hd5 with logitech z2300 (amazing speakers for the price. Given this information would I be satisfied with the sound quality of the vision:m using equalizer. I don’t care about the video part as I am a music addict. And I listen to a mix of r&b, jazz, new age, and brazilian (yeah I’m all over the place. I am probably the only person in my neighborhood who likes enya. I would prefer to stick with sony as from past experience their products usually last me forever but the little things they overlook have begun to anoy the H.. out of me.

EnzoTen on February 9, 2006 7:38 PM

Richard I have both the Vision:M and HD5. The Vision:M sounds very good, better than most. The HD5 has a slight edge over the Vision:M as far as sound quality. However the difference is very minimal. I prefer the VM to the HD5 just because it is a easier to use (especially for playlists) and I don’t have to deal with SonicStage! If you get the VM you wont be disappointed in the sound quality and EQ functions.

Larry on February 12, 2006 2:49 PM

i hear so much about creative and headphone jack problems that it seems like a broken record. does the VM have the same problem?

Mike on February 14, 2006 6:18 PM

i live in Connecticut. I am 17. I am frustrated. Maybe Creative simply forgot to make shipments to the “bend in the river” state, the state of rivers and trees and mediocre beaches. I have yet to find a single “brick and mortar” store (as that is the popular categorization) that carries the vision M. Not Best buy, not Circuit City, not staples, not Electronics boutique. Coicidentally, most of these stores are listed on the official Creative site as retailers for Creative products (and yes, EB is strangely one of them, though I always thought that was just a video game store…). I called Creative. When I asked when it would be available in stores (after all I’ve stayed loyal since before christmas to this product) they told me it was in stores. I said, NO its NOT in Connecticut. they said YES IT IS! I then realized that I had gone insane, and that when i was calling retail stores everyday to inquire about the whereabouts of this product, I was really calling my great auntie in pittsburg, while sipping a cup of tea with some nice bisquits. And so, I vent to ye public, possessors of the vision M. I still want one, and would like to know if anyone in or near connecticut knows of any stores that have them on the shelfs. I would greatly appreciate this. And with my Zen vision M, peacefully I could sleep-perchance to dream: ay there’s the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come.

RobHDean on February 15, 2006 7:56 AM

For those who want the A/V pin-outs to modify a camcorder cable (4-connector 3.5mm -> 3x phono), I’ve just done it successfully & the connections are as follows: working from base of the 3.5mm plug to tip: Earth, Video, Audio Right, Audio Left. (e.g. the audio left connector is the tip of the jack).

RobHDean on February 15, 2006 7:59 AM

Does anyone know if the European version of this product is volume-limited due to EU regulations (many other players are). If so, how can I remove the limitation from mine – I’d be glad if I could make it a little louder!

NeTsNiPeR on February 15, 2006 7:13 PM

im considering buying it, but i dunno, how long until my batt stops recharging, and waat will happen then?

lori on February 16, 2006 2:53 AM

hi! im REALLY torn apart between the philips hdd6330 gogear and the creative zen vision:m. i would like to know if it is possible to load my pictures directly from my canon a80 unto the partition storage of the ZVM. i do not ned to see the pictures, but i dont really want to buy a new CFcard… and the ZVM is a beauty. if this is possible, then its my choice– no questions asked. and does anyone know if creative will solve this problem– cables or adapter??? thanks!

Bogdanlaiu on February 16, 2006 8:22 AM

hy there!i read the messages posted by all of you and I’m very interested in finding out how I might turn a regular A/V cable (3,5 mm- 3 RCA) into a A/V out cable for my ZEN vision :M.I did see the indications given by RobHDean , but I would like a more detailed piece of info on exactly what contacts need to be changed in the regular cable so that i might enjoy my ZEN on the TVThank you.

Matt on February 16, 2006 2:32 PM

Mike from Connecticut -> I live in Illinois, and nobody has them here, either. I preordered one from Amazon on 1/9, and they have no indication of when they will be available. I’ve been everywhere I can. I’m going to try Fry’s again today. I don’t want to buy a black one, but it seems to me that nobody has a clue when the other colors will even be produced, much less shipping, so I will probably have to (or buy an iPod…I’m getting tempted because this is getting ridiculous). But yes, I feel your pain.

Mike on February 16, 2006 6:25 PM

Thanks Matt, at least I know that I’m not the only one in this situation lol. I guess ill just keep waiting. What really bothers me is how uninformed the store employees are. It’s a “good” day when I call best buy and someone even knows what product im talking about. A lot of store managers are just as clueless. It seems like Fry’s, as you alluded to, carries the zen vision M. This, however, is useless to me because there are no Fry’s electronics stores near my residence. Ill probably have to order one online, and…..wait…I am waiting for Godot, and my Godot is the ZVM. (Godot=never coming spiritual remedy)

David on February 16, 2006 7:02 PM

I only have 1 question for this product. If you put music from one computer into the ZVM, and you plug it into another computer, can you take the songs out of the player and put it on the second computer? This is the only question that I need answered before i actually buy the real thing.

EnzoTen on February 16, 2006 7:37 PM

David: Yes you can pull music off of the ZVM to any computer as long as it is Windows XP SP2. You dont get locked to one computer like the ipod or sony hd5I will be doing a turorial soon on the ZVM cable…

David Kelly on February 19, 2006 10:25 PM

Hi i was wondering if you had any ads for your creative zen. I am doin a research project for my marketing class and I have been searching for some ads. Thank you for your time

jjaks on February 22, 2006 9:47 PM

I’m surprised no one here has a problem with the s-l-o-w wake-from-sleep-mode (as compared to iPod which is instantaneous), and the fact that on random mode, you can’t go back to the previous track just played.Or am I missing something?

Matt on February 22, 2006 10:09 PM

I just ordered one from Amazon after finally checking one out at Fry’s. Can anyone recommend a good FM transmitter that pairs well with the ZVM?

stefff on February 23, 2006 12:50 AM

im pissed… i just bought the zen vision:M and im lost. what the hells up with having to have a Windows XP.. i have Windows ME isn’t that good enough. if I dont go out and buy a whole freaking new computer can I still get crap on my zen??? helllp please

Omar on February 23, 2006 10:17 AM

Hey, I agree with the reviewer. The Zen Vision:M is excellent with only a few drawbacks. The audio is astounding, photos are crisp, and the video is much improved over the 5G iPod, which I actually owned and returned after 2 weeks. DRM is pretty cool too, I got a free 2 month trial for Napster to Go and I’ve got 10 gigs of stuff on my Vision:M already. I’ve got pretty much all the music I need. I have a few complaints which are these: 1. Sync Adapter, a minor inconvenience, but coupled with the proprietary video out cable, its definetely a drawback. But at least its a small removeable adapter instead of adding a little extra bulk to the player. 2. No drag and drop support, but that’s not a huge deal because I sync it up with Musicmatch Jukebox, which works pretty cleanly and quickly. 3. It scratches too easily. This might just be a personal problem, since I am really anal about letting his beauty get scratched. Nowhere near as badly as the 5G iPod but it will scratch…unless you buy a good case/shield for it. I recently purchased the invisible shield from and it works great. It covered up some preexisting scratches, and hasn’t been scratched ever since. I haven’t seen any retailers carrying the Vision:M, but I bought mine online at and it came with free shipping, as well as 3 months no interest. I have a 10% off coupon for so email me if you want the code if you’re planning on buying the Vison:M. I figured I can save someone 30 bucks.

Omar on February 23, 2006 10:36 AM

I wanted the white Vision:M too but I am really impatient, so I went with the black, which is nice too. The black and pink are available directly from Creative’s website as of a week ago, but I’m sure not many people here are interested in the pink :P I’m surprised they haven’t released the white yet, since the Vision:M is in direct competition with the iPod. As of today,,, and all have the Vision:M in stock but only in black.

Chris on February 24, 2006 2:08 PM

I only really want to do two things with the Vision:M. One, I want to take all my WMAs on the road with me and I understand that all I need to do to make that happen is to send them to the Vision:M via WMP). Two, I want to be able to watch my DVDs on the Vision:M. I’m not sure your review explained how–or if–this can be done with the Vision:M. I can handle the ripping the DVD to VOB files side of the equation, but what then? Will Creative’s included software transcode the VOB files for playback on the Vision:M or is that done via WMP or would there need to be another intermediary step/software or is it just not possible at all given the included software?

Omar on February 24, 2006 6:09 PM

What do you mean VOB files? I might be able to answer your question. You can AIM me at scionoftheflames if you’d like.

homeranonymous on February 24, 2006 6:57 PM

Quick MacGyver A/V Fix!(1) Buy a cheap Ipod compatable A/V cable.(2) Cut off the video line a few inches from the end and reverse the wires. (Be sure to insulate the connections with tape or heatshrink tubing.)(3) Cut about a 1″ strip of the outer plasic insulation away from each of the L/R cables near the ends, to reveal the stranded copper “shield” wire. Do not damage (or strip) the inner conductor!(4) Cut and remove the bare copper shielding from L/R cables (i.e., Break only the outer wire, leave the inner wire intact).TaDa!

Danny on February 25, 2006 3:13 AM

Umm.. i was wondering, because you cannot remove the Zen Vision:M’s battery, will the battery last a life time? because apparently the ipods have a life time battery guarantee.

Lily on February 25, 2006 6:39 AM

hey, i heard a lot of complaints about headjack problems. i’m not a computer kind of person, so, please bear with me, i require detailed explanations. whats a headjack? how do you fix it? how did it get spoiled in the first place?

Chris on February 25, 2006 11:08 AM

VOB files as in what’s created when you rip a DVD. What would the process be for taking a ripped DVD and loading it into the Vision:M?

EnzoTen on February 25, 2006 12:00 PM

Lily: it is headphone jack. The headphone jack becomes worn. I have not experienced this problem with any of the new creative mp3 playersChris: Use this to convert your vob files to xvid. When you convert do not user AC3 as the audio codec. That is the only one ZVM cannot handle.

The Duke on February 26, 2006 1:03 AM

Great review! I’ve been waiting for an mp3/video player like this for a long while. I’m glad that creative is constantly coming up with new gadgets. Looks like they have come a long way from the first zen and nomad players.Hmmn… what’s next… how about 3D stereoscopic screens on their players? They just came out with 3D stereo-view computer monitors, so the technology is out there:

Lily on February 26, 2006 5:14 AM

uhh.. whats a headphone jack?

Omar on February 26, 2006 11:56 AM

A headphone jack is where you insert your headphones, if they use a standard 3.5mm cable. You can also hook up pc type speakers that use a 3.5 mm cable.

Chris on February 26, 2006 4:13 PM

Is it possible to play mp4 video on the Creative Zen. When I try to transfer a MP4 file using Creative Software it says that MP4 is not supported on this device.

Omatr on February 27, 2006 10:23 AM

Yeah, I’ve had the same problems with mp4 files, I always have to convert them with the included Video Conversion Software, but on the website, and on the box, it says mp4 is supported, so long as it is mp4 sp (Which I think means the audio has to be transcoded in simple format)

chris on February 27, 2006 11:45 AM

Thanks Omatr.But when I have tried to convert my MP4′s (used on the PSP) in the creative’s softwear, it comes up with the error message “not a valid source video file” and will not recognise it. Is there any other way to convert it, as they run on the PSP fine but only show as mp4, not mp4 sp?

Katie on February 27, 2006 3:29 PM

Which store can you buy this at in Canada?

Nick on February 27, 2006 3:29 PM

Howdy.Great review. One thing though, I’m considering ordering a ZVM right now, but I need to know if I can just pop a DVD into the computer, and rip it on to the ZVM with software provided, or would I need to download some software from a third party site and transfer it? If so what free software is everyone else using?ThanksNick

walter on February 27, 2006 9:44 PM

hey omar, you mentioned the 10% off coupon for circuit city… you did fail to mention your email address though where i could get this coupon from you. email me at if you would be willing to give me that coupon. thank you.

sean on February 28, 2006 3:55 PM

hithe easiest way to convert .mp4 to files for your zen is the Imtoo avi-mpeg converterthis will convert any psp / ipod video file into a format that will playcheck out ebay for the software

chris on February 28, 2006 5:01 PM

Thanks Sean.I’ll give that a go. I’d be interested in knowing how to convert straight from DVD also, like nick!

Paul on March 1, 2006 8:35 AM

How is the screen viewing angle? While LCD is always subject to viewing angle issues, I had read that it is particularly bad with this unit. Good as iPod?

Omar on March 1, 2006 4:08 PM

Actually, the viewing angle is excellent for an lcd screen, and can be seen almost flawlessly from above or either side. If you view it from below, the contrast will be a bit off, but honestly, who’s gunna view it from below? The 5G iPod had pretty good viewing angles as well, but the ZVM edges it out a bit.

Paul on March 1, 2006 6:22 PM

Thanks! Time to look at a ZVM then.

Omar on March 1, 2006 11:34 PM

I can submit a few pictures if you’d like. The viewing angles are great.

rebecca on March 1, 2006 11:50 PM

I am torn between the Zen vision M and the toshiba gigabeat 40..any help or input would be awesome!!!i am mainly for travel in car or plane… what fm accessory also.. thanks!

Alex M on March 2, 2006 11:40 AM

Get the vision m cuz it does video and has a radio

Omar on March 2, 2006 3:10 PM

The toshiba gigabeat 40 is nice, but easily beat out in terms of features and sound quality as well by the ZVM. Also, all 5 colors of the Zen Vision:M are now available at creative’s website, for thos who were holding out for the white version.

Rebecca on March 2, 2006 6:55 PM

Thanks.. Im having a hard time with this decision… can the creative work with the fm tuner for car radio?

Omar on March 3, 2006 12:22 AM

Yes it can, I use mine with an fm tuner and it sounds decent. Not great by any means, but for the most part it is static free stereo sound. Let me know which kind you have and I can tell you for sure. If its one of those like Belkin sells where you just plug into the headphone jack and set the station, yes.

dMan on March 3, 2006 2:11 PM

I just made my order for the zen vision M, but i was wondering if anyone knew what software was out there that will convert my DVD sitcoms into a format that will allow it to play on the vision m?? you can reply here, but if you like to elaborate, my email is (just put zen vision in subject line) :) Thanx

Rintintin on March 4, 2006 1:09 AM

One thing that hasn’t been pointed out yet is what a terrific voice recording device the Zen Vision M is!It can be used to record all sorts of meetings at work, quite discretely, from conference calls to 1-1 meetings with the boss, to customer meetings, etc.Turns out the ideal case for the ZVM is a RIM Blackberry 7100 soft nylon holster case ( $12.60). Hooked onto the left side of the belt, the microphone is facing forward, and does a great job of picking up all dialogue. The device can record for hours with the lock on and then once home and downloaded, the recording can be coverted into MP3 using Xilisoft MP3 WAV converter, then with EZ Softmagic’s MP3 splitter & joiner, spliced into individual meetings/discussions and named under separate files. To take notes from a recording that is preferably played at a much faster clip than normal, the Pacemaker plugin for Winamp can be used to increase the playback speed while simulateously adjusting the pitch to keep voices at their normal levels. For the slight hiss, any playback equalizer can be used to make adjustments. For a boost in the base level volume at playback before transfer it back onto the ZVM, MP3Gain can be used to increase the base volume. All the aforementioned applications can be found on your friendly bittorrent directory.In short if you are bad at taking notes or a bit dim like me and can do with a replay of key comments in a meeting, or if for your own personal SOX purposes you want to archive key discussions, the ZVM is an awesome and discrete tool for doing so.

fraser on March 4, 2006 5:56 AM

im about to buy one and iam looking so forward to having one. If you want to convert dvd on to your computer i will sugest that you use NERO its the simplest, it does everything and looks great too.

sean on March 5, 2006 4:41 AM

to rip straight from dvd there are 2 pieces of software i would recommend Xilisoft DVD ripper or Imtoo DVD ripper both work fine. Imtoo is easier to use and is faster. Imtoo will rip in faster than real time a 30 minute chapter will take approx. 15 min to rip. It will rip into a range of formats including mpeg mp4 avi wmv etcAgain the cheapest place to buy is ebay – some sellers will download the software as an e mail attachment expect to pay no more than £5 It will cost you more like $29 dollars from official sources

Omar on March 6, 2006 12:48 AM

Xilisoft worked for me. I have the trial right now which is good, except it cuts off 5 minutes into a chapter since its just the trial. It now know it works though, so it might buy full version.

Jassem on March 7, 2006 12:23 AM

Hey Omar, I know someone else asked for the Circuitcity 10% off coupon already, but I was wondering if it still works. Would you mind sending it to me? I had a Circuit City replacement plan for the 4G ipod and it died on me 2 weeks ago. I should receive a gift card for it, hopefully tomorrow. The coupon you mentioned should sweeten the deal on the Vision M for me. Thanks

David on March 7, 2006 9:04 PM

Hey Omar, would you please also sent me the Circuitcity 10% off coupon. My e-mail address is I am thinking about to buy a vision M.Is there any one know that if I need to buy the protection plan? I am an outdoor person. If I can use Vision M for mountain biking without breaking it.

eroG on March 8, 2006 4:09 AM

hi just 2 simple questions:1) there is another review where it is said that it is possibile to change the battery (“It is possible however to replace the 3.7v li-ion battery”).this is the link : d like to know if it is or it is not possible to have it replaced with a new one.2) if I connect the ZVM to a PAL TV does it work fine?thx for your

Omar on March 10, 2006 9:13 PM

The ZVM is a nice player, but I don’t know if I’d say its very rugged for mountain biking or something of the sort. You may be able to use it if you buy a good case, but I’d probably recommend against such usage. Also, I already gave away the 10% off coupon, but the Zen Vision M is $299 at Circuit City, so that’s 10% off already.

Jiang Jun on March 11, 2006 1:27 PM

Is there file tree browsing enabled on the Zen Vision M? And also-if there isn’t, is there any chance that there can and will in the future with firmware upgrade? And I’ve read some where else (CNET Review+other sites) that you can drop and drag files with windows explorer or do you have to use software (which software btw?)?

thea on March 11, 2006 3:53 PM

does anyone have problems with the screen remaining blank after you have turned it on?

fishsticks on March 11, 2006 9:41 PM

can u change the batteries when u disassemble the ZVM?

Omar on March 12, 2006 1:21 AM

Thea, how often do you have the problem with the screen staying black? Do you mean a long startup time or it just dosen’t start up?

Thea on March 13, 2006 5:55 PM

It just doesn’t start up. I have to turn it on and off about 3-4 times before the screen comes on. I received some technical support advice from Creative, so I’ll see if this works. Anyone know about sending in a ZVM for repairs if it is something not covered by warranty?

Scot on March 13, 2006 5:57 PM

I bought the ZVM & am quite disappointed with the lack of ease of use. Does anyone want to trade for the 30GB ipod? I have lots of MP3 files, which transferred over to my old iPod quite nicely. With this device, many of the songs transferred over as , so I used the utility to correct that. I’ve tried itunes, WMP, and both of Creative’s programs that came with the device. It has taken up over 20 hours of my time, and I’m done being a rebel….I want to go back to the iPod world. Sure, this thing has a better picture, but I won’t really watch anything unless it can bring in live video (TV) signal.Seriously, does anyone want to trade? This one is black & in perfect condition.

Cody on March 14, 2006 5:11 PM

This thing beats the iPod any day. The ease of transfering songs is so freaking easy. I dont think the guy above realized u can just drag and drop. You dont have to actually use the creative software. The sound and video quality are superior to any iPod out right now and just all around quality out ranks the iPod. I would say that if you were going to buy an iPod I would seriously get the creative zen over anything apple has.

Omar on March 15, 2006 11:06 PM

Cody, how do you drag and drop your songs onto the ZVM? I personally would recommend creative sync manager or musicmatch jukebox with syncing for gettigns mp3s on it. Musicmatch jukebox is a little better in my preference because you can add the album art.

Mark on March 16, 2006 7:44 AM

Can someone clear this up please. Yes or no, is it possible to load ripped dvd’s onto this player?

EnzoTen on March 16, 2006 9:14 AM

Yes. Use this DVD Ripping Guide

Mark on March 16, 2006 9:43 AM

Much appreciated. Cheers!

Matt on March 16, 2006 5:45 PM

Does anyone know when this PVP player will be available in stores in the US?

Omar on March 17, 2006 1:50 AM and have them, and at their websites you can check if they are available at your local store. Apparently an electronics store named Fry’s is getting them as well.

James on March 17, 2006 7:35 PM

Just bought a leather case for my vision on e-bay. I don’t go on e-bay much but I must say I was very happy with the product. The seller was very nice and offered me a coupon code for $3 off any item. Just msg him imaxpromo before you bid on the item and he/she will deduct $3 off your purchase. Anyway, heres the link, check out the case, VERY CLASSY.

dMan on March 18, 2006 11:47 AM

I tried the method explained above about how to rip DVD’s and convert them to .AVi files, but its not working, i keep getting an error at the end telling me that it could not complete becuase the file is being used by another source, however i dont have any other programs running. Can someone please help, my email is, in the subjuect line put Vison M. :)

Loki on March 18, 2006 7:20 PM

If you have recorded all your CD’s already using Itunes in mpeg4 audio format, can they still be played on the Creative Zen Vision M or if not is there an easy way to convert them?

Omar on March 18, 2006 9:49 PM

I had no problem doing so, as many of my cd’s were ripped from when I had an iPod 5g with iTunes. However, you can convert them from mpeg4 to mp3 directly inside itunes, just pick the songs, right click, and select convert to mp3. I was able to send them to the ZVM without conversion though.

Tom on March 19, 2006 12:24 AM

are all the colours shiny or only the black

Danny on March 19, 2006 3:12 AM

Umm to cody, You cannot drag and drop music files onto the ZVM, because it is not UMS compliant. You can synchronize it with WMA 10, but if you partitioned a section of it to drag and drop, the player would not be able to recognise it as a music file when you listen to music. It would just be treated as data, and can only be accessed when it is plugged into a computer.

Bluebear12 on March 19, 2006 3:16 AM

Its a shame about the AV cable, but this message from the creative forums says you can use an Archos AV Cable. This sounds better than playing around with electrical wires and possibly killing the player. However I have cant find the cable anywhere. Any ideas for some websites?Also try this link – its an unofficial FAQ guide for the Creative Zen vision: M

inekinokine on March 19, 2006 11:22 AM

I have Vision:M, somebody please tell me what’s this ZENcast organizer (from )what does it do, what’s the use of it? Anyway there’s a firmware update for ZVM, version 1.30.02.( )Has anybody update the new firmware to their ZVM device? Care to share the experience?

Jessica on March 19, 2006 5:54 PM

I need advice. I’m debating between this and the Zen Sleek Photo or an iPod. I have some questions about ZVM.1) I really like using iTunes cuz it’s easy to organize my music…is there anything that I could use for ZVM that’s similiar to iTunes?2) Does it work in the car with any FM transmitter?3) How is Creative’s service? Are they helpful, especially if it breaks?Thanks so much!

Jessica on March 19, 2006 5:54 PM

I need advice. I’m debating between this and the Zen Sleek Photo or an iPod. I have some questions about ZVM.1) I really like using iTunes cuz it’s easy to organize my music…is there anything that I could use for ZVM that’s similiar to iTunes?2) Does it work in the car with any FM transmitter?3) How is Creative’s service? Are they helpful, especially if it breaks?Thanks so much!

aj on March 20, 2006 12:44 PM

i’m trying to change a divx from ac3 audio to something compatible with the vision:m. i’ve extracted the ac3 audio with VirtualDub. then i coverted the ac3 to wav with another tool. how do i put the wav back into the avi file? or should i generate a different type of final video+audio file? thanks.

t.j on March 22, 2006 1:03 AM

Yeah i would also like to ask about the colours does anyone no if there metalic or shiny or mat

Omar on March 22, 2006 3:16 PM

All the colors are shiny and reflective, like the 5g iPod. Having owned both devices, I have to say the ZVM is shinier, and a little bit more scratch resistant, but not a lot. The closest thing to iTunes in terms of simplicity would probably be the included Creative Sync manager, and pretty much any portable audio device will work with fm transmitters, so long as the transmitter recieves its input through a 3.5mm stereo jack. And the firmware update does nothing but include a subfolder through the ZVM for easier access to Zencasts, which are the same as podcasts. They are just RSS files that can be downloaded from websites such as video content or more typically, audio files such as talk shows or discussions.

Les on March 26, 2006 4:50 PM

I just purchased the ZVM about a week ago. I have Windows XP and for some reason I can’t get my computer to recognize the device. The device recognizes that it has been connected to my computer because a USB type icon appears on the screen. I’ve tried reinstalling the drivers and the fix recommended by Creative and Microsoft with no luck. Does anyone have a solution?For those of you who are having problems finding one visit http://www.j& or visit the J&R store in Manhattan. They seem to be the only store in the area that has any in stock.

EnzoTen on March 26, 2006 6:08 PM

You need at least service pack 2 and WMP10.

Hairball on March 26, 2006 8:25 PM

My mom took me to go get the new creative Zen version:M at one of the stores in Missouri. They claimed that they didn’t have one and so we went to another and another and finally went back and they had one same with another store(we had to buy them at seperate stores). Well… My mom and I were excited to finally have an mp3 so we went home after driving all day just to find them in the first place. We plugged them into her sony vaio and the computer would show that there was something in the USB but the Windows Media Player and the software we had to install would not detect it. We went back to Best Buy and asked them what is wrong and they said that her computer had spys so they wanted us to buy this spy sweeper to kick them off and the internet browser wouldn’t work. So we went back to Best Buy and they said that it wouldn’t work so we went to a different Best Buy and they said that it won’t work through the CD installation that it came with. So being my mom and I, excited to get home to uninstall the creative stuff so we can go through Windows Media Player, it still says that it doesn’t detect the mp3 player. My mother has tried all three USB ports and none of them work. She has also tried restoring the computer and it recognizes that something is in there but the Windows Media still won’t work. Is there anything that we can do to put music on them that will actually work?

dizzy d on March 27, 2006 12:00 PM

for those who have problems with thier zen not being recognized.Here is some useful infothere 3 requirements you need on your computer1. you need windows xp operating system, these will not work on macs or other windows versions such as 2000.2. you need windows media player version 10 installed.IF you don’t have this version you can go to microsoft and upgrade3.make sure your computer is plug and play.If you plug any device beside your zen and the computer recognizes it, then your computer has this featureIf your problem persists after checking these items go to the creative support web site and service rep will help you out

Omar on March 27, 2006 10:07 PM

Just a little FYI, I bought a standard stereo to rca jack cable to watch videos on a tv and it worked on a newer tv by just plugging the cables in. Oddly enough, when using an older tv, I had to do the thing where you pull out the stereo cable just a bit for it to work, but it worked. This proves you don’t need the cable from Creative, but they are the same price, I just didn’t want to wait for shipping.

Chris on March 28, 2006 1:27 PM

The only drawback to using a “normal” 1/8″ jack to dual-RCA cable for hooking up the Vision:M to a TV is: you’ll get MONO sound. The Archos/Creative cables actually have 4 segments on the male 1/8″ jack to accommodate 2-channel sound and video. 1L + 1R + 1VID + 1COM = 4 connections. Makes sense to me, anyway. :) Also, I’ve seen reports of folks successfully using BRASSO and a clean, lint-free cloth to COMPLETELY remove scratches and refurbish the scren. So, if you’ve got scratches and are planning on installing a scratch guard, try polishing with the BRASSO before applying the protection film. Google for the procedure — it takes a little effort, but seems worth it if your unit is badly scratched.

John on March 31, 2006 3:23 AM

My problem finally solve. (Unable to detect my ZVM)For those who have problem detect your device on PC, pls goto Creative website under Support then select Knowledge base then key in Search 10053.,/?St=170,E=0000000000113449045,K=1379,Sxi=0,VARSET=ws:,case=10053,Question3109=obj(3016) :o bj(2397)

Rich on April 1, 2006 3:40 PM

Well I have had the zen vision for a week and I will be trying to return it later today. I actually like the ZEN vision, in most respects it beats my hd5 over the head. Except two. Removable battery that lasts forever and sound quality. Mind you, had I not owned the hd5 before the zen vision m I would be perfectly satisfied. The zen vision M sounds good, and in some respects better than the sony, especially with background noise, but there is something about the way the hd5 reproduces sound…i’m no audiophile but there’s more “Space” between the different parts in the music. I don’t know how to explain it. For those who’ve never owned a sony, the zen vision m is a good purchase, but it scratches very easily. Foolishly I rubbed the screen with a finger and lo a behold…scratch. I hope I am able to return it. Zen vision works flawlessly with Rhapsody to go. You can also use WMP10, or no software what soever. I know some people say that as an MTP(?) device it’s not really drag and drop, but functionally there really isn’t that much difference. if only sony would partner with rhapsody….

conker on April 2, 2006 12:27 PM

I have just read through the posts, and I am confused. Some people are saying you can drag and drop user files, while others say you cannot without first creating a partition. Can someone clarify?Thanks!

Tara on April 2, 2006 8:04 PM

Hi I am considering getting a Zen Vision (I have a Zen Touch now) but I need a player that I can run with. From what I’ve read, this isn’t the right type. Is that true? Can you work out with these?

Tad on April 4, 2006 8:49 PM

For those of you fighting the AV cable issue’s. The I-BOOK AV cable (not Ipod) is the very cable you need for the Zen Vision M. Apple part number M8434G/A. To think I bought the ZEN device so I would not have to deal with Apple. FYI Compusa wanted 30 plus dollars. A local mac store sold it to me for 19 plus tax!

Oahn on April 5, 2006 12:53 PM

It amazes me to read so many posts where people bitch so much. Let me save you some headaches. Some people will love and swear by their Ipods, others this Creative Vision:M. I got mine for $249, free delivery, no tax fom Crutchfield. At that price, with everything I was looking for (and waited for), this thing is the best. Just enjoy the damn thing for what it can do and get on with life already.

DJ on April 5, 2006 10:52 PM

Yes Oahn…… are cool! by the way…..BS on the $249

James on April 6, 2006 11:02 PM

Is there any way to directly connect a digital camera or card reader to the Vision:M and upload photos and/or video without a computer? I understand an iPod can do this with an accessory dongle (but only for jpeg files) and the Iriver H340 has USB Host Control (not sure of limitations if any).

Allen on April 10, 2006 9:30 PM

i have my zvm for 3 weeks and i love it!to conker : you can easily drag and drop music or video to player using the “Browse Media” section at Zen Vision:m media explorer

GPG on April 11, 2006 9:48 PM

I just bought iPod video 30g for 1 month ago, then after I saw the Vision:M I wanted to sell my iPod..Vision:M’s battery last longer than iPod Video 30g..

Omar on April 12, 2006 12:15 PM

James, you cannot connect a camera to the ZVM directly, but if you absolutely needed something that did, you might want to check out the Zen Vision, which has a built in card reader, or the Cowon iAudio A2 which acts as a USB host.

charles jones on April 14, 2006 7:37 PM

got a zen vision m for birthday and find no need to buy car charger for it as if you have sat nav tom tom that charger fits vision m

lars on April 18, 2006 12:56 PM

i want to buy one but dont know if i can play dvd’s on the vision m

Brian on April 18, 2006 1:39 PM

I see on creative’s website that you can buy a 2 year protection plan. Is this a good way to go? It seems like it would cover anything.

Lisa on April 20, 2006 2:19 PM

Does anyone know if/when this player might become compatible with Audible?I know that the Micro wasn’t at first but later added the capability with a software update (how long did that one take?)…

emily on April 21, 2006 2:45 PM

I’m considering buying a zen vision m, but would be really grateful if someone could tell me if the problem with the headphone jack has been resolved on this model?I currently have a zen micro and up until the headphone jack broke, i loved it, its now useless and i don’t want the same thing to happen to me again with the vision m.

EnzoTen on April 21, 2006 3:46 PM

Emily, I have not heard about problems with the jack on the vision:m. I have had mine two months before it was released in the US and have not had a problem yet. I also have a very well used micro wich has not had a faulty jack.

Mehaha! on April 23, 2006 2:24 AM

Okay i really want one of these but i have 2 questions:is it to bulky? Is it a bad thing that that you can’t replace the battery, is it going to like wear out or something and i won’t get to use the device anymore?

Mehaha! on April 23, 2006 2:26 AM

oh yeah and……….GREAT REVIEW! Thanks!!!!! :D

Omar on April 23, 2006 7:23 PM

The problem with the non user replaceable battery is not that the player’s battery will die out and render the player useless, such as an iPod, but that if your battery dies while on the go you can’t just switch it out for another one such as with a Creative Zen Vision.

Mehaha! on April 23, 2006 7:36 PM

I don’t get it, then what do you do when the battery dies out?Thanks omar!!! :D

Jordan Theriault on April 24, 2006 11:52 AM

My Zen is great. I own the Zen vision:m When I got it however I saw that it didn’t have the fm radio. I am wondering whats wrong? and how can I get it?

Omar on April 24, 2006 4:53 PM

When the battery dies out (which all rechargeable batteries eventuallyy do) you will probably have to get it replaced by creative or an authorized repair service. The battery life should be at least 1 and a half to two years though, just as an average of rechargeable batteries. You may also be able to replace it yourself if you know a thing or two about that sort of thing, by opening the ZVM yourself like in the guide available on this website.

Omar on April 24, 2006 4:55 PM

Jordan, I have noticed that sometimes the FM radio option is not available on the title screen as well. Usually this is because you don’t have the headphones plugged in, as the ZVM uses the headphones as an antenna to receive reception. Also, you might not have it enabled under your menu. Try going to system settings and configuring FM Radio so that it is on the main screen.

Jordan Theriault on April 25, 2006 6:10 AM

I have the headphones plugged in and still no radio. There is also no system settings, just system, and in system it doesn’t have any system settings. I went to configure menu and there was still no fm radio.

Omar on April 25, 2006 1:56 PM

Have you ever had the FM radio option available?

Hoon on April 25, 2006 4:35 PM

How is the transfer speed? I want to use it also as a file storage between several computers, and the transfer speed is another important factor to me.

Jordan Theriault on April 25, 2006 4:58 PM

I have never had the fm radio option.

Peter on April 25, 2006 7:04 PM

Thanks for a great review.I notice during the reading that ZVM does not have USB host support. But, I have found a home-page: where they offer USB OTG devices for transfering between e.g. camera and MP3 (for example the their U2 product). Does anybody know if this will work for ZVM? Or have anybody tried with some similar solutions? And finally any idea about the transfer speed?Best regardsPeter

Frank on April 26, 2006 1:24 AM

Is there a good ZVM forum out there where we can share our experiences?

EnzoTen on April 26, 2006 7:24 AM

Frank, There will be a forum here launching in a few days.

Frank on April 26, 2006 12:41 PM

Awesome!Thanks Enzo.

Mehaha! on April 27, 2006 10:07 AM

Enzo, i can see in a picture that a arrested development episode is playing, it looks like it’s recorded of of the t.v., was it?

EnzoTen on April 27, 2006 10:20 AM

It was from Bittorrent. I also ripped them from DVD, and they look pretty much the same but without the watermarks.Best TV show ever.

Mark on April 27, 2006 8:38 PM

um i have a question does the white also scratch easily and can it play all my movie files. also what do u need to wall charge it (cables adapters that kind of stuff?)

EnzoTen on April 27, 2006 8:48 PM

Mark, they all scratch easily, but the white shows it less. The wall charger is included.

Mehaha! on April 27, 2006 9:53 PM

is bittorent ileagal?

EnzoTen on April 27, 2006 10:11 PM

In my case no, because i own the DVDs. But other wise, yes.

Mark on April 27, 2006 11:34 PM

Can you own dvds then put them on ur creative vision m

Mehaha! on April 28, 2006 12:25 AM

how much does it cost to replace the battery?

Darth Yidious on April 28, 2006 1:53 PM

I got my ZVM last week and i luv it – only problems are*cant copy media from player to computer even recordings i made with microphone(or can i?)*doesnt browse files (music or video) – only sorts into albums,artists etc – but doesnt have file/folder browsing like my treos mp3 player* what the hells the “selections” thing?

Mark on April 28, 2006 8:57 PM

k now i know you can put dvcd to creative m but how much size ddoes 1 moviwe approxametly take up (ex 1 gb 2gb ?)

Mehaha! on April 28, 2006 11:29 PM

how much does it cost to replace the battery?

EnzoTen on April 29, 2006 12:41 AM

I have not figured out where to buy them yet

Monkboon on April 29, 2006 8:43 AM

Well, this is a nice find. My Wife has the Creative Rhomba and I have the Nomad Zen Xtra and haven’t had a problem in 2 years. 30 gb version. Anyway, I’m ready to upgrade and it’ll be between the Archos AV500(100gb) and the Zen Vision M (30gb). They have the Visions here for $299.99 at Frys Murphy Canyon Road. Anyhoo, I really want the 100gb Av500 for the DVD ripping features and I fear that the moment I get a Zen Vision, they’ll come out with a 60 or 100gb version. ( I bought my Xtra from Fry’s for $159.99. Ipod 20gb was $299.99, Zen Xtra 30gb was $159.99)The Ipod Video has never been in the equasion. The AV500 is $549.99 at Fry’s. This isn’t a need, it’s a want for me just like everything I buy. I’m torn because I’ll be pissed if I get the Vision and they come out with a bigger HD unit. Does anyone know if they may do so to combat the 60gb Ipod Video and as great as the AV500 is, is it worth $550.00. Thank You for reading, Monk….

Monkboon on April 29, 2006 8:51 AM

Fry’s, San Diego, Ca

mark on April 29, 2006 12:04 PM

Ok so now i know that i can rip dvds to my creative m right? but can i fit one whole movie in their and still have space left over for music and more moviesS?

EnzoTen on April 29, 2006 2:34 PM

Yes, Movies take up around 700MB.check out the dvd ripping guide on this site. the link is above.

andrew on April 30, 2006 7:24 PM

where do u get the cords at?????

Grace on April 30, 2006 7:53 PM

Actually, the complaint that the player is not UMS compliant is not that important, because you can just drag and drop. I wanted to get a video file from my friend’s computer, and all I had to do was plug the player into her computer and use My Computer to copy the file into my player. I didn’t need to install any software at all. Windows XP recognized the player and the files played with no problems on my Zen.

EnzoTen on April 30, 2006 9:10 PM

It is very importan…1. MTP is a pain in the ass2. You cannot use it with operating systems other than Windows XP3. You cannot keep you music organized the way you want it.4 Dragging and dropping with MTP somtimes causes database and duplicate entry problems.

Omar on April 30, 2006 11:49 PM

MTP Isn’t flat out horrible, but UMS is much better. Once you’ve tried both, especially when trying to get music from more than one computer, you’ll notice the difference.

Jon Temple on May 1, 2006 1:12 AM

“Despite the lack of codec support the audio play back from this player will not disappoint”.An excellent review for those who go the Microsoft line, like DRM, load their DRM music from the Microsoft DRM encoding like Itunes, Rhapsody, etc.While the review excellently discusses the features, I think just brushing over the incredible inflexibility of Creative Zen.There is NO freedom to the more creative types who walk away from the autocratic, monopolistic, Microsoft, RIAA controlled audio industry.The fact that this is really a totally Microsoft propriatary unit, with no support for superior open source formats, makes me wonder why anyone would get this unit.It is basically an Ipod by Creative. There is nothing creative or inventive in this highly restricted unit.The lack of support for anything but MTP also is indicitive of the arrogance and control that vendors like Creative give Microsoft.Why the heck anyone would buy something that is a major step down in technology and supports ONLY Microsoft Products like XP, the gargantuan Windows Media Player, MS Office, DRM MP3 and the mediocre WMA is beyond me.Save your money and look at the non-Microsoft controled vendors where you do NOT have to adopt your habits and is flexible. Like the COWON products (Iaudio).If you get a player like this, never, ever complain about being at the mercy of Microsoft’s XP, Internet Explorer, Outlook , the mediocre “W” codecs, Microsoft Media Player and DRM. UJSe your dollars intelligently.

Joe on May 1, 2006 1:08 PM

Is there a limit to how many times a song can be tranfered to the player?

Omar on May 1, 2006 3:46 PM

No. The only software I know of that limits song transfers is Sonicstage.

Pete on May 1, 2006 5:55 PM

My Zen M lasted 26 days and experienced a hard drive failure. :

mark on May 1, 2006 6:31 PM

overall should i buy the black creative vision m????

Max on May 2, 2006 2:01 AM

Hi, im max and i’ve bought Zen Vision:M two days ago. Im loving it so far, however, the player froze twice in one day while playing a video. Im going to try to update my firmware before i panic. And i do hav a question for the other zen owners. When u go to your radio is it set to the last station you were on when u last listened to it? Because it doesn’t do that for me.

Mark on May 2, 2006 7:01 PM

what is UMS Support??

Omar on May 2, 2006 9:59 PM

UMS is a very simple drag and drop system for digital audio players that is also pretty much universally compatible with any OS. It’s as easy as it gets pretty much.

Enemes on May 3, 2006 9:15 PM

Hi! I ordered my ZVM on April 12, a blue one from, but they’ve changed the shipping and delivery date twice now. In the mean time, I’ve been looking at a whole bunch of reviews, new and old ones, to be on the safe side that it’s worth the wait, and from what I’ve read, it is.I just wanted to comment and say what a great review this is. The review and even the comments really helped me come to my desiscion before I bought the ZVM. I even showed this review and a couple of others to my friends, who all have the G5 iPod, but now they all want this. Anyway, thanks for all the help! :)

Omar on May 4, 2006 12:31 AM

Glad to be of help :) Enzoten has a really good site going here.

Kim on May 5, 2006 7:43 AM

Very good site, now I have an idea what this player is all about.Thank You.Kim

Mark on May 6, 2006 12:02 AM

Umm i am going to get this player on may 11/06 which is in 6 days from today and if anbody can tell me y i shouldnt get it or y i should plz do cause i still need more advice

Juli on May 6, 2006 11:57 PM

I heard that the player comes with several different themes. I wanted a black one, but I LOVE the green display of the green one. Does the black one have that green display?

EnzoTen on May 8, 2006 10:43 AM

New! ABi has started a Creative Forum. Drop in if you have any questions, there are lots of helpful people there.

Omar on May 8, 2006 3:46 PM

Juli, all 5 color players come with 6 different themes preloaded.

aLEX Spink on May 9, 2006 12:41 PM


Colette on May 9, 2006 9:46 PM

hi,can you help me. please !i just bought a zen 8gb photo mini.i could not transfer music from my itunes, i assume they are not compatible… ? someone told me to download winamp, which i did. i copied all my itunes onto that and now i cant seem to be able to get it onto my zen….still.can i ? do i need to convert the file ?thanks !

Omar on May 9, 2006 9:55 PM

iTunes only works with iPod. If your files are currently in AAC format you will be able to convert to mp3 in itunes by selecting songs and right clicking and selecting “Convert selection to mp3″. Windows Media Player Winamp, Musicmatch Jukebox, etc. all work for transferring to a Zen Photo.

Colette on May 10, 2006 12:54 AM

thank you very much, omar. much appreciated !

jimbo on May 13, 2006 1:47 AM

Great site.One question though. Should I add an additional screen cover ontop of the one that came with the player?

Omar on May 13, 2006 12:27 PM

I suggest getting an invisible shield from it will cost you about 15 dollars. I have had mine since February and not a singe scratch. “Should I add an additional screen cover ontop of the one that came with the player?” Did a screen cover come with your ZVM?

ordell on May 14, 2006 6:48 PM

thanks for the review, extremely helped me out much.

EnzoTen on May 15, 2006 5:00 PM

We have added a Creative Forum. Join us for some help and discussion on this topic.

Jessica on May 18, 2006 3:36 PM

Ok so I just bought the Vision:M. Lasted 30 seconds and it froze up. Reset it, nothing. Went to Creative Labs forum pages…apparently I’m not even CLOSE to being the only one with this problem.I would sincerely hold off on buying one of these right now.

Luke on May 22, 2006 3:27 PM

Thanks for this review it is great. Can’t wait to get mine for my Birthday; they look amazing.Creative over Ipod any day!!!

Luke on May 22, 2006 3:29 PM

What is the radio recorder like?

Jae on May 22, 2006 6:50 PM

nothing quite like trying to emulate the ipod, the look, the GUI, and the music transfer softwarenice try creative

Jeff on May 22, 2006 10:10 PM

I just got my ZVM and I was looking at the theme selections. The theme used on the zen for the pictures doesn’t look like any of the default ones. Maybe its just an oversight by me, but it seems like a hacked theme. If it is indeed hacked I’d love to hear about how you did it, or at least point me towards a tutorial.

Luke on May 24, 2006 6:18 AM

Ipod Video or Creative Zen Vision M?

bla bla me on May 24, 2006 11:32 PM

Thanks for the review it helped me in my descision I’ve been torn between the iPod and the Creative Zen Vision:M. Since your review I’ve got more fuel to my descision. Thanks again

chris on May 26, 2006 9:16 PM

Just bought mine today. Hooked it up and synched it with no additional software. Loaded the new firmware from the creative site. I then tested, and true drag and drop through Windows Explorer absolutley worked – without any software. Nost sure what all of the people on this thread that said it did not work were doing.

Micheal on May 27, 2006 10:40 AM

I too just bought a Zen:M, plugged in the USB cable, open My Computer and dropped the music files I wanted into the devices. Windows also asked me if I wanted to syncronize with Media Plaer 10. I love this player, far better than iPod. I do not allow Quicktime/itunes on my network to many compatability and security issues, never have. This devies also keeps me from looking like a hipocrate at work.For all you iPod people that say they stole the menu lay out, go check out the patent office and see you owns it. Oh that would be Creative, who has been making these devices longer than Apple.

zach on May 28, 2006 10:55 PM

i just got one a day agao and i put some videos on it. while playing one a fast fowarded stop and ff-ed again and it locked up on meit wont turn off or anythingshould i just wait till the battery runs out or what?help

Justshootme63 on June 1, 2006 1:12 PM

Ya the annoying thing about them is the battery cant be pulled out! Same as the ipods. I got mine about an hour ago. The radio is really good, and records it perfect. Im having a problem connecting it to my pc? I installed all the software and drivers but it still says it cannot be found? Any help anyone?. Zach have you tried holding the power button left for about 30secs? If that doesnt work , ya your best bet is waiting for the battery to go dead

wateva on June 1, 2006 3:36 PM

hi, i just wanted to ask if u can connect the zen vision:M to windows 2000

nick on June 2, 2006 12:11 PM

hello guys!after ripping and converting a movie, how do i get it on the ZVM?please help me!thanks! :D

Pete on June 2, 2006 6:17 PM

I just got an 8 gig Zen Photo. It froze when I first tried to move files onto it from my PC. THere is some advice on the Creative web-site – you take the battery out, hold the power button on and then place the battery back in. Then you can reformat or reload firmware.Unfotunately that’s not working for me – unless it’s meant to take 6 hours or so to format.Right at the moment I feel like smashing it and buying an ipod.

Nick on June 3, 2006 2:45 AM

hello guys!after ripping and converting a movie, how do i get it on the ZVM?please help me!thanks! :D

Nicholas on June 3, 2006 10:55 PM

hmmmmm……. the menu shows what you want to do including transfering media, managing media, and/or adding media, also including ripping cds. the adding media should do the trick although it hasn’t work to well with me…… especialy the conversion feature. or…. you could just do it via Windows Media player 10. that might work.

Nick on June 4, 2006 8:44 AM

thank you all for the help it worked! but i got another problem.when i gonna see a dvd on my zvm, how do i navigate in the movie-menu, so i can press “play movie” ? please help me!

Nikolay on June 4, 2006 2:50 PM

Hi,maybe stupid question but can anyone tell me about video if I doenload whole movie on it, one and a half hour long is it feaseable to watch it on the device?Thanks

Nikolay on June 5, 2006 6:16 AM

Sorry maybe didn’t explain it clear, from the point of few watching video on this player is it any comfortable, probably most of us have mobile phones now with video capabilities, but watching that videos just gives a headache. Thats why i am asking not from a technical point of few but would anyone watch one hour long movie on this player. Could you comment on it?

tux on June 5, 2006 3:37 PM

I was about to buy it. But I am using linux.And I see that there is no possibility to upload files.Not usable device

david on June 8, 2006 12:50 AM

If I have all of my music in Itunes wil it be easy to load it onto the vision m

jessica on June 8, 2006 1:38 AM

hey guys…….i just bought the zen vision m……ummm….im just if it can play mp4 or mpeg

Justshootme63 on June 8, 2006 3:27 PM

it doesnt play mp4 :-( as of yet, But maybe in one of there future frimware updates they might add that feature? What you guys think?. Can that be done?

e on June 8, 2006 4:38 PM

Possible but doubtful. You can convert MP4s using the creative converter, but you must have the Quicktime installed.

Gonçalo on June 8, 2006 7:01 PM

Can the Creative Converter program convert RealPlayer files (rm, rmvb)?

Missile on June 9, 2006 1:30 PM

I just bought the black version about 2 months ago and I love it! I get comments from people on the airplane asking if it’s the new iPod, and I laugh and say nope, it’s the new Creative Zen Vision M. They say “Wow that looks really cool!”.I used to have an iPod, but after having it in the shop 4 times in the span of 6 months, I just dumped it. I must say the Zen is a much better quality player. No, it’s not as sleek as the iPod, but I find it to be a better product and so far very reliable! I’ll report back in the next few months to let you know how it’s performing.

bobxombie on June 9, 2006 5:52 PM

linux is supported under libmtp

mike on June 9, 2006 9:47 PM

I was thinking of buying this product, however I noticed one of the sites I was looking at for reviews said the battery life per charge goes down eventually. I knew this was true, however I was wondering if you can send in your Zen Vision M to get the battery replaced, if so how much, and if you cant, how long will the battery last untill it becomes noticable that you need a new mp3 player.Thanks.

karl on June 10, 2006 3:01 AM

for fuck sake!!! make a 20 – 30 GB mp3 player thats just UMS not any of this portable layer and other software crap. i just want to se the player as my ‘my music’ folder instead of my laptops limited hardrive.

laura on June 10, 2006 4:30 PM

my creative zen vision m is fantastic!!! The first time i sent music and pictures and videos to it, it was great, but then when i tried it the next day it kept on saying that it could not detect any device, even though everything was connected. Can anyone help me?

anton on June 11, 2006 8:39 PM

I purchased one yesterday. I do not think the FM tuner works, at all.When I attempt autoscanning (to supposedly overwrite “all presets”),no scanning takes place. I live in somewhat of a fringe area, but canstill tune in a good dozen stations on any ordinary radio. I’m very surprised the tuner function does not allow for inputting known frequencies in some fashion. I’m doubly surprised that nobody in thisforum has previously pointed out this deficiency. I understand that thedevice uses the earphone wires as the antenna. I tried going outside,walking around etc. It just does not work. Put me off a bit because Iironically tried the FM functionality right after opening the new box.Should I exchange the unit for another?

El Divino on June 11, 2006 11:11 PM

Hey,I bought the creative zen vision m back in december 2005 it has been very reliable ever since and has had no problems!! it toally rocks!! The video playback is really good and so too are the videos it converts.

James on June 11, 2006 11:13 PM

I have the latest firmware and mine still freezes occasionally. Any help? What I am doing worng. Thanks

Kevin Delmotte on June 12, 2006 10:17 PM

I bought one a few days ago and am now reading the review. He claims to need drivers, but I was able to simply plug mine into the usb port, and then run my copy of MediaCenter from Jriver and I was able to to transfer and edit audio and picture files. There is some things you need to use creatives software for but for me I primarily use MediaCenter and have used RealPlayer also. So far all the features on mine work great, I did buy a better pair of headphones to use by Seinheiser. I updated to the latest firmware with no problems and have over 3000 audio files and a few video files and some pictures with no problems that are of big importance to me. I would prefer built-in usb and other ports but do not get all that bothered by the adpater, unless I lose it. So far I think it works great and think there will be refinements in the future like any other product.

Dan on June 13, 2006 1:25 AM

Someone commented about the FM tuner not working correctly. You must have headphones plugged in for it to work, because the Vision:M uses the headphones as the antenna. If their not plugged in you won’t recieve any signal. Hope that helps!

Dave on June 14, 2006 10:35 AM

Just Bought a Vision:M yeasterday and it has NO WALL CHARGER!!They seem to have changed the specs on it. And pluging the usb cable into a general usb wall charger or and iPod usb wall charger does not charge it. So it looks like I will have to buy an extra piece.Bought in Ireland

Suleiman on June 15, 2006 3:35 PM

Yo ! for all the creative fans i’m devoted to this ZVM and i got a black one too but the problem is that i accidentally put my Vision M into Recovery Mode and now whatever i try is hopeless u gotta help me out my whole life is flashin b4 my eyes anywho thx in advance laterz

timothy on June 16, 2006 6:46 AM

iPODS r shit

Almoxil on June 16, 2006 5:18 PM

Hello,There were some people in this forum asking if the Zen Vision:M would be suitable to workout or biking. As a matter of fact, none of the hard disk based MP3 players in the market should be submitted to impacts, since the hard disk would scratch and lose data. Of course you shouldn’t let the player fall as well.In this respect, Sony NW-HD5 has a nice feature called “G-Sensor”, that detects when the device is falling and protects the hard disk from being damaged. I don’t know other MP3 players that have this feature, and it seems that Sony’s player isn’t being manufactured or sold anymore.I think people who intent to use the player to workout sessions or intense sports (biking, running, hiking and so on) should get a flash-based MP3 player. They’re usually smaller and lighter than the HD based ones (and also easier to carry), and they’re sturdier too. I usually do some running everyday in the morning and alwasys take my MPIO FY-200 (flash based, 256MB) with me. I’ve had it for 2 years and it’s still as good as new.For those who also want a good capacity, there are a plenty of models from Creative, Samsung, Samdisk and other manufacturers sporting memory sizes ranging from 1GB to 4GB.

Almoxil on June 17, 2006 2:03 PM

It was only an opinion, but in fact people shouldn’t take HDD based MP3 players under harsh conditions. Of course it won’t break too soon, but I think taking any of those players to biking, hiking or running (for example) could shorten the lifetime of the device.I have a Zen Micro besides the MPIO FY-200. It has more capacity than the flash-based one, but I wouldn’t take it with me when running, not only because it is HDD based, but algo because it’s heavier and bigger.I know the hard disks for those players can be more resistant to shock. They can be especially manufactured and so on, but in the end they use the same technology as the hard disk inside any computer, and have the same weaknesses.

EnzoTen on June 17, 2006 9:34 PM

The comments are approaching several hundred in count and are becomming an unorganized mess of information.Please visit the our Creative Zen Vision: M Forum for lots of great organized information.Comments Closed…

Bonnie Hurd on November 12, 2007 4:04 AM

I have had the creative zen vision m 30 gig player for over a year now. No problems and I love it. This was the best present I got.

Sandy on November 21, 2007 7:22 PM

Hey guys,I have had the zen vision m 30 gig for about 6 months now. I dropped it about 5 times (pretty bad drops) and it works like brand new! The ONE time i had a problem with it was in the airplane, but im supposing the pressure had something to with it (it just froze and i had to push on the reset button, but it had kept all my info in it!)Seriously, its such a good mp3. Yes it scratches easily but i really dont care, as long as it plays my music. The sound with creative is always something i appreciate (ive had a few other mp3s from them before). The video quality is exceptional and its truly easy to use.Another thing is that for Windows media player fans, the sync tabs allows you to drop your music directly on it, as for vids and pics. I do have a suggestion concerning this: if you have songs in windows media player, make sure they’re listed under an album (you can simply put all the songs under a “random” album if you dont know where the songs are from).What this will do is that when you are in your “artists” list (*THIS IS ONLY USING THE TOUCH FUNCTION*), and you touch the artist’s name (say the Beatles), you see all the albums that you have (ie. White album, love album, etc). BUT if your songs do not have an album, then they wont appear in the choice of albums.So putting all the unknown albumed songs in a “Random” album will let you access all your songs using the touch function, which is very useful for building up playlists on your mp3.Hope this was of help! =)

Ljay on November 29, 2007 4:16 PM

I’ve had my Zen Vision:M 30GB for about a year now and I absolutely loved it, but now it doesn’t fully charge and cuts out after limited use. Anybody know whats up?

ipk2638 on December 3, 2007 11:42 PM

Yes ! Unfortunately, because your player is getting old, the overall battery performance will get lousy and lousy… the only thing to fix this problem you have to change the internal battery…

D on December 13, 2007 6:52 PM


chanchal on January 4, 2008 11:48 AM

sir i have problem in this device . it display turn on lightt and screen does not show anything.what will i do.thank you.

Mimi on January 7, 2008 3:12 AM

hi,I m new to zvm but now the problem is my pc cannot read the player or even charge the battery…..i hv try everything…mayb i need to do something with my pc to get it compartable to zen version m…please help me???

amini on January 11, 2008 4:31 PM

sir i have problem with this device . it displays turn on light but screen does not show anything.what will i do.thank you.

amini on January 11, 2008 4:34 PM

sir i have problem with this device . it displays turn on light but screen does not show anything.what will i do.thank you.

Kelly on January 21, 2008 9:59 PM

hi.My computer doesnt seem to recognize my zen vision m.Is it because I have to use windows xp?

Kelly on January 21, 2008 10:01 PM

hi.My computer doesnt seem to recognize my zen vision m.Is it because I have to use windows xp?

lumaom on January 22, 2008 9:01 PM

“The Vision:M will also record radio in IMA ADPCM 22kHz stereo WAV format. It is not the best quality but is good enough to record radio. Recording the radio is very straight forward, but also has a feature that lets you split the recordings on the fly. The recorded files get dumped into the radio folder and are available for immediate playback.”Are you kidding me? How do you record? I can’t see any instruction in the Manual to do that! Please help!

ben on February 18, 2008 10:08 PM

hello there, I am having trouble with my audio whereby only just recently music wont transfer on to my player. Video and photo’s will work but when I try music it comes up with an error. Does anyone have any tips for me?Thanks a million

sagy on March 31, 2008 4:50 PM

Hi… my computer doesnt recognize my zen vision m. I had to reinstall windows xp on my computer because it was slow. I installed the installation cd and wmp 11 but it still says unknown device. Is there anyway to fix this? Help would be appreciated.Thank-You

sagy on March 31, 2008 4:50 PM

Hi… my computer doesnt recognize my zen vision m. I had to reinstall windows xp on my computer because it was slow. I installed the installation cd and wmp 11 but it still says unknown device. Is there anyway to fix this? Help would be appreciated.Thank-You

jose luis on April 8, 2008 4:55 PM


Silvio on May 2, 2008 3:38 PM

I wonder if anyone can plzzz help me on how to put a security code in any of my video/music album folders….i have the 30GB creative zen M.thanks a lottttttttt

Jim on May 17, 2008 8:54 PM

I am really disapointed in the zen. When I first bought it I could only fit 500 tracks on it. I contacted the tech service and they said to update the firmware. I did and it worked. I had 4,000 plus tracks on it. I recently formatted the player and updated the firmware again and now my space is very limited. I can only get about 204 tracks on it now. I pay for napster and I get error messages when it fills up saying your player is almost full. I hardly doubt my player is full. I want to use all of my 30 GBs. Please, someone help me.

Jim on May 17, 2008 8:57 PM

I am really disapointed in the zen. When I first bought it I could only fit 500 tracks on it. I contacted the tech service and they said to update the firmware. I did and it worked. I had 4,000 plus tracks on it. I recently formatted the player and updated the firmware again and now my space is very limited. I can only get about 204 tracks on it now. I pay for napster and I get error messages when it fills up saying your player is almost full. I hardly doubt my player is full. I want to use all of my 30 GBs. Please, someone help me.

Dan Kornelis on June 22, 2008 9:32 PM

I cannot get my Zen 30 to connect with my laptop and desktop computers. So I cannot sync and place songs on my Zen. When I try to connect with my usb port the computer sees it sometimes but does not recognize it. I have tried repeatly to reset and even reformated it and it still does not sync. Can anyone give me some advise?

Dan Kornelis on June 22, 2008 9:35 PM

I cannot get my Zen 30 to connect with my laptop and desktop computers. So I cannot sync and place songs on my Zen. When I try to connect with my usb port the computer sees it sometimes but does not recognize it. I have tried repeatly to reset and even reformated it and it still does not sync. Can anyone give me some advise?

Mayer on June 25, 2008 12:02 AM

i want the software of (creative zen vision m)to enabole me run my zen on computer.thank u

Creative Boi on July 13, 2008 9:10 AM

Yeah i got mine today (not because of this review or anything, but it was a nice one. Yes very informative. Thanks for da share y’all

bob on July 17, 2008 8:27 PM

i want to buy the charger for him but in my town we don`t have this charger but we have something it`s name is ILUV charger can i buy it to make charge my creative m 60g plz i need answer for this because i travel many times in the year and i don`t have laptop to charge it can any body help me in this problem can the ILUV charger charge my creative m 60 g ??????

frodo on August 27, 2008 2:31 AM

Hey Bob, its available in Bangalore – India. I just got the dc charger a week back.

Jane on October 20, 2008 6:41 AM

Hey people!what do you do when the screen becomes unpixelated?? im guessing its unpixelated anyhoo cuz all you see is a billion white lines going through it….maybe thats an exageration but can anyone please help me??

Tom on November 15, 2008 12:55 AM

This player looks awesome, but Jesus it is THICK!!

matteus on December 13, 2008 10:09 PM

Great review. very informative. i am going ti get one it sounds like a great alternitave to th eipod which is just too expensive!!!

MrWaffles on December 15, 2008 9:57 PM

STILL the best creative player. Sadly my zen vision M 30gb has seen better days and i ahve purchased a zen x-fi 32gb.

stuart on December 19, 2008 4:23 PM

help,i need the windows xp driver as my computer asks for it when i hook up my player to it and i have lost the disc that came with it.anyone know where i can download it?

looking for an mp3 payer on December 22, 2008 2:09 AM

does anyone know if there is an issue with the creative headphone jacks? i have found some info saying that they get loose after a while and some seem to say it is an ongoing problem that is very common with the creative mp3 players. this was rather dissapointing to me, since i am trying to find a good one and creative seemed like a decent brand, but i don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that is going to have issues.

pye on March 11, 2009 5:39 AM

The first couple of months that I had this player,I found it terrific.It had a great sound quality long lasting battery and al.After a few months though,first problems arose.The battery didn t last as long as before,actually didn t last long at all any more,but I was ok with that,same happens with cell phones right?However that besides the fading battery,the mp3 player become stuck from time to timeand I had to reset it from time to time. Then came the final blow,a hard disc problem.Resetting,reloading firmware didn t help so I contacted creative support where it as agreed thatthey ‘d replace the mp3 player as I still had warranty.Couple of months after that the EXACT same problems arose and again the hard disc problem occurred.This time my warranty was expired though.I kept all previous correspondence to prove I had had the same problem before,bus as I was out of warranty they didn t want to fix the player any more though it was the exact same problem!It then became clear to me why Creative is cheaper then I pod.So my advice to you is,safe yourself all the troubles,buy a product that lasts LONGER than the warranty.I feel betrayed by Creative and will never ever buy a product from them again.

kenzy on March 15, 2009 2:48 PM

i have a creative zen vision M 60gb, my installer cd is broken and i cant fint where to download the right media player for my unitpls help where i can download the driver or media plkayer installer for my 60gb zen vision m

R’cel Cagas on April 20, 2009 10:08 PM

HELP PLEASE!!!!…i have a problem with my zen vision m 30G, the radio files is gone, i don’t know if i deleted any files..i can’t find radio am/fm, is there anything i can do to revive the Radio thing?? HELP PLEASE!!!!!

Zhia on May 20, 2009 3:57 PM

Hi, I have a great Creative ZVM 30gb too!!! I’ve even bought 2 of them because they’re THAT good :D haha..The sound quality, as with all Creative products, terrific..The video quality is impeccable too.Flawless lil device with great value..However, I’m in a financial situation now and looking to sell it off..sigh..But, it’s still a great device nonetheless and I hope some1 will come up with a rockbox for it..

Comments Closed. Please continue the discussion in the forums