Creative Announces New Players

zenstyles Creative Announces New Players

Once upon a time, there was a brand called Creative that made good media players that people were proud to own. Then something apparently happened, because they don’t anymore. Every single Creative player for the last 3 years has been so incredibly underwhelming that there’s a fair chance you might fall asleep half way through the press releases. The latest Creative players are just more of the same old outdated recipe, in a slightly different shape.

The Zen Style is basically the Mozaic, but with a slightly different look. It has the same 1.8″ 128×160 display, up to 32 hours of battery life, and up to 16GB of storage. There’s also a version with a FM radio and speaker. The Zen Z-Fi style is basically a merger of the Zen and the Zen X-fi, putting the latter in the former’s body and rounding off a few corners here and there to make it look new. It has a FM radio, speaker, up to 25 hours of battery for audio and 5 for video, up to 32GB of storage, a 2.4″ 320×240 display, TV out and Creatives own X-fi sound “enhancement”. They dropped the WiFi on this one, which I doubt anyone is going to miss considering how it was implemented and used. The new models will be available from the end of April for $109-$249.

[Press release]

29 Comments

Timmycheese on April 9, 2010 3:51 AM

yeah, its sad where creative has gone. Their players used to be pretty damn good, up until about the time when the zen microphoto faded away. I had one of those and it was awesome. Such an open, non-restricted firmware, microphone, customizable home menu, drag and drop capability, etc. And then it died. and now i have a zune hd. whee

misterno on April 9, 2010 4:58 AM

all I can say is… please review the Cowon J3 soon; haven’t heard good news about a great mp3 player release in a while, and I am hoping the J3 will be a hard act to follow (because I want to buy it SOON… unless I buy the S9… see the bind I’m in?).

kredig on April 9, 2010 7:37 AM

i am sure those players are still worth the money. the creative players always had a good soundquality for example.okay, those players aren’t really something new on the market by creative but maybe it will attract some people who have ipods and all this crap ;) i am not sure about the statement, that every player in the past three years by creative was underwelming.the x-fi for example was a nice upgrade from the zen. it added a few new features (okay, it had almost the same look as the zen but nobody needs to invent a new design if the old one is still good).last year, creative released the x-fi2. in my opinion, this is a great player. at first the touchpad was buggy, but now it works great and it has also new features. also, i bet creative has learned a lot from this player for the zii prject.also there was the stone…also a nice player…

arashi on April 9, 2010 10:43 AM

@kredigExcept that everything Creative released was ape-ed by other companies. Like the Stone? VS the Sansa Clip it lost like heck. The X-Fi 2? It still couldn’t hold a candle to the far older Cowon D2. The X-Fi was a joke.

Ry on April 9, 2010 1:42 PM

I have a Creative Zen Vision M, 5 years old and it still works fine.I think it’s the best mp3 player they have ever made and it’s still better than the new ipod videos!

Joseph on April 9, 2010 2:00 PM

It’s hard to even consider the Zen X-Fi Style as an upgrade for my Zen because even though they added two things I’d really like (speaker and tv out) they dropped the SD card support.Why Creative can’t shove their Zii SoC into a player is beyond me. Pay an outside firm to polish the OS if you’re still having problems and ship it already! It’s incredible that the Zii doesn’t seem to have one DAP design win this far on… I don’t get it.If I had the resources I’d take their developer unit, swap out the screen with an 800×480 unit, put Meego on it and sell it myself. If they’d done this in the first place they’d have beaten the Tegra-powered Zune to market.

AndrewAmazed on April 9, 2010 6:58 PM

what ever happened to my beloved Creative…?

Nobody on April 10, 2010 10:39 AM

Busy developing mediabook?

David on April 10, 2010 6:33 PM

Got hooked on Creative with the Vision M. Got the wife an X-FI (but it didn’t support the 640 size video the M did :-( Stone w/ speaker is great for audiobooks (but not audible). I had the X-Fi2 but returned it when it didn’t play 640 video without skipping/freezing. Sold my vision M and got a P3. No regrets. I am done with Creative.

cromag on April 10, 2010 8:52 PM

Jeez, that sounded pretty harsh!I got my start with the old 10 GB Creative Nomad Jukebox 2 — it looked like a 2/3 size cd player, but it sounded great. I loved the user-replaceable battery, which helped it live 4 years. My next was a Zen Sleek Photo which I picked up while the NJB2 was still playing well, just in case — my only complaint was the too-touchy-for-me “slide strip.” That was a refurb and the battery began to poop-out after 2 years.Next was a Vision:M — sounds great, works great, but the battery is losing life.My current players are a Zen V Plus 4 GB (refurb) — an inexpensive, but good sounding all purpose player that I picked up about a year ago — and a Zen 32 GB that I picked up a few months ago on sale.I’ll admit that I’m not really the target market for an upscale player. I’ve only ever used MP3 players for music, so I don’t need a media player. I want a good sounding player with good capacity. I’d like to see more playback options — random play within a genre subset would be nice — etc.What excites me these days is good storage capacity, good sound, and a low price. I don’t expect to be back in the market for a couple years, but I’ll check Creative when I am.

hawkshot on April 10, 2010 9:43 PM

What ever happened to Zii?

Jordan on April 10, 2010 9:50 PM

@hawkshotI’ve been wondering the same thing. I’d really want to have a Zii rather than these things.

David on April 10, 2010 10:02 PM

I forgot that I also had a Muvo tx fm 512mb. Great interface, drag and drop, AAA battery, and NO CABLES needed for file transfer. Then it broke two years later and I bought a 2gb muvo only to realize that the NEW version transfered files at insane slow USB 1 speed. Further evidence that new creative stuff is worse.

Moshel on April 11, 2010 1:32 PM

You are right, I started yawning while reading the second para…

Jay on April 11, 2010 7:37 PM

The last good player Creative made was the “ZEN”. That’s about it.After that they’ve turned into a greedy consumer’s money eating franchise.X-Fi has same internals of the ZEN….with Wi-Fi.X-Fi2 also has the same internals with added codec support & touchscreen.And whoever said X-Fi2 was good was a Fanboy. XFi2 is the worst piece of garbage I bought from my hard earned money.Coming to their new line of players -XFi Style has same internals of the X-Fi2. Minus 3 touch inch screen v/s 2.4 tactile. Rest Everything is same as XFi2.ZEN Style is the new Mosiac.Seriously whose gonna buy this garbage.I know it’s Plug N’ Play etc. but Creative’s quality control is also down the drain.I’ll never purchase a creative product again in my life. It’s that simple.The only reason I run their sound card + Speakers on my computer for the moment is.I can’t find a better speaker for my computers within a specific price point & Same for the sound card Audigy value.Besides in PC there is a golden rule don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.It’s simple as that.I’m just looking at one of them Auzentech cards & some Dell high quality speakers.Moment I save up for that. I’ll ditch this remaning Creative garbage as well.

Jaigoda on April 11, 2010 10:57 PM

Wow. The Zen Style 100 (the one without the speaker or radio) is the same price as the Nano. WTF? The Nano is famous for being overpriced, yet the Style is literally crushed by the Nano in every single aspect, for the exact same price. Creative, do you really expect to sell anything when you’re already unknown to the general market, and you’re selling products that are in all ways inferior to their far more famous counterparts from Apple?Just think about it Creative. Say you’re someone buying a new Mp3 player, and you say, “heck, let me go see if there are any other players outside of Apple that are any good.” You come and see Creative’s Zen Style 100 priced the same as the Nano. The Style looks ugly, has a much smaller screen, doesn’t have half the features, and most importantly, it’s not Apple. Most people are only going to take the leap of faith outside of Apple’s circle if they know they’re getting the product they want. You have now made up your mind, and go ahead purchase the Nano.Also, the X-Fi Style is about the same pricing as the Touch. I don’t need to tell you how insanely retarded that is.

AcJimbo on April 12, 2010 6:35 AM

I bought a Vision M some years ago and it was the worst piece of junk I’ve ever laid my hands upon. UI was beyond awful, screen was freezing continually, and battery life was 30 minutes or so. Thought it was a faulted unit, so I returned it, only to have another one with the same problems. Sound quality was ok but nothing stellar, and I don’t really understand why it was showered with praise at the time.Everybody I know says the same: stay away from Creative, so I’m not surprised their players are left gathering dust on shelves, and the Zii is only destined to oblivion

Sony4evr on April 12, 2010 2:25 PM

Creative are shite.

Junkk29 on April 12, 2010 10:54 PM

Yes, it is sad indeed. I remember having my first mp3 player which was the Creative MuVo TX FM; i was extremely pleased at that time. Now, all my faith with this is nothing but gone after my In-ear Aurvana died on me (I’ve only had it for three months). When they announced the Zii, I thought there was still hope left but now…all I can say is RIP Creative.

Zingo on April 13, 2010 7:58 AM

Wow, why on earth did they release this ‘Style’ player? It doesnt add anything at all to players they previously had! In fact, the zen x-fi Style is the same as the Zen x-fi, only in three UGLY colors and smaller screen! They even cut out the sd card slot…and yet the prices on both devices are the SAME. WTF.Still they released the x-fi2 with 64GB i see now on their site. They want 279,99 for it. Sounds pretty good imo, if you look at the apple touch which is 259,00 for the same capacity.

shinybeast on April 18, 2010 9:46 PM

Wow! Harsh indeed. Looks like some very disappointed customers. Which implies folks that had (at some point) very high expectations for Creative products. I currently own (and relentlessly use) a Creative Zen 32GB with Audio Technica CM700 phones and can honestly say that no other mp3 that I’ve tried (admittedly none for an extended period of time)comes close soundwise (for instance my good friend’s top of the line iPod, or another’s cherished bottom of the line Sansa). I will admit that a Kenwood unit here in Japan (the unfortunately named “keg”) delivered top-eschelon audiophile quality, but was quite bulky and in the $500 range.For such an in-depth site as ABI it is dismaying how often the sound quality of a given unit is simply referred to as “great”, “what we’ve come to expect from***”, “crappy”, etc., etc. …I have a 3 year old Audigy Platinum on my desktop that, again in combination with high-quality headphones, continues to deliver stunning quality both with games and movies. Of course faulty units out of the box (i.e. lemons), poor customer service, etc. will always be deal breakers, and will tend to give birth to lifelong apostates. But I can’t think of a single maker who, for every glowing testimonial I’ve read,has not also been the target of bitter, flaming frags. For my money, Creative doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel just yet.Cheers

MrSteve on April 20, 2010 6:24 PM

Creative just dropped the 64gb Zen X-fi2 in the U.S. I’ve been looking for a good replacement for my 60gB Zen Vision W. (still works but the battery is toast so it always has to be plugged in) I did get a 80gb Cowon Q5W, but really want a ‘real’ MP3 player that can sort by genre, artist, etc. The Q5w just isn’t any use when it comes to really exploring and ‘mining’ into my music. I’ve been watching the X-fi 2 but just didn’t want another small 32gb player.

Raiders757 on April 26, 2010 8:22 AM

Count me in with those who still have a ZVM. Mine is five years old and still going strong. Battery life is still pretty decent. Around 10 for music, and three or four for video. Easily the best player of it’s era, hands down. Those with the problems, like mentioned in the middle of the comments section, just had a run of bad luck, as 99% of everyone else didn’t have those problems. The player sounds great as well if you customize the EQ settings and use a decent set of ear buds. Sound great running through a y-splitter through my stereo as well.

Michael on May 3, 2010 1:14 PM

I am 16 years old so I never had the chance to earn experience with something like this.But at the moment I saw the Vision W i want to have it. But I was to young and a year ago i bougt a zen v plus 4gb. It was great and he is great but he got blind last week (no screen blacklight) and i want to buy a new creative player. i thought: buy the x-fi2 (touchpad). But before i could order him there was the x-fi style. When the first test have postet (for example on amazon) i will make a new picture of that player.but he looks realy good.(I am not from america or england so please understand mistakes in my gramma)

Kevin on May 9, 2010 6:21 PM

I bought a 4GB ZEN about two years ago, and while it’s pretty nifty, what with its nice screen, customizability, sound quality, and a few other qualities, there are stability issues.One in ten times when I’m shutting it off, it’ll get stuck in some sort of limbo still-on-but-unresponsive mode where none of the features work (namely the alarm, which I rely on to wake me up on the train). Only a reset through the reset button works to revive it. Not good, guys.Then you have the times when it just randomly crashes as I’m playing music (and I’m not pressing any buttons or anything). Really cool.So yes, Creative is doing some pretty cool things, but they need to clean up their act and make sure those cool things they’re doing are done well, because at this point, I’m not buying another Creative device in the future.

BluLite99 on August 25, 2010 5:53 AM

the x-fi style supports drag n’ drop file adding in my computer, has a new feature to increase sound quality on the go, speaker, supports .flac4 and other awesome shit, DO NOT DIS, my new 32gb is better then my 4gb mozaic

Steve on September 17, 2010 1:08 AM

I still have my 30GB Zen vision M and have no problems with it. No real reason to upgrade it either. It still sounds great and plays anything I toss at it. Battery life is still good too.

roi’ikka-ta on October 11, 2010 2:34 AM

iriver h10 twenty gigabyte mp3 player make all other mp3 players sound terrible like having to make up to it with all every other sort of thing all about other than the music itself with pointless wifi touchscreen too much sun wawa crycry boohoo DOODADS. iriver h10 go hardcore to the source the core the music itself from five years ago make ipod and creative x-fi look stupid. and wimpy. and dinky.

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