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  #1  
Old 10-17-2007, 10:29 PM
Echesketch Echesketch is offline
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Default Why I may not get the ZEN

I'm currently looking at two players. The Creative Zen and Cowon D2. I've obviously found many pros and cons of both players. I've got a couple questions for this forum about the cons of the Zen that may be fixed or may not even be that bad. Possibly someone can change my mind about them.

1. When you view by album, is the display of the album cover art or a list of actual albums by name. I've seen an image that just shows the album art and a title of album at the top of the screen. Can I also see it as just a list of names on the screen.

2. I've heard that these are not compatible with macs? Is this true and might it be fixed.

3. I've heard that you can't browse by file structure and only by ID3 tags. Is this true and might it be fixed.

4. Does this have a sleep function? Can I set it to go off in 10, 20, 40min and so on?

5. Does the unit need to be on for the alarm to work or will it turn on automatically?

6. I've heard that the drag and drop feature doesn't work very well. Has anyone had problems with this and might the be fixed via new firmware?

7. Might firmware updates allow for the playing of OGG files?

8. Am I correct in saying that, if the player is turned off and you are in the middle of a playlist, it will resume the song you were on but won't continue with the playlist? Might this be fixed with a firmware update?

Sorry there are so many, but that is it. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2007, 10:39 PM
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Chensington Chensington is offline
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Numbers 2 and 3 are both true, and the answer to number 7 is no. All three of these issues would be solved with a Rockbox port, but no Creative player has been successfully "Rockboxed" to date.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2007, 01:11 PM
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ZenChick ZenChick is offline
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Allow me to take a stab at this. I don't own a Zen, but I've noted that its OS is functionally similar to that of the Vision-series players. So, on that note...

1. The album list can be displayed as either in text or graphically. You should be able to switch between the two modes by pressing the options button and selecting "Switch View".

2. The Zen is, of itself, neither compatible nor incompatible with the Mac, or any other PC-based OS. The Zen is an MTP device and will work with any MTP-aware OS. Unfortunately, the only truly MTP-aware OS is Windows Vista. All earlier versions of Windows, as well as MacOS and Linux, need a separate MTP driver in order to "talk to" the Zen. Linux has such drivers available; however, MacOS/OSX is far more closed off, and there is no sign that Steve Jobs will ever allow implementation of a protocol that competes with his iPods. However, a third-party MTP client does exist. You may find this thread in the ZV:M's FAQ subforum useful.

3. This is true. The Zen is file/folder-agnostic. It will preserve your songs' file/folder structure when synced with WMP or similar sync managers, but it will not use them internally. To be quite honest, I find file/folder navigation to be far inferior to ID3 tag-browsing, particularly for larger libraries. For starters, ID3 tag browsing allows for quick keyword searches. But perhaps ID3's greatest strength is its ability to index by multiple criteria. With ID3 tag-browsing, you can quickly sort your songs by title, artist, album name, genre (and any number of other tags supported by the player). With file/folder navigation, you're limited to indexing by only one criterium. If you wanted to play a song whose artist or album you may not remember, you're going to be spending an awful long time trawling your directory structure looking for it. With ID3 browsing and keyword searches, you can find the song in seconds, even if you can only recall part of the title. But, to each his own.

4. The Zen has a sleep function that can be set for 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes.

5. As long as the clock is set correctly, the unit will power itself up when the set time is reached.

6. No comment about this, since it may be a firmware-specific issue. If it works like the ZVM, however, then drag-and-drop issues should be easily addressed by a firmware update. For the ZVM, drag-and-drop works perfectly, but is dependent on the MTP driver on the host computer. If your computer is using an immature or poorly-developed driver, drag-and-drop will not work well, if at all. For Windows Vista users, Vista's MTP driver is fully mature and robust. DnD works just like with any mass-storage class (MSC) device. For Windows XP, you need the MTP driver embedded with WMP11. For all other OS's, your mileage may vary.

7. Firmware updates could add support for OGG, but given OGG's rather low presence in the market, it's rather unlikely. However, if the Rockbox Project is able to port RB to the Zen, it should include OGG support.

8. Again, I'm not familiar with bugs specific to the Zen's firmware, but this doesn't sound right to me. If it is a valid bug, I think Creative will get it fixed very quickly. The ZVM never had any problems resuming a playlist. Its only quirks were that the ZVM would forget which song was playing if left off for a long time, and that playlists in Shuffle Mode would be reshuffled upon powerup.

Hope this helps!
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2007, 05:42 PM
yanasina yanasina is offline
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Seriously off topic, but I had to look behind me when I read your location ZenChick.

Also, thanks for the information.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2007, 12:22 AM
Echesketch Echesketch is offline
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thanks so much for the detailed reply
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2007, 01:27 PM
kururu kururu is offline
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can you enlarge album arts??? album arts have to be synced into tag for it to work??
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2007, 05:41 PM
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Yes, Karuru, you can get an enlarged view of album art while songs are playing by pushing the Select button. This scrolls through the normal playing window (first image below, the song rating window (second image), the album art window (third) and the current playlist. Apologies for the poor quality pictures – LCDs are hard to photograph. The actual on-screen image is perfect.


As to art and tagging, if you have art embedded into tags, these will show up if the mp3s are transferred using Creative Media Explorer / mediamonkey etc. Otherwise, you can browse your music library using the CME and drag and drop images into art for each artist / album. These then get sent to the /pictures/ folder on the zen and can be browsed just like any other pictures. In fact, the Zen seems to store all its album art this way (much like WMP does).

Hope this helps.
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2007, 08:28 PM
kururu kururu is offline
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what's CME?
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2007, 08:41 PM
foundation foundation is offline
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Sorry, it should be ZME - the Zen Media Explorer.
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