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  #1  
Old 08-04-2008, 05:47 AM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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Default Creative Zen 32GB

Just joined and I had to take back my ipod 80GB classic as it's sound quality was a disgrace due to the EU volume cap.
I am thinking of buying the creative zen 32GB due also to its light weight. My questions are:
1. I am in the UK and wonder whether this Zen has also been aflicted by the low sound quality? I do have the option of asking a friend who is currently in USA of buying one for me there if necessary. Only concern with doing that is that if there is a problem it not so easy to take back the player.
2. Alternatively if there is a volume cap for the EU models and I bought one over here in UK, is there a patch or software/hack to get rid of the cap?
3. Also, I have my current library of music mainly in itunes with a only a few in windows media player. I know the Zen says it supports itunes but I have read some problems with the use of itunes with the Zen on this forum. Therefore is it possible and the best option to convert all itunes music to windows media player? Is it easy? I have only two albums bought from the itunes store.
5. I also understand that the Zen has it's own software music library system. Is it MP3 or something else and is it any good?

I hope an expert on here can help me make my decision
Pete
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:34 AM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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In addition, I have been looking through the forums and note problems or issues with the previous 8Gb and 16GB Zens. Have these been resolved in the newer 32GB version or is it just a memory increase without any improvements?
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2008, 07:50 AM
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First off, welcome to abi, hope you enjoy the site

1 & 2 -Friends of mine in the UK tell me that they circumvent EU volume cap with most players by installing US firmware, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

3 - Audio formats it uses are: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV & Audible. It’s possible to convert files to mp3, but some of them may have DRM and there will be a loss of quality. It’s better to re-rip music.

5 - hun? You can read the review click here to see if that helps.

6 - AFAIK the only difference between the 8. 16. 32 is the size of flash memory, the firmware should be very similar if it's not the same already. Each release should be an improvement on the one before, or at least that's what we all hope for.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2008, 08:52 AM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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thanks for that walkgood. Most of my collection is in itunes - mp3, so is that not a problem with the zen. I just keep it as it is and the zen will sync correctly? I also have an ipod shuffle which I have been using on itunes so the zen shouldn't conflict with it?
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:00 PM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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Walkgood
I have heard that the zen does not play DRM files? from itunes. What does this mean? As far as I know all my itune files are MP3 and I have bought 2 albums from itunes a couple of months ago. Will these files be DRM (whatever that means) and therefore unplayable outside itunes or on the Zen. What are the files itunes plus?
I just want to know that if I buy a creative zen 32GB that I am not going to have any problems playing my music from itunes and that the zen syncs with it.
Thanks in advance, pete
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:21 PM
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DRM files from iTunes are only playable on an iPod. DRM is Digital Rights Management - it's copyright protection. Also, you can't sync the Zen with iTunes, you have to use another program such as Media Monkey, J.River Media Jukebox, or WMP11. iTunes Plus has NO DRM and can be played on the Zen. As for getting the Zen, it's time to learn something new and find out what a better sounding player is all about. I've had a few iPods, still do. Don't use em' as I let everyone else in the house borrow em' I learned & so can you. There's a whole world out there that doesn't require an iPod. try it, if it's not for you then get another iPod.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2008, 12:22 PM
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If you collection is already in mp3 format it will work with every player on the market. DRM = digital rights management, click here to read about it. itunes is an application to manage music & more and only designed for ipod players only, AFAIK it can not sync with any other player on the market. The zen will come with it’s own application to manage your files or works with WMP, MediaMonkey, or many others available for free, the zen will not sync with itunes.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2008, 04:57 PM
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Hello Bluemaxboy. You may want to check out the Zen FAQ. It will walk you through replacing the EU firmware to the US firmware as well of other information to help answer your questions. Also, check out this thread regarding the Zen and iTunes. Good luck with your purchase!
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2008, 05:50 PM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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thanks for your further advice Bobby; I was hoping you would get round to me as I have seen you alot on the other threads and you seem like a guy who knows alot about all of this stuff - really!
Further to my last questions regarding itunes etc. I have just checked my itunes folders in my music and format is MPEG 4 rather than MP3 - these are from CDs, and itunes etc. They are just audio files but are they going to be ok with the creative zen? pete
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2008, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
thanks for your further advice Bobby
Hey no problem.

Quote:
I was hoping you would get round to me as I have seen you alot on the other threads and you seem like a guy who knows alot about all of this stuff - really!
Yeah, I've been a little busy lately. Plus Walkgood did a good job of answering already. Thanks for the compliment!

Quote:
Further to my last questions regarding itunes etc. I have just checked my itunes folders in my music and format is MPEG 4 rather than MP3 - these are from CDs, and itunes etc. They are just audio files but are they going to be ok with the creative zen? pete
iTunes MP4 files won't even show up on the Zen, let alone play back. The files will need to be converted, ripped from the source, or burnt to a CD and then re-ripped into a playable format the Zen can handle.
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2008, 06:40 PM
Bluemaxboy Bluemaxboy is offline
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yes I have just checked and the original MP3 files are still there before conversion to itunes MPEG 4 so presumably the zen will take them from there?
lastly, and before i get the zen, bobby, due to the US firmware available for download here I don't need my mate to get the zen from the states?
Do the album covers show in the Zen as they do on the ipod?
Finally, I assume the zen has superior sound to the ipod? :-)
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2008, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
yes I have just checked and the original MP3 files are still there before conversion to itunes MPEG 4 so presumably the zen will take them from there?
Yup, if they are MP3's.

Quote:
lastly, and before i get the zen, bobby, due to the US firmware available for download here I don't need my mate to get the zen from the states?
Nope. You will just have to install the US firmware version according to the steps in the Zen FAQ.

Quote:
Do the album covers show in the Zen as they do on the ipod?
I don't know really. I don't have an iPod. However, album art does work on the Zen when they are embedded in the ID3 tags (again see FAQ).

Quote:
Finally, I assume the zen has superior sound to the ipod? :-)
IMO, the iPod's I have ever heard sound no where near as good .
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2008, 01:40 PM
dragnandy dragnandy is offline
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yes, the album art does show up on the zen as it does on the ipod. i dont have an ipod classic or anything, but you know, all my friends do .
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2008, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for confirming dragnandy.

Quote:
i dont have an ipod classic or anything, but you know, all my friends do .
OMG, you're actually still friends with them? Just kidding....
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2008, 05:41 PM
CJ2150 CJ2150 is offline
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I'm in the UK and bought a 32gb model a couple months back. Downloading the non-EU firmware solved my volume problems and never have it up to the highest volume (25) now whereas before I had to have it on 25 and it was still too low (however i also changed my earphones around this time and am told that which model earphones you have can make a big difference the the volume so can't be 100% sure the difference i noticed was all to the firmware change).

Only other problem has been some mp3's randomly appearing corrupted when viewing the zen's contents from my PC. However the mp3's appear and play on the zen fine and the files can be fixed by performing a 'cleanup' (or whatever its called) on the zen which only takes a few minutes.

album art works well except when you don't want album art for an album. you sometimes will get a random piece of album art even though there is no art in the tag if there are other mp3's on the player with album art although there is a sort of workaround for this as can be seen on the album art thread.

Overall I been really happy with the player and am hoping it will last be a good while yet! Can't comment on itunes and DRM as have no experience with those things...
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  #16  
Old 08-14-2008, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for the mini-review CJ2150. Good to hear you are happy with the Zen. Thanks for posting!
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