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  #1  
Old 08-24-2008, 06:44 PM
BnjS BnjS is offline
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Default 8 gb Fuze v. 16 gb Creative Zen?

Debating between the two. I know all the differences, no need to tell me. A few questions though:

1. How good does the Fuze interface with Rhapsody? Is it fast? Many glitches in transfers? Can you use Rhapsody on the expansion card without any differences?

2. What do I get from Rhapsody Channels? Having never used it, I am confused about it -- does it actually download tracks on to the Fuze, taking up the same space as a subscription track? How much music is transferred?

3. The big debate is because of the Zen's video feature. Is anyone watching hour long programs on the Fuze that are in synch and watchable? How do you do it? How fast does the SMC work? (I record programs into my computer, and convert to WMV, or DivXavi.)

Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2008, 09:48 AM
Riolist Riolist is offline
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As much as I like the Fuze and think in many ways it's superior to the Zen, for video I think the Zen is a better choice. Video on the Fuze is kind of a joke. SMC is buggy and doesn't convert some formats, so that you have to pre-convert and then feed the result to SMC to be converted again, and I had the experience where SMC took a 30MB WMV and happily converted it into a 300MB monster.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:09 PM
BnjS BnjS is offline
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Thanks Riolist, what are the ways you find the Fuze superior?
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:19 PM
ROMzombie ROMzombie is offline
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1. Audiobooks: Native Audible support and audio file bookmarking on all podcasts and audiobooks.
2. Rhapsody: Native Rhapsody DNA support and faster database maintenence than the e200 series.
3. Expandable: Support for microSD cards of up to 32GB. Prices for 8GB cards are now ~$30, and memory continues to drop in price, so you can expand as needed.

It's an extremely sweet audio device, but I'd agree that the video support needs to step up. I run TV episodes though SMC on a regular basis, but it's a pain and doesn't always work. When it does, however, the video is crisp and easy to see, even from a few feet away.

Edit: I suppose I should expand on that, to answer some of your original questions.

Issues with Rhapsody: I've encountered few, the largest being that Rhapsody has to scan your Fuze when you connect so that it can determine changes to your Library, ratings and other data about the device. There's a glitch where sometimes you need to pop out your microSD when refreshing licenses in order for Rhapsody to update the internal memory instead of only the external.

Rhapsody Channels: A four-hour block of internet radio, either a predefined format (Alternative, Classical, Hip-Hop, ect) or based on artists and genres associated with a list of artists you define, pre-downloaded to your Fuze and refreshed each time you connect to Rhapsody. You can "Add to Library" any song that plays, so it's a great way to pick up new music.

Video: I've watched five seasons of South Park, the Dresden Files series and the first season of Heroes at the gym on the treadmill with no significant problems. Occasionally a file will fail it's transcoding, but reattempting fixes it. It usually takes about as long to transcode as it would to watch, so I let it run overnight.

Last edited by ROMzombie; 08-25-2008 at 04:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2008, 06:43 PM
Riolist Riolist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BnjS View Post
Thanks Riolist, what are the ways you find the Fuze superior?
1. Better sound quality
2. Better bookmarking. The Zen only permits 10 bookmarks, and files on the card can't be bookmarked at all. The Fuze has no limit that i'm aware of, and any playable file can be bookmarked, including wma, mp3, and audible files, and files on the card can be bookmarked as well (though the method it slightly different than files in main memory).
3. Memory card integration. The card slot on the Fuze is fully integrated. On the Zen, files on the card are almost completely isolated from the functionality of the player. No bookmarks, no ID3 navigation, no playlisting - it's almost like using a separate crippled player. Everything the Fuze can do it can do with files on the card as well. There's almost no difference between card memory and main memory on the Fuze. It's true memory expansion, unlike the Zen's crippled memory card implementation.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:08 PM
BnjS BnjS is offline
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Thanks for the responses! ROMZombie -- what kind of files are you transcoding that take as long as the program length itself? If I were to convert DivXAvi files that are made to fit on my Creative Zen Vision M, would it take that long? My concern is that transcoding causes my 3-year old computer to heat up quite a bit, and I'd like to keep that to a minimum.

Riolist, you've identified exactly what keeps me unable to make this decision. But these are the kinds of dilemmas I like to have, versus real problems. Thanks again.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:20 AM
ROMzombie ROMzombie is offline
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For the most part, divx files in an AVI container. My desktop is kind of a clunker, though, running a 1.8Ghz P4 single-core chip with 512MB RAM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:02 PM
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I can't say anything about the Creative Zen but I bought an 8 gig microSD card and it is incredibly nice to have a tiny 16 gig flash player. Doesn't seem to affect battery life too horribly either, I get 4 or 5 days playing 3 or 4 hours a day at full volume and changing songs frequently and with relatively frequent firmware updates, the player only gets better.
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