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Old 11-15-2008, 07:07 PM
lvmm95 lvmm95 is offline
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Default How to use Zen without the prepackaged software and other questions

I am not very tekkie. I spent literally hours researching and searching for information on how to use my Zen without the prepackaged Zen software, and I still know nothing.

I also need some information about the Zen, if you can help.

Questions:

1) How do I move songs from my collection (kept on an external drive) on to the Zen without using the software?

2) I have WMP10 on my WinXP computer. I saw that it has a database/grid so I can tag information for my songs. Do I have to take my songs from my external hard drive and put it into the WMP10 first, then work on them, and THEN somehow move them to the Zen?

3) Without the software, how do I get the Zen to "shuffle" the songs? Or even play the songs without Zen software on the Zen player?

Comment: it doesn't shuffle very well now, with the software. It plays the same songs over and over, and I have at least 800 of the 1250 on there I've never heard unless I find them myself and play them. Sort of defeats the purpose of "shuffle" if I have to manually pick each song...

4) On the Zen, one of the system audio settings is "normal." What does this mean?

5) Where is there an online manual to tell me about all the various features of the Zen and what the submenu choices mean? I've been all over the nomad/creative site today and found very little information.

6) I've used system-audio settings-shuffle and I've also used Music-DJ-random play all and still I rarely get any variation in the tunes the Zen picks. What's a work-around for this?

7) If I make a playlist, is there a limit to how many songs can be on the playlist? Can I put like 800 songs on a playlist?

If so, how do I get the Zen to play the playlist without the Zen software on the player?

Will it then just play one song after another without stopping and having me manually forward the tunes?

Thanks in advance for all your ideas, information, and help.

Jackie
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2008, 11:33 AM
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bakseetdrivr bakseetdrivr is offline
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hey jackie, well i dont own a zen yet but ive been doing tons of research (gettin one for xmas) so ill try to answer your questions as best as i can.

1) if your external hard drive is attached to your computer then u can simple drag and drop (this mean that you highlight all the songs that you want from your harddrive, then right click- copy, then paste it in the Zen) lol and you do have to have your zen connected to do this:P

2) you could also put music on your zen by "syncing" it with WMP11. there are also other programs (MediaMonkey-my favorite, and another that i cant remember) that are more convinient for tagging (changeing info about artist, almub name, album art etc) that allow you to sync with a device. but again if your not "tekkie" then u might just want to drag and drop

3) computer programs are never truely random (at least not yet) and i agree wth you, every single mp3player ive had has had a horrible shuffle feature. what i used to do was make multiple playlists that had a random assortment of songs and then id listen to those if i wanted to hear sumthin i hadnt in a while. also i think the zen has a way to play songs that havent been listened to in a while so that may be a good feature for you.

4)not sure but i would assume it has to do with the Equalizer. an Equalizer is sumthin that balences out different sounds, so the sound can be changed if your listeneing to rap vs rock vs podcasts etc.

5)well one way is to just fiddle around with the player, im relatively "tekkie" and to accustom myyself to a new toy or gadget, i play aound with the menus until i get a feel for it.

6)see number 3

7) i think u can make playlists on the player but someone with a zen would have to confirm that.

Lastly! check out BobbyRS's FAQ thread, it is probably one of the most informative things about the zen out there. it can be found by scrolling to the top of this page, and clicking where it says zen (underneath the advertising) some of it will be above your understanding of technology, but if you can pick through it you will get some really valuable information. also check out the rest of this forum for some great info and tips

hope this has been of help i had a little spare time:P let me know how it goes
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2008, 02:02 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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In addition to bakseetdrivr's good answers:

1. Yes, either by drag-and-drop using Windows Explorer or sync/media manager software like WMP, MediaMonkey, WinAmp, etc.

2. I would recommend that you upgrade to WMP11 even if you do not use WMP11. The latest, most stable MTP version is installed when WMP11 is installed. This will also make sure you get the most out of drag-and-drop support.

With your external hard drive plugged-in, you can always set WMP to monitor the media folders on your external drive. Then when you decide to sync, it will sync the files from your drive to the Zen.

3. To shuffle the playback on the Zen, just change the play mode from Normal to Random.

4. Normal is the playback mode. Having it set to Normal means that there is no random, repeat, etc...

5. Zen FAQ The Zen Manual is also at the bottom as an attachment you can download.

6. Make sure you're running the latest firmware. That may help.

7. I've made playlists with more than 800 songs before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
If so, how do I get the Zen to play the playlist without the Zen software on the player?
You don't put any software on the player. You use software (WMP, MediaMonkey, Creative' software, etc.) on the computer to create the playlists (and sync).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
Will it then just play one song after another without stopping and having me manually forward the tunes?
It will depend on what you set the Play Mode on.
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:59 PM
lvmm95 lvmm95 is offline
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Thank you both very much for your information. I knew I'd get good answers to my question on this forum.

1) I have read the Zen FAQ about 3 times already, from start to finish. It is sort of like reading about whole life insurance: unless I see something that registers with my problem, the rest of the stuff is close to incomprehensible because I don't know enough about the subject.

But it was well written! Someday it will all make sense!!

2) I have the latest firmware, I did get that piece of info from the FAQ. And I did the process with the paperclip in the hole thing. I don't know if it made it work any better.

3) I also downloaded the creative on the go field manual, but it was 19 pages of different products. I couldn't see where there were any links to menus, submenus, etc. in the field guide. Did I miss something?

On the creative support pages, I read the "your player at a glance" and again, it left me wanting more.

4) OK, so now I know I can use windows explorer to just move stuff without going through the Zen software. That's a time saver. And it is a KEY TO USING THE ZEN! Major piece of the puzzle for me.

5) I also will create my own playlists, and have the Zen play them - that takes care of the "not so random" issue. YAY!

6) I had the WMP11 but it was not playing some of my songs. I got rid of it, went to WMP10 and looked at the grid, but it won't automatically fill in the information for a lot of stuff - it can't find it - and anyway it connects to Napster! I do not care at all for Napster!

I thought there was some other service (free) called Grace something which would allow the program to fill in the missing tags. I don't know how to get the WMP10 to go there. I have an imac, and itunes goes there automatically for tags, but I don't want to use ipod stuff. I use windows for my music collection. Call me strange. :-0

7) "Normal" means no repeat, shuffle, etc. So - Does it mean that it starts somewher in the song list and just plays alphabetically? But it does not automatically advance to another song, I have to do that manually. I don't want to be manually pushing the button for each song, I want the player to do that. What am I doing wrong?

I still don't get "normal" because (even tho I am pushing the button) it seems to shuffle in some fashion - unless it's playing by artist or some other tag. I can't seem to find the pattern.

I set Music-All Tracks then went to System-audio settings-normal, but it's still not showing me a pattern.

Other than Music-dj-random play all or System-audio settings-random, how do I get the player to play songs alphabetically, or by album, or whatever without me pushing the button?

8) I was looking at MP3 Tag software but it looks too overwhelming for me. I'm not a rabid audiophile - only semi-rabid!

I'll check out MediaMonkey - hopefully that is easier to use for me. I'd like the feature where it goes to Grace something or other and fills in the blanks - but some stuff I have is so outerlimits it may not be found at all...

Again, thanks so much for your comments. I'll be back with an update. If anything I've posted here is wrong, can you post back to let me know? Like about the creative field guide - if there is a way to find the manual part, I'd like to know!

Jackie
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2008, 05:38 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
1) I have read the Zen FAQ about 3 times already, from start to finish. It is sort of like reading about whole life insurance: unless I see something that registers with my problem, the rest of the stuff is close to incomprehensible because I don't know enough about the subject.
Nothing wrong with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
But it was well written! Someday it will all make sense!!
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
3) I also downloaded the creative on the go field manual, but it was 19 pages of different products. I couldn't see where there were any links to menus, submenus, etc. in the field guide. Did I miss something?
It looks as though. The Zen manual is 98 pages. It covers what you are looking for. The manual is at the bottom of the Zen FAQ as an attachment to download/unzip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
4) OK, so now I know I can use windows explorer to just move stuff without going through the Zen software. That's a time saver. And it is a KEY TO USING THE ZEN! Major piece of the puzzle for me.
You got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
but I don't want to use ipod stuff. I use windows for my music collection. Call me strange. :-0
I call you a person that has a brain and likes to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
7) "Normal" means no repeat, shuffle, etc. So - Does it mean that it starts somewher in the song list and just plays alphabetically? But it does not automatically advance to another song, I have to do that manually. I don't want to be manually pushing the button for each song, I want the player to do that. What am I doing wrong?
Try doing a Playlist and setting it to play back as Random mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
I still don't get "normal" because (even tho I am pushing the button) it seems to shuffle in some fashion - unless it's playing by artist or some other tag. I can't seem to find the pattern.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
Other than Music-dj-random play all or System-audio settings-random, how do I get the player to play songs alphabetically,
I believe the Zen will first organize by Track listings under Album view when you have the Track part of the tag filled in. When there is no tag info for the Track entry, the Zen will organize the tracks in alphabetical order. Under All Tracks, it will list them in alphabetical order regardless of Track info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
or by album,
Just go to artists, highlight the artist you want, and press play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
8) I was looking at MP3 Tag software but it looks too overwhelming for me. I'm not a rabid audiophile - only semi-rabid!
It is actually really easy. One of the easiest actually. See Tagging FAQ here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmm95 View Post
Again, thanks so much for your comments.
No problem!
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Last edited by BobbyRS; 11-17-2008 at 05:58 PM.
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