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Old 04-21-2007, 08:45 AM
maldido gringo maldido gringo is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: catania -sicily-
Posts: 19
Default Creative zen V + 8Gb dead? (also a brief and objective review of the unit)

Hi, I posted already on this forum but in another thread :

In bief my zen V totally ran out of battery and since then I can't get the device to be recognized from PC and vice versa, so any attempt of re-charging it via PC linked USB cable fails.

I bought the AC adapter from creative and left the player plugged all night, but today still no signal of life from it, apart some led flashing under the buttons when I plug.

So I made this try: since my laptop is not USB 2.0 enabled I tryied to plug it in my friend's laptop which instead is, and then the screen magically displayied the creative logo.

So I was in anger because the AC adapter I bought for 40 euros was supposed to charge the zen anyway, so while installing the drivers on my friend's laptop I unplugged the device from there and plugged to mine, but nothing happened, screen was dead black.

In order to finish the installation I was asked to plug the player again, so I did, but it was dead even there. I did reboot but there again no joy.

My conclusion is some very little battery is needed from zen V in order to recognize or accept anything you plug in.

I made some search on the matter but all I found is this basic fact: this choice of battery is better you don't let to be drained completely, since the basic recharging operation needs some inner process to be run by the zen to recognize and accept the plug.

But why then once plugged in my friend's PC the display came back to life, even if for shortly? My conclusion here is that leaving it plugged for abuot twelve hours just got it to load the very little battery needed to display the creative prompt.

Now I plugged back to my friend's laptop and the logo came back again, but the OS still doesn't recognize it... so my assumption is recognizing / accepting the energy charge is a relatively low-expending task, recognizing / accepting the PC as master unit needs more charge.

I nicely remark here that this is the last creative device I'll buy, all this secretive / proprietary / DRM stuff goin' on underneath really annoyed me.

I spent 219 euros for a flash memory based mp3 player "it's much solid than an HD one", I tought "that'll take a snap to upload my music onto it", I tought, "It will make me able to play back my music from PC and to manage that directly onto the device itself". Silly me!

First, however this thing is going to end I had to buy a 40 euros AC charger which won't make the job it is expected to, I'm lucky my housemate has a laptop USB 2.0 enabled to try it there, otherwise tomorrow the zen would have been shipped to assistance (which a the moment isn't completely exlcuded as an option).

And this after less a month I bought the unit.

The flash memory thing has been the most frustrating issue since I bought the player: it is way too slow uploading there than with my former zen touch HD based player, furthermore once I got it plugged I can't perform playback frome the unit itself, the best I can do is select some tracks with MS5 and have the SW to create a playlist out of this selection, the play it.

But the playlist is an index, an array of pointers to the actual files, thus I'm not allowed to perform operations such like:

"Ow, I don't like this track, let me erase that from the player"

All I can do is removing the track from the playlist, that's all. I can still erase that from the player via the Zen V explorer frame, but it took to much effort from creative devs to simply highlight the track actually playng in a mediamonkey fashion....

The same apply for "wow, how cool is this track! Let me add that to my playlist"

Same as above: You are allowed to do such operation only in the explorer frame, otherwise you have just to use the MTP - sync option they're so proud about.

And you know by that point their philosophy is: "WE know what's good for you", very MTP in that way, very microsoft.

Another fine feature about this device: one may think: "how is it it take so much to upload?" After my first upload I found this strange thing was happened, I had the "genre" field tagged in a diferent way than I did and in certain trackės also the cover art were displayied... hmmm... hmmm.... hope the magic sync didn't carry infos on each track I uploaded to a remote host comiung back with the proper cover art and stuff, that would be truly annoying... specially because I was never asked neither informed about.

Some more port inspection has to be done, but the very fact that with Real player I was able to play back music from old (HD based) zen touch and the only option I have with this is to just "sync" means that to me:

To manage my device from a PC I need to pass trought their stuff, either installing the driver or upgrading / enhancing XP to MTP.

Form the very basic operation of charging the creative unit proved to be very closed and suspicius, in a very DRM way: if some "handshake" goes wrong the unit simply stop working.

As said in my other post that's my last go at creative, unless they change their path. It seems to me even worse apple, and that says all.

The next manifacturer that'll come with a flash memory unit assembled with a screen and all the necessary chipset to play / arrange music without proprietary protocols and very annoying sideffects wins.

I read lots of review about this device before to buy, but sadly none of them gone deeper than creative press release... battery lasting 15 hours? Really? It seems to me very less than that.

Hope this helps, if you take this advice of mine keep away from this unit, the hardware itself seems good enough, but all the stuff Creative has put in it preventing other manifacturers to interface with it makes it very frustrating for the owner. And it proven to have undesired side effects.
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