CNET names Creative Zen Vision: M ‘Best in Show,’ ‘iPod Killer’ | iLounge News


CNET names Creative Zen Vision: M ‘Best in Show,’ ‘iPod Killer’

In announcing its “Best of CES 2006” award winners, CNET has named Creative’s Zen Vision: M “Best in Show,” its top pick of all of the products shown at the annual consumer electronics convention. Citing the device’s “brighter screen, better battery life, and more features” than the iPod, CNET’s editors suggested that the device was an “iPod killer,” praising its support for multiple video formats and “winning design.”

In a video interview with CNN’s Renay San Miguel, CNET editor Brian Cooley was challenged on the choice of a device so similar to the fifth-generation iPod for an award based in part on innovation. Cooley defended the tech site’s choice of the “little more hefty” Vision: M, saying that “sometimes slimmer and more svelte is not always good for your hand,” and said that CNET’s editors preferred the Vision to the iPod on feel. CNET readers picked Pioneer’s Inno, a truly portable XM Satellite radio receiver and recorder, as the show’s best new product.

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No use fighting iPod users on their own turf, it’s like trying to invade Russia.

Anyway, the Zen is better than the iPod in the fact that it can support more than mp4 and h264, has more accessories and longer battery life. However, the iPod excels at iTunes, iTMS, popularity and size.

You can always be more technically advanced than your competition, but if no one buys it you fail anyway. Just look at the computer industry with AMD and Intel for an example.

Posted by Anonymous on January 8, 2006 at 3:23 PM (CST)


Get off the c/net sell-out bandwagon, will ya? Fanboyism is SO unbecoming. apple-fanboy-h8a pegged it so right.

The Zen Vision:M seems like a pretty damn good design, one that certainly didn’t happen overnight. The 5G may have beaten it to the punch, but it was at least the earlier 4G Photo that laid down the ground rules for handheld HD DAPs in that form factor. After image files, video was naturally the next medium to follow. Since Creative already had larger form factor multimedia DAPs on the market well before Apple ever sold the first the video iPod, it shouldn’t be any surprise that a smaller one would follow.

c/net has nearly always given the iPod family its props; from what I recall, aside from it’s milquetoast reception to the Shuffle, iPods generally have been the top-rated DAPs on their site, even to the point that I started to wonder if there wasn’t something to the arguments that the anti-iPod faithful (yes, there are those who actually HATE iPods) claiming that Apple was PAYING c/net to rank iPods so highly. That illogical conclusion sound eerily familiar, eh, iPod fanboy?

When it comes down to it, c/net is just a site that calls them how they seem ‘em. I’ve often used their site as a resource for many of my gadget purchases, and I’ve found that seldom have they been very far off the mark, if at all. Aside from some issues I had with their earliest, rather limp auto reviews, even their opinions on cars have improved to the point that c/net’s no longer a pretender as an automotive 411 site.

It was bound to happen: someone else making a better “iPod” than Apple itself. Creative, for all their arrogance and faults, DOES make some pretty good products; up until now most of their designs fell down in one or two (or more) ways when compared to Apple’s offerings. But they’re not stupid; they know what’s at stake. If they’re going to retake market share back from the leader, they’re going to have to learn from their past mistakes and actually execute on that knowledge.

Given that it’s about the only way that they’re going to have a chance of catching up to Apple, it sounds like that’s EXACTLY what they’ve done. Why is that so hard to believe and accept?

Furthermore people, why is that SO BAD? At least it gives Apple a bit of competition. Even if you’re a 100% Apple fanboy, there’s nothing wrong with good gear from other makers, especially when it comes to deciding what happens with the 6G, 7G, shuffle and nano replacement, and beyond. Personally, I DON’T LIKE the thinness of my 60GB 5G; I thought my 40GB 4G was absolutely PERFECT in feel and proportion. It felt great in my hands. But my 5G actually feel WEIRD and awkward in comparison when it’s handled outside of its Case-ari leather case. As far as I’m concerned, c/net’s own comments in this regard nailed it perfectly. And DON’T get me started on the 5G’s click-wheel, an exercise in technological backpedaling (or engineering cost-cutting) if there ever was one.

Still…for Creative to succeed, even in part, it’s newest vid player really needs seamless integration with a media service. Until I hear how it works with Yahoo! or Google or whoever it’s supposed to work with, I still won’t be convinced that the Zen Vision:M will have the sort of success that Creative is hoping for. That’s Apple real ace-up-their-sleeve: the iPod’s integration and user experience with iTunes and iTMS.

Posted by flatline response on January 8, 2006 at 3:25 PM (CST)


<i>Anyone notice how the anti iPod brigade are getting just a little bit cultish.<i>

Only because the iPod legions have become the dominant religion.

Posted by flatline response on January 8, 2006 at 3:28 PM (CST)


Apple fanboy may have a point, but he or she loses me when the juvenile insults start flying. 

It never ceases to disappoint to read posts here criticizing devoted Apple and/or iPod fans for being so hardcore.  After all, according to iLounge’s “About Us,” this is “the internet’s top site for ipod users and information.”  What type of readership do you suppose this website’s going to attract? 

The Raven hit it on the head as far as I’m concerned:  iTunes and iTMS are a huge part of the equation and Apple’s miles ahead of everyone else.  Until Creative or someone else can put together a similar package, I may read with interest what the competitions’ players can do but I won’t be buying them.  I tried that once already with a Sony mini-disc player a couple of years ago and that turned out to be a huge waste of time and money.

Posted by Unabashed Apple fanboy on January 8, 2006 at 3:30 PM (CST)



The iPod with video may not be the first portable video capable player, but it is the ONLY one creating a buzz throughout the television and movie industries.  The potential for iTMS-like video purchasing is a huge.  Of course, it has once again been Steve Jobs and his iTMS that has made the technology-fearing execs realize what digital downloads of video content can be, if done right.

So, what has Creative done for you lately to bring content and ease of delivery to it’s portable video players?  And, tell me, with a straight face, that using a Zen, with whatever software it uses and whatever online music store you choose can deliver as simple and elegant a solution as iPod, iTunes and iTMS.  The simple answer is: it can’t.  This is the reason why, Creative and the others can’t win, at least until they get their sh*t together and create the whole “user-experience” enchilada.

Posted by The Raven on January 8, 2006 at 3:33 PM (CST)


What type of readership do you suppose this website’s going to attract?

Just because you use the bloody things doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate what others are doing as well.

Posted by flatline response on January 8, 2006 at 3:35 PM (CST)


I’ll tell you this, if this thing were compatible with Macs and iTunes and the ITMS, I would drop the iPod in a heartbeat.

We all know that the iPod is the best all around DAP, but from MY experience, Creative’s DAPs have infinately better sound quality. IF they were able to copy the interface and make it just and intuitive, then the iPod might FINALLY have some serious competition.

And to all the fanboys out there, competitions fuels innovation. Apple has stopped improving the iPod, and desparately need someone to light a fire under their asses!

Posted by ahMEmon on January 8, 2006 at 3:36 PM (CST)


“Just because you use the bloody things doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate what others are doing as well.”

And on that point, we completely agree.

Posted by Unabashed Apple fanboy on January 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM (CST)


..and another thing.

If Creative hopes to gain some ground on Apple, they need someone to steer them in th right direction. They seem to want to be all things to all people which as we all know is IMPOSSIBLE! How many DAPs do they have now? I lost count too!

IT would be a huge advantage to them if they were to come out with some kind of music management software ala iTunes, that would be compatible with tunes purchased from different music stores, using some kind of plug-in (for lack of a better description) for each store used.

If this were cross-platform compatible, including Linux, that would be an added bonus for them.

Seriously, although Apple’s DAP is the king of the hill at the moment, I really think they need competition, and Creative, if they play their cards right, could be in the position to at least put a dent in Apple’s market share.

Posted by ahMEmon on January 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM (CST)


ok…im not a apple fan boy…but Creative is CRAP. Before i got into iPods i always went with Creative players. Then after having them for what..2 weeks. They would break. I got tired of having to get another new one every 2, 3 weeks if i was lucky. I finally switched over to iPod’s, and i’ve been happier ever since. Who care if the Zen Vision has higher res, idk what you guy use to convert your videos, but on my 60GB Black video iPod they look fine. I mean practically the same way it would look if i got it from iTunes.

Face it. Creative is not an iPod killer, but an alternative just like somebody ahead of me said. I think iPod is better..and not for the name for the product itself.

Posted by DoSoMeThiN' on January 8, 2006 at 4:13 PM (CST)


I have a 30GB iPod Video and I love it. I do however think that the Zen is pretty good and just gives people a different alternative. I don;t think it will be an “iPod killer” or something like that, but competition is always good.

Posted by mopar212000 on January 8, 2006 at 4:28 PM (CST)


The battery life of the Zen Vision really isn’t that good…

Posted by ipodman715 on January 8, 2006 at 4:45 PM (CST)


lol @ everyone getting their panties in a bunch…

ipoman715-So the battery life on the 5th gen iPod isn’t really that good either?  It’s the same as the vision other than the longer battery life…

And don’t say, “oh video life is longer because the codecs arent as high quality.”  This isn’t a big screen TV, it’s a 2.5-inch LCD screen.  You don’t need the highest quality as it already looks nice enough at the tiny resolution.  Even with lower quality codecs, the Vision:M will still give a better video output to a TV because it isn’t limited to a 320x240 resolution like the iPod.

Also, the dudes saying this is an iPod ripoff, this has to have been in development waay before the iPod video was announced. Don’t be ignorant.

And the thinness factor-I sometimes find the 30gb 5th gen iPod uncomfortable because it’s too thin to fit well in my hand.  I liked the form factor of the older ipods(though the 5th gen definetely looks really slick and nice).This is about the same width as a 4th gen iPod.

I have a 5th gen iPod-im hoping that Rockbox is gonna be able to fix what I dont like about the iPod because the Vision:M looks better each time I see it.

Posted by kevin on January 8, 2006 at 5:02 PM (CST)


I wish people would do a little basic research before posting and making fools of themselves. I really only takes a minute.

More than one person here has posted a comment stating how the Zen Vision:M is inferior to the 5G ipod because of the lack of support from services like iTMS.

By all means critique and criticise the Zen Vision:M for it’s genuine failings but not for the lack of support from online services.

In addition to Napster, Yahoo, Rhapsody, MSN Music, and AOL Music now Creative has announced agreements for video content from MTV, Microsoft, BBC and it supports free viewing of programs from TiVO. I believe other agreements are in the works. This is all by no means meagre…

Also, as far as criticisms of the thickness go, it’s as thick as a 4G ipod. I personally find the thinness of the current generation uncomfortable im my hand…

So people please do some basic research before making a fool of yourself.

Posted by unit on January 8, 2006 at 5:19 PM (CST)


CNET has always been a M$ mouthpiece. They hate anything Apple has ever done so this is no surprise to me. Yet another iPod killer…. yeah right.  Do you think Apple is going to stop developing and evolving the iPod? I don’t think so. People buy the iPod because of word of mouth and that is that it’s a great product that works.

Posted by Pete on January 8, 2006 at 6:26 PM (CST)


“CNET has always been a M$ mouthpiece. They hate anything Apple has ever done so this is no surprise to me. “

Ummmm, if you look at the ratings iPods get on their mp3 players reviews, they ALWAYS give them really high marks… as opposed to all the other mp3 players of equal or better features.

Posted by blah on January 8, 2006 at 6:31 PM (CST)


Opinions are like arseholes…. everyones got one.

Posted by steve Davies on January 8, 2006 at 6:38 PM (CST)


look how cheap and tacky the Zen looks.


Posted by bobby2k on January 8, 2006 at 7:20 PM (CST)


as a brand-new iPod owner (5G 60GB video), I love my iPod, and I love the way it’s integrated with iTunes & Smart Playlists. I do dislike the fact that it only supports H.264 and MP4. So, props to Creative Zen Vision M for supporting more video formats, especially because IPTV is going to continue to grow, and not everything is going to be on the iTunes Music Store.

Posted by Zaki Q on January 8, 2006 at 7:21 PM (CST)


booby2k, CNet said the player is very solid and the from the pictures the plastics don’t look any less or more scratch prone than the ipod.

If a solidly built player is your thing then perhaps you should consider something like the iAudio X5 with it’s anodised metal chassis? Otherwise I think this is a non-issue as when it comes to the durability of the materials used in the ipod and the Vision:M cases, methinks there’d be nothing in it….

And just to clarify - I’m not in the least bit interested in buying a Vision:M but it seems to me that some people here are depserately trying to pick faults using specious, flawed or utterly incorrect arguments. This player certainly seems to have a few people rattled.

So let me help you…Given that I’ve not used the player I would say the lack of AAC or Mac support would be a big minus for any prospective iPodder looking at purchasing a new DAP.

Posted by unit on January 8, 2006 at 8:00 PM (CST)

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