Creative CEO says Zen NX “better looking” than iPod | iLounge News


Creative CEO says Zen NX “better looking” than iPod

At a press briefing, Creative’s CEO, Sim Wong Hoo said the Nomad Zen NX is “better looking” than the iPod. Am I the only one here who thinks that they copied the iPod’s design?

“Unveiling the company’s new strategy yesterday at a briefing on its financial results, Mr Sim said it has successfully made inroads into the PDE market with its Nomad line of MP3 players.

Holding up one of its latest models - the Nomad Jukebox Zen - he proudly declared the slim, silver aluminium pocket-sized device was ‘better looking’ than rival Apple Computer’s pert but pricier iPod.”

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what’s the big deal?  i could cop a squat, then say that the steaming pile is prettier than an ipod.  what’s that prove?  nothing. exactly.

Box Checker

**Ban me, try it. You might cause a riot.**
-Ice T

Posted by Box Checker on August 7, 2003 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


well, i’d take an aluminum case over the Ipod’s plastic shell any day.  The Ipod is easily scratched.  An ipod skin is a definite requirement if you want to keep it pristine.

Posted by tetro on August 7, 2003 at 3:45 PM (CDT)


J River Media Center is as good as iTunes in many respects. And better in some. Still glad that I am using it with an iPod and not a Zen though… ;-)

Posted by digitaltrapper on August 7, 2003 at 5:12 PM (CDT)


uglier, smaller screen, still much larger (11.35 cu in vs 7.18 cu in for 30gb ipod), slower to transfer files (usb 2.0 has worse throughput than firewire), worse user interface, BLECH. only advantages it has are price and battery life.

Posted by Rob on August 7, 2003 at 9:20 PM (CDT)


actually rob and tetro, there are two problems with what you said….tetro, the ipod may be plastic on the front but it’s titanium on the back….which is much stronger than aluminum….though it scratches as well, which goes to show you how scratched aluminum will be….and rob, USB 2.0 sadly, actually has better throughput than the firewire iPod uses….480mbps versus 400mbps, had the new iPod been equipped with firewire 800 it’d be 480 versus 800mbps which would be an ass kiking….but alas normal firewire is now slower than USB….

having that said:
is this guy out of his freaking mind?
a screen uglier than my alarm clock, a solid block of plastic looking “chrome” ugly ass interface (actual interface not ui of the system itself).....hello? I think I’ll be sticking with my wonderful looking/playing 2nd gen 20GB….i mean c’mon….if I didn’t even like the 3rd gen over the 1st and 2nd gen iPods, do you honestly think I’d like and uglier than 3rd gen knock off? i didn’t think so…

Posted by zync on August 8, 2003 at 3:18 AM (CDT)


Zync, let’s look at this in real world stats.  When I rub the Ipod back with my thumb, it scratches.  When I do so with my Sony MZ-N505 (aluminum front), it doesn’t scratch.  I’ve abused it like hell and it’s still as good as when I first bought it.  I’ve treated my Ipod with so much care and I still have several visible hairline scratches.  The back is supposedly TI, but it’s gloss coating scratches like hell.

Posted by tetro on August 8, 2003 at 5:10 AM (CDT)


iPod owners are a classy bunch, I don’t think any other portable mp3 player can claim that.
Those who love the iPod love it for more reasons than battery life or backlight colour. *obviously*
The Nomad might capture a younger/less cool audience, but the true sophisticates will ALWAYS go with iPod.


Posted by tina on August 8, 2003 at 8:38 AM (CDT)


You guys are a bunch of losers.

Posted by hytyr on August 8, 2003 at 8:50 AM (CDT)


tina: “true sophisticates will ALWAYS go with iPod”

Maybe for style. But style is fickle, and tastes change. Remember Blue Nun? Or Colgate Reach? I think there’s also definitely a case for providing functionality to attract demanding users and keep users whose requirements are growing. An iPod is a wonderful *introduction* to handheld random access media, but the iPod’s footprint is limited because of its design and it doesn’t scale well for more advanced media tasks.

iPods are smaller than many other disk-based MP3 players, but they achieve this compactness by sacrificing features and expandability. They cost around 50% more than equivalently featured MP3 hard drive players. They have no analog or digital line-in recording, no digital line-outs for hi-fidelity audio, no microphone facility, no FM radio reception or broadcast, no wireless interface, no memory card interface, and no easy way for users to replace or upgrade the device’s batteries or hard drive. Unlike most of the new generation media players they also feature no MPEG 4 video playback or recording.

They try to enforce a weird, all-or-nothing metadata approach to storing music that virtually forces you to use the moderately featured iTunes freeware to utilise the iPod to its fullest instead of being able to use some other full-featured, non-freeware media jukebox software. Their battery life is shorter than (AFAIK) all other disk-based HD MP3 players.

Posted by FunctionOverForm on August 8, 2003 at 12:21 PM (CDT)


USB 2.0 sadly, actually has better throughput than the firewire iPod uses….480mbps versus 400mbps, had the new iPod been equipped with firewire 800 it’d be 480 versus 800mbps which would be an a** kiking….but alas normal firewire is now slower than USB….

That is what numbers say but I have tested identical hard drives with identical CPUs using both FW400 and USB2. In *real-world* testing, USB2 trails FW400 by 50-80%. That is to say that extensive tasks, either random access or sequential, take around 50-80% longer to finish under USB2. I suspect this is due to the lack of bus mastering and higher latency. CPU usage for USB2 is 2x-3x higher than FW400 during intensive operations.


Posted by Don'tBelieveTheHype on August 8, 2003 at 12:27 PM (CDT)


I am sorry but you are wrong.  My company has done extensive benchmarks on USB2 and FW400.  The trailing of USB2 by 50-80% is not only ridiculous but an insult to other users’ intelligence in this site.

If you want to troll go somewhere else.

Posted by Engine on August 8, 2003 at 1:13 PM (CDT)


Engine: are you calling me a liar? I am simply telling you what results I have seen from *my* real-world tests. A “troll” would not have figures. Oh, wait, it is *you* that presents no real data, no hard facts, but only hearsay. Have you done these tests yourself? I would like to see your methodology.

For small bursts of sequential reading, USB2 and FW400 are very close. But for prolonged operations that latch on and off the buses, FW400 has a clear advantage. Because of this, I could RAID FW together easily, but USB2 would prove problematic.

There is also the CPU overhead to consider.

I tested the same drive and CPU (AMD2400XP) on:


Using standard ME-320U2F enclosure, with latest Oxford chipsets.

Firewire is the clear winner. For *all* of the drive diagnostic, formatting, write-zero erasing, copying, or bad sector scanning tests that I ran, I get the following:
(normalized, within 10% margin)

ATA-100: 1
FW400 : 1.3
USB2 : 2.2

All of this “debate” between USB and FW is becoming academic anyway, for hard drive functionality. Serial ATA or SATA has arrived and I already see external RAID-capable SATA enclosures for PCs. SATA CPU use is minimal, its transfer speeds are 150MB/s, and its latency is minimal. It is also bus mastering capable.

Posted by Don'tBelieveTheHype on August 8, 2003 at 1:36 PM (CDT)


You made an outrageous post on how USB2 trails behind FW400 by about 50%-80%!

On paper USB2 is faster than FW400.  And you come up with that claim.

It seems to me that the burden of proof is on you my friend….not on me.

Please PROVE that USB2 trails FW400 by 50%-80%!!!  You can’t and you know it.

Posted by Engine on August 8, 2003 at 1:48 PM (CDT)


Put up or shut up, bigmouth. I described my setup and my methodology. Within those parameters, my claims are factual. While you, on the other hand, have produced exactly nothing except innuendo and hot air.

You also seem to have a very nebulous grasp of the operation of a serial bus, latencies, and latching. I encountered my first serial bus on the venerable Atari 800, the SIO, back in the late 1970s. FW400 and USB2 are nothing more than modern elaborations of this original concept.

Until last week I, too, believed the marketing hype that USB2 was “faster” than FW400. Based on *my own research*, I will now choose FW400 over USB2 for my external hard drives. The difference between you and me is that you seem to believe everything you are told, while I went and tested my assumptions and found they required revision. I haven’t tested IOMarks, random STR, or various pseudo-app benchmark programs, but I intend to do so. If and when I get new data that updates my assumptions, then I will change those assumptions.


CRA01 firmware
Western Digital WinDLG 1.0

Extended Drive Test:
USB2: 130 m
FW400: 55 m
ATA100: 45 m

Write Zeros, Verify:
USB2: 120 m
FW400: 75 m

This discussion is at an end until you can present some quality data instead of mindlessly parroting marketing speak. You *do* know there is a difference between a Mbps and MB/s, don’t you? That’s a good place to start.
“Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill.
Tell them firmly:
I am not paid to listen to this drivel.
You are a terminal boob.”

Posted by Don'tBelieveTheHype on August 8, 2003 at 2:47 PM (CDT)


You still do not understand that the burden of proof is on your side?  It is up to you to prove your claims.

Have you proven that USB2 trails behind FW400 by 50%-80%?

Why should I prove that USB2 is faster than FW400?  That is the initial presumption and that is a given fact whether you like it or not.

It is up to you to prove it otherwise.  You are the one who came here babbling on and on and giving your so-called reliable data.

I still do not see any proof.  And if your claim was valid I suspect we’d be seeing many lawsuits flying around.

Do I know the difference between Mbps and MB/s?  What do you think?  :)  Do I sense a bit of desperation….?

As for bigmouth?  Who do you really think the bigmouth is?

Now….. have you proven USB2 trailing behind FW400 by 50-80%?  HAve you?  Will you answer the question finally?

Posted by Engine on August 8, 2003 at 2:59 PM (CDT)


i pick FW as well, USB can reach higher levels but it takes up more CPU and generally its about the same but it can get higher and sometimes lower

Posted by ti on August 8, 2003 at 3:19 PM (CDT)


“hype” u need 2 calm dn and u know waaaay 2 much of this stuff go outside get a tan.

“engine” u need 2 check hype’s numbaz !  i see da firewire wiping da usb do u have both disks to check hype’s numbaz else u blowing

Posted by chill dudes on August 8, 2003 at 4:04 PM (CDT)


Chill Dudes strikes me as a very intelligent person :))

Posted by Engine on August 8, 2003 at 4:23 PM (CDT)


Okay.. Engine.. that was funny. But, here is my opinion on this debate. The following quote was cut and pasted from an article about portable hard drives (specifically the Fujitisu Handydrive) off Tom’s Hardware Guide:

‘Only the choice of interface distinguishes the Video Edition from the Data Edition. While the data version works with USB 2.0, in the case of the video variation, logically, a FireWire interface does the job. Officially, at 400 Mbit/s, it theoretically provides less than the USB 2.0 with its 480 Mbit/s, but in practice it is often the reverse. FireWire works isochronously and is thus best suited to data transfers in real time.

In our benchmarks, on the other hand, this has no effect; the results show a minimally better performance from the Data Edition with USB 2.0, even if subjective opinion speaks in favor of the FireWire version.’

Posted by Lorcan on August 8, 2003 at 4:40 PM (CDT)


I have a mix of Firewire and USB 2.0 cameras, hard disks, and networking, shared among Macs Linux and Windows. For gadgets I see no reduction in task time between Firewire and USB 2.0. For hard disks I see Firewire is nearly always quicker. And on all three machines Firewire is easier for them. Two or three USB 2.0 transfers at the same time will bring any machine to a crawl but the Firewire lets users work on them without noticing much stutter. And Engine I think you are wrong to condemn people out of hand for the way they write. Maybe english was not their first language? Maybe they were texting it in on a cell phone? I think they made a good point, even if it did read quite strangely, the “numbaz” are working against you and for Mr/Ms No Sun Tan. I do not think they have to prove anything but from where I sit it looks like you have nothing to back you up. I would not want to go against Mr/Ms No Sun Tan in a Math Bee. But why are we talking about this and not the grotty little Zen which looks like a cheap tarted-up whore compared to the iPod.

Posted by Jane Landow on August 8, 2003 at 5:17 PM (CDT)

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