Creative debuts iPod lookalike; Will ‘aggressively pursue’ patent | iLounge News


Creative debuts iPod lookalike; Will ‘aggressively pursue’ patent

imageCreative Technology today introduced a 30GB digital media device that bears a striking resemblance to Apple’s new video iPod. The Zen Vision:M, which features a 2.5-inch color screen and video playback support, appears to lift several styling and interface details from the new video iPod. The $330 device also features support for music subscription services, an FM radio and a built-in mic for recording. The Zen Vision:M will be available in black, white, blue, green or pink this month.

Sim Wong Hoo, the outspoken CEO of Creative, took a swipe at the iPod in the company’s press release for the device. “When people see the Zen Vision:M, they tell us it’s incredibly cool,” he said. “We designed the Zen Vision:M with its mesmerizing 262,144 color screen to display four times the color of the 30GB iPod that plays video, and to provide twice the battery life for video playback. Plus, we offer people the freedom to choose their video in a variety of different formats, and to get subscription music or download tracks from a number of different sites to their player.”

While Creative appears to be taking cues from the iPod design, it seems Apple will be the one soon facing a legal threat. At the launch of the new device, the Creative CEO told the BBC that he plans to “pursue aggressively” a US patent it owns relating to music navigation on digital players. “We will pursue all manufacturers that use the same navigation system,” he said. “This is something we will pursue aggressively. Hopefully this will be friendly, but people have to respect intellectual property.”

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If this thing has a removable battery and more user friendly DVD-conversion capabilities, I’d take this over the iPod video anyway.  But c’mon, that design?  It might backfire by reminding people, “Hey, why don’t I just go and buy an iPod for all that money??”

Posted by brian on December 8, 2005 at 11:21 AM (CST)


There’s something to be said for companies who have to ride the design coattails of others in order to sell.  They know that wants the iPod, so they’re giving them a knockoff design, but with a higher pricetag.  Yes, there’s more versatility to the player and better battery life, but I’d rather support an innovative company than one that can’t even come up with it’s own design.

Posted by Squeaker on December 8, 2005 at 11:26 AM (CST)


Squeaker - how soon you forget that Creative owns the patent for the GUI…who’s knocking off who?

You Applebots are so incredibly blinded by your loyalty to Steve…

Posted by redsoxnation on December 8, 2005 at 11:38 AM (CST)


I can’t believe what creative has done, first the concept of this New player is identical to the features of the new 5g ipod, but c’mon that desing!! that scroll pad, those buttons! that look is pretty UGLY, the screen is smaller than the ipod’s,mmmmm, dont like it, not even for the battery, cause the ipod player is truly an innovative one! CREATIVE JUST COPY

Posted by frank on December 8, 2005 at 11:39 AM (CST)


Did y’all check out their website?  Is it just me or does this thing look rather fat and clunky from the side view?

Posted by CrazyLilRikki on December 8, 2005 at 11:44 AM (CST)


Hang on… Creative patented that type of UI, but up until now hasn’t their UI been not as good as the iPod’s?

So they patented something, waited for someone to make it great, copied it, and are gonna sue the someone (Apple) who made it great.

Posted by Daniel on December 8, 2005 at 11:49 AM (CST)


Yeh, apparently it’s twice as thick as the 30GB iPod…

Posted by struddie on December 8, 2005 at 11:51 AM (CST)


I’d advise you not to be so condescending to me.  I’m fairly certain that iPod came up with their physical design before Creative.  I wasn’t talking about the navigational features.

Posted by Squeaker on December 8, 2005 at 11:57 AM (CST)


Tough crap. Get over it & yourself.  You some kind of Apple insider that you know definatively when they came up with their design versus when Creative came up with their design?

Posted by redsoxnation on December 8, 2005 at 12:01 PM (CST)


“Squeaker - how soon you forget that Creative owns the patent for the GUI…who’s knocking off who?”

Yeah, because navigating music by selecting a hierarchy of Artist>Album>Song is SO INVENTIVE!  Stupid patent office lets another vague and obvious patent.  So just because the USPTO screwed up again doesn’t mean anyone is “knocking off” anyone.  It’s just obvious that is the way to navigate music.

Posted by m.sherman on December 8, 2005 at 12:07 PM (CST)


Check out the size of that thing!

(side view comparison of Vision:M and iPod)

Posted by m.sherman on December 8, 2005 at 12:10 PM (CST)


Are we really to the point that other companies can’t come up with unique interfaces?  This is very close to the ipod’s UI (disregarding patents for the moment) which is years old.  Why not come up with something new rather than repeat what is already out there?  Creative should be more creative. ;)  At least Sony did some new things with the PSP UI.  At this point no matter who wins the patent suits the public will see Creative as copying Apple.

Disregarding that it will come down to online content and it looks like Apple is way ahead of everyone there.

1) Provide great content on iTunes
2) Further innovation on iPod
3) Profit

Posted by Xenious on December 8, 2005 at 12:11 PM (CST)


If Apple’s had the white player for a few years and Creative suddenly creates its own white player, who do you think is knocking off whom?  I don’t think it’s a question of when they came up with the design—not like Creative came up with it first and it just took so darn long that Apple released the iPod first.  Get real, and get a grip.

Posted by Squeaker on December 8, 2005 at 12:14 PM (CST)


“We designed the Zen Vision:M with its mesmerizing 262,144 color screen to display four times the color of the 30GB iPod that plays video”

But the new iPod also has a 260,000 colour screen?

Posted by aptmunich on December 8, 2005 at 12:19 PM (CST)


I seriously doubt Creative were influenced by the 5g ipod given how long and involved the process of designing, approving a design, then tooling up for manufacture takes - i would say that this design was in the pipeline well before Apple released the 5g ipod. I’d suggest therefore that it’s more of a coincidence.

However, I’d say that Creative were probably strongly influenced by the 4g ipod, hence the thickness of this unit. They probably didn’t foresee Apple’s dramatic slimming of the current iteration.

Still, no matter how you look at it, the competition is getting serious and on paper this outperforms the ipod (software notwithstanding). They also realise that the ipod is fortunately, or unfortunately (however you look at it) the default look and style for a DAP for the average consumer. It’ll be interesitng to see whether this works for Creative or back-fires.

Frankly, the DAP i’d buy would be something like the iriver U10. It looks great, plays the formats i want, the interface is truly innovative and is comparable to the ipod for simplicity and intuitiveness, it allows drap and drop, and the audio quality is top notch. If only they’d throw more memory into the thing or a Micro HD.

This unit shows how to create a worthy competitor to the ipod (and really competition is good for all of us) while being innovative and stylish. iriver fix the memory issue and i believe you’d have a seller.


Posted by unit on December 8, 2005 at 12:25 PM (CST)


It’s interesting.  Actually I do not mind 2x the thickness because I have 4G 40GB iPod Photo (so will the thickness be any different really)? 

I love my 40GB iPod photo, and my new black 4GB nano.  I also think Creative has done a smart thing.  Maybe it is a copy, maybe not. But so what?  What people will key in on is “does it work? does it perform well?” 

Still I will stick with iPod.  I just cannot see bashing Creative over this, that’s all. :)

Afterall, Apple has done it’s share of copying (ask Xerox PARC hahahaha).  Maybe this is Karma. :)

Posted by Jing on December 8, 2005 at 12:32 PM (CST)


Creative’s patent is BS, IMO.  You can’t patent a stupid Heirachal File system.  there’s Prior Art, for one thing (see the Apple Lisa File Broswer).  The USPTO is seriously in need of a makeover.  They do nothing but screw things up. 

I hope Creative gets lots of backlash over this rubbish, but unfortunately, the judge will probably be too stupid to see how ridiculous all this is.

Creative should stop trying to copy the iPod and start tyring to come up with their own thing….The companies’ name is such an oxymoron…

Posted by Cameron T. on December 8, 2005 at 12:36 PM (CST)


What makes apple products so much better than crap like this is they work. Creative is glitchy and ugly. The features they added only matter if they work all the time. I would like apple to support more formats though. FLAC The screen as a selling point,? give me a break. The ipod screen is way better than it needs to be for such a small area. What a freakin byte off apple’s design. They should be shot for that.

Posted by creativeisgarbage on December 8, 2005 at 12:40 PM (CST)


Oh my god, I heard that it was thicker than the iPod, but it’s even thicker than the 4th generation 60GB iPod!
Look at the picture:

Posted by tom on December 8, 2005 at 12:49 PM (CST)


Come on creativeisgarbage, getting a little emotional aren’t we? They should be shot? I’d hate to think what you like done to someone for jay-walking or robbing a 7eleven???

Be it the ipod or the Vision:M the issue isnt áll that importantt. We’re talking about consumer toys here, not real issues such as the problem of AIDS in Africa, starvation, global warming, or many of the other true problems that aflict our planet.

How about some perspective?

Posted by unit on December 8, 2005 at 12:53 PM (CST)

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