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Zen Micro Photo Haha, Cool, It's Got Neon Rims

Reviewing: Creative Zen Micro Photo  |  Rating:
Ambrose Burnside By Ambrose Burnside on
Badge: Author | Level: 2 | Mobile Expertise:

I bought my Creative Zen: MicroPhoto about a year ago and it's served me loyally ever since. Let me clear this up first- I believe the Creative line is vastly superior to anything Apple's ever put out, as far as MP3 players go. For every Nano or Shuffle there's a Micro or a Stone that is twice as better as the Apple counterpart while being half as expensive. That said, bias or not, the Micro series is an excellent buy for pretty much anyone shopping around for an MP3 player.

Upon first inspection, the MicroPhoto (just for reference, the MicroPhoto is identical to the Micro except for its' ability to store images) is a fine piece of electronics. The Creative line avoids the anemic, minimal look of the iPod and instead ops out for a thicker but more compact player. The result is a player that fits better in the hand or pocket and is much more comfortable to play around with. The faceplate is made of a mysterious opaque colour-flecked plastic that, although a little odd-looking at first, turns out to be completely and utterly scratch- and smudge-proof, and adds to the 'natural' look the designers were going for. The battery cover has a stylized 'ripple' stamped into it- it's pretty cool and helps you quickly figure out which side's which when clawing around in your pocket. While we're at it, the battery life is amazing- after it's been powered up/drained once or twice, it'll manage 15 hours of listening at medium volume with ease.

When you actually go to listen to something it works beautifully. The default earbuds aren't great- although they're better than the 'buds that ship with the iPod by a long shot. Creative manufactures most sound cards out there today, so the sound quality you get is, bar none, the best on the portable MP3 scene. The MicroPhotos shipped with 8 gigs of memory- it's a lot more than could ever fill, and you don't need more unless you've got a video player. It'll take pretty much any music format out there, even some of the more obscure formats like .ogg and .wma. The picture feature is neat, too- you can drag-and-drop pictures onto the player from your computer and view them at your leisure.

I only have a few complaints. You can't delete or re-name files on the fly- there have been quite a few times I've noticed a song is poorly labelled, but I have to wait until I can re-connect to my computer to fix it. Making play-lists is also a chore- Rather than just selecting songs and adding them to the current play-list, you have to 'add to selected', consolidate the aforementioned selected, save them as a playlist, etc. Additionally, you can't save animated .gifs to the player- oh well, I suppose it counts as video. Other than that, though, the player's great. Unless you really need video, this is the player for you.