Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

60G Nomad Zen vs. The iPod

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the ipod-wins-on-visual-appeal dept.

Music 673

war3rd writes "According to an article in BetaNews, Creative is going to be releasing an upgraded Nomad Zen at the end of the month that is not only larger than the iPod, but cheaper too. At $400 for 60G ($100 less than the 30G iPod), the new Zen will sport more features, although it may be slightly larger than the newer generation of iPods. I have been putting off buying an MP3 player until I felt that the arms race was settling down, but the new Zen is making my mouth water. So what does the /. community think, are Creative and Apple going to be the top players in this arena? Is it time I jumped onto the bandwagon? One thing is for certain, I am going to be watching the reviews closely."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895738)


Viva la Zen!!! (3, Interesting)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895742)

I've been using a Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox 3 (30gb) unit for the last year and 10+ hours a *day* and have no complaints. Solid unit. I can not only play MP3s, but also WMA files (sorry /.-ers,,, I have sinned).

The unit also easily stores data files. w00t!

IMHO, the zen is an easy choice - twice the storage, $100 less, tons of reliability, and more features.

Btw, there is also a HUGE Nomad community too! I'll cite as a great example. Good forums and good Nomad news.

Should add AAC (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895823)

No, I'm not being a smart-ass. If they can put in WMV (which I wouldn't use, being an OS X/Linux guy, so I have no point), they should put in Ogg and AAC, since AAC is based on the MPEG-4 codec.

Then I could actually sit at my desk and try to decide - iPod, or Zen. If for no other reason than I like competition.

Re:Viva la Zen!!! (5, Interesting)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895841)

The only gripe I have with the Jukebox line of players is not the hardware but rather the bloated and buggy Creative PlayCenter software. It's no where as clean as iTunes... but Red Chair Software [] has a kick-ass program that replaces PlayCenter and has some additional capabilities like viewing and streaming files over a Web-based interface and SQL-like queries on your MP3 files. The program is Notmad Explorer [] and is available in freeware (limited functionality) and payware... (sorry, not free as in libre either).

Also the Nomad Jukebox 3 (not the current Zen) has optical-in recording to MP3 or wave. It's not as simple as pressing record on a portable MiniDisc recorder, but it works in a pinch.

Re:Viva la Zen!!! (1)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895869)

LOL!!! As soon as you started complaining about PlayCenter, I was going to reply about Red Chair's Notmad. I use that as well! Real nice software.

It's like using Windows Explorer to transfer music files and data files. Just drag and drop! Mindless.

Re:Viva la Zen!!! (5, Informative)

mrklin (608689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895898)

iPod has benn able to store data since generation 1. In fact, you can even boot from it if needed. Can't say that about the Nomad.

Oh, and you speak as if there is not a HUGE iPod community? Ever been to and the 1000+ pictures of iPod around the world?

Re:Viva la Zen!!! (3, Funny)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895919)

<blockquote> Ever been to and the 1000+ pictures of iPod around the world? </blockquote>

Wow! That's definitely worth the extra $100. ;-)

Re:Viva la Zen!!! (4, Informative)

aberkvam (109205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895947)

The unit also easily stores data files. w00t!
Just to make sure people know, the iPod also easily stores data files [] . It has a number of other tricks up its sleeve including games, calendar, contact lists, text note storage, alarm clock, sound recording, etc.

It does not play WMAs though.

FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895743)

First post

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895759)

Sorry, LOSER, you got second post.

iPod (3, Interesting)

Ballresin (398599) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895744)

iPod sports AAC. That's the kicker. I'd rather have quality than quantity. really gonna fill that 60Gigs with music? I don't think so.

Re:iPod (3, Interesting)

fidget42 (538823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895806) really gonna fill that 60Gigs with music? I don't think so.
I really like being able to use my iPod as a hard disk. I can download files to the iPod and take them to another Mac, Windows PC, or even Linux box, and moves the files without needing to burn CD ROMs. Saves time, space, and money (well, on CD-Rs at least).

I currently have 5 GB of music, and 2 GB of data stored on my 20 GB iPod.

Re:iPod (1, Insightful)

Gogl (125883) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895855)

First off, ripping my 300 or so cds at high quality VBR would go a decent way to filling that. I'm betting I could definitely fill a healthy chunk of the 60gigs, and it'd be nice to have room to grow, eh?

That, and all this AAC stuff... is a 128kb AAC really as great as Apple insists? From what I've read, it is better than a 128kb MP3, but if you're ripping a decent VBR MP3 then it really isn't any better. That, and MP3s are, well, compatible on with hardware and software. AAC won't be a selling point until I can play them as easily as I can play MP3s, and that'll be awhile yet (seeing as how I'm not a Mac user).

Re:iPod (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895864)

In fact yes... that is if I copy over all of MP3s (which come from CDs that I have purchased, new or used) in my collection onto it... but would I want to? Not really. Playlist management and choosing songs would be a pain on the road... that and I just don't listen to all gazillion songs...

Re:iPod (4, Interesting)

valkraider (611225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895910) really gonna fill that 60Gigs with music? I don't think so.

I do think so. My 10GB iPod is full, 100% legal-i-ripped-them-from-CDs-I-own mp3s at only 128kb. With just the CDs I *currently* own, I could fill a 30GB iPod with 128kb AAC files, I probably have about 40GB of 128kb AAC I could rip legally. That will only increase as time goes on.

I think the better question is, when is video coming? I mean imagine a 120GB drive and a 3 inch color screen all in an almost iPod sized device - that you could use to play MPEG4 video...

mmm - Future is tasty and on order for delivery soon...

Re:iPod (1)

astrashe (7452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895918)

I have a 20G archos jukebox, and I feel constrained by the size. 60G would be about right.

Also, I don't know about these other players, but the archos can be used as a USB 2.0 drive, so even if you didn't have enough music, you'd probably be able to use the space somehow.

As soon as my warranty expires, I'm going to see if I can replace the drive with something bigger.

Re:iPod (2, Informative)

ecchi_0 (647240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895978)

My warranty has expired and my harddrive has stopped spinning - I think I am going to follow this [] guide while installing a new one.

uh... hello WAV files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895976)

At 60gb we are quickly approaching the level where I can use a quality, full format like WAV over all the compressed but less robust formats like AAC, MP3, OGG, etc.

Not only do those formats essential trick your brain into hearing sounds that aren't really there, but often they are encoded at 128kbps only (AAC) which is unacceptable for a good portion of my more refined music.

Think about it. On a 60gb player I can carry 120 ALBUMS in pure WAV format with no loss whatsoever. And at $100 less? This one's a no brainer.


Only one includes: (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895992)

The iTunes music store: the first real reason to buy an mp3. Oh and the attention to detail that will make you a convert..

And if that isnt enough the new iPods come with solitare (and laser engraving)!

Looking at my 60gb music collection (10,052 songs) I might consider the Zen, but I only kid myself when I say for mp3's (and an OSX emergency start drive) I need more than my 10gb pod.

Does size matter? (2, Insightful)

macmastery (600662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895746)

I guess it depends what you value most. Size, capacity or style?

The IPOD will do Size WE handle STYLE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895776)

Are you bright? witty? Do you have friends that laugh at your jokes? We at lrse hosting" [] are looking for a select few individuals to join our ranks at the internet's premier source of wit [] and style [] .

Do YOU have what it takes? Register TODAY and FIND OUT!!!!!

Re:Does size matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895785)

> Size, capacity or style?

Pick two. :)

Re:Does size matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895835)

This is slashdot, read by nerds. Here size wins hands down (pun intended) every time.

Re:Does size matter? (2, Informative)

WHARG !! (671461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895885)

Quick illustration: Size of iPod vs. Zen []

Re:Does size matter? (2, Insightful)

robbieduncan (87240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895959)

Snigger. Thats an old iPod - the new (Generation 3) iPods are even smaller!

Old iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895988)

I believe the new iPods are slimmer.

Re:Does size matter? (1)

tbmaddux (145207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895915)

Size, capacity or style?
Interface is critical. The iPod works with just one hand (size helps here too unless you have mutant freak hands or TK powers). Hold it and work the wheel and buttons with your thumb. It's very tough for the 2.5" hard drive based players to compete with that.

Now for teh Geekizoid pod! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895748)

Are you bright? witty? Do you have friends that laugh at your jokes? We at lrse hosting" [] are looking for a select few individuals to join our ranks at the internet's premier source of wit [] and style [] .

Do YOU have what it takes? Register TODAY and FIND OUT!!!!

Re:Now for teh Geekizoid pod! (0, Offtopic)

ctishman (545856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895784)

Yeah? How about you take your spam and shove it up your ass, and we'll call it even.

Re:Now for teh Geekizoid pod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895839)

Are you bright? witty? Do you have friends that laugh at your jokes? We at lrse hosting" [] are looking for a select few individuals to join our ranks at the internet's premier source of wit [] and style [] .

Do YOU have what it takes? Register TODAY and FIND OUT!!!!

Re:Now for teh Geekizoid pod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895887)

Are you bright? witty? Do you have friends that laugh at your jokes? We at lrse hosting" [] are looking for a select few individuals to join our ranks at the internet's premier source of wit [] and style [].

Do YOU have what it takes? Register TODAY and FIND OUT!!!!

Article (5, Informative)

Bronz (429622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895757)

Looking to draw Windows users away from Apple's wildly popular iPod, Creative has released a mammoth update to its NOMAD Jukebox Zen portable audio player. The hard drive based Zen boasts an immense storage capacity of 60GB - twice that of largest iPod.

The NOMAD Jukebox Zen sports a sleek aluminum case and USB 2.0 connectivity for fast song transfers. Creative has priced the Zen at $400, $100 cheaper than Apple's new 30GB iPod.

"We've heard from our users that they would love to see a huge capacity NOMAD Jukebox Zen to take their entire music library and their digital files wherever they go," said Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo. "And of course they demanded a great price. With the NOMAD Jukebox Zen with 60GB we've delivered a breakthrough capacity in a portable player."

Creative claims a battery life of 14 hours in the NOMAD Jukebox Zen, slightly higher than that of the iPod. The Zen offers the ability to edit playlists directly on the device, and a "Find" function to quality search thousands of songs. An optional FM Wired Remote is also available featuring an FM tuner and microphone.

But despite Creative's superior capacity and lower price, Apple has leapfrogged its competitors in terms of dollar market share. According to NPDTechworld, Apple held 27 percent of the market in the fourth quarter of last year, followed by S3's Rio unit with 10 percent.

Apple's third generation iPods debut May 2, while Creative expects to ship the 60GB NOMAD Jukebox Zen later this month.

Battery Life (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895850)

Dumb question, as I don't see it answered in the Betanews, and someone who uses a Nomad might be able to answer.

The batteries - AA, or rechargable? I once had a Jukebox that was suppose to be able to charge via a separate AC adapter, but it would be nice if it could charge via USB 2.0. Just because I like less cords.

Re:Battery Life (1)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895907)

According to the Zen's spec page [] , the Nomad Zen has a built-in LiIon battery and probably can't be charged via USB 2.0 or via FireWire like the iPod can. I think the FireWire version of the Zen uses a 4-pin i.Link-style connector (FireWire without power).

The Nomad Jukebox 3 has two spots for LiIon battery packs (which are rather small and fairly light) and uses a 4-pin FireWire connector, so no power pins for charging that way.

Re:Battery Life (0, Troll)

Finque (653377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895973)

You can't charge through USB 2.0, as it's not powered. Apple's version of USB 2.0 for their Windows iPods comes with a seperate cable just for powering. So in other words, USB 2.0, even though it's faster than FireWire, still kinda sucks in comparison.

Re:Article (5, Informative)

Textbook Error (590676) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895905)

The Zen offers the ability to edit playlists directly on the device, and a "Find" function to quality search thousands of songs.

The new iPods also allow you to edit playlists directly on the device ("On-The-Go" playlists), and I haven't seen a better interface yet than the iPod wheel/column browser for digging into thousands of files.

You could previously use the iPod wheel to change the volume of the current track or scrub back and forth through it. Another neat feature on the new iPods is that you can now also enter a "rate this song" mode and adjust the rating for tracks on the fly. These ratings get passed back to iTunes next time you sync, so you can set up playlists to do things like "Whenever I plug my iPod in, automatically fill it up with random songs I haven't heard in a while that I rated 3 stars or higher".

This press release is just basic marketing FUD - they're just touting the length of their (future) feature list, and forgetting that it's the integration with iTunes/etc that makes the iPod work so well.

Re:Article (0)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895974)

Used up my last mod point this morning. Moderators, mod this post up. That ratings mode thing is too cool to be ignored, and I had no idea that it existed.

Re:Article (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895962)

Ipod: 6.2 oz (30 gig). Nomad: 9.5 oz
Ipod: 4.1 by 2.4 by 0.73 Nomad: 75.9 x 112.6 x 24.5 mm (anyone have a translation?)

What do I think? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895758)

I think you smell arses.

I'll go for the cheaper one this time... (-1, Flamebait)

tommertron (640180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895760)

I'm in the market for an MP3 player, and though the new Apple one looks really cool and small, if the Create one has the same or better features for cheaper, I'll definitely go for that one. I think that's the problem with Apple: cool looking products, sure, but way more expensive. Oh, and let me guess, can you not get firmware upgrades for the iPod? Because of course we all know how Apple feels about upgrades...

Re:I'll go for the cheaper one this time... (1)

ghutchis (7810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895811)

Well, there's always something with more features and cheaper just around the corner. But the iPod is here and it's slick and has fast data transfer.

Oh, and yes, you can easily update the firmware to the iPod. Both the firmware and iPod software have been updated several times in the last year.


Re:I'll go for the cheaper one this time... (4, Informative)

valkraider (611225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895826)

Oh, and let me guess, can you not get firmware upgrades for the iPod? Because of course we all know how Apple feels about upgrades...

Hmm. I updated [] mine just fine...

Re:I'll go for the cheaper one this time... (1)

dborod (26190) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895991)

Hmm. I updated [] mine just fine...

Excuse me? iPod owners have been waiting for Apple to release software that would let you create a playlist on the iPod itself since the first iPod came out over a year ago. The good news is that version 2.0 of the software has been released (and supports this feature). The bad news is that the only way to get this software is to buy a new iPod.

Price (4, Interesting)

NETHED (258016) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895763)

What about us who want a good MP3/OGG player that is under 100bucks?

Re:Price (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895792)

I think for those of us who want OGG players, we'll be waiting quite awhile for any portable mainstream OGG support, and even longer for it to appear in a non-luxury (i.e. sub-$HorrendouslyExpensive) unit.

Re:Price (1)

phlako66 (56726) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895857)

I'm holding out for a Neuros; according to their site they're investigating Ogg and Linux support, and they have this cool function of wirelessly broadcasting through an FM channel on your tuner.

Re:Price (2, Interesting)

tasidar (604319) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895960)

What's wrong with a USB Flash Drive/MP3 Player? []
Granted, it doesn't have OGG support, but it's small (in more than one way), stylist, and under $100US.
It even uses a Lithium-ION battery.

Disclaimer: I do not work for any of the companies mentioned.

Problems with the Creative (1)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895769)

Well, it's quite big for a start, would certainly make a bulge in your pocket.

But I have zero confidence in Creative's drivers. Anyone who owns a SoundBlaster card and runs Windows can attest to how crap they are.

Re:Problems with the Creative (1)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895783)

Agreed, but that does not apply to the Zen though. You'll not have problems.

Re:Problems with the Creative (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895942)

Well, it's quite big for a start, would certainly make a bulge in your pocket

Is that a ZEN in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

FUCK MICHEAL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895771)


Now help get those leaching micheals off my bandwidth! []

It is both larger and maybe slightly larger! (5, Insightful)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895774)

Interesting how the iPod has become the standard by which other players are judged. Interesting that the submitter has found a player that is both larger than the iPod (a good thing) and also slightly larger than the iPod (a bad thing). Maybe being specific about when we mean capacity in GB and when we mean physical dimensions wouldn't be such a bad thing...

Zen Looks Great (2, Informative)

artlu (265391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895775)

I have been using a nomad jukebox 20gb for about 3yrs at about 4 hours per day in my car with not one complaint over the lifetime of the product. I plan on going for the sleeker zen when i pick up a new car shortly and run an aux-in cable to the head unit.
The iPod is awesome, but you are paying for the apple name and commercialization. Save some money.

Re:Zen Looks Great (5, Insightful)

nick this (22998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895977)

I hear lots of people say things like this. "Macs are way too expensive for the speed of the machine" or "MP3 player X is a lot cheaper than an iPod".

I understand this... I used to believe it too. The error is in assuming that the alternatives are all essentially equal... all mp3 players play mp3's, and computers are equal save for the speed of the processor.

That's not the case. I can't explain it other than saying that there is a design quality and esthetic that is different in the Apple products. You won't believe it until you own one, but once you do, you understand the price difference, and realize it is negligible... that in fact all MP3 players are not the same. All computers are not the same.

I boycotted XP and switched to Mac, while cursing the increased cost. Not any more. I recognize the difference between my Mac and my PC, and I know the differences are well in excess of the cost.

Same is true with my iPod. It's the 3rd MP3 device I've owned, and it's cheaper compared to buying other devices, not using them, and having to re-buy an iPod.

That's my take. Hate to sound like a ravenous Mac-head, but... well... I am one. Now.

OMG! (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895790)

OK, now this is getting interesting. 60gig.

Today: Now, if I wait just a wee little longer for the price to come down......

Later: Yes, I'll take one of those new 4tb Zen's for $99.95 please...

And by the time I really do get one they will be obsolete and dirt cheap on ebay... ;-)
Ah the joys of playing the waiting game!

All i want (4, Interesting)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895798)

is a cheap version of ipod that sports maybe 1GB and has an insanely long battery life. What kind of insane moron needs compressed audio with 60 GB of room.

Maybe the next logical progression would be to sport a small plasma screen and play dvd's and divx. These things already had enough room.

Re:All i want (3, Insightful)

numark (577503) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895945)

iPods can be used for more than just music. Lots of people also use them for transferring data back and forth. Imagine having in your pocket an entire backup of your hard drive, so all you have to do to recover your files is connect the device to another computer, download the files, and go on your way. It's pretty hard to find anything else quite like that.

They have video players. (2, Interesting)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895989)

Here ya go. []

Ogg (1)

vslee (567907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895799)

The Creative website does not mention anything about playing OGG... While the iPod doesn't have OGG support either, it would be very useful.

Neuros set to support Ogg (3, Informative)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895827)

Neuros Audio [] hopes to do just that soon with linux support as well.

Can it record? (3, Insightful)

mrjive (169376) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895801)

The selling point for me is if it can record like the Jukebox 2/3. This is key when you want to record your dj sets at clubs or parties (which I have done many times using the older Jukebox models).

Re:Can it record? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895858)

The new iPods have stuff in the firmware that refers to both mono and stereo recording. You can record in mono by using the left headphone as a primitive mic right now actually. It hasn't been officially added to the iPod feature set yet, but I would expect it within the next month or two along with a firmware update.

Re:Can it record? Maybe 'yes' for new iPods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895880)

You may get your wish with the new iPods..."As the Apple Turns" ( had a tidbit yesterday that mentions a recording function buried in the diagnostic menu of the new units. A hint of things to come?

Re:Can it record? (1)

sebi (152185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895926)

According to this [] page the zen is capable of recording when you get the 'optional FM wired remote.' According to this [] post the iPod is rumoured to be able to do the same via a yet to be announced accessory. What I can't tell you is if either of the gadgets will record into a compressed format. With longer DJ sets that might be the deal-breaker.

Re:Can it record? (4, Interesting)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895948)

The new iPods have the hardware to record and purportedly will have a microphone coming out in June.

Except the iPod WORKS (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895802)

Okay, I know I was reaching anyway when the Zen (and libnjb) would not place nice on my linux box...but not working on a fully-updated XP box (lacking USB 2) is not acceptable.

My two cents on MP3 players (1, Interesting)

Gogl (125883) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895817)

Creative is the king when it comes to sound quality. After all, they do happen to make sound cards as well.

To my understanding, the Zen is just a smaller Nomad Jukebox with slightly less features. I believe that Creative tends to go with Firewire rather than USB2 (most of the Creative Soundcards also include firewire ports these days), although I'd expect this new player to include both.

I've strongly considered buying a hard drive player, but I'm slightly worried about failure. It'd be nice to move my mp3 collection over to a 60gig player and free up some space, but what if the player gets fried? I suppose I could burn backups to CD too, and I suppose I should anyway, but regardless harddrives are very potentially faulty things.

That, and I only want to buy a player that I can plug in and have it show up as an external hard drive. No iTunes, no MusicMatch Jukebox, none of that nonsense. I want to load my tunes on myself, I don't want the player to depend on id3 tags (as many of my mp3s have poor id3 tags), I just want it to use filenames and folders and behave like a sensible external hard drive that also happens to play mp3s. I believe the Archos jukeboxes do this, but I don't know about any other hard drive based players.

And lastly, I believe the iPod has the Zen beat in battery life. Form factor wise, Mac fanboys will slobber over the iPod and say that anything else sucks, but personally I think the Zen or even the Archos are just fine in terms of appearances and usability.

If this new Zen can plug in just like a hard drive, and it really is 60gb for $400, I might have to pick it up myself. 60gb is about the largest I trust hard drives anyway, much less portable ones.

Re:My two cents on MP3 players (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895894)

How the hell is this a troll? Because it dares to poke fun at Mac users? Sheesh. /. really has sold out to Apple, it seems.

Slam Dunk? (1)

oaf357 (661305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895821)

Isn't this a fairly easy choice. More storage, lower price = easy sell IMO. Right?

As for CD MP3 versus HDD MP3 players my mind isn't made up yet.

Formats? (1, Troll)

DdJ (10790) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895828)

I don't suppose it plays MP3, Windows Media, AAC,, and Ogg Vorbis?

A man can dream...

Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895836)

Bigger is not always better.... Apple did it first, they did it best and all the rest are posers...

Who needs 60 gigs? (3, Insightful)

skeib (630324) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895837)

Seriously? Who really needs 60GB of mp3s in their pockets?

I don't think one no longer should judge the players by storage capacity, as they both have plenty. If you look at the user interface and design, no-one even comes close to the iPod! And now Apple is even developing iTunes for windows as well, so soon winPod users will be able to use the best media player available!

Re:Who needs 60 gigs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895932)

Great. Apple proprietary software that ONLY works with the one (apple) branded mp3 player. Tell me how that's going to help anyone. Sure there are iPod owners on windows, but it's not a big market. Out of the dozens of players, the iPod is just one. For windows users, Apple aren't exactly making it an enticing choice.

Size matters (5, Informative)

mrklin (608689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895840)

Slightly larger?

According to my calculation, the Nomad Zen is over twice the size (volume) of the iPod and 60% heavier.

Apple iPod (Gen 3)
103.5mm(H)*61.8mm(W)*15.7mm(D) = ~100k cubic mm and 158 grams

Nomad Zen
112.6*75.9*24.5 = ~209k cubic mm at 268g.

Furthermore, the set of functionalities that the two players offer are different (sync vs FM capability for example) so their value to user is highly different.

While I like iPod to support other formats (WMA and Vorbis Ogg) but I am satisified with AAC and MP3 for now.

Re:Size matters (2, Insightful)

bengoerz (581218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895970)

While you may be right about the volume, I think it's a bit misleading to say "twice the size" when it's only twice the volume. (Though, thank you for pointing out that your calculation was for volume.)

Consider this:
So a 30% increase in each of the dimensions could more than double the volume of an object.

As for the increased mass, just consider that it is probably carrying around double the platters of the iPod, and an internal disk drive enclosure to hold them.

All in all, I'd still call it only "slightly larger," and I'd definately deal with the bulk for the added benefits of storage and price.

Already been done... (3, Informative)

gimlix2 (451817) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895842) [] has had postings in its forums about hacking and upgrading the Jukebox Zen back in December 2002 / January 2003.

More recently, a guy has created a complete guide [] to upgrading your Creative Labs Jukebox Zen to 30/40/60GB.


Apple's new music service (1)

Starky (236203) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895843)

If you have a Mac and you want to try Apple's new (legal) music [] service, the complementarity between your Mac, the iPod and easy-to-get, legal music would be enticing.

Well... (5, Insightful)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895844)

I don't know. That's a great price, but it's a Creative product so I have a feeling it's not as good as it sounds.

See, I've used Creative audio products since the days of the original SoundBlaster... and Creative really doesn't do as good of a job as they used to. These days they have horrible drivers, false advertising, and practically nonexistent tech support. They release a new driver update around every six MONTHS, even when there are dozens of outstanding bugs to fix; and cards like the Audigy barely did half of the things they advertised on the box and on websites.

So anyway, this thing sounds cool... but if I were you, I wouldn't buy one without finding out a LOT about it and making sure I'm really getting my money's worth. You really can't trust Creative anymore.

What about Vorbus? (1)

mE123 (140419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895847)

Will it play Oggs [] ? They released the Integer only version of the codec months ago.

If I can't play half my music, I don't care how big the harddrive might be.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

Re:What about Vorbus? (1)

Segod (463725) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895986)

No, but this [] will as soon as it's released. Previous /. story here []

Music store compatible? (1)

evilhayama (532217) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895852)

This probably won't affect most people, but Apple's new music store isn't going to work with the zen, unless there's some hidden aac playing ability. If aac suddenly becomes the format of choice (I doubt it) the zen is going to have to play it to level with the Ipod.

Bring on the Canadian Tariff Posts!!! (3, Informative)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895853)

About how they will triple the price of this box.

They have revised the rate structure though:

Before they proposed $21.00/GB which would have added $1,260 to the cost of this box.

Now the rate strucure looks like:

1 GB or less 11.1 cents/MB
$11.50 on 1st GB
$7.98/gb on Gbs 2 to 5
$5.98/gb on Gbs 6 to 10
$3.99/gb on Gbs 11 to 20
$1.99/gb on Gbs 21 or greater

I'll leave the calculation on a 60GB drive as an exercise for the reader.

Creative? No Way. (2, Insightful)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895854)

It's been years since I've been happy with a Creative Labs product. You have to go way back to their pre-Live! soundcards.

Since the Live!, Everything of their's I've purchased and/or used has been flakey: 3/4 of the way done, but never quite all the way.

I'm a person who doesn't like to settle for "good enough", and Creative's stuff is consistently a notch below "good enough" for me.

At this point I can't imagine anything coming close to the iPod in terms of usability, features, or aesthetics. Certainly not anything from Creative.

No OGG support. (0, Redundant)

Jeedo (624414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895876)

Personally i am not going to buy this product or any other audio player until i get support for my music files. Which are most in OGG Vorbis format.

I really would jump at the first audio player with OGG support, or flash ROM so i could add it myself.

Any tech-knowhow people here know why there is so little support in general for other audio formats? I heard somewhere that it was a problem of OGG taking up more FPU Power than other formats like MP3 anyone care to comment on that?

It's "Ogg" not "OGG" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895964)

Would people please stop saying "OGG"... That makes it look like it's an acronym, which it's not.

You can read about it here, straight from the horses mouth:

What about the "Sonicblue" box? (r.i.p) (1)

FooBarney (253298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895879)

The new iPod is a great (if evolutionary) development, and a 60Gb Zen has me drooling, but the player I've really been lusting after is the fate-unknown Pearl [] from now-defunct SonicBlue. It's smaller than the iPod, and includes an Ethernet-enabled docking station. All the early reports were good.

Alas, SonicBlue went bankrupt and sold its Rio assets to Denon, a major high-end home audio manufacturer. It's starting to look like the Pearl [] might never actually ship.

Between the two (Apple and Creative), for my money, I'd take an iPod. It has a dock, supports FireWire AND USB2, is quite a bit smaller and lighter, is Mac-friendly (if you're into that sort of thing) and is truly a brilliant piece of interface work. Also: when Apple ships the Windows version of its online music store later this year, you can be sure that iPod-for-Windows will be nicely supported.

The new Zen is bigger, but I listen to a LOT of music, and I've ripped every CD I've ever owned, plus years of Naptering and eMusic subscription, and my collection's only a little larger than 20Gb. It'll be a LONG time before I hit even the 40Gb barrier of the iPod--I can't imagine that I'd ever fill up a 60 gig drive. If you plan to use the player to shuffle around a lot of big files (graphics professionals?) in addition to using it as an audio player, then I might recommend the Zen, but 60 Gb is a LOT for just music.

Realtime Compression (0)

SlashdotMirrorer (669639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895882)

I believe that the time these "mass storage" mp3 devices will come into common usage and acceptance will be when they support some form of realtime mp3 compression to record to the device on the fly. I can't even count the number of times I've been sitting around and have wanted to record a good good joke I've heard, interesting lecture, or incriminating evidence on a friend. Why just the other day we were sitting around and came up with a wonderful joke involving people who read slashdot, a lack of bathing, the RIAA, a trained walrus, several assault rifles, and a copy of The O'Reilly factor. All lost to the sands of time. Good realtime compression would be an excellent feature!

More than "slightly larger." (1)

richard-parker (260076) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895900)

While the Nomad Zen is certainly a nice MP3 player with an excellent set of features, I think it is an exaggeration to say that it is only "slightly larger" than the 30GB iPod. Look at the specs for the 30GB iPod [] and the Nomad Zen [] . The Nomad Zen weighs 50% more than the 30GB iPod (268g vs. 176g). The volume of the Nomad Zen is more than 75% larger then the 30GB iPod (209 cm^3 vs. 118 cm^3).

Is the difference all that important? Maybe not, but of the two the Apple iPod is certainly the sleeker, and that will matter to some customers.

60 Gb is pretty nifty (1)

ulflj (565929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895911)

You could copy a couple of your DVDs to the zen for watching at friends, directly from the unit via the usb or firewire, heck, you could even have your favorite dvd-player software on the disk to be sure that you can play the DVD-files... (Even with 5-6 movies on your 60 gig zen you have plenty of place for music left)

What about Vorbis? (1)

mE123 (140419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895912)

Will it play Oggs [] ? They released the Integer only version of the codec months ago.

If I can't play half my music, I don't care how big the harddrive might be.


Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

Pocket-sized TiVO for AM/FM Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5895925)

How about a pocket-sized MP3 player that can also record some of the better radio shows and allow me to pauses and fast forward through commercials?

I found the Pogo Radio MyWay to do this. I haven't seen any other mp3 player that can do it.

More about the pocket-sized TiVo-like MP3 player []

Big enough? (2, Insightful)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895930)

At what point are the hard drives big enough? I know a lot of this has to do with software. With iTunes I can select playlists that I'd want to listen to so easily that 10 gig is more than enough. I have 20 gig of tunes, but rarely want all of it.

I know someone will say they have 30 gig of tunes and want all of it all the time. This to me is simple geek nonsense. You can't listen to that much in a reasonable fashion. Further needing it all probably says more about poor software and hardware than anything else. (IMO)

I use my iPod in my car and at the gym and at work. (To drown out my co-worker's Rush Limbaugh at times) I honestly can't imagine *why* you need more than perhaps 20 gig. I honestly can't.

If you are using it as a portable hard drive then, OK. I can understand. But the reason I like the iPod is that while it functions as a small hard drive for a few files, it is primarily a *player*.

The Zen has always had more features and yet, (3, Interesting)

webslacker (15723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895940)

The iPod has a more ergonomic and intuitive interface.

The iPod has better construction.

The iPod will work with the iTunes Music Store when it comes out for Windows later this year. The Zen won't. What does it work with, WMA's? Yes, for those wonderful WMA music stores that are all the rage nowadays.

The iPod is kicking its ass in the marketplace, and for good reason.

This isn't that complicated... (4, Insightful)

sterno (16320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895946)

What the ideal MP3 player is:

-The size of today's ipod or smaller
-Storage capacity of 5GB+
-FM Radio (I like to get NPR without carrying around a seperate device)
-Good sound quality
-Formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, and OGG
-Price: $250

I think this is easily achievable with today's technology. My money awaits the first company to make one.

Zen almost gets it but too big. IPod almost gets it but no FM tuner.

I want a car ogg/mp3 hard drive player (1)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895949)

Like most of you, I don't spend all day carrying around devices(besides a phone). I actually work and have to try and not look like I have dialysis hooked to my groin while doing so.

This, though, is what I need. I'd like to get this device as part of a car reciever so I can forgo having CD's slide around my car when a particular song sucks. I don't want to die in a car accident when the 15th song ends. This is the market for large storage. And no, I don't mean mounting it to the dashboard so I have yet another projectile in my car.. I mean I want it built into the reciever itself.

The carry all market needs to be made so small, it can't be seen. And this isn't it.

When walking down the street or driving, how many people have an iPod or whatever stuck to their waste/heads? How many people want this? How many songs could you listen to before you were to die of dehydration? Who needs this? Whether or not you want it is a different matter..

I would like to have a car reciever that has a 120 Gig hard drive, usb2.0, and can play anything xmms can play. Is that alot to ask?

Most people have cars, and drive to work, and drive back from work, and..- it's like an epiphany! People listen to most of their music in their cars.. Wow.

Anyway.. I'm gonna wait for the cluetrain to hit the market before I do.

Software? (1)

benntop (449447) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895951)

Don't forget about the software! One of the big positive points for the iPod on a Mac is that it work seamlessly with iTunes. All of my playlists are sync'd automatically and I can make lists of just my highest rated music, which makes managing space on the iPod a piece of cake.

Supreme Ruler S. Jobs has promised iTunes by the end of the year for Win32 (to get them onto the new music service). In calculating value of a portable device like this don't forget to factor in intangibles such as ease of use and integration...

The numbers please.... (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895966)

Nomad Zen:
Size: 75.9 x 112.6 x 24.5 mm
Weight: 268g

Size: 104.1 x 60.9 x 15.75 mm (18.5 mm for the 30 gb model)
Weight: 158g (176g for the 30gb model)

So the Zen at ~209.4 cc's is more than twice the size and almost 70% heavier than the 10 and 15 gig ipods (99 cc's), and still nearly twice as big and over 50% heavier than the 30 gig ipod.

That's more than a little bigger - it's the difference from dragging down your cargo pants and slipping into a shirt pocket. The new ipods are *TINY*. There is NO comparison with any other hard-disk based player.


Slightly larger? (1)

MasterVidBoi (267096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895969)

Based on the listed specs from the manufactures, the new 30gig iPod is ~121k mm^3, while the Nomad is ~201k mm^3. Almost twice as large.

The Nomad is also 50% heavier.

And the kicker, the Nomad numbers are for the 20GB model, compared to the 30GB iPod. I couldn't find numbers for the 60GB version. I have no idea how the size and weight of the 60GB model compare to the 20GB model. Personally, I would bet larger over smaller.

For those that haven't held it, the old iPod was almost identical in size to a deck of playing cards, and the controls fell right under the thumb of the holding hand, so you could hold and control it completely with only one hand. And the new iPods are a lot thinner than the old ones.

The scroll wheel design is great. The sensitivty and accleration are perfect. I could scroll through 2000 songs in about 4 seconds, and still land on exactly the one you want without overshooting, with about 1 minute of practice.

I haven't seen any interface on the Nomad that will actually let you find your songs in such a huge library.

Creative-ly shoddy support (5, Informative)

Bronz (429622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5895971)

In December we purchased an original Nomad Jukebox (10GB for $100 after Mail-in-Rebate). Exactly 96 days after purchase, the unit failed to boot. Creative's warranty, of course, was an impressive 90 days. Thinking back to the knee-jerk reaction of declining the Best Buy extended warranty, I felt like quoting some Khan from Star Trek II.

Anywho, I take care of my devices. The Jukebox still has the plastic covering the LCD. Ghetto, ya dig?

I engaged in an epic duel with Creative's tech support via e-mail. Sending extremely detailed reports to them, and met in return with extremely canned responses. Most often, the responses asked questions that I had already answered in the previous mail. Obviously, this wasn't going anywhere.

To make matters worse, it had been over the '6 to 8 week' waiting period and I still had no rebate check. Customer Service said 'sorry' and acknowledged the irony that the unit was out of warranty and broken before Creative could even be bothered to mail my rebate. And by that I mean they didn't acknowledge the irony. At all. They just didn't care.

Instead of pursuing the matter further with Creative's customer service, I used the 'protection' feature of my credit card to reimburse me for the unit, and swore off Creative for future products.

I don't doubt the Nomads have gotten better through the revisions. However, I try to judge a company equally between the good products they make and how they handle thier failures.

Buyer beware.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?