Waging a self-proclaimed “war” against Apple’s iPod, Creative Technology Ltd. on Wednesday continued its assault with the
Zen Vision MP3 player. The 30GB digital music player features a 3.7-inch color screen and the ability to play video content as well as view digital still images. It’s available for pre-order for US$399.99.
The Zen Vision’s 3.7-inch LCD display works at 640 x 480 pixel resolution — significantly larger and higher-resolution than Apple’s color iPods. The device measures 4.9 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches, weighing in at 8.4 ounces.
The Zen Vision plays back MP3 audio and features a built-in /FM radio with 32 presets and FM recording. It has a built-in microphone as well. Microsoft “PlaysForSure”-certified, the Zen Vision works with downloaded music from services from Napster, MSN Music, Music Now and other services. FairPlay-encrypted music, bought from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, doesn’t work with portable music players beside the iPod.
The Zen Vision can play back video formats including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 “Simple Profile” formats including DivX and Xvid, WMV and MJPEG. It also supports TivoToGo, enabling TiVo users to transfer recorded TV shows through their computer.
The Zen Vision can also view digital photos, and touts a composite video out conector to display photos on the TV. A built-in speaker lets users play audio without using headphones. And an integrated “Plug&View” slot supports data transfer from Compact Flash Type I and Type II media. Creative also makes an optional CF Adapter that enables the Zen Vision to work with 17 different flash media variations. It connects to compatible computers using USB 2.0 (system requirements, according to Creatice, call for a Windows XP-based PC only).
The Zen Vision will ship with rechargeable, removble battery, AC adapter, USB 2.0 cable, earphones, AV cable and protective pouch. It’s being made in pearl white and black finishes.