Daily Archives: 04/21/2007

Creative Zen Vision M – 30 Gig mp3 Player

CreativeZenVisionM1.jpgAs many of the readers of this blog are aware, Mrs. Depraved Brain recently celebrated a birthday. I was surprised when she asked for a mp3 player. She had wanted me to get a 30 gig Toshiba Gigabeat model; however, I could not locate one at any of the local stores.

I started checking around and began talking to the sales people at Best Buy. We opted to get a Creative Zen Vision M 30 gig model instead. I must say, it is a handy little unit, certainly much better than the smaller 4 gig more common units on the market. This is much more than just an mp3 player.

It holds videos, photos, songs (anything in mp3 format), and will even serve as a portable hard drive. You can actually put computer data on the unit. At 30 gigs, you have a lot of room to grow.

While the price was quite a bit higher than the smaller units, I’m glad we sprung for this unit. Our total cost including an extended warrenty, carrying case, charger, and other accessories came to about $350. The unit itself was about $229. OK, we overspent, but she is pleased with it which is the bottom line.

Her new Honda CR-V has an outlet in which you can plug in an mp3 player. Also, the CD unit in the Honda will also play CDs which has mp3s on them. That’s a nice feature. I cut a mp3 CD every week for that week’s talk radio shows. It’s nice to know I can put that into the CD and listen to the shows days, weeks, or months after their original airing date.

I must say the Creative Zen Vision M, as well as most other mp3 players, are geared for the younger set. It took me forever to figure out how to rip CDs onto it and download mp3 songs. It took even more time to figure out how to configure the handheld unit to our liking and how to transfer my talk shows.

It wasn’t easy; I even found the manual not to be too much help. Of course, it comes with software, but apparently all of this sort of stuff, is just automatically known by the younger generation. Creating ‘playlists’, ‘albums’, and favorites was a chore to learn.

I was able to transfer over all of the recent photos of Jackson. That’s a nice treat, as you can create a slideshow for everyone to see. Apparently you can also download movies and TV shows to the unit. Naturally, there’s a cost for downloads. Using Rhapsody (Best Buy’s website) or Napster, runs into money. It costs something like 89 or 99 cents per song to download. Of course, you are also limited to the number of devices you put these songs on.

However, in about 3 hours I was able to ‘rip’ the CDs we own and download onto the unit. I probably put about 20 of Nora’s albums into the unit.

Yesterday, I fooled around with downloading this past week’s Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh shows. It took a little bit to learn how to transfer my downloaded mp3 shows into the unit, but I did get it to work.

The audio quality with the headphones is outstanding. Once you get used to the unit it is very nice.

There are tons of accessories that you can get. One is a base unit with speakers. You can just drop your Creative Zen into the slot and use it as a regular radio. Speaking of radio, the unit also has a FM radio tuner it. There is even a method for transfering your home videos to it.

I like to listen to talk radio when I get in bed. I used the unit last night and listened to a few talk radio programs. I must say I really like the unit; so much in fact that I just might ask for one when my birthday comes in a few months.

Mine won’t have the same type of songs of it. Mrs. Depraved Brain, being 12 years younger, likes a different type of music. While she really likes songs from the 80’s, I’m been stuck in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s for years. I’ll just have to pull out some of my ‘oldies’ CDs and rip them, along with my light jazz. I like an instrumental light jazz – Kenny G, George Howard, Naje, etc. I also enjoy Sade, Barry White, and Luther Van Dross. I did ‘sneak’ some of them onto her unit.

I have seen the 30 gig model as low as $175 and the 60 gig model as low as $255. For an extra $75, I’d say it would be worth it to get the higher capacity unit. 60 gigs might seem like a lot; however, when you start downloading about 600 megs every week for talk radio alone, it does fill up fast. Of course, after a week or so, you just delete the older shows. Perhaps I’ll just ask for the same unit.