Creative Takes on iPod Shuffle With ZEN Stone

Creative is taking on the second generation Apple iPod Shuffle, a tiny flash-based MP3 player that starts at $79.99 USD, with its new $39.99 USD ZEN Stone. The tiny 1GB player can hold up to 250 songs, can operate for 10 hours on a single charge (compared to 12 hours for the iPod Shuffle) and is available in black, blue, green, pink, red and white. The ZEN Stone will also come to market with the $39.99 Creative TravelSound ZEN Stone which turns the MP3 player into a portable speaker system. The TravelSound ZEN Stone will be available in black or white and can operate for 20 hours with two AAA batteries. Both products will be available at online retailers and in B&M stores on May 14.

"The Creative ZEN Stone, at just $39.99, opens up a huge new market for MP3 players. This is an incredible price for everyone to get a superior quality MP3 player capable of holding up to 250 songs. Whether it's your only player or a second player to take with you anywhere, the low price lets you think of MP3 players in a whole new way. You can loan it to a friend just like you would a CD or a mix tape and not have to worry about it, but you'll like it so much that you'll want another, so you always have one with you," said Creative chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo.

Link: More Information
News source: DailyTech

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IMHO a micro device mustn't be called "stone" or "brick".

Anyways a Creative Zen 1gb for just $40 is perfect for almost any entry level users.

It's got all the functionality of a shuffle with a killer price. As long as you don't have to use Creative software to load music it's a great deal. You just can't argue with that.

this is exactly what they need to start doing to compete with apple. i think a big problem for them is you dont see any creative marketing even close to the amount apple pushes. and with simplicity that apple does with ipod, nano, and shuffle makes it easy. "its an ipod". when people ask me what my device is called, "creative zen vision M" is a bit of a mouthful. they have a lot of different products that are very similar. they need to trim down and simplify their product line i think..

what i do like, is that with creative ones you can throw music or files on using it as a mass storage device

What a great move by Creative. This is one of the best moves they've done in a while and it will surely sell well for people that want a little device to exercise or to just occasionally hear music while they commute.

Psst, I don't know whether you heard, but someone else had had already released something that did all this a while back...

I think Creative is finally catching on. Make what Apple makes, but sell it for half the price.

/play-pause button is a bit small...will it be easy to press it w/o hitting another button?

Well Captain Obvious, how much innovation do you wanna put in such a tiny device? Even if it is not a bit better than the iPod Shuffle, it supports WMA, its design is very nice and it only costs half. =p

They look really nice to me. "ZEN Stone" doesn't imply anything small or lightweight, but it does have a nice ring to it.

Creative make much better players than Apple in my opinion but they don't market, add that to the fact that you walk into any electronics store they have every iPod made and about 50 billion accessories for it, not everyone stocks Creative and those who do usually can't keep new products in stock.

Creative players are so much better than Apple and I really don't understand why anyone buys those ipods. WHy would I want to be locked into using Itunes? At least i can plug my creative in any PC and trasfer tunes to it by drag and drop.

it's bigger, it's heavier, it has no extra features and it's got 4 hours less playback than a shuffle, lol, I can see why some of you are impressed...

way to go creative(ironic name if ever there was one)

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They should have called it the Creative Clone.

This thing looks almost identical to the shuffle! Right down to having all the circular controls on the right side of the player with nothing on the left. Apart from the lack of a clip and aluminum enclosure, this thing could be the lost dropped-on-it's-face-at-birth twin of the shuffle.

Kudos to Creative for bringing a clearly strong competitor to the market, but where's the originality? Where's the individuality? IMO all Creative have done here is mimicked the shuffle at a lower price.

This is good news.

Hopefully this will change the sickening trend that bugs me to no end.

When people download a .mp3 file (like the ones I create after the sermon on Sundays), they always refer to them as "podcasts". They are audio files that have nothing to do with apple but according to the masses any audio file that you download and list to later is a "podcast".

do you also get annoyed when someone refers to a facial tissue as a "kleenex" or a cotton swab as a "q-tip"? does it fill you with rage that a good third of the country refers to all soft drinks as "coke"? Do you want to punch someone when they refer to the adhesive bandage on your arm as a "band-aid"? do you recoil in horror when someone refers to your phone book as "the yellow pages"?

popular names become ubiquitous and eventually refer to all items of that type. Get over it.

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