[review] Creative Zen Micro 5gb MP3 Player


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UltimateGeek

I don't see a review of this anywhere, and I feel like doing something, so I'll write a review for this.

So, raked in some b-day money, and surfed around Best Buy and was looking for what I could buy with $250. I wanted an MP3 player, so I kind of looked around in that area. I found this thing: A Creative Zen Micro 5gb MP3 player. Me, being stupid, was like "ZOMG 5GB WILL NEVERZ WORK FOR ME", but I realized I'd never fill up a 20gb iPod or whatever, unless if I had a bunch of crap I didn't even like to make me look more like a hardcore music fan. But, 5gb worked perfectly for me.

I would take pics of it running and stuff, but my camera sucks and it's battery is dead.

So, got it going, it came with 2 MP3s preloaded; some kind of nature music and some crap about "thx for buying teh leet creative zen microz!! with new 31337 features!!1". Didn't care, deleted that crap...

Loaded up a few albums and such on there and it worked well. But what sucked is the ocassional lag in between songs. I would skip a song, then I'd hear static for 5 seconds...and then it plays.

What I really like about it is that it's small, but not too small. For example, the iPod is pretty big in my personal opinion...my cousin has one and I can hardly fit it in my pocket (maybe my pockets are just small). But the iPod Nano or anything like that, you can drop it once and it's done. This is pretty much the right small.

Another great feature is that it's feature packed. One of them that I like is the integrated 8-bit microphone that records up to 10 minutes. Good for little voice memos and stuff like that. It's backlit brightly, so in the dark I can see it well (usually most MP3 players come with backlights these days, so meh). There's also an easily configurable removable disk option. I can just go in to this program, set it up for how much space I want to reserve for data, and whee. And when I'm bored, it's fun to play around with the menu options. :rofl:

Now, on to the big cons. If I drop it from like 2 inches high, you turn it on and a blue screen shows up and plays music, but you don't know what the heck you are doing. :p My strange way of reparing it: dropping it from a short height a few times and taking the battery in and out. That usually does it for some strange reason.

Accessories, like for most products these days are expensive. My battery died, and it costs $40 for a new one. :o

The battery life is average. I got it in July, the battery died in late November, 4 months.

So really, this is a nice little gadget to have, especially if you listen to a lot of music. It comes in like 10 colors, and it's $200 or so.

Here's the homepage: http://creative.com/products/mp3/zenmicro/

This is a must-buy for people who are short on cash and want a decent digital music player.

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lilcoopr

Hey!

I had a Creative Zen Micro for about 10 days and here's what I found:

- I didn't like the way the scroll feels. I found that it was too responsive at times and hard to select which menu option you want. I prefer the feel of the iPod or the Creative Zen Touch. This is mainly just personal preference though, and I find it most helpful to play around with it a bit before (either in the store or at home if there's a nice return policy) to see if you like the feel of it.

- The size was perfect. I agree with UltimateGeek when he says that it's the "right kind of small". It fits comfortably in your hand without feeling too light. Again, this is something that you need to test out on your own, because something can feel right to one person and not to the next.

- Transferring songs was relatively easy. Seeing as my last portable music player was the Sony Net MD Walkman, with it's hard-to-use-and-crash-happy software, this was definitely a nice change.

- The fact that it has a built-in mini harddrive is excellent. You can partition how much you want to use as music storage and as file storage. This is a great feature for transferring files and what not. An excellent replacement for a jumpdrive, perhaps.

- I never really paid attention to the battery life. I charged it about three times in the 10 day period, but then again, I was transferring songs and playing around with the menus a lot.

The main reason I didn't keep the Creative Zen Micro was because I have almost 30 gb of music and I didn't like not having everything with me. Honestly, it's not like I want to listen to every single song I have every time I want to go out, but it was tedious for me to choose which songs to bring and seeing that it was full brought a frown to my face. I would definitely buy back this product and keep it if it came in a 40 or 60 gb version, but alas, it looks like I'm stuck with an iPod.

The last word: if your music collection fits, buy it. If you can deal with all your music not fitting, buy it. If you want to have picture storage as well, check out the new version: the Creative Zen MicroPhoto. I haven't used this before and just noticed it on the site above.

...and thanks UltimateGeek for the review :)

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GNRambo
Loaded up a few albums and such on there and it worked well. But what sucked is the ocassional lag in between songs. I would skip a song, then I'd hear static for 5 seconds...and then it plays.

Update your firmware to 2.20.05, a big performance increase for me.

Link to new firmware for XP only

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icecaveman

One thing I like to add, you can change how responsive it is!

If you update it with Plays For sure firmware you can connect it to any computer with WMP10 and use it as external HDD as well. Without the need to use the crappy partition feature.

I feel mine was incomplete until I got the remote.

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PaulCabby

I'm surprised you haven't had the headphone jack problem.

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Lonst3r

The headphone jack problem really isn't as common as most people think it is. I do Tech Support for Creative, and I don't hear too many calls regarding that problem. When I do though, the player is replaced for free. I have had a 5GB Zen Micro since April, and I have had no problems with it whatsoever.

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icecaveman

Actually I had the headphone jack problem, but my player was repaired although I lost one of the channel on the radio while they were at it :( Then after few weeks it started to come again then I ripped the player appart myself and have never had the problem since

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UltimateGeek

...and thanks UltimateGeek for the review :)

No problem, I wasn't suspecting to come back home from school with a topic full of replies.

I'm surprised you haven't had the headphone jack problem.

Hmm, I may have had that problem (the sound started coming through bad), but I think it was just the headphones, but the battery died to quick for me to try another pair.

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OPaul

My headphones broke within a couple of months, and the damn warranty on accessories only lasts like 1 month. Still, a great player.

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Tungsten T

Great review.

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hotrod1

Hmm, I see your battery only lasted for 4 months, I got my Zen Micro in August so I guess the battery will be needing a replacement in a month or 2 then.

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JustGeorge

What is the deal with these expensive music players and batteries anyway?! Is it too much to ask for a hatch on the back of the player so the consumer replace the battery themselves? Guess its good business for companies to charge $60 bucks to replace a $10 battery :/

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Lonst3r

Great review.

You shouldn't need to get your battery replaced at all.

The reason most people need to replace their batteries after X amount of months is due to bad charging habits or the fact that when they initially charged their battery, they didn't get a full charge. That can really affect the total battery life that you get.

And by the way, if you have a battery problem, it is covered for a year, just like the player. It is a free replacement, just call tech support.

:)

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lofi

I did not like the standard earbuds that came with the player. They were horrible for me. A lot of hissing sounds. Not quite a big downer.

I hope I don't get this headphone jack problem. I have dropped this thing twice so far but the gel case i bought ($30CND!!) seemed to have absorbed the impact.

The touchpad was easy enough to figure out in less than a min. Super sensitive at default lowest setting but way better at medium setting.

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lofi

I have to add that the removable disk feature is a big plus. For the laptops that do not have floppy drives the Micro is a nice handy gadget to have.

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hobblyhoy

personaly I though roxy290 tidbit was more helpful then OP.

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Quillz

Has the flaws of this DAP been fixed in the newer Zen MicroPhoto? I know the space has been upgraded to 8 gigs.

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UltimateGeek

/me is an idiot

My god, I plugged it to charge, and it works...for god's sake, can't believe I didn't do that. :D

I'll try to get screenies and crap later.

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OPaul

What is the deal with these expensive music players and batteries anyway?! Is it too much to ask for a hatch on the back of the player so the consumer replace the battery themselves? Guess its good business for companies to charge $60 bucks to replace a $10 battery :/

... this is a Zen Micro review, not an IPod. Zen Micro's have a removable battery.

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TaiCrunch

What's this headphone jack problem you guys are talking about? I've never had a problem with the headphone jack.

I've had a Zen Micro for a few weeks and the only problem I've had so far was this morning when it just froze for no reason. But it's better now.

- I didn't like the way the scroll feels. I found that it was too responsive at times and hard to select which menu option you want. I prefer the feel of the iPod or the Creative Zen Touch. This is mainly just personal preference though, and I find it most helpful to play around with it a bit before (either in the store or at home if there's a nice return policy) to see if you like the feel of it.

You can change the sensitivity.

System > Player Settings > Touchpad > Sensitivity: Low

I didn't like the sensitivity either until I turned it down. Now it's perfect.

I'm totally loving the organizer on there. It's great to have a calendar and address book with your MP3 player.

The only thing I don't like is that the FM radio doesn't pick up stations too well. But then again, if I wanted an FM radio, I would have bought one.

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PLCorndog

there is a problem where soldering point of the headphone jack to the main chip in your player comes lose, and the sound will cut out... i had this problem, but fixed it myself... no soldering required :D just took it apart, and wedged some thin cardstock between the protective metal cover for the headphone and usb jack... and voila!!! it was securely wedged down

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Guest sendmarksmail

What's the difference between the regular firmware and the playforsure firmware? Is one better than the other? In the download site, there's two firmwares to choose from, regular one and a playforsure one? Which one are you guys using? Sorry to ruin your great review, but this just came up. Thanks everyone

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SamNeeds

Nice review but i'll stick with my Zen Touch which is perfect!

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OPaul

What's the difference between the regular firmware and the playforsure firmware? Is one better than the other? In the download site, there's two firmwares to choose from, regular one and a playforsure one? Which one are you guys using? Sorry to ruin your great review, but this just came up. Thanks everyone

Use the Playforsure if you plan on syncing your Zen with Windows Media Player 10, otherwise stick with the other.

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UltimateGeek

Nice review but i'll stick with my Zen Touch which is perfect!

Actually, I wanted to get something like that (more features/space/blah), but me being a tightwad and crap...

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