Battle of the iPod and the Zen..


So I found that the iPod Classic has some Audio issues. See here and here. Hence, I decided not to go for it.. Might not be a big deal for most, but I won’t be happy.. With that in mind the 5.5G iPod Video looks like a good buy. It’s cheaper, and has great audio, and all the things the Classic has, except it’s only 30G/60G and there is no coverflow (who cares abt it anyway)….

The world of technolgy is full of dualities or battles..Nvidia vs ATI
XBOX360 vs PS3
Blue-ray vs HD-DVD
vi vs emacsFor me.. there has always been another one..

Apple iPod vs Creative Zen.

And after I dropped my Zen Vision:M a couple of weeks back (yes yes.. I know I am stupid…), I am looking for a new Portable Media Player.. and I have shortlisted the iPod Classic 80G and the Creative Zen 16G .

Here’s the comparison..

iPod Zen
Storage 80G HDD 16G Flash
Screen 2.5″ TFT LCD 2.5″ TFT LCD
Screen Res 320×240 320×240
FPS 30 30
Color Depth 16bpp 24bpp
Batt (Video) 5/7hrs 5hrs
Audio Formats MP3, AAC-DRM, Apple Lossless, AAC, WAV, Audible, AIFF MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM, WAV, Audible
Video Formats H.264, MPEG4, Quicktime WMV, DivX, Xvid, AVI, MJPEG
Enhanced Podcast? Yes No
Extensibility No SD Card Slot
Built-in Radio No Yes
Built-in Mic No Yes

After all that… I am still lost.. Or maybe I should just wait for Macworld… Till then my old MD player still sounds sweet.. :)


8 comments so far

  1. Daniel on

    Did you just mix up the ipod and the zen’s photo?

  2. NTT on

    Oh yea.. Hahahaha.. OK corrected.. Thanks.

  3. Andrew on

    By the way, the Zen does support non-protected AAC. I’ve been obsessed over the last week researching and narrowing down my choices of players, and then found this post. I’ve narrowed my choice down to the same two devices along with the SansaView 16gb, which apparently does a much better job of incorporating its SD card and because it’s possible to play video on your TV. There’s also a new 32gb version of the Zen, which was available for about five minutes before being sold out last week. The 160 gigabytes, and the fact that Ipod has so many damned aftermarket items out there, tempt me greatly, but then again, the specter of dropping a HDD-based Ipod (and the lack of multiple bookmark support) lean me towards the Zen/Sansa View choices. If I can get the 32gb Zen I think I’ll go with that; otherwise, I can’t make up my mind.

  4. NTT on

    Hi Andrew,

    The codec’s listed are actually those which the players can play by default. The trascoding software bundled with the Zen is able to tanscode almost any video and audio format to something that’s supported.

    The 32G Zen is not only sold out, but it’s also not in the same price range, it’s around S$100 more than the 16G.. So I didn’t really look at that.

    The Sansa View looks good, though I read that it’s audio is not as amazing as the Zen. Also, I found out that the 6G iPod Classics actually have a bit of an audio problems.

    So, now I am looking at the old 5.5G video iPod instead.. who cares about the coverflow.. :p

  5. Tianhong on

    it will be down to price differentiation. zen will have to lower their price to compete with iPod.

  6. Tianhong on

    but even so, will it make a difference :P

  7. NTT on


    Well, it’s not really a 1-to-1 competition. The Zen is flash based and the Classic is HDD. And large flash chips are very expensive for now. So there is no way Creative can bring it down to similar price range to the classic… atleast for now..

    But, as an interesting conlusion to this post, I ended up getting a reburbished 5.5th Gen iPod Video, just because of the enhanced Podcast support, and the saving of transcoding time.

    I have used it for a week, and I feel that it has the WORST audio and video quality among all the PMPs I have used.. And I am not exgagerating..

    Ah well..

  8. Anything but Ipod on

    Well in all ways i feel the Zen beats the Ipod. Personally all that Mp4 reconverting will drive me insane. If you think 32g is small look at it this way. 32g is 30 DVD rips and 5000 songs. it may not be your whole library but still 30 movies that you can easily delete is alot. Also if you have some important files you can save it to the SDHC card. the risk of the Zen breaking is much less.

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