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MP3 player patent awarded to Creative

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 30 Aug 2005 13:25 User comments (14)

MP3 player patent awarded to Creative Creative Technology, one of the first companies in the world to produce MP3 players has been awarded a patent for the interface used on many digital music players on the market. Creative said not only does the patent apply to its own MP3 players, but it also applies to Apple's iPod music players also. Creative is Apple's biggest rival and the company is seeking to out market Apple.
Creative boss Sim Wong Hoo had said the company was taking aim straight at Apple and that he MP3 war had started. Currently Apple's iPod has about 80% of the MP3 player market. The patent that was awarded to Creative details how files are organised on an MP3 player. For example, the basic MP3 player would first show a list of artists, when an artist is selected, a list of albums would appear and then finally a list of tracks on the album.

Creative applied for the patent back in January 2001 and was awarded the patent on 9th August. "The first portable media player based upon the user interface covered in our Zen Patent was our Nomad Jukebox MP3 player," said Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo. "The Apple iPod was only announced in October 2001, 13 months after we had been shipping the Nomad Jukebox based upon the user interface covered by our Zen Patent."

Creative is hoping to take a slice out of the iPod's share of the market with its newer Zen models, which support video playback.

Source:
BBC News

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14 user comments

130.8.2005 13:33

Damn Right. The Sound Of The Zen Is Much Better that that of the over priced, over purchased & overrated pod

230.8.2005 13:35

thank you thank you thank you ( a million times) lethal b I have been preaching that to EVERYONE, and it seems im the only one who seemed to think so,

330.8.2005 14:36

Well well, it seems that Zen (IMHO) is doomed. If they take apple to court then more-then-likely apple will win. Look at the itunes.co.uk article. The man who owned that domain purchased it a month (or so) before apple copyrighted ituneouts. The stupid judge who could not tell dates correctly awarded the domain to apple and left the man, who rightfully owned the domain, with nothing.

430.8.2005 14:46

Can you store photos on Zens I think not, Do zens have their own music download site I think not. Apple will win 10/10 in a battle against Creative there just more powerful!



530.8.2005 15:39

This by no means the end of either device. It does however mean that apple will HAVE to license from Creative to continue selling their next gen devices. The flip side of this is that Creatie HAS to license this IDEA because it is so broad ranged and had to keep licensing fees to literraly a bear minimum. IMO, Creative, if they're smart won't take Apple to court unless Apple doesn't license the idea for their items. Zen, Sony, Samsung, and Apple will battle it out and i bet each will have their pros and cons, simular to Camcorders or Portable CD players.

631.8.2005 5:50

Being the first doesn't mean one will succeed. The RIO PMP300 wasn't TECHNICALLY the first commercial player, but it was certainly the first MP3 player that was a commercial success. Where is RIO now?


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731.8.2005 16:35

I own a creative zen Xtra 30GB, and I did own an Ipod for a period of time. I like the Zen more for a couple of reasons. 1st and most importantly the sound. The sound is what I bought the player for, not for a gimmicky wheel, not for looking at pictures. I also like the software that comes with it for interfacing with the computer. I dont like that I can't browse my music in folders and files, but I couldn't do that on the Ipod I "Borrowed" for a month either. Lethal_B, you are right, the sound is better, and the Ipod is overpriced, and overrated, and therefore overpurchased. Pop_Smith, I see where you are coming from, but I don't think that Apple beating one man in court is comprable to a legal battle between 2 of the industy's leaders. J-Kwon, Yes you can store photos on a Zen, you cannot however look at them on its screen. Zens dont have their own download site, and rightfully so. The people (in general) who buy Zens do it because they want sound quality and a low price. They want the low price because they are usually cheap, or broke (or too cheap/broke to drop more than a hundred and a half on a music player). The people who are too cheap/broke to do this are usually too cheap/broke to buy alot of music, either in stores or online at Apple's site. Zen users make up a large portion of the "illegal music file sharing community" that use MP3 players. Djgizmo, you are right, this is not the end of either company, it will take a long term plan and good execution (not to mention luck) for either one to rub out the other. Tinfoil, no one is saying that because Creative was the 1st with their interface that they will be more successful or "better". The fact, however, is that Creative has the patent on their interface, which Ipod apparently uses. Overall I think the helps to even the playing field, although it is still pretty one sided (Apple has overpriced products and 80% of the market (and great advertising to boot), and they also have other products (computers, software, etc...) which helps to back them up financially. Creative has low priced quality products that don't sell nearly as well and Ipods. This gives them a financial disadvantage). However, this may be a first step in Creative's quest to overcome the Ipod giant. Let me know what you think. -Frank Podojil

831.8.2005 17:01

A number of you mention that the Creative Zen is a better sounding player. I'd like to know if you are using the stock phones or not, and if not, what you are using. After my history with Creative sound cards vs. my current M-Audio sound card, I have a hard time believing that a Creative product has good sound. While I've found that the stock phones that came with the iPod were pretty horrid, after I popped my Sens or my Porta Pros on it, I found the iPod sounded quite good, though perhaps a little thin on the extreme low end. Perhaps I should try and get my hands on one for a bit to compare.

931.8.2005 18:09

I used Sony MDR-V150 headphones ($20) for both players, I have no expirience with their sound cards, but the sound quality on the player is superior to the Ipod's.

101.9.2005 5:00

I own both a creative zen and 4th gen ipod. In my opinion the zen is miles ahead in sound quality which is primarily why I let my missus have the ipod. She tells me though that apparently it's more about looks than function....although seeing as lemming syndrome means just about every other person has an ipod, it's not as if they're eyecatching anymore. In terms of being able to store photos etc on my ipod..have never used this facility and cant see the point of it seeing as my camera and phone has enough memory for a ridiculous amount of high res photos. Besides, it would only be a bigger drain on what is already an abismal battery life. More significantly, I think you have to be either thick or lazy to buy music from itunes (have been using mp3search.ru @ 10c a track for a few years now). I think the best thing about the ipod is itunes itself although I have been shocked by how ram hungry the application can be. my two cents

111.9.2005 9:47

Quote:
A number of you mention that the Creative Zen is a better sounding player. I'd like to know if you are using the stock phones or not, and if not, what you are using. After my history with Creative sound cards vs. my current M-Audio sound card, I have a hard time believing that a Creative product has good sound.
You're not really comparing apples to apples. You're trying to compare beer (Creative Sound Blaster series) to a decent wine (M-Audio) Both get the job done, but one tastes better and doesn't make you regret for getting it. You'd probably be better off comparing the E-MU seres sound cards to the M-Audio.

121.9.2005 10:02

Quote:
You're not really comparing apples to apples. You're trying to compare beer (Creative Sound Blaster series) to a decent wine (M-Audio) Both get the job done, but one tastes better and doesn't make you regret for getting it. You'd probably be better off comparing the E-MU seres sound cards to the M-Audio.
You won me over when you said beer.

133.9.2005 14:26

I've listened to an ipod and I own a zen 20meg, the zen is far superior in sound quality, though I do urge people to buy new earphones for it. One of the more crucial points that no-one has stated is that the Zen has a 24 hour battery life compared to the Ipods meagre 8 hour, for me this is vital as I travel from UK to asia a lot. I can get there and back without re-charging the battery. The last thing I want is my MP3 player to die on the plane journey and be forced to watch the crappy films :D

143.9.2005 19:23

When I was shopping for an MP3 player, i didn't even consider an iPod. They were way outta my price range. I ended up deciding between a 20gb Zen and the iRiver H320, which i ended up buying ($500AUD). The guy at the shop said they were both good, but the Zen's didn't last as long, the iRiver are much better built. The iRiver is the way to go. It had photo viewing capability way before the iPod, it doesn't need special software, and has upgradable firmware. It's definately the best. The iPod has no real advantage over the competition. The only thing it has is its little wheel thing, and iTunes is only good if you have a credit card, which i imagine cuts out a good proportion of their market

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