AfterDawn: Tech news

Creative announces player to rival iPod Shuffle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 May 2007 13:43 User comments (28)

Creative announces player to rival iPod Shuffle Creative has announced that they will be releasing a rival to the iPod Shuffle, named the ZEN Stone. The tiny 1 GB flash-based player will cost $39.99 and can hold up to 250 songs and will compete against the $79.99 2nd gen Shuffles.
The ZEN Stone will be available on May 14th in black, blue, green, red, pink, and white.

"The Creative ZEN Stone, at just $39.99, opens up a huge new market for MP3 players,"
said Creative chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo. "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."

Along with the ZEN Stone, Creative will be releasing the companion TravelSound Zen Stone, which turns the MP3 player into a portable speaker system. The TravelSound operates on AAA batteries and has advertised 20 hour life.

Source:
DailyTech

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28 user comments

13.5.2007 13:54

Another ipod ripoff to add to the list

23.5.2007 14:06

Quote:
Another ipod ripoff to add to the list
100% agree

33.5.2007 14:13

Ok, this is getting stupid. Why do companys always try and copy the ipod?? The ipod will always beat some stupid copy. Why dont creative be exactly that creative and come up with something BETTER than the ipod with different intresting CREATIVE features!

IMO anyway

43.5.2007 14:33

It's actully $50 if you buy the clip.

53.5.2007 14:36

Quote:
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."

i think this guy is a bit excited about his product, - he's rambling on a bit. Yes because i need two mp3 players on me at all times. I think my friend can go and buy one if they really need one.

when is someone going to come out and compete with the real ipods, and make the ipods stop being so expensive?

63.5.2007 15:15

I dont understand why people WOULDNT choose this over a shuffle? 40 dollars for a player that doesnt need iTunes to sync seems worth it in itself. Plus, i trust Creative more than Apple..i know my player will last for more than 1 year like most iPods do.

73.5.2007 15:43
jinggoy
Inactive

I've always been a fan of the Creative products and they are excellent quality. I might buy this for my track running. Plus the ipods are too trendy for and and always having to keep up with the newest one. So yay for creative!

83.5.2007 16:05

I have an iPod and love it bet i do like some of creatives players because they can play back DivX. i think creative should stop trying to compete with the ipod and try to compete with the appletv.

93.5.2007 16:17

Originally posted by tucker001:
I have an iPod and love it bet i do like some of creatives players because they can play back DivX. i think creative should stop trying to compete with the ipod and try to compete with the appletv.
Mate its the same thing. Just because its TV does not mean its not Apple. They compete with each other everyday thats normal. The only thing they should do is come out with a completely new original idea.

103.5.2007 16:18
mark5hs
Inactive

the only reason ipod is so succesful is because of the name. there are lots of competitors that are much better but the majority of people who own an ipod have never heard of the other ones. though I could really care less about shuffle and this one. a 1gb sansa that has a screen will cost the same

113.5.2007 17:01

Apple copied Creative. Creative held the patent for mp3 players long before apple did. Apple had to pay a huge amount of cash to settle this dispute between the two companies.

iPod is extremely successful because they advertise their product. Average Joe Schmoe user doesn't know the difference between an "iPod" and an "mp3" player. To them, everything is an iPod. Just like Xerox and Kleenex.

123.5.2007 17:06

Thats true but I was just saying I think if Creative made something similar to appletv that could play DivX, XviD, wmv, hd, etc and so on I think the appletv would be done for.

133.5.2007 18:50

Quote:
[quote]Another ipod ripoff to add to the list
100% agree[/quote]Yes, I believe this is the 6,569,037th ripoff to be exact.

144.5.2007 0:20

Originally posted by Unfocused:
Apple copied Creative. Creative held the patent for mp3 players long before apple did. Apple had to pay a huge amount of cash to settle this dispute between the two companies.

Exactly, good point, Unfocused. I owned the very first (commercially available) mp3 player, the Diamond RIO (pmp300) back in '98. They fought the RIAA back then for almost a year to get that player released, and if they had lost, we might not be in the situation we are now, vis-a-vie portable audio players.

It really gripes my butt that people will argue that Apple is being ripped off when anyone else DARES to make an mp3 player... especially considering that Apple didn't get into the game until 3 years later. The ipods are great products, but check into the history before throwing around these recriminations.

/rant off

154.5.2007 10:59
ZeroHour
Inactive

yeah i bought one of the first mp3's mad the RCA lyra. but ipod is to big for anything to overthrow it anytime soon i own 3 ipods video, shuffle, and mini and my friends have multiple ipods. ipod is really the only known name in mp3 players and to the average person that does not know their mp3 history they think ipod's were the first and eveythin else is a ripoff

164.5.2007 13:32
duckNrun
Inactive

As an iPod owner but NOT an apple fanboy:

I was looking for a flash player and bought a 2nd gen shuffle for ONE reason I was unsure about buying some non name brand from china when it came to how it would sound and I knew the shuffle/ipod sounded good based upon how people loved them. I currently now also own a Nano (thought I lost the shuffle for a while). I am happy with both devices

You can use WinAmp instead of iTunes (I DO!) and had I not been able to I wouldn't have bought an iPod.

I WOULD NOT buy a HDD based iPod, instead choosing a Creative Zen Vision:M instead due to format choices.

Had this creative device been available at the time 2 months ago I would have purchased it instead.

As for copying rants....I wouldn't say it is a copy. The ones that LOOK JUST LIKE a shuffle are copies. Just because it plays music does not make it a copy. Just because it uses flash does not make it a copy. Just because it is designed to be small and therefore not support a screen does not make it a copy. And for the HDD based ones the hard drive doesn't make it a copy either. Get a grip...

175.5.2007 6:38

Just because iPod & Apple have brand name does not make it better. Only thing the owners have are bragging rights.

When you talk about 250 songs you are talking about 1000 minutes of playing time. Honestly how many people have listened to all of 2500 (100,000 minutes) and more of the songs they have on their mp3 players? Other than "I have it too" it has no value. First of all factor in the number of minutes you actually listen to mp3s stored on your players. Divide into 100,000 & may be you will repeat the song 1 year's time.

iPod also is not that original either. I have been an owner of a device called Media Player that can play mp3 songs, mpeg videos & jpeg slide shows. Accepts cf & sd/mmc flash cards. This is more than 7 years old, made redundant by WinXP (driver problem). But hhey I am still on 2k so no problems for me. Only thing it does not have is a display or speakers. Simply connect to a TV, pc or music system/powered speakers & you are all set. It of course also allows transfer of files in conventional manner. It was designed to relieve one of carrying bulky laptops for presentations.

What Creative is doing is putting a rival product on the market. They are not claiming it to be a clone. Nothing wrong with it. Whether it meets the needs/requirement of the end users is for tevery individyal to decide.

185.5.2007 10:31

Originally posted by pmshah:


When you talk about 250 songs you are talking about 1000 minutes of playing time. Honestly how many people have listened to all of 2500 (100,000 minutes) and more of the songs they have on their mp3 players? Other than "I have it too" it has no value. First of all factor in the number of minutes you actually listen to mp3s stored on your players. Divide into 100,000 & may be you will repeat the song 1 year's time.
Well that's if you put it on random play and just listen to all your music. I think most people get their 60GB mp3 players so that they can have all their music with them so if they get an urge to listen to any specific song they can just listen to it as opposed to maybe having to going home hook their mp3 player up to the computer and exchange their playlist for a fresh 250 songs. In fact I'd say that wide variety is the main draw of mp3 players in general. Because we already had mp3 CDs for people who only wanted a handful of their favorite songs with them at any time and now we have a product, Creative's ZEN Stone, which can really compete with the mp3 CD market at around 50 bucks a pop.

195.5.2007 15:04

it'd be like a shuffle..cept good

205.5.2007 19:03

LOLZ! Has anyone EVER heard of PushPlayDigital.com ???

I mean, for christs sake; if you REALLY wanted an Ipod knockoff; then go there and get one; because they have REALLY ripped off Apple with the look of their Nano Mp4 playerz!!lol [plus, they're cheap as hell...]

216.5.2007 10:44

Originally posted by Halen5150:
LOLZ! Has anyone EVER heard of PushPlayDigital.com ???
I actually hadn't heard of it before, but thanks for the link. I did buy a similar MP4 player on eBay. It was advertised as a 4GB player, but turned out to just be a 2GB player with hacked memory. Still, it's 200% better than the iPod Nano and was 1/4 of the cost (and plays movies). My kid is loving it.

My wife just bought a pink iPod Shuffle. Had I known that this Creative product was coming out, I would've made her wait and get it. Apple may have the market share when it comes to portable players, but that just means there are a lot of stupid people out there (myself and my family included) who run in a herd like sheep to buy the popular namebrand when there are superior (or virtually identical but cheaper) products available under a different namebrand. In my defense, every Apple product brought into this house has been with my objections, as I despise the entire iPod line.

My family owns three different iPods (two Videos and now one Shuffle), and I'm cursing like a sailor every time they just want to sync something over to it. I'm very knowledgeable about audio/video conversions, being that I've been watching videos on my Palm PDA years before the iPod Video existed. However, that knowledge doesn't extend to the most stupid software on the face of planet otherwise known as iTunes. It is the worst I've encountered in a career as a network engineer, and they don't seem to be doing anything to change it. Its handling of cover art was non existent until the very latest version, and even that is still quirky at best. I used to go get the cover art with Windows Media Player, and then drag and drop the artwork into stupid iTunes manually. You also can't ever tell what iTunes is doing because the status message blinks on and off and is cryptic with its information at best. Why can't Apple just put a PERMANENTLY displayed status bar there instead? Why? Because they're stupid, that's why. Remember, until a rather recent version of Apple OS, you couldn't delete an entire folder (recursively) -- you had to delete each file, then delete the folder, then delete the next folder in the hierachy, etc. The DELTREE.COM command was available with MS-DOS 3.3, and did this very task rather nicely. All flavors and versions of Windows has been able to do it since the first release. The Apple hardware sure is "kewl" -- too bad their firmware, OS, and proprietary applications absolutely suck.

Did Microsoft copy Apple/Xerox? Sure they did, but obviously they got it better. Is Creative copying Apple now? Absolutely, but I can guarantee you it's a better product. The first dedicated media player to enter this house was the Creative Zen Vision Portable Media Center, which I still use and feel to be a superior product than even the latest iPod Video device. The battery life for video is over 2x that of the iPod Video, and the Creative product doesn't require proprietary downloads from iTunes or jumping through ridiculous hoops to get video that you already owned converted to Apple's proprietary (and lame) formats.

To Creative I say GREAT JOB! I'm seriously thinking about returning my wife's Shuffle and buying the Stone instead.

226.5.2007 11:39

Originally posted by lecsiy:
Ok, this is getting stupid. Why do companys always try and copy the ipod?? The ipod will always beat some stupid copy. Why dont creative be exactly that creative and come up with something BETTER than the ipod with different intresting CREATIVE features!

IMO anyway
Actually, most of the "copies" u are refering to, do beat the ipod. Creative destroys apple when it comes to sound quality, so badly so that Apple refuses to publicly post what their quality (SNR) even is (which doesnt matter when places like CNET do their own tests to see). With apple ur stuck with ur horrible propritary software (iTunes), whereas with Creative u can use windows media player, or click, drag and drop ur files.

As for creative coming out with BETTER products then apple, they already have, uve just been so hypnotized with apples mass marketing, u dont know about it. Their Zen Vision:m beats the video in EVERY field except size (.8cm thicker). Their features include a built in FM Radio and Voice recorder... like jesus man, before u post something like that, KNOW what ur talking about.

And how CAN it be a ripoff when Creative was here first? Apple stole the UI from Creative, so Creative sued and WON their case. So for those claiming this is another iPod ripoff, u might want to edit ur posts to reflect Apple ripping off Creative.

I'll agree with GernBlan 110% in everything that was said in his post. Most ppl that get the ipod are just following the herd, most consumers are cattle that just need direction (outside digital media, i am too). But yes, kudos to Creative, in sucessfully bringing yet ANOTHER MP3 player that OWNS Apple horrible excuse for MP3 players.

236.5.2007 12:08

iPod is like a new pair of jordans


Here is the creative zen


246.5.2007 19:58

I have a Zen MicroPhoto and it's way better than the iPod Nano IMO. I was able to get a 8gb one for a couple of bucks less than the 4gb Nano at retail and don't regret it at all. On my PowerBook G3 I use XNJB and on the Windows side I drag-and-drop. Both are preferable to iTunes on either platform.

For the person who doesn't get big hard drives, I have 7gb of my MP3 filled (the other 1gb is set for USB mass storage) but the reason for huge Mp3 players is for people like me who like to listen to Albums, not just random songs. I like everything to be at least 256kbps (I rip at 320), so the 250 songs in 1gb is just BS for me.

As for watching movies, that's why I bought a PSP and a 4gb Memory Stick. Much better than any MP3 player that I know of, iPod or otherwise.

(edited by me for a small error)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 May 2007 @ 20:00

256.5.2007 21:03

Originally posted by tucker001:
iPod is like a new pair of jordans


Here is the creative zen



LMAO, i think you have the pictures flipped my friend.

266.5.2007 21:25
SamNz
Inactive

Alrighty then

Ipod is killed by Itunes/any software that you are forced to use *shudders* Drag and Drop is the best way to do it
Creative is just been unlucky that ipod took off otherwise Creative would be top.
ive got 2 Creative mp3's one 512mb one 5gb both are great.
like i wouldn't buy this because of its capacity 1gb isnt enough for me personally but it would be great as a second one as the story says "to give friends cds,movies etc" (i do this with my 512mb one all the time)

277.5.2007 12:28

Originally posted by jinggoy:
I've always been a fan of the Creative products and they are excellent quality. I might buy this for my track running. Plus the ipods are too trendy for and and always having to keep up with the newest one. So yay for creative!
I'll buy one ! Right down my ally. Ipod is out of line on cost. If it plays I'll love it. The Itune thing is my big gripe.

287.5.2007 12:34

Originally posted by ZeroHour:
yeah i bought one of the first mp3's mad the RCA lyra. but ipod is to big for anything to overthrow it anytime soon i own 3 ipods video, shuffle, and mini and my friends have multiple ipods. ipod is really the only known name in mp3 players and to the average person that does not know their mp3 history they think ipod's were the first and eveythin else is a ripoff
Hmmmmmmm reminds me of nitendo.......... OR what do the call the newest one now... OH YEAH .... I remember me or something like that.
money, money, money. and more money , money, money. LOL all the way to the bank.

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