Creative drops $50 from some music player prices

Do music lovers have Apple to thank? The cuts closely follow the debut of new iPod Minis. Photo: Creative's Zen Micro music player

Creative on Tuesday reduced the prices of its Zen Micro digital-music players.

Prices are up to $50 less than those the company had announced earlier. The cuts closely follow the debut of a new line of iPod Mini players from Creative's rival, Apple Computer.

Creative's 6GB player will see the biggest cut. It will ship for $249.99, rather than the earlier-announced price of $299.99. The device is not yet available, but customers can preorder it on Creative's Web site.

The company's 5GB player now costs $229.99, instead of $249.99, as it did previously. The 5GB player has been available since November.

The 4GB player will be available for $179.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate, Creative said. The Singapore-based company had previously said the device would cost $199.99. Like the 6GB player, it can be preordered on Creative's Web site.

Sim Wong Hoo, the company's CEO, said in a statement that Creative has its competitors on the defensive and that "we can further drive our momentum by dropping the price of our Zen Micro MP3 players."

All the players will feature support for both the MP3 and WMA formats, up to 12 hours of battery life, an FM radio and recorder, a voice recorder, vertical touch pad controls and access to 2 million downloadable songs through MSN Music and services such as Napster, Musicmatch and Wal-Mart's online music store, Creative said.

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