Giving the IPOD view only, as I have not had any contact with the Zen. I have had the 10 gig IPOD for about a year. The 15 gig came with a USB cable at that time, but not the 10 gig. I bought and put in a firewire card, as the USB cable bought separate was about the same cost for me. I have been very happy with the IPOD, especially with the sound quality. The battery costing so much to replace is a drawback, however I got the 4 year warranty with it [at Best Buy] which includes replacing the battery if it fails. I don't find the 8 hour life a problem [more like 5 hours in my experience] as I don't listen for longer than that at one time. Things I do like are the easy to access controls, which I can touch thru my shirt pocket while doing my walks to increase volume or change songs etc.. I like the round touch control to make these changes. It is very light. I kept losing the ear bud covers as they would pop off and get lost somewhere on my walk. Solved that problem with a touch of glue. I would buy one again.
I am in the market for a high capacity mp3 player for under $300 and have been looking primarily at two options, the 15 GB ipod or the new creative zen touch. Both are extremely appealing but i cannot decide which is better. The zen is relatively new so i have not been able to find a recent review on it and the ipod i know is always a good choice, but i am concerned about its 8 hour battery life and was wondering if it came with a usb cable if you don't have a firewire port. Has anyone used either of these players and if so can you recommend them?