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What are you looking for in an mp3 player?
The choices you listed are vary different. It all depends on what you want or need.
They all do video. Gigabeat and Zune have larger screens for that.
Do you want to use it as an external hard drive? Ipod and Zen Vision M can do that, but the Zune and Gigabeat can't.
Want FM radio? That rules out the iPod.
Are you planning on purchasing music and videos? If you opt for the iPod or Zune you are stuck with iTunes or Zune Marketplace for purchased content. You also have to use their software to transfer content to your player. The Zen and Gigabeat support Plays For Sure, so you can purchase content or do a subscription from several different sources.
By the way, the Zune Marketplace isn't selling videos yet, but will probably do sometime in the near future.
So once you know what features you want, you may be able to narrow it down. Hopefully, you can go into a store so that you can actually see and hear them.
I have several iPods, including the 2nd Gen Nano and 5.5 Gen Video. I like the user interface, sounds great (I'm not an audiophile - others may tell you that it sounds crappy ), and iTunes is easy to work with. I purchased a $49 accessory that adds FM radio, but rarely use it.
What I Am Looking For Is
I would like to watch movies/tv shows on it and listen to my music in my car. That's pretty much it. I currently have the Creative Zen Touch 40GB, but I would like to watch videos too. That one only plays MP3, WMA, and Loss.
I'll be following this closely
I can appreciate your dilema. I'm in almost exactly the same boat, except I'm looking to upgrade from the 20GB zen touch (very basic, but very good mp3 player). I've got a similar thread running without the iPod as a choice, so this is great! I guess I'll follow both discussions and make my decision based on recommendations (after I go to Best Buy and fool around with them of course).
I recommend you go to best buy as well and see if there are any interface or control problems that eliminate any of the players for you, and you'll get to see and compare the screens.
Went To BestBuy / Circuit City and . . .
I narrowed it down to the Creative Zen Vision M vs the iPod. The iPod I'm looking at is the 80GB 5th generation. I saw the 30GB model of the Zen Vision M and it looks really nice too. I heard the 60GB of Zen Vision M is a little bit heavier. Does anybody know anything about the battery life of these and if they are replaceable? I heard that the iPod battery lasts only 18 months, but I read on the apple website that it lasts 2-3 years. I am leaning towards the iPod. The only thing that I won't like is that I heard it scratches easily and it doesn't come with an AC adapter to recharge it.
Unforturnately, it does scratch easily
Two accessories that every video iPod owner should buy:
1. A protective case
2. An AC adapter - unless you don't mind charging via USB, which is usually slower
As for the battery life of the iPod, all lithium ion batteries eventually die. And both the iPod and Creative Zen Vision M lack user replaceable batteries. And neither come with an AC adapter. Both come with a pouch, though.
I've had an iPod Mini for nearly 20 months and the battery is still going pretty strong. Apple does offer to exchange your iPod for a refurbished one for $59 if your battery dies and its out of warranty.
If you've got a Costco membership, consider buying your player from them. The stores usually only carry the iPod, but the website offers more. You can get the Creative Zen Vision M there as well as the Zune. And get this - Costco has an unlimited return policy for everything except computers (it's 6 months for these). And no stinkin' restocking fee!
After researching what I found out is. . .
The iPod 80GB and Creative Zen Vision M 60 GB Both:
1. Scratch easily
2. Don't come with a supplied AC Power Adapter
3. Both need software to convert video. Although the Zen Vision M already has a supplied cd for it and with the iPod you need to convert the video file to quicktime format and import it to iTunes.
The iPod 80GB:
1. Has lots of storage space
2. Tons of unbelievable accessories
3. Very popular
The Creative Zen Vision M 60GB
1. Lots of available video formats (can import xvid,divx, mpeg2/4, avi files without converting unlike the iPod)
2. Does not have much accessories. . . but let's hope that in the future the 60GB one will have some)
3. My friends that have iPods might become jealous of the extra features the Zen has that the iPod doesn't.
Here is a website that compares the 30GB Zen Vision next to the 30GB iPod Video.
As you can see, the video quality of the Zen Vision is alot better than the iPod. I am leaning towards the Zen Vision M 60GB. I might get that and hope that in the future there will be more accessories for it in the future. What do you guys think? Sorry for the long post.
I recommend the Zen vision M
Firstly let me tell you this.. I am not an "Ipod Hatter", coz normally what i see is that the anti-ipoders give poor comment about the ipod and vice versa..
I am very neutral to both the player, but i've been researching on this for around 2 months or probably more..
Lets make one thing very clear... If you want it to be sleek and sexy then definitely ipod may take the lead.. But if you think like me, about the utility and features then probably Zen vision M races ahead.. Videos on the ipod can be rated a 3/5 but on the vision M i could definitely rate it a 4.5/5 (i reduced 0.5 coz i believe that no technology in this earth is perfect). The videos in the vision M are very crip in clarity and way superior than the ones in the ipod.. One more flaw in the ipod is that i doesnt support divx files many other formats as you listed in the post.. Well, divx videos and movies are very very popular online so you might want that option in your player.. The sound quality in the vision M is also very good. I would rate it a 4/5 and the ipod also gets a 4/5 from me..
One thing to note is the vision M, at the max volume produces an audio output of 110db (db means decibels a unit of measuring the intensity of sound) which is very high and can damage human ear..
Well finally, one more thing to add... I personally feel that the vision M looks great too (the black model obviously - i'm a guy)..
So considering all the above i would definitely recommend the Creative Zen vision M.. But choices can vary, based on your personal need and taste..
So good luck, happy shopping and happy thanksgiving!
Why not the Creative Zen Vision W?
The ZVW is almost the exact same player as the ZVM with a wider screen. It's plays all the same formats and can be used with rhapsody, urge and other Playsforsure services.
-No Fm Recording. (Maybe later on)
-4.3 inch widescreen that plays movies in 16:9 aspect ratio. Zune and Gigabeat have 3 inch screens and the Ipod and ZVM only have 2.5 inch i think.
-Replaceable battery. Something the ZVM doesn't have and I don't think IPODS do either.
It comes in 30 gig and 60 gig versions. the 30 gig one is a little more expensive than a Zune but it's much more flexible. I'm synching mine as I write with WMP 11. I adore it.