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Rock out with the 8GB Creative Zen V Plus, $120 shipped has the radio-playing, voice-recording, 8GB Zen media player for $119.99 shipped after a $40 mail-in rebate.


Here's a simple math exercise: should you spend $199 on an 8GB iPod nano or $119.99 on an 8GB Creative Zen V Plus? Answer: a big fat "that depends."

The nano has a slightly larger screen (2 inches, versus 1.5 on the Zen), a way sexier design, and vastly superior software for managing music, podcasts, and the like. But for $80 less, the Zen nets you an FM radio, a voice recorder, compatibility with subscription-music services like Napster and Rhapsody, and even line-in recording.

So it boils down to style over substance. If you're in the market for a flash player and want a sexy status symbol, pony up for the nano. If you want more features and a bargain price ( has the Zen V Plus for $119.99 shipped after a mail-in rebate), get Zen.

It's worth noting that Creative actually has the same model on sale for $129.99, no rebate required, but it's out of stock at the moment. I can understand why: that's a pretty sweet player for the money.