The Creative Zen X-Fi is a arch all-around agenda music player, boasting abounding appearance that angle up accurately to the latest versions of Apple’s iPods. The X-Fi has abundant sound, superb headphones, an amazing affection set, abundant accumulator via an SD agenda slot, an easy-to-use interface that will amuse users who don’t appetite to assignment with a blow screen, and–here’s the kicker–the adeptness to beck and download music from your PC wirelessly. It looks great, too, and it costs decidedly beneath than Apple’s accepted Wi-Fi-enabled iPod Blow players.
The 16GB X-Fi sells for $200, and the 32GB archetypal sells for $280, adjoin $300 for the 16GB iPod Blow and $400 for the 32GB adaptation of Apple’s touch-screen media player. And if that sounds like a bargain, accede that you can additionally aggrandize the X-Fi player’s accumulator accommodation by up to 32GB, acknowledgment to its SD Agenda slot.
A few appearance differentiate this amateur from the competition. Not alone can you download music, video, and images wirelessly from your home computer to the player, but you can additionally beck media from your computer, from Creative’s servers (which action podcasts and chargeless music), or from a computer on an attainable network. Plus, you can fine-tune the already superb complete with the player’s five-band EQ settings; save articulation recordings; accept to FM radio; and adore the alert acquaintance appropriate out of the box afterwards affairs new headphones, acknowledgment to the decidedly good-sounding Creative EP-830 earbuds included with the unit. The earbuds, which Creative additionally sells alone for $80, fit snugly in the listeners’ aerial and accommodate bright low-end audio, with midrange acute that isn’t tinny.
Creative’s awful accustomed X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity Audio playback goes far in allowance this amateur complete amazing. Its signal-to-noise adjustment of 83 dB is additional alone to the SanDisk Sansa Connect’s 84 dB in our tests. And the X-Fi becoming the best appraisement of any amateur we’ve activated in agreement of harmonic baloney and noise–at a almost registering 0.01 percent.
What does that beggarly for your ears? Creative’s X-Fi technology, accompanying with the abundant out-of-the-box earbuds, delivered actual deep, clean, categorical audio. The amateur supports AAC, MP3, WAV, and WMA formats, as able-bodied as Audible audiobooks. You get an on-board apostle as well, but it pumps tinny, clock-radio-quality complete out of its single, baby speaker.
As abundant as I begin to like about the X-Fi, it does accept some limitations aback akin head-to-head adjoin the iPod Touch. It doesn’t assignment with Mac OS X (only with XP and Vista); its online babble appliance doesn’t assignment well; and you won’t acquisition the aforementioned amount of affiliation with third-party apostle systems, car stereos, and accessories that you’ll acquisition with the near-ubiquitous iPod. Also, the X-Fi assemblage seems a bit baby (3.3 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.5 inches) abutting to the iPod Blow and its acceptable screen.
The X-Fi makes it a lot harder to actualize playlists afterwards the advice of a computer, too. I still haven’t gotten the adhere of Creative’s on-player playlist creator, alike afterwards years of application it with the Zen VisionM. But creating a playlist with the Creative Centrale desktop software (included with the player) is abundant easier than accomplishing so in-unit: Just annoyance and bead music from your library into a new playlist.
The X-Fi connects to your PC via USB 2.0, but loading songs assimilate the amateur by this avenue is apathetic going. (It took me added than an hour to amount 10GB of songs assimilate the player’s beam drive via the USB cable.) Downloading songs wirelessly went abundant faster. The USB anchorage doubles as the unit’s ability port; however, it includes alone a USB cable, not a bank adapter.
Though the Zen X-Fi supports video playback, watching video on the baby 2.5-inch-diagonal, 16.7-million blush awning avalanche far abbreviate of an IMAX experience. Nevertheless, the active 320-by-240 pixel awning provides a sharp, brittle display, and the amateur supports DivX, MJPEG, MPEG-4, WMV, and XviD movies, all of which charge be encoded by the included Creative Centrale desktop software afore actuality loaded assimilate the player. Image abutment includes JPEGs natively, while BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF photos charge be adapted by the Creative Centrale software afore they can be beheld on the player.
A quick abreast about the Creative Centrale software: it comes as a mini CD, which may account problems if you accept a slot-loading optical drive on your PC. Fortunately, Creative Centrale is additionally attainable as a download, as allotment of the Zen X-Fi Starter Pack.
People who are already accustomed with Creative’s players should get the adhere of the X-Fi’s architecture and interface appropriate away. It does accept a few notable changes from beforehand Creative models, however. The blow band present on the Zen VisionM and the directional pad featured on the newer Creative Zen accept been supplanted by nine buttons abiding in a three-by-three grid.
These benumbed buttons abridge abyssal the amateur by feel, alike while it’s still in your pocket. And they bifold as a phonelike alphanumeric pad for entering adjustment passwords or chatting online. Flanking the nine buttons are four committed aeronautics buttons that should be accustomed to owners of added Creative player: the aback button, a contextual card button, a user-customizable button, and the play/pause button. Despite the X-Fi’s baby size, all of the buttons are able-bodied spaced and attainable to use. The ability about-face is on the aback of the amateur and can be “locked” on; the SD Agenda aperture and the distinct apostle absorb the abandon of the unit.
Mere acknowledgment of the X-Fi’s wireless connectivity doesn’t do the affection justice. Abundant of the X-Fi’s address comes from its 802.11b/g networking, downloading, and alive capabilities. The ‘Online’ card ambience lets you affix to your own computer–or any computer on a network–provided that it is a PC set up as a media server. This adjustment lets you download and beck advance from your own computer afterwards accepting to amount them assimilate the player. In addition, Creative makes its own servers attainable via the Online interface, giving you admission to abundant music channels and podcasts, organized by category. Alive formed afterwards a block in my testing, carrying bright and ceaseless audio that articulate great.
The networking capabilities acquiesce you to babble application your Yahoo Messenger or Windows Live Messenger accounts, but I ran into problems application this feature. The log-in to Yahoo Messenger afraid for account at the “sign-in” stage, and I had to ability the apparatus off to get it activity again. I additionally begin the alphanumeric keypad arresting to use for continued chatting–in abundant the aforementioned way that application the nine buttons on a corpuscle buzz for texting is. Expect to put your backbone to the test, with lots of again button pushing. Ultimately the babble affection is no acumen to buy this player, admitting it’s a nice added to accept (when it works).
Minor issues like the babble malfunctions can’t booty the flash off of the Creative X-Fi. It’s an outstanding agenda music amateur that rises to the top with ease. The masses may abide to anticipate iPod aboriginal aback they charge a new MP3 player–but the X-Fi is an innovative, feature-packed player, and it’s an complete abduct for the price.
Creative Zen X-fi Sd Card Compatibility – creative zen x-fi sd card compatibility
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