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Creative ZEN X-Fi MP3 player review | Memory & Software

Published on: Thursday, January 1st 2009                   Written by: Martijn Kooijman - Photography by: Mark Peters

microSD memory support

T he Creative Zen X-Fi comes in two versions: 8GB (without Wi-Fi) and 16 / 32GB (including Wi-Fi). The Zen X-Fi has a microSD slot for expandable memory. The microSD enables enhancing the Zen's memory with 2, 4 or even 8GB. The only disadvantage is that the media player does not have a shared memory which makes you have to transfer a song from the microSD to the Creative Zen's memory. In theory, the maximum storage capacity is 40GB; in practice, however, you can only use the internal memory of the Zen to play your songs. A microSD card is not standard included.

Creative ZEN X-Fi MP3 player review

 

Creative Zen music player

Creative Zen music player

Battery of the Creative Zen X-Fi

The battery life of the Creative Zen X-Fi is rather odd. The screen will continuously stay on if you don't set the Zen to 'lock' and this puts a drain on your battery. If you stream music from the computer to the Zen, this will also reduce the battery life and if you go for video streaming to your Zen, you can only play for a maximum of one hour. Yet according to the specifications, the Zen X-Fi should offer a battery life of 25 hours audio (15 hours with speaker on), based on 128 kpbs in WMA format and 5 hours of video. This could be about right for music if you let the Zen play, turn the screen off and don't do anything else with it. However, usually you search for songs, adjust the volume or something like that and if you forget to 'lock' it, the battery life will drop drastically. The time the device works per charge varies strongly, which makes it quite intriguing.

USB cable for the Creative Zen

USB cable for the Creative Zen

Transferring files via USB

Charging the X-Fi Zen is possible through the included USB cable. Transferring of files is fast via the included software. Transfer of pictures only takes a few seconds, and songs too are transferred fast. Video transfer is a tad slower, nevertheless, it is still fast enough. You can also transfer files through any other synchronization program or you can drag files directly on to your Zen if the media player is connected to your computer via the USB cable. The physical length of the cable is not too long. With a total length of 13 cm it is difficult sometimes to charge the Zen or to transfer songs. And even more so when you're the owner of an old computer that has its USB connections on the back. Well, maybe not so fair to nag about this, since the cable does exactly what it's supposed to do, and fast too.

 

Creative Zen X-Fi software

Creative Zen X-Fi software

Creative Zen software

The included software for the Creative Zen X-Fi is Creative Central. This lets you transfer files, convert them to the right format, create a Media server and manage a media library. The program is easy to learn and everything works excellently and fast too, however, for some reason the program looks rather cheap and quickly developed. The program frequently seems to stop while transferring, and it's not until after a few minutes that it continues the transfer.

Creative Zen X-Fi earphones

Creative Zen X-Fi earphones

Creative Centrale software

Another thing that happened to me is that I deleted nearly all the music of my pc because I did not press the button 'remove from library' but instead hit the 'delete' button. It is that it offers the ability of creating a media server with the software and synchronization of notes, tasks and contacts; otherwise I would have preferred to use a different synchronization program to transfer my music. Windows Media Player also works well, although it sometimes synchronizes files double, which makes you find the same song twice on your MP3.

 
 
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