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Creative Zen Stone guns after iPod shuffle

updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu May 3, 2007

Creative Zen Stone

Creative today made clear its ambitions by introducing the Zen Stone, its first completely screenless music player and the first aimed at beating the second-generation iPod shuffle. Claiming to be even simpler than the Apple device, the Stone is loaded through drag-and-drop file transfers. It's also more intelligent, Creative says: the device can recognize folders and will let the owner skip between them to limit in-order or random play to a particular album or playlist. Music is supported in MP3, WMA, and WAV as well as Audible audiobooks.

The Stone comes with 1GB of storage and will ship in six different colors by May 14th at a price of $40; it should be followed in July by the TravelSound Zen Stone (also $40), a black- or white-colored portable speaker system which provides stereo music for 20 hours on a pair of AAA batteries. Accessories will include a silicone skin with a built-in clip to match the portability of its iPod rival, a keychain case attachment, and an armband.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    Playlist select-shuffle

    ...is such an obvious option I sent that suggestion to Apple over 2 years ago... It is about time...

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    Lossless support...

    ...would be another helpful & easy shuffle upgrade...

  1. lockhartt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000

    0

    hmmm...

    ...I wonder if Apple will take issue with the controls, seeing how they're identical to the shuffle and the Apple remote.

    Don't know if they have any patents on that design, though, or if Creative is safe from Apple suits after the whole menu/navigation settlement.

  1. simdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004

    0

    Audible

    Without support for audible books, I wouldn't consider. Needs to sync seemlessly too. I don't want to drag files to a device. Not sure how the Creative devices work though so I'm not sure if it's as smooth as iPods and iTunes.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Inaccurate

    Creative had screenless MP3 players a LONG time ago, aka MuVo.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    0

    inconsequential

    There is no new ground broken here. No paradigm shifted. No earth shattered. This little player is no more than (arguably) incrementally better than Shuffle.

    In order to present a valid challenge to the iPod juggernaut, competitors must create a device that is so many leaps and bound ahead of iPod in every respect (and especially in design and ease of use) that it blows it out of the water. As long as every teen talks about iPods and ONLY iPods, no challenger will be of any consequence.

    Nice try, though, Creative and good luck with your little device!

  1. ibugv4

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2003

    0

    what a lazy comment

    'i don't want to have to drag files to the device'

    then turn in your mouse and go back to the command line. i'd rather have a device that works in a DnD process than required a Windows or Mac OS program to interface with it (iPod or iRiver). Some of us DO use Linux machines.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    i agree

    it's inconsequential. copying apple will not generate sales like apple has. clearly adding a few new features isn't doing it either. however that $40 price tag may make an impact.

  1. ianaberle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005

    0

    The price is right

    Only $40 and "drag-and-drop file transfers!" Nice. At that price and ease of use, they will sell a good number of them... at least until Microsoft releases a Zune shuffle.

  1. scotty321

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Environmental waste

    Talk about being anti-environmental. All those disposable AAA batteries being used to power this device, whereas Apple's devices have built-in rechargeable batteries.

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