updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed April 16, 2008
Creative ZEN Xi-Fi Rumor
Creative's answer to the iPod touch and Zune has had details firmed up in its development, says a new, purported leak to epiZENter. The player once known as the ZEN Share is now said to have been changed to ZEN X-Fi to turn attention to the player's sound quality. While Wi-Fi is still a defining feature, the future jukebox now appears likely to include the Crystalizer used in other Creative devices to auto-enhance sound quality by filling in audio detail lost to compression.
While a Zune-like feature for sharing music between ZENs is still discussed as part of the division, the new update claims that instant messaging is also one of the new features, though this aspect is disputed as there is no current mention of a touchscreen or built-in keyboard.
The design itself is believed to take its visual cues from the standard ZEN (shown) but with a metallic or metal-like back and the introduction of multiple colors to the front, replacing the all-black shade of the of the original.
A release date is still unknown, although past reports have targeted a launch within the next two months and are now joined by claims that the player will continue to use flash-based storage, with 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB versions. A sequel to the more traditional Zen V is also thought to be in the works but hasn't been leaked aside from its existence.