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Thread: Creative Zen Vision ...?

  1. #1

    Default Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Hi guys,
    Need some feedback and advice for the above as a photo storage device(when oversea trip.... taking lots of pics and so on) and other entertainment when not oversea...

    how is the transfer speed and how many times can 1 transfer say 1 GB full of pics from CF?

    read from reviews and found out that the device can be configured as a plug and play harddisk limited to the option say 16GB and this amount of data is not available to Zen as photos and mp3s?

    the transfer of CF use which part of the harddisk?(the configured 16GB?)

    can i drag or copy supported media files without using the software provided?

    Thank you in advance for any helpful advice!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by nice_user
    Hi guys,
    Need some feedback and advice for the above as a photo storage device(when oversea trip.... taking lots of pics and so on) and other entertainment when not oversea...

    how is the transfer speed and how many times can 1 transfer say 1 GB full of pics from CF?

    read from reviews and found out that the device can be configured as a plug and play harddisk limited to the option say 16GB and this amount of data is not available to Zen as photos and mp3s?

    the transfer of CF use which part of the harddisk?(the configured 16GB?)

    can i drag or copy supported media files without using the software provided?

    Thank you in advance for any helpful advice!



    I use the Zen Vision when I'm travelling. The tranfer speed from CF to the device is not too bad. It takes about 3 to 4 minutes to transfer a 1GB card IIRC.

    Plug and play hard disk is possible but you can't use it for the CF transfer. You still need to install the software from creative to tranfer your photos to the PC. (BTW, I feel that the software from Creative has a lot of room for improvement. Nice way of saying CRAP)

    Transfer of CF to device uses the main disk like I said, not the allocated Plug and Play hard disk space. You also cannot use this allocated space to playback any content.

    You must always use the software provided if you want to play it back on the device. Quite stupid but there you go.

    For playback of photos, the features are limited. Only purely for playback, no zoom in. Another thing I notice is that you loose the timestamp of your photos. Once you transfer it to the device, the timestamp gets updated. Again, very stupid.

    Playing back DivX is not that great either. Doesn't seem to play all the codecs and definitely not DivX6. When you forward or rewind, the audio and video can sometimes go out of synch. Till today, no firmware has been made available to fix this.

    Another flaw I obeserve in both Creative Zen Vision and Zen Micro (got both) is that sometimes, it just hangs for no reason and you are forced to remove the battery to force a shutdown/reboot. When you boot it up again, it will do a rebuild which is basically consolidating data on the hard disk. This does not happen often but it is worrying esp if you're carrying your precious travelsnaps.

    Viewing angle isn't great. You need to view it form a very specific angle to get the right picture.

    But if you can live with all these shortcomings, it is a great toy to bring along when you travel. I love it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    I was looking for one of this toy but decided against buying it for:
    1. the screen is really bad .... it is strictly meant for single-person viewing. Why can't Creative make screen like the PSP, Epson or even archo?
    2. the exterior material is plastic (very very cheap looking).
    Unless and until i can get this at below $600, i dont think i want to get it.
    the rest of the shortfalls i can live with it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Bo bian this is the next best thing liao...
    i know abt the screen issue.... but have u played wif it b4? to me its ok

    exterior is not bad too...

    im more concern abt the issues i had posted...

    also, i dun think wif vision's feature u can find alternatives..


    Quote Originally Posted by Keepers
    I was looking for one of this toy but decided against buying it for:
    1. the screen is really bad .... it is strictly meant for single-person viewing. Why can't Creative make screen like the PSP, Epson or even archo?
    2. the exterior material is plastic (very very cheap looking).
    Unless and until i can get this at below $600, i dont think i want to get it.
    the rest of the shortfalls i can live with it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    wow this is really helpful info..

    3-4 mins is really fast already

    some qns:
    so that means if i choose less space for plug & play harddisk, i can more space for CF transfer and stuff?

    can i 'partition' the harddrive and retain data?

    using software for trasfer is really damn stupid...

    losing timestamp is crazy...

    damn.. so many short comings... now im really undecided already...

    wat other devices whs i look at then? Cowon A2?



    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh
    I use the Zen Vision when I'm travelling. The tranfer speed from CF to the device is not too bad. It takes about 3 to 4 minutes to transfer a 1GB card IIRC.

    Plug and play hard disk is possible but you can't use it for the CF transfer. You still need to install the software from creative to tranfer your photos to the PC. (BTW, I feel that the software from Creative has a lot of room for improvement. Nice way of saying CRAP)

    Transfer of CF to device uses the main disk like I said, not the allocated Plug and Play hard disk space. You also cannot use this allocated space to playback any content.

    You must always use the software provided if you want to play it back on the device. Quite stupid but there you go.

    For playback of photos, the features are limited. Only purely for playback, no zoom in. Another thing I notice is that you loose the timestamp of your photos. Once you transfer it to the device, the timestamp gets updated. Again, very stupid.

    Playing back DivX is not that great either. Doesn't seem to play all the codecs and definitely not DivX6. When you forward or rewind, the audio and video can sometimes go out of synch. Till today, no firmware has been made available to fix this.

    Another flaw I obeserve in both Creative Zen Vision and Zen Micro (got both) is that sometimes, it just hangs for no reason and you are forced to remove the battery to force a shutdown/reboot. When you boot it up again, it will do a rebuild which is basically consolidating data on the hard disk. This does not happen often but it is worrying esp if you're carrying your precious travelsnaps.

    Viewing angle isn't great. You need to view it form a very specific angle to get the right picture.

    But if you can live with all these shortcomings, it is a great toy to bring along when you travel. I love it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keepers
    I was looking for one of this toy but decided against buying it for:
    1. the screen is really bad .... it is strictly meant for single-person viewing. Why can't Creative make screen like the PSP, Epson or even archo?
    2. the exterior material is plastic (very very cheap looking).
    Unless and until i can get this at below $600, i dont think i want to get it.
    the rest of the shortfalls i can live with it.
    1) Screen really bad I can agree. But I got used to it and after a while it doesn't feel to bad. Definitely does not compare to the PSP or Epson. Not sure about the Archos.

    2) The exterior is actally magnesium alloy. It isn't cheap looking at all. Feels quite solid in my hands. Go have a second look at harvey norman/best denki.

    I got mine for SGD650

  7. #7

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by nice_user
    wow this is really helpful info..

    3-4 mins is really fast already

    some qns:
    so that means if i choose less space for plug & play harddisk, i can more space for CF transfer and stuff?

    can i 'partition' the harddrive and retain data?

    using software for trasfer is really damn stupid...

    losing timestamp is crazy...

    damn.. so many short comings... now im really undecided already...

    wat other devices whs i look at then? Cowon A2?

    The 3-4 mins is an estimated figure of my last experience but on second thoughts, the card was not full! So maybe you can expect about 6 to 7 mins. But there is plenty of battery power for doing this many times.

    I'm not using it as a plug and play HD. I have a separate device for that. I wouldn't advise anyone to use this feature either. Should max out the space for your content and keep data separate.

    Not sure what you mean by partition but you select/allocate the amount of HD (you mentioned up to 16GB?) you want to use as a hard disk. The rest will be used for media storage.

    Using propietry software to transfer is a real pain in the a**. But I think iPod suffers from this too (you need iTunes IIRC). The Zen Muvo range of devices from Creative does not require special software but it has limited capacity.

    Alternative devices? Check out the Archos but I'm not sure if it has a CF slot.

    If you just want a portable plug and play hard disk, with the option of transferring from your CF (no screen) there are cheaper alternatives out there. I came across one recently that has USB OTG (on the go) which lets you connect the HD enclosure to any memory card reader. You can stick in any notebook hard disk you want in there (up to 80GB). Additionally, it plays back DivX, JPG, MP3s etc. but you will have to connect it to your hotel's TV. It comes with a nice remote as well. But do take note. USB OTG only works with FAT32 filesystems. On WinXP, you are only allowed to partition 20GB for a FAT32 filesystem. You will have to use some alernatives if you want to format the entire HD with FAT32.

    I hope this gives you more options. Or have I confused you further??
    Last edited by seankyh; 30th November 2005 at 11:12 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    oic..

    i read from some sites that say only contents that were transfered by the software can be viewed or played...

    but im sure those transfered from CF can be viewed rite?

    so wat abt if the CF's contents has mp3 files too? can zen play this mp3s?

    i checked archos too... it does have a CF slot..its using usb host to transfer(only usb 1.1)..
    which also mean i have to use a card reader to connect to the archos to transfer... not very intuitive...

    the device you mentioned seem limited because of the fat32 thingy...

    damn... i only have 2 weeks to get a photo storage!!


  9. #9

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by nice_user
    oic..

    i read from some sites that say only contents that were transfered by the software can be viewed or played...

    but im sure those transfered from CF can be viewed rite?

    so wat abt if the CF's contents has mp3 files too? can zen play this mp3s?

    i checked archos too... it does have a CF slot..its using usb host to transfer(only usb 1.1)..
    which also mean i have to use a card reader to connect to the archos to transfer... not very intuitive...

    the device you mentioned seem limited because of the fat32 thingy...

    damn... i only have 2 weeks to get a photo storage!!


    FAT32 is a very common filesystem and 20GB (which is what WinXP allows you to partition to) is plenty. Even if you shoot only with RAW, you can still get many shots in. If you want all 80GB in a FAT32 partition, use a Win98 bootdisk and do it.

    The CF card is directly viewable from the Zen Vision without the need to transfer. You won't be able to view any non JPG files. If you do transfer from CF to device, you can still view the JPGs. Non JPGs will not be transferred.

    One more thing.. if you have a lot of MP3s, make sure they are properly tagged. The Zen vision reads ID3 tags to identify the songs and it separtes them by Albums, Artist etc.. Not by filenames and folders. So it requires a paradigm shift.

    The Zen Vision does a lot more than other devices but it really is a Jack of All Trades, Master of none. My advise? Get the enclosure + Hard Disk and buy an iPod Video heh!
    Last edited by seankyh; 30th November 2005 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Thank you Sean,
    Very infomative,

    now wld be a decision for me:
    buy pd70x + harddisk around $350, use it only for oversea trips...
    or
    fork out another $300(i can get zen for $650 too) so tat at least i can still use the device for other stuff despite all the short comings...



    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh
    FAT32 is a very common filesystem and 20GB (which is what WinXP allows you to partition to) is plenty. Even if you shoot only with RAW, you can still get many shots in. If you want all 80GB in a FAT32 partition, use a Win98 bootdisk and do it.

    The CF card is directly viewable from the Zen Vision without the need to transfer. You won't be able to view any non JPG files. If you do transfer from CF to device, you can still view the JPGs. Non JPGs will not be transferred.

    One more thing.. if you have a lot of MP3s, make sure they are properly tagged. The Zen vision reads ID3 tags to identify the songs and it separtes them by Albums, Artist etc.. Not by filenames and folders. So it requires a paradigm shift.

    The Zen Vision does a lot more than other devices but it really is a Jack of All Trades, Master of none. My advise? Get the enclosure + Hard Disk and buy an iPod Video heh!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Go with the PD70X. Can't go wrong.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    check that RAW files are supported if you (are ever going to) need them. don't know abou now, but there was a time when only the Epson P4000 was the only one that would allow immediate viewing of RAW files.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by metalgear
    check that RAW files are supported if you (are ever going to) need them. don't know abou now, but there was a time when only the Epson P4000 was the only one that would allow immediate viewing of RAW files.
    Zen vision does not support RAW files. At least not the last time I tried. If you want to shoot RAW, a 80GB HD would be a lot better. Review can do using your PC. Woulnd't want to review RAW on any non PC device anyway coz I think its gonna be ssslooowww!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh
    I use the Zen Vision when I'm travelling. The tranfer speed from CF to the device is not too bad. It takes about 3 to 4 minutes to transfer a 1GB card IIRC.

    Plug and play hard disk is possible but you can't use it for the CF transfer. You still need to install the software from creative to tranfer your photos to the PC. (BTW, I feel that the software from Creative has a lot of room for improvement. Nice way of saying CRAP)

    Transfer of CF to device uses the main disk like I said, not the allocated Plug and Play hard disk space. You also cannot use this allocated space to playback any content.

    You must always use the software provided if you want to play it back on the device. Quite stupid but there you go.

    For playback of photos, the features are limited. Only purely for playback, no zoom in. Another thing I notice is that you loose the timestamp of your photos. Once you transfer it to the device, the timestamp gets updated. Again, very stupid.

    Playing back DivX is not that great either. Doesn't seem to play all the codecs and definitely not DivX6. When you forward or rewind, the audio and video can sometimes go out of synch. Till today, no firmware has been made available to fix this.

    Another flaw I obeserve in both Creative Zen Vision and Zen Micro (got both) is that sometimes, it just hangs for no reason and you are forced to remove the battery to force a shutdown/reboot. When you boot it up again, it will do a rebuild which is basically consolidating data on the hard disk. This does not happen often but it is worrying esp if you're carrying your precious travelsnaps.

    Viewing angle isn't great. You need to view it form a very specific angle to get the right picture.

    But if you can live with all these shortcomings, it is a great toy to bring along when you travel. I love it.

    UPDATE: I sent my Zen Vision for a firmware upgrade recently and it seems to have solved the problem of loosing the timestamp of the photos when I transfer from my CF card. I'm quite happy about this.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh
    UPDATE: I sent my Zen Vision for a firmware upgrade recently and it seems to have solved the problem of loosing the timestamp of the photos when I transfer from my CF card. I'm quite happy about this.
    Any other improvement on the firmware? If add in zooming to actual size, don't need it's software to transfer, like a portable hard drive. Then I think I will get one.
    Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist

  16. #16

    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by zcf
    Any other improvement on the firmware? If add in zooming to actual size, don't need it's software to transfer, like a portable hard drive. Then I think I will get one.
    Err... nope :-( At least not that I know of. Stil cannot zoom. Rotate only. Still need software to transfer photos. But for it to work like a portable hard drive, you don't need software. You can allocate some space to act like a portable hard disk but your transferred photos from the CF card will not go there :-(

    The software is very badly written - Lots of performance problems. Creative really needs to work on their software and drivers!!!!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Creative Zen Vision ...?

    Quote Originally Posted by seankyh
    Err... nope :-( At least not that I know of. Stil cannot zoom. Rotate only. Still need software to transfer photos. But for it to work like a portable hard drive, you don't need software. You can allocate some space to act like a portable hard disk but your transferred photos from the CF card will not go there :-(

    The software is very badly written - Lots of performance problems. Creative really needs to work on their software and drivers!!!!
    agree
    Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist

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