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Creative introduces iPod video knockoff

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Creative on Thursday launched the Zen Vision:M digital music and video player -- an knockoff of Apple's iPod that offers a strikingly similar look and feel to the fifth-generation video iPod with a few added twists and longer battery life.

The 30GB video player, photo viewer and MP3 player was "designed with a stunning, 2.5-inch, high-resolution 262,144 color LCD screen" which "displays rich, vibrant digital video, and photos, full-color menus and album art," according to Creative.

The Singapore-based digital audio company said the $330 player will hold up to 15,000 songs and supports music subscription services including Yahoo! Music Unlimited, Napster To Go and Rhapsody To Go.

Creative claims the Zen Vision:M's rechargeable battery provides up to 14 hours of music playback or 4 hours of video playback. Supported video formats include MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Xvid, WMV, and MJPEG.

The player also supports TiVoToGo for free viewing of TV shows recorded on a TiVo personal video recorder, digitized home movies transferred from the PC, and video blogs from companies such as RocketBoom.

"When people see the Zen Vision:M, they tell us it's incredibly cool," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "We designed the Zen Vision:M with its mesmerizing 262,144 color screen to display four times the color of the 30GB iPod that plays video, and to provide twice the battery life for video playback."

Taking another stab at rival Apple, Hoo said: "Plus, we offer people the freedom to choose their video in a variety of different formats, and to get subscription music or download tracks from a number of different sites to their player."

Other features of the Zen Vision:M include FM radio and recording with 32 preset options, a Vertical Touch Pad and Tactile Buttons, content password protection, a built-in Microphone, selectable interface themes, an organizer, and the ability to display full-color image output on any size TV screen through an optional composite video-out connector.

Creative's iPod knockoff: the Zen Vision:M

Creative said the Zen Vision:M will ship this month and will include an AC adapter, USB 2.0 cable, high-quality earphones, and a protective pouch. Optional accessories will include a docking station and an AV-out cable.

But if facsimileing Apple's latest iPod wasn't enough, Creative appears ripe to take its digital audio battle with the iPod maker to the mattresses. At the launch of the Zen Vision:M, Hoo reportedly told the BBC he plans to "aggressively" pursue a US patent that Creative owns on a system used to navigate music on digital players.

The report follows speculation that the company would seek royalties from Apple after it said it had won a patent in the US for "the way music tracks are organized and navigated on a player through a hierarchical system using three or more screens."

In recent months, Creative has also accused Apple of creating a shortage of digital music players due to its strategic flash-memory partnership with Samsung Electronics.

"Industry demand for high-capacity flash memory currently outstrips supply and this will impact availability of our 1GB flash MP3 players for the holiday quarter. [...] The shortage of flash memory, according to industry analyst speculation, is primarily a result of a special deal that Apple has secured from a key supplier for the holiday season," Creative Labs president Craig McHugh said in late October.

Creative last quarter posted a bigger loss than analysts had expected, partially due to competition from Apple and its flash-memory price squeeze.
post #2 of 100
So how this compare to Apple iPods? Any comparison table out there?

I like its Radio FM and voice recording features, besides the video out option. Can it be used for computerless Keynote and PowerPoint presentations? That would rock!

I miss the Firewire interface and the possibility to boot the Mac for repairs.

Apple: I want an iPod like that to boot from it and to make wireless computerless presentations booting Mac OS X from it!!!

Hey people: COMPETITION IS GOOD -- VERY GOOD!!! For all of us.
post #3 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
In recent months, Creative has also accused Apple of creating a shortage of digital music players due to its strategic flash-memory partnership with Samsung Electronics.

oh boo hoo

stategic flash-memory partnership??!!

its their own fault they didnt negotiate a deal

stu
post #4 of 100
I like the green color
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post #5 of 100
I am going to take a look at it and provided the specs are what they say they are, I might purchase one. I too believe that competition is good.
post #6 of 100
ha ha Sim Wong "I'm gonna kill the iPod" Hoo! That guy cracks me up. First he announced that he was going to "kill the iPod" then his company posts mega losses and they axe half their product line.

Now, what a comeback: an iPod video ripoff. So I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery eh?

Competition is good, but these guys are good for humor too. The build quality on these things is horrible and they're priced the same as a real iPod. Why not just get an iPod?
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by rdas7
Competition is good, but these guys are good for humor too. The build quality on these things is horrible and they're priced the same as a real iPod. Why not just get an iPod? [/B]

Because I might want to use Tivo2go for content instead of iTunes. For the same price as a "real" iPod I get all the file types of my existing video library as opposed to half on the iPod and I get Tivo2go. We'll have to wait and see if the build quality sucks or not as that's the only real thing that I personally would worry about.

I do love how they use a white background to hide the bulk of the device (most of the body is white) and make it look thinner like an iPod nano. I'd be pretty pissed off if I ordered one of these and hadn't noticed that, even though size isn't too much of a concern for me. (within reason of course)
post #8 of 100
Quote:
Competition is good, but these guys are good for humor too. The build quality on these things is horrible and they're priced the same as a real iPod. Why not just get an iPod?

I've been around long enough to remember how people laughed and poked fun at Toyota too when they first came to the United States. I remember it well as people said they were junk, funny looking, too small, etc. Who's laughing now? If I recall Apple was in the doldrums for a while in the past. I love Apple, but the marketplace is a vicious animal, leaving no hostages.
post #9 of 100
Don't forget that they're twice as thick as the 30 GB video iPod too.
post #10 of 100
I don't like the orientation of the display for viewing video. I didn't like it with the 5G iPod, and I don't like it with this player. Creative should have turned the screen sideways and put the vertical touchpad beside it. And then made it ambidextrous. That device would win my dollars.
post #11 of 100
And copying Apple's product photography too.

I wonder how far it will take them?
post #12 of 100
Hmm.. Looking at my 3rd Gen iPod, I´m quite tempted. And *gasp*, the Design looks pretts good, too.
If it plays Xvid, then the better - I´d love to watch my Anime on the go :3

Any ideas how it will integrate in iTunes?
Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by stustanley
oh boo hoo

I like what you've done there... genius!

Well my take on this is that it's all about competition. We really shouldn't take it to personally. If a company such as Apple is able to innovate, to develop new products that appeal to a market then that product, and consequently Apple, are going to do well.

This leaves the other 99% of competitors who can't innovate (Creative, Microsoft etc). What are they to do? Well, the only thing thing can do, because they are incapable of original thought, is to copy Apple.

This can clearly be seen with this (forgotten what it's called already) iPod rip-off and the latest screenshots of Vista.

This series of events is played out over and over again in all types of market.

And Sim Wong Boo Hoo, the only reason that Apple are able to nail down flash memory production is because they have a need for it you don't. So instead of whining about how well Apple are doing, why don't you innovate and give us a product that we'd all pick over the iPod? Come on, don't just do iPod knock offs! Create something that'll blow us away!

Or perhaps you aren't very Creative?
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post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiah
Or perhaps you aren't very Creative?

Oh very good

It is intersting to have a bit of competition, but personally the only reason i would possibly buy this over the ipod video would be the tivo to go feautre, but sinse i cant get tivo where i live, its not possible.
post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by Denmaru
Hmm.. Looking at my 3rd Gen iPod, I´m quite tempted. And *gasp*, the Design looks pretts good, too.
If it plays Xvid, then the better - I´d love to watch my Anime on the go :3

Any ideas how it will integrate in iTunes?

I don't think you can use the Zen with iTunes, you'll have to move your library over to Windows Media Player if your on windows. I don't think Macs can access yahoo! unlimited either... I think you would have to use Realplayer's software for syncing with the Zen on a Mac.
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post #16 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Creative on Thursday launched the Zen Vision:M digital music and video player -- an knockoff of Apple's iPod that offers a strikingly similar look and feel to the fifth-generation video iPod with a few added twists and longer battery life.

The 30GB video player, photo viewer and MP3 player was "designed with a stunning, 2.5-inch, high-resolution 262,144 color LCD screen" which "displays rich, vibrant digital video, and photos, full-color menus and album art," according to Creative.

The Singapore-based digital audio company said the $330 player will hold up to 15,000 songs and supports music subscription services including Yahoo! Music Unlimited, Napster To Go and Rhapsody To Go.

Creative claims the Zen Vision:M's rechargeable battery provides up to 14 hours of music playback or 4 hours of video playback. Supported video formats include MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Xvid, WMV, and MJPEG.

The player also supports TiVoToGo for free viewing of TV shows recorded on a TiVo personal video recorder, digitized home movies transferred from the PC, and video blogs from companies such as RocketBoom.

"When people see the Zen Vision:M, they tell us it's incredibly cool," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "We designed the Zen Vision:M with its mesmerizing 262,144 color screen to display four times the color of the 30GB iPod that plays video, and to provide twice the battery life for video playback."

Taking another stab at rival Apple, Hoo said: "Plus, we offer people the freedom to choose their video in a variety of different formats, and to get subscription music or download tracks from a number of different sites to their player."

Other features of the Zen Vision:M include FM radio and recording with 32 preset options, a Vertical Touch Pad and Tactile Buttons, content password protection, a built-in Microphone, selectable interface themes, an organizer, and the ability to display full-color image output on any size TV screen through an optional composite video-out connector.

Creative's iPod knockoff: the Zen Vision:M

Creative said the Zen Vision:M will ship this month and will include an AC adapter, USB 2.0 cable, high-quality earphones, and a protective pouch. Optional accessories will include a docking station and an AV-out cable.

But if facsimileing Apple's latest iPod wasn't enough, Creative appears ripe to take its digital audio battle with the iPod maker to the mattresses. At the launch of the Zen Vision:M, Hoo reportedly told the BBC he plans to "aggressively" pursue a US patent that Creative owns on a system used to navigate music on digital players.

The report follows speculation that the company would seek royalties from Apple after it said it had won a patent in the US for "the way music tracks are organized and navigated on a player through a hierarchical system using three or more screens."

In recent months, Creative has also accused Apple of creating a shortage of digital music players due to its strategic flash-memory partnership with Samsung Electronics.

"Industry demand for high-capacity flash memory currently outstrips supply and this will impact availability of our 1GB flash MP3 players for the holiday quarter. [...] The shortage of flash memory, according to industry analyst speculation, is primarily a result of a special deal that Apple has secured from a key supplier for the holiday season," Creative Labs president Craig McHugh said in late October.

Creative last quarter posted a bigger loss than analysts had expected, partially due to competition from Apple and its flash-memory price squeeze.

Creative Sucks.
post #17 of 100
The Zen Vision does have a wider screen and has the format that a lot of the mocked up iPod videos speculated on.

http://www.creative.com/products/pro...&product=12985
post #18 of 100
This guy is an idiot. Apple can win a trade dress suit long before Creative's Patent can ever be settled (even if it were ligit).

By the time it is settled Apple will have forced Creative to withdraw their product and they will long have been in bankruptcy.
post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by CREB
I've been around long enough to remember how people laughed and poked fun at Toyota too when they first came to the United States. I remember it well as people said they were junk, funny looking, too small, etc. Who's laughing now?

This is true, however Toyota implemented a process of continuous improvement and flow-based manufacturing, etc. that enabled them to climb to where they are now. If Creative has the same, then I'd be a bit more worried. Funny thing is, Apple kind of has this already. They are continually improving and tweaking their products even in small hardly noticeable ways.
post #20 of 100
Twice as bulky as the iPod, $30 more expensive, knock-off design? I like competition, don't get me wrong, but this is just lame. Come up with something original, instead of making it look like an iPod, so some consumers purchase it by accident.
post #21 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by mike518
Creative Sucks.

Was it really necessary to quote the entire article just to say that?
post #22 of 100
ok, thiought id line up the specs of the Zen Vision M and the 30gb iPod side by side.

1. Capacity
Zen: 30gb
iPod: 30gb

2. Physical Size
Zen: 104 x 62 x 18.6 mm
iPod: 104 x 61 x 11 mm

3. Weight
Zen: 163g
iPod: 136g

4. Screen
Zen: 2.5" LCD, 320 x 240
iPod: 2.5" LCD, 320 x 240

5. Battery Life
Zen: up to 14 hours (MP3, 128kbps, 4mins/song)
up to 8 hours (WMA, 64kbps, 4mins/song)
up to 14 hours (FM radio)
up to 4 hours (Video, MPEG 4, 500kbps)
iPod: up to 14 hours (AAC, 128kbps, 4mins/song)
up to 2 hours (Video, h.264 750kbps with 128kbps audio)

6. Supported audio formats:
Zen: MP3, WMA, WAV
iPod: AAC, MP3, AIFF, WAV, Apple Lossless

7. Supported Video Formats:
Zen: DivX 4 & 5, XviD5, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, WMV9, Motion-JPEG (May not play all Divx 4 & 5 files)
iPod: H.264, MPEG4

8. Additional Features
Zen: FM Radio, Built in microphone, contacts, calendar
iPod: contacts, calendar, world clock, screen lock, games

ok, think i got everything, anything else let us know!!

stu
post #23 of 100
For anyone who is interested, the "video" iPod is the first iPod that lets you record CD quality audio, without hacking it (e.g. installing Linux on it). You do need a special adapter to plug in a microphone, though. I'd be interested to hear from anyone using this feature.

The reason I mention it is that previous iPod's only let you record lower quality audio. That's an area I believe Creative had been ahead: I think they've always let you record CD quality audio.
post #24 of 100
I can appreciate the desire of some of those features, but what's the appeal of tivo2go?

I mean, what's left on tv that's worth tivo-ing?

I'll stick with Apple.\
post #25 of 100
Well creative must be scared silly... I mean really DIFFERENTIATE your industrial design guys.

Competition is a GOOD thing. Innovation is also BETTER thing.

NOTE TO THE DIRECTORS OF "CREATIVE" (sic)":
WANT THE MARKET STOP TELLING US HOW BAD APPLE IS AND SHOW US HOW COOL YOU COULD BE.
Incremental add-ons are NOT INNOVATION.

Also show us some creativity in your ads at least.

It was really sad how the likes of IBM started copying Apple's Ads. the art directiors Chiet-Day should be groaning right now...
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
This is true, however Toyota implemented a process of continuous improvement and flow-based manufacturing, etc. that enabled them to climb to where they are now. If Creative has the same, then I'd be a bit more worried. Funny thing is, Apple kind of has this already. They are continually improving and tweaking their products even in small hardly noticeable ways.

so what's your point?
post #27 of 100
This is the first consumer product from Creative that actually seems reasonably well-designed and has a compelling feature list. Not that I think they'll have much more success than they've had in the past, but it does show that they know how to fairly effectively "embrace and extend" Apple's designs now. They'll probably sell a decent number to the "I went to the store to buy an iPod but they were sold out so I got you this" shoppers over this holiday season, though.

Someday maybe they'll even have an original idea.
post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
This is true, however Toyota implemented a process of continuous improvement and flow-based manufacturing, etc. that enabled them to climb to where they are now.

Same with Datsun and other Japanese auto manufacturers. I remember watching a TV show a couple years ago about the history of cars that included some comical footage from when Japanese cars were first intro'd in the US. Who's laughing at 'em now?

PS: My wife love the 1996 Camry we just bought a few weeks ago.
post #29 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by CREB
I've been around long enough to remember how people laughed and poked fun at Toyota too when they first came to the United States. I remember it well as people said they were junk, funny looking, too small, etc. Who's laughing now? If I recall Apple was in the doldrums for a while in the past. I love Apple, but the marketplace is a vicious animal, leaving no hostages.

The difference being that the iPod is an extremely good product whereas US cars were terrible and mostly still are terrible compared to Japanese and European cars. Apple isn't the US car industry.

I don't think your analogy holds water.
post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by Celco
so what's your point?

My point was that just because someone has started out making crappy products doesn't mean that they will automatically evolve into great, world-beating products a la Toyota, unless they have a process in place to do so.
post #31 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by stustanley

6. Supported audio formats:
Zen: MP3, WMA, WAV
iPod: AAC, MP3, AIFF, WAV, Apple Lossless

iTunes will of course transcode unprotected WMA files so really it's only songs bought with protected WMA from Napster, Yahoo etc that you can't use. Those services don't run at all on the Mac anyway so no loss to Mac users.

Quote:
Originally posted by stustanley
7. Supported Video Formats:
Zen: DivX 4 & 5, XviD5, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG4-SP, WMV9, Motion-JPEG (May not play all Divx 4 & 5 files)
iPod: H.264, MPEG4

On engadget, someone with a Zen Vision said that the DivX support doesn't include AC3 audio which rules out about 60% of the illegal video content that people use DivX for from the usual bit torrent sites. Also, I can't see the point of carrying around massive full resolution videos to view on a 320x240 screen so you may as well transcode them down to that size anyway and use H.264 to save space.

Does the Zen support podcasts? No.

Does it have decent music management software comparable with iTunes? No.

Also, Tivo announced it would support the iPod a few days ago, raising the hackles of NBC in the process. So Tivo support is a non-issue.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign ]The difference being that the iPod is an extremely good product whereas US cars were terrible and mostly still are terrible compared to Japanese and European cars. Apple isn't the US car industry.

I don't think your analogy holds water.

The analogy is one of business, that both are clearly within. Do not count out another manufacturer because of their current quality control or design aspects are not equivalent as that ebbs and flows in any industry. I have friends that are exceeding content with their Creative products and although they like the iPod they still like their Creative player better. Since Apple is currently the stud duck in the pond, and has certainly done the most to bring music content delivery to the forefront, does not guarantee they remain the stud duck; history proves this quite well. When it is no longer a fad and becomes commonplace, price-point and features will be the key reason of purchasing an MP3/digital content player for the majority (aka masses) of buyers.
post #33 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
The difference being that the iPod is an extremely good product whereas US cars were terrible and mostly still are terrible compared to Japanese and European cars. Apple isn't the US car industry.

I don't think your analogy holds water.

I don't think it does either. It's a faulty comparison. No one has questioned the quality of the Creative product. The question is about their blatant rip off and a delibrate attempt to confuse consumers and capitalize on apple's R+D budget. Then they have the balls to threaten to sue Apple. Of course, the media goes into "OMG Apple is getting sued" mode. Never mind that Apple could buy and sell Creative about 20 times over.
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post #34 of 100
Quote:
Does the Zen support podcasts? No.

What on earth are you talking about? Any media player that supports MP3s supports podcasts. Podcasts are not an iPod centric technology.
post #35 of 100
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ajmas
[B]What on earth are you talking about? Any media player that supports MP3s supports podcasts. Podcasts are not an iPod centric technology.

You'd have to go and download each episode separately or with a separated application as WMP does not do that.
post #36 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by ajmas
What on earth are you talking about? Any media player that supports MP3s supports podcasts. Podcasts are not an iPod centric technology.

Some podcasts are in AAC format with chapters, artwork, URLs and time coded changes that appear on your screen.

That's leaving aside the fact the Zen doesn't have any method of differentiating podcasts from normal mp3s or any software for downloading and organising them on your PC.

Or that it doesn't support AAC files anyway which is totally bizarre. You'd think by now that if they wanted to capture the iPod's market or iTunes users they'd support the format people are encoding in.
post #37 of 100
Incredible - first they criticize apple for alleged patent infringement, and then they go and piss all oer that staement by introducing an Ipod knock off!
post #38 of 100
It is interesting to see the Apple zealots...Apple now and forever! I was once there (I've owned a Mac since 1984), but the realities of the marketplace supersede all. People act if Jobs has never made a condescending statement about another competitor or product.

Here's my prediction: Apple will lose the vast market-share of the digital content delivery as others infiltrate and reduce the costs. Internationally, Apple is up against players who are not that interested in playing by the game rules and hence have an advantage. For some reason people think music is only made in America. There is unequivocally no question that Apple's approach to design, and product execution is among the finest in the world and hence I support them through purchasing many of their products, but there is a very small percentage of the world populace who thinks this way. Most buyers are enamored with the iPod and what it has come to mean, but its meaning can be enjoyed though other brands as well. The iPod is very popular now, but...
post #39 of 100
I actually think that it seems to try to one-better the iPod. Now, if only they had a content infrastructure.
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post #40 of 100
Quote:
Originally posted by CREB
It is interesting to see the Apple zealots...Apple now and forever! I was once there (I've owned a Mac since 1984), but the realities of the marketplace supersede all. People act if Jobs has never made a condescending statement about another competitor or product.

Here's my prediction: Apple will lose the vast market-share of the digital content delivery as others infiltrate and reduce the costs. Internationally, Apple is up against players who are not that interested in playing by the game rules and hence have an advantage. For some reason people think music is only made in America. There is unequivocally no question that Apple's approach to design, and product execution is among the finest in the world and hence I support them through purchasing many of their products, but there is a very small percentage of the world populace who thinks this way. Most buyers are enamored with the iPod and what it has come to mean, but its meaning can be enjoyed though other brands as well. The iPod is very popular now, but...

Have a browse through iTMS Japan and think again. There's a lot of stuff anime fans would cry for but can't buy in the US (and of course not in Britain!)

And we don't act like Steve Jobs is an Angel ... he and his company are more interesting than that ... pretentious, self-referential, anti-competitive and downright nasty ... sometimes, as well as their dependable creativity and occasional genius.

You and others are right that the iPod won't be THE player in 10, 5 or maybe even 2 years time. And Apple shouldn't bet the farm on it. But it has been a wonderful leading edge to their campaign, bringing industrial design to the pockets of the masses, a music delivery system integrated in a way that Seems Right and yet poor Windows users rarely get to see. It's made the company a boatload of cash and even more in public awareness. But Macs are where it's at ... and doing to every form of media what iPod and iTunes has done to music! Yes, let's try to take over the (media content distibution) world! On the desktop, in the living room and in your pocket.

It's better than System 7, Beige boxes and endless talk of the whole show shutting down next week!
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