Creative Zen X-Fi 2 64 GB Review

I wanted to like it.

I have used various music players over the years, but mainly the Creative Zen.  I don’t use iPods because I have too many things that are in .wma format (yeah, yeah, I know) and I hate iTunes.  I’ve used Sansa products before, but after returning the 3rd one with a white screen of death, I decided they didn’t quite have the most robust quality control.

My current player (which I’ve had for a few years now) is a 32 GB MX and it is close to full.  You can put things on an extra SD card, but you have to access it differently from the other content.  And it’s a few years old.  And a contract was renewed.  And I got a raise.

Anyway, for the longest time, 32 GB was about the high limit, so when I noticed that Creative had a 64 GB unit, I decided to give it a try.  I was pretty disappointed, which is why I’m returning it.

There were two types of problems with it, technical and usability.  Since I didn’t try it for very long once the technical problems popped up, perhaps I would have figured out the usability problems.  The immediate one is that on my current player, if a song pops up then you can pretty quickly find a song you like better if it happens to be on the same playlist or loaded close to it.  Perhaps because the X-Fi is touch-enabled, I couldn’t figure out how to do it.

The technical problems were the deciding factor.  When you add content to a Zen, when you disconnect it from your computer, it has to rebuild indexes (or something), and is unusable while it is doing it.  On the MX, it takes maybe 20 seconds to do it.  With the X-Fi, it took 20 *minutes*.  Even if you didn’t add content, it would rebuild indexes after disconnecting (at least it did once).  So that really wasn’t going to work out.

The other issue is that the firmware has a hard-coded 8000 file limit on what you can load into the X-Fi.  Well, I already have more than that many files on my MX, so I had the luxury of a 64 GB player that I couldn’t add another file to.  Well, I guess that might not be technically accurate.  It did load the files, but you could only ‘see’ 8000 of them.  After the fact, I saw some other online comments about this.

Needless to say, I decided it wasn’t worth the time to screw around with it.  Back to Amazon it goes.  Maybe a Zune, or maybe when the new iPods come out in the coming weeks, I’ll give them a look.

posted on Saturday, August 28, 2010 5:02 PM Print
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