The "U" Word

Making Windows safe for Unix people since 1995


So I just got a Creative Zen Touch

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This 20GB hard-drive-based MP3/WMA player looks cool, nice in the hand, has pretty reasonable controls... and has some odd software with some weird quirks.

  • I can't get the Creative software to find the 6GB of music already living on my laptop. Although I've pointed the MediaSource tool at the top level directory of my music repository, it doesn't see anything.
  • The Creative folks decided not to make the Zen appear to Windows as a hard disk. I suppose it's because they didn't want to implement a standard filesystem internally. That was a mistake; near as I can tell, the Zen treats the hard disk as if it were a single directory. Each track must be uniquely named by the song title, which is a real problem if you have two or more tracks with exactly the same title (in my case, there are two tracks called “Sunday“ on the soundtrack to Sunday in the Park with George).

I'm going to LA for a 4-day weekend; I'll see how it works for me during that. I'm pairing it with a pair of Bose QuietComfort 2 noise-cancelling headphones (which I adore for air travel); the sound quality should be at least as good as that generated by the Dell C610 laptop I currently use.

  • I have a 30gig zen jukebox that have the same problem as you mentioned about the titles.

    it really irritates me so much, and i have to constantly use mp3 tagging tools to retag my songs.

  • No need to use a separate tool (at least for WMA files); Explorer can do the job. Right-click on the file you need to retag and select the Properties tab. The "Title" field is the one in question; just change it and you're done.

  • Forget the creative software, go buy redchair's notmad explorer ( - it's so much better

  • ive had a 20gb zen for a little over a year, and after the first day i never used the creative software again, its just too crappy.

    maybe check out, they have a cheap replacement app that will handle transfers and such.

  • I also have just purchased a Creative Zen Touch and I am loving it!
    Its easy to nav., fast loading and cheap compared to others (Ipods). Hope yours works out as well as mine!

  • I'm still liking the sound quality, but the user interface is, um... lousy. Simple things like clearing the current playlist are incredibly unintuitive.

    If you get this on sale, fine; personally, I wouldn't pay list price for this puppy.