Despuite all the flaws and niggles, the iPod is still a great player and the fifth gen unit is still very much the benchmark for portable digital media players. It’s just so nice to look at, pleasing to hold, simple to operate and looks and sounds great.
However, most people will gravitate towards it without knowing that there are players out there that have fewer restrictions on what you do with your music, have built-in radio and microphones and have better quality displays. But many people just won’t care. The iPod is prettier, and sexier and doesn’t look like its going to lose its street cred any time soon. The fact that nothing is included and that you need to accessorise it so much is almost part of the appeal.
Part of the problem competitor’s face is that many will be upgrading from a previous iPod and will already have AAC encoded files, either from CDs or purchased from iTunes and won’t want to convert them into WMA. Also there’s the wealth of third party accessories already purchased, such as docks, remotes and car integration. If you want to protect those investments then it’s difficult to consider something such as the Zen, despite its advantages.
If music is primarily your focus then you might not be too bothered that the Zen has a better screen. While the 30GB player is fantastically slender the 60GB is thinner too desite having twice the capacity. For music then the iPod is still the way to go and if you think of the fifth gen iPod as a music player that can also play video you won’t be disappointed, as at the former it truly excels. If you do see yourself playing video though, the Zen will be a better choice.
The latest full size iPod is thinner and lighter than ever and can play video. However, getting video onto it isn’t as straightforward as it is for music and for display, TV output quality and video battery life, it lags behind Creative’s Zen Vision: M. If music is your primary interest though, its looks, style and ease of use are such that it’s still very difficult to resist the charms of this iconic portable media player.