You can’t adjust the size of the text, although making the text larger would result in less information being displayed on the screen. Saying that, with the backlight on, I was still able to read the display at almost arms length without my glasses.
The Zen Micro is about the size of a small mobile phone measuring 51 x 84 x 19mm (WxDxH) and weighing 108g. This makes it slightly heavier and fatter than the iPod Mini, but it is a little shorter.
Oddly enough, the back button brings you into the main menu, whereas as I explained, the menu button brings down a drop down menu with a selection of options. The menu is easy to navigate with the scroll button and entering sub menus is done by tapping it. Creative has added a fair few menu options and some interesting features as well.
I just realised that I forgot to mention one other feature that Creative has thrown in for good measure – an FM radio. The pull down menu allows you to record from the radio and there is an auto scan feature that will find whatever stations are available in your local area and store them to the memory. You can store up to 32 stations and you can even name the stations to make it easier to tell what you’re listening to.
The Zen Micro can play MP3 and WMA files as well as WMA9 with DRM encoded at a maximum 320kbits/sec, which is pretty standard. Personally I’m not a fan of DRM but at least you have the ability to play music that you’ve downloaded from a legal source on the Zen Micro.
DRM implementation should mean that the Zen Micro is not drag and drop and that you would have to use the supplied Creative MediaSource Organizer to transfer music to and from the device. Interestingly though, once the software is installed, you can drag non DRM music to the Zen Micro and it will happily copy across, but it doesn’t work reverse. The MediaSource Organizer is however quite easy to use as it looks like Windows Explorer and works pretty much the same way, except for the fact that you have to press transfer once you’ve select the music you want to copy to or from the Zen Micro.
But if you think this sounds like an awkward way of doing things, then Creative has just the solution for you, the Zen Micro Media Explorer, which allows you to synchronize your music library at the touch of a button. OK, you need to have Windows Media Player 10 for this to work and if you do, you might as well use it, since it does the same thing. Create a play list in Windows Media Player 10, press the sync button and presto, all done.
Creative has managed to couple the Zen Micro with Windows and Media Player 10 very well, but it doesn’t stop here as the Zen Micro Media Explorer has plenty more features on offer. First there is the audio CD ripping utility, which opens the CD tray when launched, connects to CDDB and downloads all the track information automatically. All very easy as long as you’re happy to rip your music as 128kbits/sec MP3, but if you want to change anything you have to do this under the Edit Settings menu which can be confusing if you’re not used to ripping music.