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Creative Offers Alternative to Video iPod

Posted by iNext - 2005-12-15

Creative Technology, Ltd., a company geared toward digital entertainment via PC platform, announced Thursday the most recent addition to its line of Zen Vision PMPs (portable media players).

The 30GB Zen Vision: M, which the company said it designed to give Apple's iPod some creative competition, offers a number of features including MP3 and video player, photo viewer and FM tuner.

"We designed the Zen Vision: M to display four times the color of the 30GB iPod that plays video, and to provide twice the battery life for video playback," said Sim Wong Hoo, Creative's CEO, in a statement.

The Vision: M, which includes a vertical touch pad, boasts a 2.5-inch high-res 262,144 color LCD display. The device weighs about five ounces and measures in at 4.1" x 2.4" x 0.7".

In terms of multimedia, the Vision: M PMP offers video, MP3 and photo capabilities. It also has plenty of memory for storing thousands of photos, up to 15,000 songs or 120 hours of video.

Creative adds photos to Zen MP3. Click here to read more.

The MP3 player function allows for up to 14 hours of music playback and is compatible with MP3, WAV and WMA audio file formats. It also displays album art, according to company officials.

The player features Windows Media PlaysForSure technology, which gives users access to audio tracks via music subscription services like Yahoo Music Unlimited and Napster To Go. It also supports downloads from e-music stores including Yahoo Music, AOL Music Now, Napster and more.

The Vision: M video player offers up to four hours video playback and supports a range of video file formats, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MJPEG (Motion JPEG), WMV9 and compatible DivX 4, 5 and Xvid.

Users can download video files from their PC with an included USB 2.0 cable and have the option to access and view video blogs (from NYC-based Rocketboom).

The device also supports TiVo To Go, which lets users transfer and watch television shows stored on their TiVo DVR (digital video recorder), company officials said.

With Creative's Vision: M photo function, users can store and view color photos at 320 x 240 resolution.

Consumers can create and watch photo slideshows and can also add effects such as music. An optional video-out connecter lets users view single photos or entire slideshows through their TV.

The Vision: M makes available several additional features, including built-in microphone for voice recording and content password protection.

The new PMP also has a personal organizer, which can sync with Microsoft Outlook to transfer contacts, calendars and to-do lists. It also ups the ante by offering integrated FM radio with recording capability.

The Zen Vision: M is available in black, white, blue, green or pink and is slated to become available for purchase online later this month.

The player comes bundled with earphones, a power adapter, sync adapter, USB 2.0 mini-B cable and carrying pouch, and retails for $329.99.

Users can purchase a range of optional accessories such as a docking station and AV-out cable separately.

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