Creative Zen MP3 Players - Creative MuVo MP3 Players

Creative got its start as a manufacturer of computer sound cards. In recent years they have produced a number of popular models of MP3 players including the Nomad, the Zen and the MuVo. The Nomad was discontinued in 2005, but it was one of the first hard drive MP3 players on the market. The original Nomad was quite bulky compared with the slim compact designs of modern MP3 players, but featured a massive (for the time) 6 GB hard drive and an innovative search function.

There are currently two basic lines of Creative MP3 players, although each (the Creative Zen and the Creative MuVo) has several models to choose from. Most Zen players have a hard drive, while all of the MuVo players are flash memory devices capable of both music and data storage.

Creative Zen

There are 12 Creative Zen models, including the flagship Zen Vision - a portable multimedia device with audio, video, FM radio, built-in microphone and extensive calendar and organizer functions. The relatively large 3.7" screen makes it one of the best portable devices in its price range for viewing videos.

The Zen Vision has a 30 GB hard drive, big enough for 120 hours of video or 15,000 songs. It supports many audio and video formats including MP3, Microsoft's WMA and WMV, DivX and MPEG 4.

Another popular Zen model is the Zen Micro. It is available with a 4, 5 or 6 GB hard drive which can be partitioned so that part of it is available as a computer removable hard drive. It has a FM radio/recorder, a microphone and can synchronize with the calendars and contact lists of Microsoft Outlook.

One of the flash memory Zen models is the Zen Nano available in either 512 MB or 1 GB sizes. Its small size and skip-free audio playback make it suitable for workouts, though the tiny screen can only display a limited amount of information.

Creative MuVo

Creative is big on choice - just like the Zen, the Creative MuVo line has 12 models. MuVo players have flash memory, so are lighter and smaller than their hard drive based cousins.

Style is the keyword of the MuVo. These are colorful, slim devices that are designed for looks as much as for sound. But make no mistake about the sound ? it's as good as you'll find in any MP3 player.

All of the MuVo players can function as a USB memory stick for data storage. Simply plug it into the computer and it will recognize the MuVo as a removable drive. Some models have special features such as lyric display or video playback. Many of the MuVo players have an integrated FM radio and a built-in microphone.

Combining the functions of a USB memory stick and MP3 player is a useful feature, and Creative emphasizes this in their advertising. All of the MuVo models are compatible with USB 2.0 for speedy data transfers and any amount of the memory can be used for data storage. Transferring files - either MP3s or data - is done by dragging and dropping.

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