Once upon a time, I bought on impulse an Apple 3rd Generation iPod. The iPods were all the rave and despite my fascination with technology I never did have a MP3 player. That was just a little before I was about to set off to Quebec over the summer for my job at a National Park. I decided I wanted to be able to carry my music collection with me so I could listen to it over there. I didn’t feel like taking a portable CD player (which I also did not have) with 50 CDs. Thus iPod in hand, I set off to Quebec. That was to be the commencement of my quest for the perfect MP3 player for me, not to mention also the beginning of my gadget addiction.
I spent a whole lot of time with that dear iPod over the summer. It and I went everywhere together. Ha, no I’m just kidding about that, but I did honestly have quite a bit of time to listen to it. It was great to have the ability to listen to my music outside of my home without bringing something overly cumbersome. However, I did find a few faults with it. Firstly, although it is relatively small (and Apple compares its size to a stack of CDs that it could hold) it was still too large for what I wanted. As well, the iPod was essentially devoid of features unless you bought this $50 accessory or that $70 extension. That was money I didn’t feel like spending on the iPod since it would only mean more to carry around with me. Finally, battery life wasn’t all that stellar. Even the rated 8 hours it never reached. Thus began my buying spree…
I needed something smaller than the iPod, had the features I wanted (like radio and voice recording) and could still hold my then 3-4GB music collection. It basically came down to the Creative Zen Micro and the Apple iPod Mini. I threw out the Mini since it was essentially an iPod, shrunk, no more features, and in stupid colors. The Zen Micro on the other hand had all the features I wanted and more. It was 5GB (slightly larger than the 4GB of the Minis then) and had decent battery life. It also came in even more stupid colors than the Mini (it’s as though that were a selling feature or something… /sarcasm). I stuck with the tried and true silver (also the first one available) just cause I’m boring and old fashioned. So I ordered my Zen Micro in late November, early December. I hoped to have it by Christmas.
And indeed I did have it for Christmas. In fact, I got it before Christmas. And by Christmas I was about ready to throw it in the garbage. The firmware I got it with was a total bugfest and so I was recommended to flash the firmware with a newer one available from Creative that fixed many of the previous problems. Little did I know that the new firmware would actually break the player I had. The thing would no longer turn on after updating. So back that player went for a replacement, but I was always left with a bad taste in my mouth. The replacement that was sent to me got lost the first time around and so it wasn’t until early February that I finally received a working Creative Zen Micro.
That’s all for this part of this article. I’ll have few more adjoining articles that will describe my experience with the MP3 players I purchased as well as a final one about why I have still not been completely satisfied with anything I’ve seen in the MP3 player market to date. Perhaps they’ll help any potential MP3 player buyers out there who are reading my blog. Here’s a preview of what’s to come.