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Creative ZEN X-Fi2 MP3 Player 32GB (Black)
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X-Fi audio technology
Intuitive 3" TFT LCD touchscreen
TV video connection
Built in alarm
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 302 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 302 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
194 of 200 found the following review helpful:
Not Ready For Prime TimeOct 27, 2009
By R. Hunt
I've owned many MP3 players incl. Creative's Muvo, Zev V, and Zen. What drew me to the X-Fi2 was the larger screen, the video out, the RSS, plus the touch interface and speaker somewhat.
Display: Very pretty, 400 X 240. Good quality video and images look sharp and bright.
Audio Quality: I did A/B comparisons between the Zen and the X-Fi2, and the X-Fi2 wins. The top end is smoother, and the bass is tighter and deeper, and the overall sound is more open. They're similar in max volume, but the X-Fi2 sounds better.
X-Fi: I don't use it.
Creative Centrale: Install it, then forget it.
Audio Storage: Album art is a problem. The art has to be "embedded" in the ID3 tag for it to appear, it's possible Windows Media Player automatically does this. This can also be done with an app like "Mp3tag". Which meant going back and doing that to all 350 albums I had on the old Zen. Note that I don't use any services like Rhapsody, or files with DRM, so for me playback itself was fine.
Viewing Photos: Some jpgs don't show up except as "?" marks. Not sure why.
Videos: Nightmare. With the avi or wmv that worked fine on the Zen, the audio would break up or the vids wouldn't be recognized. Creative Central was unreliable and slow, and coverts vids to wmv.
I tried about 6 other converters, and either audio or video was messed up, or just not recognized (XVid, Divx, or wmv). Finally tested Handbrake, and the X-Fi2 was happy playing those XVid files, with very specific settings, about 90% of the time. And when it works, it looks great.
Video Out: Works surprisingly well, but no one will think it's a DVD.
RSS: Run a sync program from the X-Fi2 when it's connected to your PC. Kind of a pain, but it works.
Battery: Seems like the charging time and life are on par with the Zen.
Interface: Not easy. A quick light touch mostly doesn't work. Pressing down a larger area takes longer to process, so sometimes the fingernail trick is best. And sometimes it just takes a long to to respond in general. It also misinterprets gestures frequently. But with practice, it's usable.
The volume control is not immediately accessible (3 steps) on most levels, and not at all from the main menu. So trying to quickly turn it down on a sunny day (hard to see the display) is almost impossible.
Trying to do things one-handed is difficult (e.g. walking to the train, X-Fi2 in one hand, coffee in other).
Summary: It feels that the X-Fi2 was launched before development was complete. The touch interface is quirky, the video support is very finicky, and the menu design needs refinement. I'm hoping further firmware updates improve things. ITMT, the average user will NOT be happy.
98 of 101 found the following review helpful:
Hardware good, software support kills it.Nov 21, 2009
By G. Wernette
"After all the identity theft with the internet, Amazon insists on a real name for this? What horseshit!"
I had high hopes for this player. Creative certainly advertizes it as the ultimate music machine that also plays video. And that is true, up to a certain point.
SPOILER ALERT: The X-Fi2 is not an MP4 player, seems sort of sad for a product of mid 2009. The device will play .avi files, but if you wrap an ffmpeg in an m4v container, it will not work.
1. The hardware is good, not great. The outer casing is slick metal, and can slip out of your fingers very easily. I ordered the leather case as a bumper bra, and at the time of my purchase, there were no 'skin' accessories to enhance the gripping of the X-Fi2. This is a two-handed device, one to grip, one to operate.
2. The Creative Centrale software sucks. There is no other word for it. Don't expect it to do anything useful (XP SP3). Fortuneatly, it is a mass-storage device, and you can drag-n-drop your files onto the X-Fi2 to avoid it.
3. Don't use Creative Centrale to encode video. It will not play reliably. The X-Fi2 has a limited compatibility with video files, so a third-party, one-trick pony application is needed to produce compatible video. Download a program, like HandBrake (free), and you will be able to watch great video on the 3" screen. The key to successfull video, scale the source video down to the X-Fi2's size (400 x 240). Observe perspective, get as close to those values as your source video will scale, but don't force them. keep your quality setting at 80& or higher, and the video will look very close to the source quality. 100% quality gives a great picture on the 3" screen, with all 16 million colors present, and no blocky pixels.
UPDATE: About Handbrake. The ZEN is now long in the tooth, but once in a while I need to dump a new movie on it for a friend. The version that works best for me is Handbrake Version 0.9.3 ( Anything newer than 0.9.3 drops the '.avi' function, and all you have left is m4v or mkv.) If you want to scale a DV video down to Zen screen, but find your "Que" never starts, you might have a full log table. Go to your Library preferences, open Handbrake folder, and delete the log/txt files that are there. I found that my logs folder had record of every conversion ever performed, even mixed between different versions of Handbrake. Cleaning them out brought back the program.
4. Touchscreen. Could be better. Even after issuing a firmware update just for the touchscreen, it still doesn't track well, and can be frustrating for diabetics who's finger tips may not get good circulation. You will do alot of swiping.
5. Music. Sound quality is superb, but the adjustments are not. Users must navigate several sub-menus for EQ, detail, and x-fi enhancements.
6. The supplied in-ear phones are comfortable and sound great. They come with a set of 3 different-size inserts.
7. Tuner. Great sound, poor management. Although there are 20+ presets for storing your favorite radio stations, they are not represented by any shortcut keys. You must access them sequentially, scroll through till you find the one you want. SPOILER ALERT: EQ cannot be applied to the tuner without leaving the tuner function, thereby killing the music. This sucks if you like to change genres of music in the same sitting. In order to select your listening preferences you leave the tuner section to access the EQ submenu, then have to go back and re-enter Tuner. Very bad, because it creates a negative exerience for radio listening.
8. Pictures. I haven't done many pictures, but the few which have been dropped in, need a few seconds to be loaded, then they are 'instantly' accessable :P
9. Battery. So far, I've gotten about 7 hours maximum, while watching video at 3/4 screen brightness. I haven't tried to stay with just music to see how much longer it could last.
10. Voice. The sample recording was of good fidelity, and I could hear background objects faintly (but cleanly) from about 10 ft. Closer is obviously better.
11. Expansion. The expansion slot is a nice addition, but is not without its quirks. Sometimes your files are not listed on the microSDHC card. You can not swap between internal, and expansion slot without forcing the X-Fi2 back to the Main Menu and refresh access. That should bring them up, but it is a step easily forgotten. Not sure why the Zen doesn't keep the microSDHC slot active, and this requirement is not printed anywhere in the documentation.
Micro SDHC slot, recognizes up to 16GB.
Drag-n-Drop, no iTunes requirement(like an iPod would have)
3" Screen is high resolution, can have great video IF YOU SCALE.
VERY BAD SOFTWARE: Creative Central application is hands-down worst interface I've ever tried to use. The irony is, I have Creative mp3 players (Nomad IIc / Nomad Jukebox) from 2003 that have better software, and everything works. This year's Creative Centrale interface is pure crap.
Clunky operation: touch screen tracking is finicky, plus submenus are needed to access basic music adjustments. There is certainly enough empty real estate on the screen to program a shortcut or two, but there are none.
Tuner: can't listen to radio station and select EQ at the same time.
When this player has the proper support, it is a fantastic machine. Unfortuneatly, the need to go out for 3rd party support reduces the smarmy feelings I could have, and I seriously hope that future upgrades will eventually make this the ultimate media player that Creative advertizes it to be.
63 of 69 found the following review helpful:
Zen X-Fi 2 "ROCKS"Oct 06, 2009
By J. Pendris
First of all, I own the Zen Vision: W,the Zen Vision: M ,the Zen Media "Flash" Player 32gb , the Zen X-Fi 32gb player
and NOW the Zen X-Fi 2 32gb player. So I'm am quite familiar with way these players sound,operate, etc.
With the advent of the X-Fi technology there's Nothing out there that can beat this sound. (I own the Zune HD 32gb player too, slick but not as good sound wise).
This latest player takes a little getting use to as far as the touch screen is concerned. It is NOT as sensitive as the Zune HD, But with a little practice it works just fine. Using your finger/thumb nail as a stylus works great! Using the flat end of a finger,not so much (it'll frustrate you).
Like I said, having prior experience with the previous iterations of this player will help immensely.
It beats the hell out the tiny buttons (controls) of the X-Fi.
There is a short learning curve with this device. (as with most device's, including the Zune HD)Well worth the effort as there are many options to tweak to your particular taste. And it's expandable with it's memory card, A BIG plus as you can plug in play any media you have what so ever from a SD micro card.
This is the most versatile MP3 "music" player out there.
It this player perfect ? NO,................ But it's another step in the right direction.
One last observation, The Creative Centrale software STILL Sux !!! Because,
The ripping program STILL fails (just like the previous version) (errors) after only two consecutive rips....................
and you have close the Centrale software program and restart. That's If you're lucky !
If not, you'll have to REBOOT your computer to make the program run properly,..................
BUY/GET/STEAL a stylus, you'll need it !!!
37 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Don't buy this product.Nov 12, 2009
By John Parker
I am a big fan of Creative mp3 players. I own the Creative Vision M player as well as the Creative X-Fi player; and, while each of these players has its advantages and disadvantages, I rate both of these as outstanding and highly recommended products. The Creative X-Fi 2 player, however, seems like it was rushed to market to compete with other touchscreen players, and it has been a huge disappointment.
In short, here are my objections to the X-Fi 2:
1. The touchscreen is extremely awkward to work with. Sometimes you have to press the screen two or three times to get it to respond. The interface of an mp3 player should work flawlessly. Unfortunately, the touchscreen of the X-Fi 2 makes using this mp3 player an exercise in frustration.
2. The original software that comes with the player does not save playlists correctly. If you save a playlist, it won't appear on your playlist. The update to the original firmware corrected this problem.
3. The resume play function does not work properly. I use my mp3 player mainly to listen to audiobooks, so the resume play function is absolutely critical for me. For some reason, the player often resumes playing at a place previous to where I left off the last time that I was listening to the audiobook.
4. The Crystalizer works just as well as on the X-Fi 2, but Creative must have changed the Expand on the X-Fi 2, for it sounds absolutely horrible! Expand does what it's supposed to do on the X-Fi model, which is to give the sound a more three-dimensional quality. On the X-Fi 2, however, Expand makes the audiobook sound like you're in a room with a really bad echo.
5. The volume control is awfully difficult to control on the screen, for the dot controlling the volume is so tiny. (Mind you, I have small hands. Even so, changing the volume to the desired level is extremely difficult!)
6. The rewind and fast forward buttons are S-L-O-W as compared to the X-Fi.
7. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to use the markers on Audible files on the X-Fi 2.
8. Flash-based players tend to freeze up and require a reset, but the X-Fi 2 seems to be freezing up a lot more than the X-Fi.
9. When you turn on the unit hoping to resume play, instead of going to the "now playing" screen, the unit turns on to the "main menu" screen. How frustrating to have to go through two extra pushes of a button to get back to what you were playing!
10. When saving the name of a playlist, good luck punching in the letters accurately with your finger! You'll have better luck if you use a stylus.
In sum, this unit is Creative Crap! If you have the X-Fi, don't buy the X-Fi 2. You will be disappointed. If you want to get an X-Fi player, stick with the original X-Fi line, at least until Creative fixes all of the problems that I've mentioned above.
As I said, I'm a big fan of Creative mp3 players, but the X-Fi 2 should definitely be taken back to the drawing board!
In fairness, I wanted to report that the firmware updates have corrected some of the problems stated above. I've noticed improvements in the following:
1. The touchscreen responsiveness has been improved. It's still touchy sometimes, but it's MUCH better than before!
2. The rewind and fast forward buttons work better now; however, I think that they've overcompensated. Now the buttons seem to advance and rewind SO fast that you have to keep fast forwarding and rewinding to end up at the right spot.
3. I've figured out how to use the audio markers on Audible files. You move forward and back using the fast forward and rewind buttons. Note: If you don't have the latest firmware, attempting to use the markers makes the player freeze and you have to use the reset button.
Thus, I congratulate Creative for taking the time to correct some of their blunders, but I'm disappointed that a company known for its superior products didn't take the time to get it right before it put the product on the market.
So if you buy this product, before you do ANYTHING with it, update the firmware!
21 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Best Zen I've owned! (And that's out of a lot of Zen)Nov 04, 2009
By B. Wofter
Alright, I'm going to write this first: I do not use Napster to Go. This product is NOT compatible with Napster to Go and never was claimed to be on the manufacturer website. In fact, it says directly that it's incompatible with protected music. If you use Napster to Go, this product isn't for you.
Now, you might be reading bad reviews over the touch screen. Well, it's a bit iffy. BUT, it's not as bad as everyone says. I work at K-Mart and their registers are touchscreen. They're worse than the screen in the Creative Zen X-Fi2 and they're almost perfect. I will admit when going through the music list, you'll encounter some weird things with scrolling. You'll try to scroll and accidentally select an artist you didn't want to. That's the ONLY problem with the touch screen.
But, the touch screen problems are well made up for. The sound quality is amazing. My computer has HD sound output and these are near, if not exactly, the same in sound. The music is crisp and high quality (note: I usually don't accept anything under 320kbps so, my music is high quality before hand) and exactly how you would want them. I do recommend turning on Bass Boost. No matter what you're listening to (metal, rap, I listen to it all), it'll add that kick you want with your music.
The interface is almost the same as my old Creative Zen (before it became the MX). The main different between the interface of the two is the fact that the icons are all out there to easily access. The menu is easily navigated. I've read reviews that have said that the sound control is only avaliable in the "Now Playing" portion of the MP3 Player, but I've come to discover this is not true. With the holding down of the "Home" button, you can easily access the Volume Control.
The layout of the player is pretty much perfect. The power button is out of the way and very hard to accidentally hit. Also, it takes about 4 to 6 seconds for it to even begin to start shut down, so if you're carrying it in your pocket, you won't have to worry about it randomly shutting off. The power button, like in almost all Zens, is, as well, the hold button. There is one other button. The menu button. It's just kind of there. Not badly positioned, but not in the best place.
Edit: I've managed to find a single other con. The MP3 player isn't the studiest thing every made. It fell out of my coat pocket and one corner of it shattered (compared to my Creative Zen which survived through a car accident with minor scratches). All in all, this is still the best Zen I've owned. As well, a new advantage is the upgrade to the firmware which shows potential in games and applications being added into the players ability, as well as potential for accelerometer (tilt and turn functionality) use.
That's pretty much all the goods and bads. To sum it all up:
AMAZING Sound Quality
No Napster to Go Support
Not the sturdiest thing out there
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