Creative Zen Vision M - pocket video player

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by CRmeansCeilingReached, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. thought i would post this in here too, given the number of personnel going on three weeks of PDT & concentration shortly :)

    i'm going to post this in a couple of forums (QMs + Film, plus maybe the naafi), simply because i am so utterly impressed.

    a couple of weeks ago i was searching for a new toy for ops & exercises etc. looked at lots of reviews, and rather than going for a Hype-od, i decided on the 60GB Creative Zen Vision M. got it through and have been mega-impressed with it, so i thought i would share.

    you can rip your dvds onto it, music, photos... it's got an FM radio, voice recorder... a "shortcut" button which you can programme to carry out whatever function you like - voice recorder, play random music, etc etc.

    oh and if you have any "personal" videos or photos, you can hide and password protect entire folders ;)

    i have only filled about 50GB so far. that includes:

    * about 75 DVDs. on default quality, they look good and take up between 300 - 700MB depending on length.
    * every episode of band of brothers, fawlty towers, game on, little britain, scrubs, the office, blackadder, drop the dead donkey (and soon men behaving badly & red dwarf)
    * about a thousand songs @128kbs
    * hundreds of photos
    * couple of hundred short video clips (ahem). obviously just of things like people falling off bikes and funny things like that.

    the official figures it gives are 240 hours of video, 15000 songs or tens of thousands of pictures.

    battery life is excellent - four to five hours on video on full volume. got nowhere near running battery down on music, its supposed to be 16 hours plus or something.

    as you can see from the pic, it's nice and compact. 2.5" screen and you don't get sore eyes or anything from watching it. viewing distance is 1 - 2 ft. you can watch in original widescreen, or let the player zoom to fill the screen.

    the thing that impressed me most was the quality of video image versus file size. even on default settings, it looks like DVD quality, just on a smaller screen (it's 320 x 240 pixels). when searching for problems, i've only ever noticed pixellation on very dark areas, and it doesn't affect viewing. if you want to have tip-top quality, a ripped DVD takes up about 2GB - but it's really not necessary in my opinion.

    if you want better quality you can convert your dvds at 640x480 (obviously takes up more space) and buy a composite out cable - which means you can output video, pics etc to your tv. or you can do what i do - dock it with your laptop and you can play them direct on there. you can also just use it as an external hard drive if you like.

    ripping films is dead easy and takes 20-40 mins, depending on the length of the film / how many episodes on disk. i use clonedvd mobile (with anydvd for regional protection issues etc) by i've been able to convert almost any format onto it - the only format the player has rejected is a couple of .rm files, and i don't understand why as it did some of them successfully. for file management etc, you're not tied to particular software like itunes - you can do it with windows explorer if you don't like the enclosed software.

    it has all sorts of stuff like graphic equaliser, "DJ" function copied from ipod (play rare tracks, play highly rated tracks, album of the day and loads more). you can set your favourite picture as wallpaper. you can also set up slideshows, and leave it on the bedside table as a living photo frame (if you've got eyes like a pilot ;) ).

    here is a review:

    couple of inaccuracies: it says there is no 60GB version (came out since the review) and says there is a wall charger in the box. there isn't - just a laptop docking cable for charging et al. you can pick up a wall charger from i-nique for £10.99, fully charges in 2.5 hours. i also bought one of their silicone skins with hardened screen protection - mainly to keep sand etc out.

    in summary, absolutely cracking bit of kit. cost? around £190 - amazon have it here

    no, i'm not selling them. it's just rare that i buy something and am so completely impressed with it!

    Attached Files:

  2. Is this for when you can't carry your tiniest laptop? Don't your eyes get tired using it? I can't see it being a substitute for my little IBM except on a couple-of-days trip.

    And thinking about it, no, not even then. I'm happy to carry the kilo or so of a decent screen.
  3. I've had two Creative Zens.

    Both of them were fecking shite. I'm never buying anything from Creative again (apart from the Creative Travelsound Speakers which are excellent and fully recommended).
  4. yes, but you don't have to storm an enemy-held airfield with a four man team of elite int corps, in order to carry out a field security survey ;) - SA80 in one hand and laptop in the other is sooooo impractical. whereas you can fit this in your webbing or pocket.

    besides, the only reason you need a big old screen is because you are very, very old!
  5. Knut. Last couple of times I did that I used a real man's visual aids. Letraset, blanco and 7 Int Coy template.

    Back then, we knew difference between 320x240 pixel screen and eyestrain. Oh yes.
  6. my previous MP3 player was a creative zen xtra 40GB. sound fine, never any technical problems. but the interface was lacking and occasionally and a bit fiddly, plus overall it was bulky. so i decided to go with a hype-od the next time - i mean, in reality, who NEEDS more than 4GB of music?!? thats a good 1000+ songs, and the ipod nano was looking very attractive.

    but then i started looking at video too, and all the reviews showed that in the important departments - visual quality, battery life, compatibility, ease of interface etc - the creative beats the ipod video hands down. so unless you want a hype-od through brand loyalty or to be in with the kids... this is the one to go for.

    p.s. whiskeybreath - thought you used slabs of marble and a couple of rocks to chisel out your visual aids ;)
  7. I've got one of these and it really is an excellent bit of kit!
  8. Whats wrong with a poncho and some chalk?
  9. CR,

    I got one for my daughter at Xmas, same spec as yours - had to send it back because it went tits up. Nevertheless, I got a replacement.

    With the first one when I tried ripping DVDs, I first had to run DVD Decrypter to obviously decrypt protected DVDs (which I assume all DVDs are if they are pre-recorded originals) and then I had to run AutoGK to convert the files to run on the Zen (though by reading your post, maybe I didn't need to..?). The process I followed was found on a website called ‘Anything But Ipod’

    The whole process took basstard hours for one DVD and just didn't seem worth the arse-ache. Can you give any tips for ripping DVDs to the Zen..??

    Much obliged.

  10. yep. go here:

    download AnyDVD and CloneDVD Mobile.

    anydvd runs in the background and cracks the region / copy protection (for backup purposes for dvds you have bought only, obviously).

    clonedvd mobile - select output format, insert dvd, select tracks to convert, select quality vs file size (default is fine), pick a name and off you go.

    takes 20-40 mins depending on length of film. might take longer if youve got a slow PC.

    its on 21 day trial, but i've done a couple of hundred in 15 days. am considering buying it after the trial is up (if i can't get the clock to restart by reinstalling it etc on expiry.)

    then buy me a pint for making your life very, very easy all of a sudden :)
  11. For fucks sake, are you on commission or something?
  12. I have got 1 CR only the 30gb,but I too am very impressed with it,I bought some Sennheiser cx300 ear plug thingies and the sound is fantastic,most of my music is ripped at 128 as well.I have just bought 1 of these to charge it with
    should be useful to you if you are heading off to Sunny climes
  13. oh come on, you've seen it live! you know it's good kit. if it helps, just imagine how much gay porn you could stick on yours :)

    rhodesian - cheers, won't get one yet - just more to carry. interesting bit of kit though - if i ever go hiking through the andes or something, ill get one.
  14. No problem CR, it charges my phone up a treat
  15. If you've got time on tour to watch films, then you've got a pointless job or aren't working hard enough!

    On tour you should either be working or sleeping.