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Zen vs Ipod - is there an answer

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by dUnKle, Dec 28, 2004.

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  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Argh

    Almost got this nailed down - did some shopping today and was suprised just how small in size a standard 20GB Ipod is - not that much bigger over the mini and would easily slip into jean pocket

    So I thought I would get one - until I found out they are rarer than xbox consoles on Xmas eve

    So upon turning to the web I have another look at the Creative 30GB Zen Xtra which is some £80 cheaper than the cheapest 20gb Ipod

    How big physically is the Zen ? Im after something small to fit in trouser pocket or an inside jacket pocket (such as the pocket for a mobile phone) would the Zen fit ? Is it any good ? If I order it am I going to wish I had a sexy looking Ipod within days of getting it ?

    As said the player will be used 90% for travelling to and from work - hence needs to be small and fit in inside pocket when on bike etc

    Also at home would like to be able to use it as a hi-fi unit and get speakers or something for it - I know the Ipod has those cool looking docking stations with speakers built in - does the Zen ?

    What should I go for ?
     
  2. probedb

    probedb
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    Well having had a Zen Xtra 60Gb I now have a 40Gb iPod.

    I'd say the Xtra has the edge on sound quality but 1) it's deeper, wider and taller and doesn't fit in the pocket nearly as easily as the iPod, 2) the interface on the iPod is so much nicer, the hold feature on the Xtra really annoys me...without a backlight you have to push the lever in then select unlock...try doing that walking home in the dark !!
     
  3. Dystran

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    I have "Creative Travelsound 200 speakers" which I use for my MP3 player. Can pick them up for around £35. They are portable, and can be used via batteries (24 hours playtime) or plug adaptor. Maybe not quite so good as the iPod docking station, but cheap, and still pretty good in my opinion. Give around 4watt total RMS (not bad for portables, there are some Sony's and others out there for the same £35 - £45 price bracket, that only give 2RMS total output).

    Also, I plug my MP3 player into my home surround sound system (using MP3 player earphone socket plugged into two phono sockets on the surround sound system - can get a cable for around £4). Since ths surround sound system has an amp, this gives my mp3 player the quality of any Hi Fi. Makes me laugh at the power and bass output coming from a little tiny player ;)

    Just ordered the Zen Xtra 30GB myself by the way. Can pick it up for £139 (incl VAT) - if your paying more let me know!.

    Oh last thing, ebuyer.co.uk are doing the Zen Xtra AND the Creative speakers I think for around £152.75 (incl.VAT) - special package deal. If you decide upon the speakers, then this is a very worthy deal in my opinion!!

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=64465

    Good luck
     
  4. ste_d73

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    zen xtra 30GB for £139......where please!!??
     
  5. mattross

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  6. Dystran

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  7. alancolledge

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    If you want the player to fit in your pocket then go with the ipod. I held a 4G 20gb Ipod in 1 hand and a Creative zen in the other(latest version with the touch pad).....no contest on the portabillity front.

    The ipod is no bigger than a pack of cards. Having said that life is full of compromises...Zen is bigger/heavier to hold a larger battery that lasts longer, although I have yet to have my ipod run out of juice while I use it :suicide:

    I too have the Creative Travel sound speakers(best sounding truley portable speakers I have ever heard IMO) and they also do a white set which matches the ipod nicely. Doubt they would better the Altec Lansing versions but worthy of a mention anyway.
    I know they are fairly rare at the moment but Kelko or Shopgenie might be able to help. :)
     
  8. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Well I went for a Creative Zen Touch

    arrived this morning from Amazon - it looks great, sounds great and feels great

    its smaller than a standard Zen but little bigger and heavier than an Ipod

    so far so good
     
  9. Pecker

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    Well, I've had my Creative for a few days, and compared to my brother's i-pod (and his son's mini i-pod) whilst visiting them.

    The i-pod is smaller, but enough to make a difference. To be honest, my small, square MD player fits in my jeans pockets - anything bigger would need to go in a jacket pocket - unless you are wearing combat rrousers with huge pockets. In the case of combat trousers or jackets, you'd need extremely small pockets to not fit either the i-pod or the Zen in to them.

    In other words, the Zen is slightly bigger and slightly heavier, but not enough to make a difference, unless you're in the extremely rare position of having pockets bigger than 10.4 cm wide, and smaller than 11.2 cm wide. In other words, sit and stare at them, one in each hand, and the i-pod wins. Go to work on the train with the i-pod one day and the Zen the next, and you really won't notice too much of a difference.

    Now I can see how people would prefer the i-pod's click wheel, but the way people go on about it, you'd think the Zen was like a PC with a keyboard but no mouse. There really isn't an awful lot in it. Indeed, I'm not sure that I don't prefer the Zen, but I appreciate it's a matter both of taste, and what you're used to.

    As for the styling/look, that's also obviously a matter of taste...but hold on, weren't we just talking about how well these things fit in our pockets? What does it mattter what it looks like if it's in your pocket, or a black leather carrying case?

    Sound quality - no contest. I've tried both i-pod & Zen with the same tracks, listening through my standard Sennheiser cans (which I use for all my walkpersons). The Zen is better. Not by a lot, but there's a distinct improvement in sound.

    Battery life - I haven't really measured either yet, but it would appear (both from the manufacturers quoted figures, and annecdotal evidence) that the Zen is better.

    Talking of batteries, I think we all know about the problems the i-pod has had. For me, the worst thing isn't that it stops charging. The worst thing is that you've got to send it back to Apple for a repair. Has anyone any experience of this? Earlier in the year I was hearing quotes of £100 & a 1 month wait. In comparison, a spare battery for the Zen costs c.£25, and you can replace it yourself. Indeed, if you're going on a long journey you can charge up both batteries & double the amount of time the unit will play for.

    Finally the price.

    From Amazon my 60GB Zen cost me £250. Apple don't do an i-pod at 60GB (except the i-pod photo. A 40Gb normal i-pod costs £270, the 60GB i-pod photo is £425 (all these prices are from Amazon - their own new prices).

    So, there's your choice.

    Buy the i-pod, and pay £20 more for 20GB less, worse sound quality, shorter battery life, and doing without your music for a month while you pay £100 to get your battery replaced (or £175 more to have a 2" colour screen).

    Or you could buy the Zen instead.

    Tough one!

    Steve W
     
  10. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Day of having my Zen touch and I am very happy with it

    It sounds great, easy to use and its not that big at all, only slightly bigger than my old MD player (actually volume wise it may even be smaller asits not that wide)

    easy to use and good price
     
  11. mick's cat

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    Well, I have to say the opposite to Pecker regarding iPod v Zen having had both for a while. The iPod is so much easier to use and has so many fancy tricks up its sleeve (like rate controlled scrolling using the wheel, say) that it makes the Zen look and feel positively medieval. Sound quality is equal to my ears using the supplied earbuds and with the same mp3 tracks, better on the iPod with anything better like Etymotic buds and/or using AAC coding. Battery life really does depend on what you're doing with the players and granted is marginally better with a Zen's 14 hours max against the iPod's 12 hours. As to replacing the iPod's battery that really is a fallacy that crept up but has been kept alive by anti-iPod people long after it was an issue for iPod users. All batteries fail, and the iPod Liion battery fails no more often than any other mp3 player's Liion battery. Apple replaces the battery free of charge within the year's warranty on a next day service, or out of warranty for around £60 by return of post, or you can buy your own from third-party suppliers for around £30 and do it yourself. Apple's service is also second-to-none. I had a minor problem with my earpuds recently where I tripped over them and pulled out one of the leads slightly. They still worked. However, I logged onto the Apple support site, filled out a form and got a new pair of earpuds the next day by DHL, free of charge.

    And did I mention coolness factor of the iPod, and the new friends you meet simply walking along the street? My Zen's only gets an airing these days if I'm out doing radical sports. And once I manage to locate an Armorpod in the UK for my iPod the Zen'll be on ebay...
     
  12. Pecker

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    Mick's Cat,

    Each to their own. If you prefer the i-pod's scroll wheel, I can't argue with you, it's a matter of taste. But it really is going too far to say it makes the Zen's control seem 'medieval'.

    I've must have had dozens of walkpersons of the years - cassette, CD, MD, and now the Zen. Having compared them all, I don't think any of the controls are fundamentally better or worse than any others - the difference from my first cassette model in the early '80's, through to the Zen & i-pod...well,there really isn't much in it.

    For crying out loud, we're talking about play/pause/next/prev/select. Any argument that any one set of controls is better than any other by anything more than a tiny margin is, frankly, ridiculous.

    And, at the end of the day, you have to ask if that scroll wheel is really worth the £175 I'd have to pay for the 60GB i-pod over the 60GB Zen.

    Put another way, if you had a Zen, and they released a scroll wheel as an accessary, would you pay that much for it?

    On the battery front, even accepting that there's no problem with the i-pod's battery (funny, even Apple admit they have problems, it's been on the BBC news, Watchdog, and Apple even have a special page on how to be oh-so-careful with your battery at their site), even accepting that, and accounting for the £60 you have to pay for an officially approved replacement (compared to £25 for the Zen), this still doesn't make up for that fact that the i-pod's battery simply isn't replaceable in normal use - it's get the screwdriver out time.

    As for the 'coolness factor', well one man's 'cool dude' is another man's 'fashion victim'. Some people like to be seen with the latest kit/trainers/Eminem t-shirt, but there are still a select few of us who don't go for style over substance.

    If you really think that all the criticisms of the i-pod are just from some anti-Apple brigade, you're wrong. I'm sure that accounts for some of it, but that i-pod price tag speaks for itself.

    £175's extra for the 60GB? You must be joking!

    The main factors in chosing which one to get must be:

    Sound quality (very close - Zen wins - just)
    Portability (very close - i-pod wins - just)
    Useability (open to argument - whichever way you look at it, there's not a lot in it)
    Styling (open to argument - also open to whether you're bothered about it or not - again, whichever way you look at it, there's not a lot in it)
    Battery (Zen wins by a clear margin on useability, batterty life, reliability, ease of replacement)
    Value for money (Zen wins by absolutely miles)

    In other words, the only 'battles' won clearly by either machine is won by the Zen. The i-pod may be better in some areas, but this is (a) arguable, and (b) slight, at best.

    There is absolutely no argument about the Zen's superiority with batteries & value for money, and it's streets ahead of the i-pod on both counts.

    Steve W
     
  13. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    blimey - that would be enough to have swayed my decision against the Ipod if still debating !

    Walking down street - oh wow - you have an ipod - you are just as cool as me - lets go for coffee and not be able to hear each other speak as we listen to our music

    Or - oh wow - you have an ipod let me hit you til you give it to me
     
  14. mick's cat

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    Hi Pecker,

    Actually yes, the Zen *is* medieval in comparison with the iPod. That's not taste, that's fact. It's not a tiny margin, it's not 'frankly ridiculous' as you put it, it's gross. You have to use both to understand the difference. Like you, I've had all manner of music players over the years, but I would suggest there really *is* something between a good and a bad interface. It's why people spend thousands on different models of cars after all, rather than - by following your criteria - there's only a steering wheel, a pedal to go, a pedal to stop, and a wobbly stick to decide between them.

    Battery - no, there is no more problem with the iPod's Liion battery, than any other music player's (or computer's, or mobile phone's or any other device's) battery. It was exaggerated at the time, so Apple provided a well-publicised way to have it replaced, that's all. Just some people choose to ignore that and read the old news.

    Coolness factor, fashion, latest kit? I don't know. But style over substance, yes - the iPod *is* more stylish and *has* more substance, so you are right in that respect. And, of course, you are right about the 60Gb iPod being more expensive than the Zen. But you get what you pay for. Which is why the iPod range is still taking over 70% of the world market, with the pack coming in way, way behind.

    As to the main factors which you say choosing which one to get must be, here's my take on the list:

    Sound quality (very close - but iPod definitely wins when you consider AAC coding)
    Portability (very close - iPod wins)
    Usability (no contest - iPod wins)
    Styling (no contest - iPod wins)
    Battery (Zen indeed wins on battery charge life (14 hours instead of 12) and ease of replacement, but there's nothing to compare in long-term reliability).
    Value for money (yes the iPod is more expensive, but the 60Gb iPod photo has other features the Zen doesn't of course, so this clouds the issue).

    There is absolutely no argument about the iPod's superiority with sound, portability, usability, and it's streets ahead of the Zen on all three counts. (Sorry mate, couldn't resist that...)

    In the end, it's personal choice. Apple will have sold literally millions of iPods coming up to the Christmas period worldwide. Not sure how many Zens will have been sold, but I'm guessing that it's less than 5% of that. We can argue till next year about which is best, but purchasers have obviously made their own minds up on this issue and the iPod can't be all bad, can it?

    Have a Happy New Year
     
  15. Pecker

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    RE:

    "There is absolutely no argument about the iPod's superiority with sound, portability, usability, and it's streets ahead of the Zen on all three counts. (Sorry mate, couldn't resist that...)."

    Just to confirm here, the i-pod is not better on sound - the AAC thing muddies the waters.

    The best sound quality for both units is WAV (same as the CD). When both play back the same WAV file the ZEN sounds better. WAV on a ZEN will sound better than WAV or AAC coding played back on an i-pod. The same mp3 file will sound better on a Zen. The only time you'll get an i-pod to sound better is to compare AAC on an i-pod with mp3 on a Zen; an unfair comparison, as neither is the best format available on either machine.

    The truth is that most users will store music in mp3 and/or WMA, and every hi-fi journalist I've read has agreed on this - even those who finally preferred the i-pod.

    As I say, you're entitled top your opinions. But I think this thread is a GOOD thing if it's a discussion of the relative merits of each player, to help others when deciding what to buy, and BAD when it's just i-pod & Zen owners playing one-upmanship.

    Subsequently, I'd suggest that people try both the i-pod & Zen's controls, and consider whether the i-pod's click wheel is better - and more importantly, whether it's £175's worth better.

    Steve W
     
  16. alancolledge

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    If this has become a constructive pro's and con's thread then I would like to give a big thumbs up for the Itunes software.
    As an operating system that manages my music (2400 tracks so far) it is very intuative and easy to use. Updating the ipod is a dream it even interfaces with my chipped xbox downstairs on my network :smashin: .

    I would like to comment on the style thing though, if there was a bigger market for those seeking value for money Creative would not have copied Ipods styling on some of their players. It may be shallow to some but coolness has it's place. Rightly or wrongly it is undeniable that the Ipod is an 'X Factor' gadget and one of the rare items which exudes desirabillity.
     
  17. o THE CHAD o

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    i decided to to look into getting a mp3 player after my md player finally gave out on me.
    i looked around at what was on offer,i wanted something with big storage and good battery life at a reasonable price.
    i looked at the ipod range and thought not at those prices for what i want (20gb+)
    then i saw the zen extra 30gb for £140 and thought ill have some of that!

    basically the zen was cheaper,had what i was looking for and im very happy with it.

    ive only seen ipods on tv so cant really comment but im sure they're wicked as its sold millions.
     
  18. dvdmike007

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    the zen sounds better but the ipod is build better
     
  19. mick's cat

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    Not at all. You're effectively saying an internal combustion engine outperforms a rocket when both are tested using petrol as fuel.

    Lossless formats like WAV are obviously going to give best audio quality, but until music players have terabyte-sized disks then lossy formats are going to be used. To be honest, I've not used lossless encoding with either player, and I'm not aware of any objective tests being undertaken.

    To make a statement, though, that the Zen sounds better than the iPod and specify that the iPod has to be held back from performing to its best ability by using mp3 files is simply misleading and unfair to other readers. As you say to your credit however, the iPod *does* sound better than the Zen when both players are using their native lossy formats.

    I hope everyone in the forums has had a happy and peaceful new year.
     
  20. probedb

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    Having had and used both, my points are:

    - iPod noticable smaller, probably because of the design and the nice curved edges. I keep mine in my jean pocket and believe me it makes a difference to the Xtra !
    - iPod interface a bit more intuitive but definitely easier to use with the click wheel. The Zen Xtra isn't difficult to use it's just a bit clunky.
    - Zen might just have the edge when listening to MP3s
    - Software wise I'd recommend anapod explorer and notmad explorer as they give you more flexibility than either native software
    - Zen Xtra is better value for money, 20Gb more for about £30-40 less
    - iPod better built tho I wish you could change your own battery ! Front cover on the zen pops off everytime you breath in the direction of the catch !

    Had a good new year thanks :)
     
  21. Pecker

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    RE:

    "iPod noticable smaller, probably because of the design and the nice curved edges. I keep mine in my jean pocket and believe me it makes a difference to the Xtra!"

    If you keep your i-pod in your jeans, how do you get the supposed benefit of the click wheel?

    Mick's Cat, you seem to be picking & choosing with your formats. Either choose the best quality format on both (WAV), or a format both can use (mp3), rather than some in-between format which only one unit uses.

    One thing I've found over the last few weeks is that it helps if you're on a number of sites for downloading. There'll be some tracks you can get from i-tunes, some from napster, some from others. But only i-tunes uses the Apple sound formats, so you're simply not going to get full use of any sound format which you'll download from other sites.

    BTW, HMV have just signed up with MSN & are apparently opening a new download site in February. Details are sketchy, but the indication is that you'll be able to buy anything from them that they sell over the counter, which will make them a far bigger download site than any other.

    And they're going to using WMA.

    BTW, I go to work on the train everyday with a bunch of schoolkids from the local posh school. What's the betting they'll all have been bought an i-pod for Christmas?

    Schoolkids favourite = plummeting credibility (if that sort of thing matters to you).

    Steve W
     
  22. probedb

    probedb
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    I use magic !

    Nah, is that even a serious statement ? I take it out of my pocket and use it just like when I want to use my pen I take it out of my pocket and use it, same as my creative zen, i take it out of my pocket to use it ;)
     
  23. Pecker

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    I suppose that in the Summer you might be wearing no other pockets than those on your jeans.

    The Zen comes with a case which has a belt clip, so a pocket isn't strictly necessary, I suppose.

    I can only talk from my own experience. If I'm going out for a day (shopping in Leeds on the train, for example), I'll be wearing one of my casual jackets, both of which have pockets which would take my earliest cassette walkperson. During the week, going to work on the train, I'll have my suit on, so the pockets are fine there, whether I'd be carrying a Zen or an i-pod.

    It is certainly true that the i-pod is very slightly smaller & lighter, but as I've said, you're [swear word removed by mod] unlucky if you find yourself with a pocket big enough for the i-pod, but too small for the Zen.

    For info, the sizes are:

    i-pod (40gb) - 10.4cm high - 6.1cm wide - 1.8cm thick
    Zen (60gb) - 11.2cm high - 7.6cm tall - 2.2cm thick.

    The important thing for putting it in your jacket pocket is the circumference. The i-pod is 24.4cm round, whilst the Zen is 26.8cm. In other words, for the i-pod to fit in your pocket, but not the Zen, your pocket would have to be greater than 12.2cm wide, but less than 13.4cm wide. That's a pretty specific & exact size of pocket!

    Good luck measuring.

    Steve W
     
  24. probedb

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    Don't worry I understand what you mean :) It's just with the iPod being slimmer and smaller it fits in a pocket easier than the Zen, it's not the pocket size really.
     
  25. alancolledge

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    Eh? I thought the ipods controls were the easiest to use when managing upto 10,000 tracks. i.e. you don't want to press too many buttons to get the song you want on when dealing in such quantities. I don't understand your logic on this.
    Itunes converts WMA automatically to MP3, AAC or lossless before it is loaded on the player.
    Good for them but you are sounding a little bitter arn't you? I think both players have a market and as always no one is going to say their choice is wrong so I guess we have to accept that but keep the constructive criticisms coming. :D
     
  26. mick's cat

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    AAC is simply better (in terms of audio quality *and* filesize) than mp3, ATRAC3, wma, Ogg Vorbis, and any others currently available. This is proven and beyond your dispute. AAC is not an 'in-between format', as it has been chosen for the MPEG-4 standard, so will be with us for many years to come. The fact that the iPod uses it and the Zen doesn't is not picking and choosing, it is just that the iPod has a better selection of formats to use. Note, I do not say *wider selection* as the iPod doesn't use wma files, say, directly in native format (you need to import them into iTunes as mp3 or AAC first), but I do say *better selection* (as it uses AAC, and the Zen can't). I go back to my analogy of you saying a petrol combustion engine outperforms a rocket, when both are tested with petrol. I say use rocket fuel, and the results are very much different.

    For anyone who cares' interest, I have spent a little while over the holiday testing my iPod and my Zen with lossless formats taken straight from the same cd source, and can confirm that there is absolutely no perceptible difference in quality to my ears with either player, using both the players' own earbuds, and also using my Etymotics. There *is* however a difference in playback (nothing to do with quality), in that the Zen appears *not* to have a flat response as default. Adjusting the iPod equalization to be non-flat (say, using Rock setting) is enough to put them on an equal footing. This is true throughout all the tests I carried out, not just on lossless format files.

    I have also tested both players with lossy format files, all encoded from the same cd cource as above using the respective players' ripping tools, with a variety of bit rates. The Zen definitely sounds a little better when using low bit rate mp3 formats (128 kbps), although not so much as it would make a difference to a purchaser. At anything higher than 192 kbps there is no perceptible difference, so may have something to do with the iPod's apparent flatter response showing up artefacts more at the lower quality bit rates.

    I have also compared the iPod using AAC encoded files, with the Zen using equivalent mp3 files. All files were encoded from the same cd source as above. I think this makes very interesting reading. Using files all encoded at the same bit rates (ie, all encoded at 128 kbps, or all encoded at 160 bps, and so on), the iPod always sounds a little better with its AAC files than the Zen's mp3 files. Note that under these circumstances the iPod's better compressed AAC files are naturally around 10% smaller than the mp3s for the Zen (so that more files can be stored on the hard disk).

    The Zen only sounds better than the iPod if it uses higher bit rate mp3s than the iPod's AACs. By this I mean, if the Zen uses 160 kbps or higher mp3 bit rates, while the iPod uses 128 kbps AAC files, the Zen sounds better. Of course, under these conditions the mp3 files are much bigger than the AAC files.

    Interestingly, and this has nothing to do with my comparison between the two players, I found that there is no perceptible difference between AAC files of 192 kbps and higher and Apple's own lossless format on the iPod.
     
  27. probedb

    probedb
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    You have to remember everyone's hearing is different so you can't just state that AAC is simple better than every other compressed format !! Maybe it is to you. Also the same bit-rates in different formats mean nothing, they all use different algorithms and some work better at certain bit-rates than others.

    Did you do double-blind listening tests etc ? I.e. playing back the same track over and over again without knowing which was AAC and which was MP3, which was what unit etc ? If not then the tests don't mean anything as you know what you're listening to so even if in your mind you're not biased (you are as you state AAC is better than everything) you will pick one based on that more than what you can hear.

    Anyways, final statement from me on this, pick whichever unit is best for you. Try them both out and go with your own instincts, after all it's you that is going to be using it :) These things are so personally subjective that you need to try them both yourself.
     
  28. mick's cat

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    Of course I agree almost absolutely on all three of your points, pinkprobegt (and no - I did no double-blind tests as it was just me doing the testing, so double-blind would be a little difficult...), and this is what I have been trying to suggest in this thread, unlike some other posters. It is simply not possible to define that one player "sounds better" than another subjectively. This is potentially slanderous. You need to compare both (or, indeed, all) to see what suits best.

    However, (I did say *almost absolutely*), the fact that AAC is better than mp3 is proven, subjectively *and* objectively.
     
  29. MrFurious

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    got the zen touch and think its a great piece of kit,seems to me and i'm not being abusive but some people get a ipod just because it is an ipod and people think they are cool.
     
  30. Pecker

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    On the sound fromt - I think an important point to note is, whether you're listening to Zen or i-pod, whichever sound format, it really doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference for most of us.

    I would imgine that most of us use our portables as portables, and listen to them in trains, on buses, etc, etc.

    Whilst careful listening through your hi-fi, or in ideal conditions, may throw up differences, for most of us the difference will be tiny when put through our earphones on a noisy train.

    Like so many of the points raised here, we can split hairs (on both sides) about things which make very little difference.

    The difference in sound quality (even comparing WAV files on one to mp3s on another) is negligable, unless put through your hi-fi, or sat on train listening to both in quick succession. I would imagine a blind test with one unit one day, and the other the nexdt, would throw up little of difference - though I'd definitely recommend buying a decent set of cand for either unit.

    Similarly, the size is often not going to matter (oo-err, missus!). placed side-by-side, or weighing one inyour right hand with the other in your left, and you might spot a difference. But put one in your jacket pocket on the way to work, and the other on the ay back, and there really won't be a noticeable difference.

    The only areas where there appears to be a great, easilly quantifiable, and important difference are: price, size of hard drive, and the controls.

    Steve W

    ps Train this morning - looked like the 'i-pod man' had been round giving out freebies.

    SW
     

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