Changing From an iPod to a Creative Zen

The time finally came for me to replace my iPod with something new. I was using aniPod click wheelthat I gotas awarranty replacement back in 2004.It was good to me, but I felt that it was time to look at other options.If iTunes ran a little better on my PC, I probably would have just bought another iPod withouta second thought.

Hardware

It took me quite a while to choose a new device. I did look at the iPod Nano, but they couldn’t store quite as much as I wanted.The iPod classic on the other hand is way more storage thanI need, and I prefer the lighter weight, longer battery life, and the improved durability of flash storage.

The Microsoft Zuneis another device I considered, but the windows software for that is even worse than iTunes. For example,songs can haveone of three ratings: heart, broken heart, or no rating. I like that they’re trying to simplify the interface, but I really feel like I’m not their target audience.That said, if Zune Pass worked in Canada Imight have gone with them anyway.

The Creative Zen X-Figave me everything I wanted. It’s small and light, has 32GB of flash storage and can be easily expanded, and it’s priced competitively. It has an FMradio, and buttons on the outside. I know touch screen isin these days, but I can change songs without even taking it out of my pocket.

Software

Replacing iTunes was another big job. I’ve built up a detailed system ofsmart play lists and ratings over the years and change scares me. I’m willing to try something new, but I need an app with enough features to do the job.

My search was quickly reduced to two main contenders, Winamp and Media Monkey. Both had automatic play lists,song ratings, and file typeconversion features.

I ended up downloading both and doing several tests before choosing Media Monkey. Both applications were comparable for features, but Media Monkey was alittle better with syncing, and a little more straightforward for organising songs and play lists.

Converting to Media Monkeywas easy, and all the data (like ratings, play counts, album art) came over fine. I did have some trouble with the comments getting scrambled in several tracks, but it seems like iTunes was causing that well before copying the data over. All told, I had all the data over and fixed up after a half day of elbow grease.

Verdict

My only real problem so far has been with the Zen. I’ve hadto reboot the device a couple times when it’s hiccuped during a huge sync operation orfailed to come back out of sleep.The UI can be a bit difficult sometimes as well. I won’t get into details, but let me just say that converting a WEP key to stars while typing with 9 buttons isn’t making my life any easier.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the change so far. Just getting the weight of my old 20 GB monster out of my pocket has been nice.