God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
That was one of my faves from an entire gamut of such levelheaded quotes as spoken by Tyler Durden aka Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Even after this being playing-in-a-loop at the back of mind I went ahead to buy an IPOD. Not exactly an IPOD. But the other IPOD. God created Apple, ITunes and IPOD for the classy dudes. For the masses he gave Windows, Media Player and Creative Zen. Creative Zen isn’t a poor man’s IPOD but indeed it’s an intelligent man’s IPOD. Yep, I may admire the professional qualities of Steve Jobs. I may re-read The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, I may have booked ICon at the local library even before it is released or I may even aspire to build a small network of Apple Mac Mini at home but I may not buy IPOD.
Why ? I hate to pay Apple 100 bucks every year when my battery dries up. $105 just to open a lid of IPOD and tuck in a mobile phone battery may prove a costly for the masses like me, especially for ones who loves to listen every single genre of songs available. While I love the IPOD wheel and have read enough of gaga over it’s UI, I felt that on the same price with an extra GB of storage, a FM radio and voice recording capabilities(which I am sure I would never use), Creative Zen Micro was a killer buy. A true replacement for those IPOD Minis . It has a battery that can be easily replaced. Infact only after I bought it I saw for myself that the batteries of Zen can be easily misplaced too. Yeah, the back lid is just not tight that even when Unni Krishnan is singing Enakke Enakka!!, in your ears, it might have fallen down on the stairs.
Creative Zen looks cool to me just because I haven’t used any other mp3 player except CD players until now. It is certainly not durable. The casing looks as though it might even break with the first fifteen days that I might return it to Best Buy to take a refund. But the user interface is nice as an IPOD. As anti-hyped, the touchpad isn’t all that bad. I got used to it before I was out of the store counter. Creative Inc known for their computer audio/video accessories have done a great job in designing Zen and it’s generation of MP3 players. It’s been born from the dis-advantages that IPOD currently has and will attract people who don’t want an IPOD. I’m just a little curious about the performance of mini drives, which is used in Zen or IPOD mini. I would feel comfortable with a flash drive because these mini drives poses risk of read/write issues and might soon end up with clusters of bad sectors. The sound is crystal clear but don’t believe if someone says Zen or IPOD only have such clear sounds. MP3 players are digital and will certainly have more or less the same frequency. It’s actually your headset/earbuds that might make the difference.
I’ve been hearing the podcasts for the last few months. So for those who religiously worship Creative’s Zen, let it be re-christened as Zencasting. And the thing about podcasting is that it simply doesn’t impress me much. Podcasts may be a hit but may not take-off as blogs, is my humble belief. This may not be a prophetic statement but may become true as Podcasts are widely understoof. I may also probably change minds once Evhead‘s Odeo is released for public. But for as of now, other than BBC stuff I am still figuring out the good Zen[Pod]casts.
I might stick with this Creative Zen until Steve decides to gift me an IPOD or he releases IPODs with replaceable batteries. This Zen unit is a lucky one. It gets to play some of the best songs ever composed. Be it Illayaraja or Rahman. Currently our Maestroji is singing the cult classic, Adi Vaadi Enn Kappa Kezhangey.
Update 26 May 2004 IST – As an anti-climax, the ZEN which was fully charged this morning, lost all it’s battery charge by evening even though I had only listened to it for two hours. I had switched it off for the rest of the time. Yep, I’m returning it for an IPOD test drive. I might probably settle with those 1GB flash drives with FM and voice recording(as said before, though I wouldn’t be using it). Best Buy, here I come.