Mercury News Columnist Gives Nomad Jukebox Nod Over iPod:Price Is The Issue

Mike Langberg, a columnist for The Mercury News in San Jose, likes the iPod, but likes the new line of hard drive MP3 players from Creative better for mainly one reason: Price. Mr. Langberg elucidates his opinion in his latest column: Price Gives Creative advantage over iPod. Hereis an excerpt:

While Apple has gotten all kinds of publicity for the iPod, rival Creative Labs has pulled into a tight No. 2 position through its well-designed if less slick Nomad Jukebox line. With prices significantly lower than Apple, Creative could eventually pull ahead.

Creative is already out front of Apple in capacity; the new Nomad Jukebox Zen ( ) at $399 offers an awesome 60 gigabytes (GB) of storage. Appleis iPod ( ) at the same price offers only 15 GB, with a $499 model at 30 GB.


The Zen is about a half-inch wider, higher and thicker than the iPod, and at 9.5 ounces is about a third heavier. The LCD window that displays information on the music stored inside is smaller, and the control wheel and buttons for navigating to your selection are tiny and awkward.

But, aside from the slight extra heft and somewhat longer time to find individual tracks, the Zen played back my 5.3 GB collection of MP3 music with no problems. The battery life, at 14 hours, also exceeds iPod.

The Zen even has some features Appleis iPod lacks. Unlike the iPod, the Zen will play Microsoftis WMA format and can make voice recordings with an optional wired remote that costs $69. Both the Zen and iPod, by the way, can store data files as well as music, acting like an external hard drive for your computer.

Read Mr. Langbergis entire column at the The Mercury News.