Creative JukeBox Zen NX Extra 60GB
Publisher: Creative Labs
Release date: 24th October, 2003
- Huge storage lets you bring up to 16,000 WMA songs (80kbps) or MP3 songs (128kbps) everywhere you go (Based on less than 4 minutes per song and 60GB hard drive model)
- Use AudioSync to synchronize your music on your player with your PC at work, school and home or on the road
- Load a song a second with ultra fast USB2.0 port. Works with USB1.1 too
- Create and customize playlists for any occasion anywhere
- Music files are automatically arranged by artist, album, genre or track
- Handy Find Feature locates any song, album or artist in seconds
- Powerful icon-driven interface with Quick Scroller Navigat
Creative's latest MP3 player, the Zen NX Extra, is in many respects a huge advance on previous versions. It is a world away from the chunky design of previous models and is truly pocket-sized.
The 60 GB of storage is enough to accommodate 16,000 MP3s at 128 kbps. The battery provides around 14 hours of playback between charges. And the USB2 connectivity allows for a-song-a-second transfer rates.
The built-in software enables playlist management and there's a host of options for twiddling with playback. Environment options range from indoor arena and concert hall to bathroom and jazz club--applying each has a clearly audible effect. You can slow down or speed up playback, which is potentially useful for spoken word identification, and you can use Smart Volume Management to avoid sudden changes in volume that might make you jump during late-night easy listening.
In addition to being a top-notch digital audio player, the NX Extra can also double up as a removable hard-drive; handy for storing documents, images and other data file types.
Desktop software comes in the shape of Creative's MediaSource and makes music creation and management quick and easy. This isn't as good as some software on the market, but it manages playlists and synchronises desktop and device-based music libraries. Separate software allows you to send files of any type direct to the Zen for transfer between computers.
The supplied belt-clip case is fairly good and the headphones deliver pretty good sound reproduction. The Zen's display is clear and the jog-dial helps make selecting tracks and setting playback options easy. There is one major downside: you can't send output audio to a separate device via a wired connection--something anyone who has made playlists for parties or leisure and sent them to an amplifier will really miss. If Creative puts this feature into a new version of the Zen, it will have everything--until, of course, you have more than 60 GB of music to store. --Sandra Vogel