You gotta’ love Creative . Despite the fact that they pioneered the MP3 player market – only to then be overtaken by the iPod and iTunes – they keep churning out decent, well-priced portable audio players that few people pay attention to.
Announced today is the Creative Zen X-Fi Style and Zen Style, which according to Creative aim to both add a stylish touch to the basic MP3 player and focus on sound quality – an area that Apple has often been criticized for.
The Creative ‘X-Fi’ technology purports to restore some of the sound information that gets lost when you take a music track and turn it into a compressed music file like an MP3. Though the effectiveness of the system is up for debate, audiophiles will be delighted to know that these players do support the lossless FLAC format.
Other features? Video out, an FM radio and a built in speaker, presumably so high-school kids can annoy me on the bus.
Pricing is damned reasonable, as the Zen X-Fi Stlye goes for $79.99 for 8GB, $99.99 for 16GB and 169.99 for 32GB. The Zen Style, which lacks the X-Fi feature, will be $49.99 for 4GB, $59.99 for 8GB and $79.99 16GB.