Top critical review
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ZEN Style 100
on 18 January 2011
I bought the ZEN Style 100 as a present. On receiving the ZEN I thought it best to check it out and charge the battery using my computer. On connecting it, I loaded the Creative software and user manual so that I could have a preview of what would happen when the recipient got it and to be able to give them guidance if needed. The Creative software, without any by-your-leave started to get all the music and photos on my computer and began to load them onto the ZEN. There appeared to be no way of stopping the multi-gigabyte transfer until I found a small cross in the BOTTOM right of the window. By then there were many many files transferred. It is not good practice for any software to just take control of a computer without asking - it is what viruses do and not what you would expect from a 'clean' application.
Next I checked to see if there were any updates to the software which had been loaded on the PC. I found that there were some, but when I attempted to load them I was faced with a message saying that as I had not restarted my computer since the installation of the Creative software the installation of the update would cause problems. That is where the message stopped and I was faced with two click boxes, one marked Yes and the other No. But there was no question; what was I answering - Do you want to continue 'Yes' or 'No' - Do you want to restart your computer now 'Yes' or 'No' - Do you want to abort the task 'Yes' or 'No'
Whilst I am not familiar with all the jargon of downloading mp3 files, I am an IT professional. Not only did I find the two flaws in the software, I found the PC software application to be extremely difficult to understand and I have yet to be able to work out much of what it may or may not be able to do.
I have never had a Christmas present returned to me as being useless, but it did happen with the ZEN. - So I was not alone in finding the package difficult beyond belief. However, the recipient is now much happier with it once I copied some files across and they were able to use it.
The battery life is quite exceptional. Hours and hours of audio from the remarkably small device. The audio quality is very good.
So my marks are 1 out of 10 for the PC software package and 9 out of 10 for the ZEN itself.