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zen touch by mrshields


									                               MP3 and Y – O – U
                                     Cameron Neff

        On college campuses nationwide, if you were to take a five-minute walk, you
would inevitably find students walking around with the latest in technology, the MP3
player. Unlike CD players of old, today’s MP3 players offer a variety of bells and
whistles that make comparison of two different models tough to do.
        This paper will compare and contrast two of the top models available today: The
Apple iPod Vision and the Creative Labs Zen Touch. These two models were chosen
over literally dozens of models from a handful of manufacturers after looking at two
major contributors to a consumer’s choice: price range, and capacity. Both the Apple
iPod Vision and the Creative Labs Zen Touch are priced on
between $200 and $300. Offering as much “bang for the buck”, the highest-capacity
iPod found in this range has a 30 Gigabyte hard drive, and the Zen Touch has a 40
Gigabyte hard drive. These two factors aside, now the bells and whistles can be

Apple iPod Vision
        The Vision boasts a 30 Gigabyte hard drive, which equates to approximately
6,000 MP3 songs (one song averaging 5 Megabytes). The Vision allows playback of
several file formats, including AAC, MP3, Audible, Apple Lossless, WAV and AIFF.
The battery of the Vision allows 14 hours of music playback, or 2 hours of video
playback. For the video playback, the Vision comes with a 2.5-inch (diagonally
measured) 480 x 480 pixel display. Size and weight being another high priority for
consumers, the iPod Vision has dimensions of 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.43 inches (or 4.23 cubic
inches), and weighs 4.8 ounces. To summarize these in an easier-to-read format:


Capacity:       30 Gigabytes (6,000 songs)
File Formats:   AAC, MP3, Audible, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF
Battery Life:   14 hours audio / 2 hours video
Display:        2.5-inch, 480 x 480 resolution
Dimensions:     4.1 x 2.4 x 0.43 inches
Weight:         4.8 oz
Price:          $275.99
                                   Apple iPod Vision

Creative Labs Zen Touch
        The Zen Touch, for the same price range, offers a 40 Gigabyte hard drive, or
approximately 8,000 songs (averaging 5 Megabytes). It allows playback of MP3, WMA
and WAV file formats. The battery life of the Zen Touch allows 24 hours of music
playback. The battery life for video playback was undetermined. For video playback,
however, the display runs on a 160 x 104 pixel screen. The Zen Touch’s dimensions are
4.2 x 2.7 x 0.9 inches (or 10.2 cubic inches), and it weighs 7.05 ounces. Again


Capacity:       40 Gigabytes (8,000 songs)
File Formats:   MP3, WMA, WAV
Battery Life:   24 hours audio / Unknown hours video
Display:        160 x 104 resolution
Dimensions:     4.2 x 2.7 x 0.9 inches
Weight:         7.05 oz
Price:          $235.99
                                Creative Labs Zen Touch

        The Apple iPod Vision and the Creative Labs Zen Touch offer many similar
features for a similar price. Breaking down the features, the Vision offers more audio
formats than the Touch, including AAC, Audible, Apple Lossless, and AIFF. To
compensate for this, the Zen Touch has a battery life of almost double the Vision’s, so
you can listen to much more music before having to recharge. As for video displays, the
iPod Vision definitely beats out the Zen Touch’s, boasting a 480 x 480 pixel resolution,
compared to a measly 160 x 104. If size and weight is of major concern for you, the
Apple is also your best choice, having a volume of 4.23 cubic inches, over the Creative
Labs’ 10.2. Apple beats Creative in the weight department as well, having just slightly
over half the weight as the Zen Touch: 4.8 ounces versus 7.05. Finally, sticker price: the
iPod Vision can be yours for the low price of $275.99, but the Zen Touch can be in your
pocket for the lower price of $235.99 – a price difference of 40 dollars. Let’s also
summarize this in tabular form:

Features, Battle of

Capacity:       Creative wins
File Formats:   Apple wins
Battery Life:   Creative wins
Display:        Apple wins
Dimensions:     Apple wins
Weight:         Apple wins
Price:          Creative wins

       Clearly, it’s a tough call. Creative scores 3, and Apple scores 4. It really depends
on your preference. If you need multiple file formats, a larger and clearer display, and a
smaller and more slender system, the iPod Vision is your choice. But if you want as
many songs as you can possibly have for the money, a long battery life with which to
listen to those songs, and you want to keep some of that green in your pocket, you should
go with the Zen Touch.

General search of leading MP3 players:

Information regarding the Apple iPod Vision:

Information regarding the Creative Labs Zen Touch:

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