While the whole world was going gaga over Apple's line of Portable media players called the iPods, the competitors like iRiver, Cowon and Creative have had a tough time in matching up to the standards and features that the iPod had so successfully managed to lay down. Even though the iPod was a runaway success from the time it launched, other players in the portable segment have had their faithful followers. I know for a fact that iRiver has a loyal customer base in the US, what with most of my friends pursuing their masters having preferred the IFP's over the iPods. Amongst the niche players in the portable audio segment, i would count Apple,iRiver and Sony as the global players whereas the fourth one-Creative is not that well-spread (I may be wrong!). But at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) held in Las Vegas this January, Creative's player, the Zen Vision managed to grab the "Best of CES 2006" from CNet.com , a leading Technology Portal.
I had recently spotted this piece in an Ad in some mag and was kinda put-off by the sheer fluoroscent greenish color on th player, but on some exploration on the Creative's website, I found that they also had White & Black versions. I'll add that to moi prospective 'Shopping Cart'!!!
CNet says: iPod killer? With a brighter screen, better battery life, and more features, the Creative Zen Vision:M certainly has the goods to give the iPod a run for its money. In addition to a voice recorder and an FM tuner, the $330, 30GB Zen Vision:M supports a wide range of video formats, works with a growing number of online stores, and is compatible with subscription services. Cementing it as our Best in Show pick is its winning design; any product that cares to take on the stylish iPod must be able to turn heads. Though it's thicker than the iPod, the Vision:M boasts a sturdy, comfortable feel, a rainbow of color choices, and glossy good looks.
Apart from Creative's impressive lineup of players,amongst which the MuVo and MuVo slim look to be the best bet in terms of features and cost alike, Cowon also has some pretty good-lloking items in its gallery. How the performance would stack up against the others, i can't say for sure! But as of now, the iPod hold sway in the portable audio segment and it sure looks difficult to topple'em!