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Creative Zen Micro
By Justin Ong
Category : Sound
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 6th December, 2004
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  


In a market that is beginning to choke on an increasingly growing number of manufacturers and brands, the portable audio player industry is as cutthroat as it gets. While consumers' appetite for portable audio players have grown exponentially over the past few years, the sales-driven hunger fed by the common folks isn't a bottomless pit that many new industry players would like it to be.

With nothing but plans to make a quick buck, many small-time companies were quick to cash in on this money spinning bandwagon but had insufficient funds for proper product developments. Many portable audio players were thus rolled out in a hurry and produced in large quantities using cheap and often substandard components to drive production cost down for better profit margin. Sadly, this has led to a market that is presently brimmed with inferior audio products rather than decent ones and these second-rate products have so far done nothing but wobbled consumers' confidence in portable audio players, especially in the budget category.

But with effective marketing and branding, some companies are beginning to slowly distant themselves away from companies that are known to produce poorly constructed MP3 players. These are the companies with the know-how and the capital needed to wheel out quality products to win over consumers. At the same time, consumers are getting more and more picky about design, audio fidelity and build quality of these portable players as they become more informed about the technologies and trends encircling these gadgets. This is of course good news for companies such as Creative, who has been in the audio business since day one and is known to deliver the goods when it comes to portable audio players.

The company's history in portable audio players is a long one and one of the most influential products to bear the Creative trademark was the Nomad Jukebox. Back when it was first launched, this revolutionary product was the first of its kind to realize the novelty idea of storing an entire collection of audio CDs (6GB to be precise) into a familiar housing shaped after a regular portable CD player. Many products have come and gone since then, some with great success while others barely made a ripple. But given the company's impressive portfolio of audio players, if there's one brand name to single out for great sounding audio products, Creative would be it. With us today, is the company's latest hard disk driven audio player, the Zen Micro.

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