Originally Shared on #TechWithAaronSG Instagram. Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7F9w3wADsj/
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This #ThrowbackThursday, here’s something I used to use way back in 2010-2014: A Creative Zen X-Fi Style MP3 And Video Player!
Sporting the Original form (OG) of Creative’s Proprietary X-Fi music enhancement software, this music player from Creative sported the best music quality playback of it’s time. It came with with music enhancement options known as:
- Crystallizer: Which was great for brightening up up dull/lower bit rate music files, and Expand, and make cymbal crashes sound a tad more realistic
- Expand: Which worked well (at lower levels) to widen the soundstage of music files.
- And of course, the 5 band equalizer to squeeze even more music goodness from the less than perfect, really budget earphones I used back then.
This player also doubled up as a video player, if you could withstand watching videos on a small screen. But to me, I prefer to just listen to music rather than squint my eyes on a tiny display so…a great music player it was (for me). This player was the boss, until smartphones took over the world and relieved this player of it’s duties, and music streaming services like Spotify took over the need to buy physical CD’s from each music artiste and “rip” (otherwise known as copy) music out of them.
But, Fast forward to 2020 and today, I’m surprised that it still works! Battery still holds some charge, display works fine, and all my music from 2010-2014 still playable! A testament to Creative’s quality (when it comes to audio stuff), and Such a major throwback in 2020. #TechWithAaron
Oh, and Connectivity options were pretty good – it has a headphone jack (God, I really don’t know what companies are doing removing this, even though we now have Bluetooth 5.0, still nothing beats the stability and audio quality possible with a dedicated wired connection), and a Mini-USB port (For transferring music/video files to). Storage Space? 8GB, which is plenty unless one tries to load up video files.
Who knows, I think the Zen X-Fi series could make a serious comeback if smartphone companies continue to eradicate the headphone jack for no good reason (to the dismay of audiophiles. And yes, “Saving Space” is NOT an acceptable reason to me! I really don’t need an absurdly thin device!). Considering the current industry trend, though, At some point, audiophiles may have no choice but to get a dedicated DAC and Audio Player for wired earphones and headphone. Then, *maybe* a really beefed up version of the Zen X-Fi MP3 Player might work.