So after much hassle with Carphone Warehouse whom I have a contract with, I finally got my hands on an Apple iPhone 3G. Its an 8GB model rather than the 16GB version though. I can live with that! I’ll continue to use my 16GB iPod Touch alongside the phone as I’ll be primarily using the phone for camera/gps/app use mostly. The iPod Touch will eventually be jailbroken giving me access to superb apps that Apple deem unsuitable for their store. Irony mentions below…
I could write a review but I just can’t be bothered echoing the numerous positive reviews that exist out there already. AnandTech and TrustedReviews have the best reviews I have read if you’re after a lengthy read. Apparently PR will also be doing one at the end of the year when the next version of the iPhone arrives.
I rarely make mistakes when purchasing gadgets and gizmos. I do my research as much as possible, then scour forums for opinions and feedback from owners. I then do some research into the company and learn about their past products and how much attention those products had (e.g firmware/software updates). Finally I make my purchase based on information from the above analysis.
However I think I’m getting old, because I have made a balls up, a rather large one at that. I am mad about music, in fact the ladies at work often comment that I had been born with earphones already in my ears. So it is with some irony that I work in the field of audio too. I love portable audio players (except crummy ipods to you teenyboppers). I have heaps of them, however at present I own an iPod Touch…not the best sounding player like every other iPod in existance but the touch is a unique exception compared to a normal iPod – it has potential. More on that later anyway.
Silence from Creative after customer revolt
Picture the following scenario. Imagine if you had gone out and purchased a Creative Labs Soundblaster of some kind, there’s loads of them around but the most popular ones would be their Audigy and XFI series cards. Now imagine smiling when you saw that ‘Vista Compatible’ logo on the box, meaning that the card would work on Microsoft Vista. So you purchase it, take it home and install it into your PC. You would then either:
- Install the drivers from the included CD
- OR simply get and install the latest drivers from the Creative website
You would now have a fully working card right? You should be able to use all its capabilities given that it is ‘Vista Compatible’. What would you do if you found out that it wasn’t really ‘Vista Compatible’ ? This is what thousands of creative soundcard owners have been asking themselves for years now. Creative’s soundcard drivers have always been laughably poor, even back when I used them on my Audigy 2 in Windows XP, but it turns out that their new XFI drivers are just as bad. There are no decent working drivers in Vista at present I am led to believe. Because the Creative ‘Soundblaster’ moniker is such a powerful one – your average joe public just assumes that the product adds high quality sound to your PC, and will then go out and purchase one without knowing all this.
Good things come to those who wait
I have had quite a few emails over the past week mostly asking where Creative’s answer to the new iPod’s are. Truth be told, there isn’t one – yet.
On August 30th 2007, Creative leaked out images of their next generation replacement for their flagship MP3/Video player – the Zen Vision:M. The new Creative Zen was a flash based player coming in three capacities of 4, 8 and 16GB. The player was almost identical to the ZVM, aside from having SD storage expansion, a superior screen and er, well that’s all sadly. For most users it was a downgrade because Creative, like most MP3 manufacturer’s seemed to be following the trend in moving away from hard disk based players onto Flash based players, which are cheaper to manufacture and more reliable.
The ZVM was one of the best DAP’s (Digial Audio Players) to come out of the portable music industry. In terms of sales it never could match the iPod, but specification wise it was a lot superior and for those owners who had one, they knew how powerful it was within minutes of using the player. It offered heaps of features, was solid and robust albeit a bit of a fatty. It could play almost any video format you could throw at it and it’s screen was far superior over the iPod and the rest of the competition.