Creative positions Zen against Apple’s Nano

Creative has added AAC support to its new range of Zen MP3 players, suggesting the company is positioning itself to go head-to-head with Apple’s forthcoming third-generation Nano.

Creative positions Zen against Apple's Nano

The new credit card sized player is seen as Creative’s first strike against the equally tiny Nano, though Creative’s boldness could be hampered by the Zen’s inability to support DRM downloads from the iTunes store.

“The launch of non DRM content made iTunes a more interesting proposition,” a Creative spokesperson told PC Pro when asked about the timing of the release. “We found that there was a huge installed base of users with music in the AAC format, who might not want to go to the effort of re-encoding their music for other formats.”

The company denied that it had designed the Zen with one eye on the Nano, instead citing the increasing capacity of flash memory and the popularity of its other widescreen offerings as the principal influences on the design.

The player will be available in three flavours, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, with an SD memory slot for those looking to upgrade. It will also feature a 2.5 inch screen supporting 16.7 million colours, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery capable of 25 hours of music playback or 5 hours of video.

Alongside the AAC format it will also support the MP3 and WMA formats, as well as the WMV, DivX/XviD video formats, though bundled software will be provided to convert other formats.

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