A close personal friend is having trouble. His MP3 collection is edging upwards towards the 15GB mark, and while he has long lusted after a portable player that'll let him take his complete CD collection around with him, he is a Windows user and thus debarred from the magical snuffbox of iPod. But now he has another problem -- at the same time as Apple announced official Windows support for the iPod, Creative has come up with the Nomad Jukebox Zen. This may seem a right old car crash of concepts -- visualise a wizened old Japanese monk wandering from pub to pub in search of the right Wurlitzer -- but the end result is curiously iPod like. Twenty gigabytes for the price of iPod's ten, in a very iPoddy shiny metal and plastic case with a similar screen but much more conventional controls.
At £200, it seems like the essential accessory for the gentleman with the more extensive musical requirements, but it's cheaper for two reasons. It's not Apple -- and my friend can live with that -- and it's slightly bigger because it uses an industry standard disk drive.
My friend demands to know: is the difference in size a major factor in the usability and desirability of what is by any standards a mouthwatering toy? How about the minor difference in weight? Software?
There is only one way to find out, and that's to do a comparative review. Apple has already been asked and seemed inclined to help out: our missive to Creative will be winging its way Zenwards even now.
Watch this space.
The Great Readership: Where's the jukebox joke? Rupert: You want a jukebox joke? TGR: Get on with it! R: Knock knock. TGR (sighing under their breath): Who's there? R: Wurlitzer TGR (bracing for impact): Wurlitzer who? R: Wurlitzer one for the money, two for the show... TGR: Forget we asked... )