Does the Creative Zen Vision:M play itunes video files?
June 18, 2006 1:14 PM   Subscribe

(Mp3 Player Filter) -- Can someone please tell me if the Creative Zen Vision:M will either play shows you buy from itunes or if it's own software has its own similar types of shows you can buy too?

The Ipod tide might be turning since the players are priced the same and it seems the only real benefit is itunes video (since the music catalogs from Plays for Sure related places are getting to be quite equal). Plus, you get improved battery life, radio, and the chance to edit playlists on the fly with the Creative.

I just want to know if shows I download from itunes -- like the Daily Show or The Office will play on the Creative....will they?

Does Creative have similar shows you can get from programs that work on their player?

From what I understand, itunes DOES NOT SUPPORT THE CREATIVE ZEN VISION:M. Am I right there too?

Sorry if I repeated a question. I didn't find much exactly on point before plus I figured the answers would be quick and straightforward under a new question thread. Thanks!
posted by skepticallypleased to Technology (6 answers total)
the answer is almost certainly "no". The media you "purchase" on itunes is crippled in certain ways (for instance, to curtail what would otherwise be your right to make personal copies without a programmed limit, and play them on the device of your choice), and bad laws (such as the DMCA in the USA) make it illegal to distribute software that can circumvent these restrictions. Without getting permission from Apple, no third party can legally sell a device in the US that will play media files that came from itunes.
posted by jepler at 1:18 PM on June 18, 2006

it seems the only real benefit is itunes video

If you think that's the only benefit you obviously haven't tried to use both devices.
posted by jjg at 1:33 PM on June 18, 2006

no, you can't. videos from the iTunes music store don't have the same loophole music files do - i.e., you can't burn it to a DVD and then rip the DVD like you can burn your music to CD and then rip the CD to remove the DRM. (this, FWIW, doesn't apply to video podcasts, I think. it does apply to anything you pay for.)

as far as player support, iTunes only really supports the iPod. older versions actually did support other players, but that seems to have been removed in the later versions (which includes the versions that have the music store in them). you're going to have to use whatever method the creative uses to get music/etc on there. you might be able to get video content from Google Video, but I can't remember if you can put purchased content anywhere.

minor nit, as I'm not going to beat into your head that ipods rock and you suck: you can indeed create playlists on the fly on an iPod. they're called on-the-go playlists. can't comment on radio/battery.
posted by mrg at 1:49 PM on June 18, 2006

Thanks for the responses so far -- and, I'm not an Ipod-hater by any means. It's just that + the microphone, radio, and varied file formats to use -- at the same price and music quality -- creative is not bad -- given the similar form factors.

And, as I understand it Creative does not have similar TV shows or what not to load to their player?
posted by skepticallypleased at 2:07 PM on June 18, 2006

Creative themselves doesn't have a video store like iTunes, and the Vision:M cannot play iTunes downloaded videos. However, any services that can encode for a PSP (like Google Video) or any torrent sites where you can grab tv shows will feed you with plenty of video that should play quite nicely on the Vision:M.

I'm definitely looking at purchasing an M because I have a Rhapsody subscription, and I'm sick of not being able to listen to the mounds of "free" music I've downloaded from Rhapsody in my car. Plus, the screen on the M is amazing, and has 4 times the colors of the screen on the iPod video.

The viewing angle also completely rocks, which is important, because my father owns a Zen Vision (non-M) and the viewing angle is miserable on it. (I used the M at CES for a bit.)
posted by disillusioned at 2:50 PM on June 18, 2006

I bought a Vision:M a couple weeks ago, and am really enjoying it. It was between that and the iPod video, and not wanting to be chained to iTunes was basically what made the difference for me.

The Vision:M plays MP4, AVI, DiVX, XViD, etc., but to my knowledge does not play iPod video files, and while there are plenty of programs which will convert any of these files TO iPod format, I don't see any that will convert FROM that format to any of the other, non-DRM formats.

This has not been a big deal for me, as I get all my video from Bittorrent anyway, not iTunes.

Additionally, after doing a direct comparison between the iPod and the Vision:M, I thought the Vision:M had a better software interface (though the click wheel on the iPod was easier to use than the scroll-bar on the Vision), and a noticeably better screen (sharper, brighter).

All of Creative's software sucks, but then I think iTunes sucks as well.

Creative, trying to compete with iTunes, has this really lame thing called "ZENcast," which is basically an aggregator for audio and video podcasts. It's lame in the sense that it's really the only way to manage podcasts on the player, and that it suffers from the same shitty design as the rest of the Creative software suite.

ZENcast has a web-based directory of video podcasts, but it does not sell them, it just links you to them, and to my knowledge it doesn't use any proprietary video formats.
posted by Hildago at 6:25 PM on June 18, 2006

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