We are slowly chipping away at the available MP3 players on the market, and this time we have Creative Labs' Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB in house. The Dell Digital Jukebox, which we would recommend as an alternative to Apple's iPod for those on a budget, is manufactured by Creative and is based on the Jukebox Zen NX/Xtra platform. While Creative was chosen by Dell, they still manufacture and sell plenty of MP3 players under their own name.

Starting with the Jukebox Zen, Creative started to shift their focus from a CD player styled MP3 player to one that is more in style with the likes of the iPod: sleek, rectangular, hard drive based, etc. (format switch from the Jukebox/2/3 to the Zen series). The problem with the Jukebox Zen was that it was still large, bulky, and quite frankly, not exactly something easy to tag along with you on a flight. The Jukebox Zen NX was something more in line with what could be competitive with Apple's iPod in terms of dimensions alone.

Built on the Jukebox Zen NX platform, the Jukebox Zen Xtra is almost identical, but it ups the ante with a bigger/better LCD screen and higher capacity hard drive. While the Jukebox Zen NX comes in 20GB and 30GB models, the Jukebox Zen Xtra comes in 30GB, 40GB, and 60GB capacities.

Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra 40GB – Family Flagship
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  • stephenc - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    I'm keen to try to find a music player for my wife with at least 10GB memory which she can -

    1 Play in the car and tune it to a radio FM station to play through the car

    2 Play it at the gym whilst joging, etc

    Hope you can help and advise

  • Snacko - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    Beyond sound quality, which is of course subjective, and battery life, the reviewer also failed to mention anything about file format acceptance of the player. One of the main things that might draw me toward the Zen and away from the iPod is the iPod's lack of WMA compatibility.

    As a Windows guy who has done his research on file formats with their inherent strengths/weaknesses, I'm going with WMA for my digital music needs. The Zen can handle WMA - the iPod can't.
  • plewis00 - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    It wasn't a bad review but it wouldn't have taken much to have some size (photo) comparisons between this and it's competitors - least of all, the original Zen. A lot of reviews fail to do this and when I am getting an MP3 player this is a big concern for me - size IS an issue, I don't want to end up with something oversized, as I may as well keep my Creative DAP Jukebox instead which also won't fit in my pockets...
  • WizzBall - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    Hmm, like I said on the previous 'masterpiece'... (review of creative's muvo tx) when are you guys going to get serious about sound hardware reviews ?

    Just about any of us could have 'tested' the hardware this way. It is useless and sounds more like a commercial to me than a true desire to keep us informed about what's going on in the market at the moment.
  • webchimp - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    A review of an audio device without a single mention of how it sounds - bizarre.
  • Lurks - Sunday, July 4, 2004 - link

    I examine mp3 for a living, I've seen seriously hundreds of the damn things. The best hard-drive based unit on the market is the iRiver iHP-140 by a very long way indeed - unless you want something very small and sexy, in which case it's an Cowon iAudio M3.

    This Creative wouldn't even be on in my top 20.
  • opposable - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    Sorry for the blank post.

    Anyway, how can you continue to do mp3 player reviews with no comparison of sound quality or battery life? It seems to me that these two would be FAR more important than something like file transfer speed. These aren't meant to be portable HD (although they can serve as them in a fix). If you want your mp3 player reviews to be taken seriously, you need to include battery life benchmarks and sound quality benchmarks.
  • opposable - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

  • cobalt - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    Review the iriver h series :\
  • Oxonium - Saturday, July 3, 2004 - link

    I mentioned this in my comments on the Dell DJ review: If you're going to compare size to the iPod, you should show a picture showing that comparison. The side-by-side with the DJ is fine, but there really should be one with the iPod since it is the icon of this class.

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