Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Jupiter: Creative Vision vs. iPod (with video)

Michael Gartenberg offers a comparison review of the Creative Vision and video iPod at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. The majority of the reviews foccuses on the "video features of each device and getting content on them."

Gartenberg finds that it's all about the usage model. The iPod "is a music player that does video. The Zen was designed for video and also does music." The Creative offers more video capacity and a bigger screen, but sacrifices portablity.

Regarding getting video onto the iPod and Zen Vision, Gartenberg says that for pre-recorded video, "it's a no-brainer. The iPod wins hands in simplicity, you just go to the (increasingly poorly named) iTunes music store and pay $1.99. It's simple and makes for a good experience. The only downside at the moment is you're pretty restricted in your content choices."

For other video sources, it's not as clear cut. Gartenberg tested all sorts of sources and content and writes:

The Zen worked well with pretty much all sorts of content I tossed at it. Un-encrypted test DVDs were easily ripped into .AVI files which the Creative handles with ease. It also took MPEG files I had laying around and linked well into Windows Media 10, so I had no problems transferring recorded TV shows to the device (although files had to be transcoded). Things were trickier on the Mac. Ripping the un-encrypted test DVD into an MP4 file worked but although the iPod claims to play h.264 files, it seems it only likes QuickTime versions of h.264. I couldn't get files from the DVD using h.264 onto the iPod or files recorded on EyeTV, my Mac PVR. The solutions to both were simple, for the DVD I created MPEG 4 files and didn't use the h.264 profile and for EyeTV I simply used the export for PSP command. (PSP MP4 files play just fine on the iPod). Jim Heid has some instructions on his site but they don't work, you're better off just using the PSP export in EyeTV which works every time. For fun, I too some native EyeTV .avi files and tried them on the Zen. Why, You ask? They only take about 10 seconds to export as opposed to waiting for Windows Media 10 to transcode. Surprise, they work flawlessly. So much so that I'm now using EyeTV to record all shows I want to take mobile and then transfer to the iPod or Zen as needed.
So what's the moral of the review? Make sure you know how you plan to use the portable video player and where you will get your content when deciding on which player is best....