I’ve had my Nomad Zen for just over a month now. I’ve loaded almost 6500 tracks from 525 albums and it’s only about half full. However, I did have a slight issue with it. Walking across campus the other day, I tripped over my own damn feet. Luckily, the Nomad broke my fall :(. I ripped the protective case and scuffed the LCD screen, but otherwise it didn’t seem any the worse for wear. However, when I fired it up on the flight to Sydney it wouldn’t work. It would boot and claim to be playing, but no music came out. If I selected a new song, it would freeze and needed a hard reboot or battery removal in order to shut down. I tried the reset button and reloading the firmware, no luck. Today, I searched Creative Labs’ knowledge base, searched for “zen xtra crash” and found an article on the Zen’s Rescue Mode. This allows you to Clean Up, Format All and Reload OS. Clean Up took a while – around 15 minutes – but it did the trick. I guess the rapid deceleration caused some temporary issue to the internal hard drive, but there don’t seem to be any residual effects. Even the song that I was listening to when I fell is fine.
Of course, no device is perfect. In addition to “Make Rescue Mode Easily Discoverable”, I have two minor quibbles with the device. First, it doesn’t draw power from the USB connection. With Red Chair’s Notmad Explorer, I can play the music from the Zen thru my computer’s speakers. I also use Notmad Explorer to convert my music from WMA lossless to WMA 96k when it transfers to the Zen. In both of these cases, the Zen is connected to the computer for a long period of time. It would be nice if I didn’t have to plug in both power and USB. Second (and more likely to be addressed as it’s a software issue) is that when you’re listening to a song, you can get it’s track details, displaying the artist and album names. It would be nice to be able to jump directly to the artist or album in the music library from the track details screen.
Minor quibbles aside, this is an awesome device.