We hate to bang on about this, but anyone who listens to music on the move should be doing so via an MP3 player. Portable CD players are history and tape machines belong in a museum for the criminally cack. But you already know that. That's why you're ready to read all about the lovely new Zen Nano Plus.
Once again those clever people at Creative have managed to usurp the mighty iGods and upset the Apple cart by creating a little slice of big audio dynamite that does everything its rival can and more.
The chic Nano Plus is set to seriously ruffle the Shuffle because it's rammed with size (and price) defying features. Not only is this gorgeously-engineered 1GB flash-based MP3/WMA player shorter than its whiter-than-white rival, it also boasts a smart backlit display, an FM radio, a built-in microphone, and Line-In encoding for direct connection and recording from any audio source. Directly record your music from a CD player - no computers needed!. Pretty impressive for a player that's small enough to fit in Tom Thumb's smallest pocket.
Despite its ciggy lighter-esque dimensions the Nano Plus can store up to 16 hours worth of music in MP3 format and a staggering 32 hours in WMA. Which, unless you're that bloke who does marathons in a deep-sea diving suit, is more than enough for several extensive jogs, a couple of workouts and a transatlantic flight. Even more impressive is the fact that the Nano can play for up to 15 hours using the juice from just one measly AAA alkaline battery. No recharging, just shove in another battery and you're away.
Transferring music onto the Nano Plus is easier than putting your pants on. Correction, it's easier than taking them off. Simply plug it into your computer (using the included USB cable) and drag and drop your music and data files straight in. In addition, Auto Synchronization makes it easy to transfer all your favourite songs and albums from CDs through the line-in connector.
But what about the sound? Fear not, because playback quality on the Nano Plus is a flawless, skip-free delight, and you can adjust the sound to your taste via a selection of EQ presets and a custom equalizer.
Impressed? You should be, because the Creative Zen Nano Plus is undoubtedly one of the best flash-based micro music machines we've ever seen. It sounds fantastic, it's a doddle to use, it does everything its rivals can and more, and it comes complete with a signed photo of Shakin' Stevens. Okay, so we made that last bit up, but if you're genuinely that disappointed you don't deserve a machine of such brilliance in the first place.