Wow, when I started this thread I didn't think there'd be so many replies.
It's been two months since I've had the Zen Micro, so here are some updated opinions:
- The touch buttons are getting annoying. When it's in my jacket pocket where I can easily hold it, I can't even change the volume without having to take it out of my pocket and look at the screen. If I try changing the volume blind, I end up not pressing the touchpad in the correct place (so the unit thinks I've tapped it rathern than slid my finger across it) and bring up the Now Playing Playlist where I can't easily change the volume. FF and RW a song is also iffy.
- I have never used the radio except at the beginning to set up the presets.
- The Zen Micro gets stuck once in a while when I plug it in to recharge. I have had similar issues with the Creative NJB3. You'd think plugging it it wouldn't strain the software/firmware, but it does.
- Battery life is good. It doesn't drain rapidly overnight for me like others have reported.
- Aside from the first problem, using the touch pad to navigate around isn't too bad.
- I think there are still some kinks in the firmware, which are carried over from Creative's older devices, or at least my experience with the NJB3. The buffering is weird. Sometimes when you pause a song and then play it again, it plays instantly. Other times, the hard drive has to spin up in order to un-pause, and I don't understand why. Using RW to restart a song also sometimes requires the hard drive to spin up, even if the buffer should still have that data in it. So, the device seems to really lag sometimes, and I get annoyed, mainly because the iPod and iPod mini I have/had are more responsive in terms of buffering, pausing/un-pausing, and rewinding to restart a song - all of which I tend to do often.
- [no flames please] It doesn't work with iTunes. CMS sucks and I've stopped using it. I use Explorer, but even then it's not as easy as iTunes. With the iPod mini, I sync a single playlist titled "Library", which contained all the songs I wanted. If there were new songs I wanted, I simply dragged it over from the iTunes library to the playlist. If the playlist was too big, I'd easily delete groups of songs at once to make space. With the Zen Micro, it takes much more effort to find music to delete to make room for adding new songs. I haven't found an easier way to manage the Zen Micro.
But I would still buy the Zen Micro over the iPod mini any day. 1GB extra space, radio if I ever need it, much better screen, smaller text so more info is displayed, looks and feels good.
That said, I will be getting a 1GB iPod Shuffle next week and may sell the Zen Micro after that. I dropped out of grad school this month and so my listening habits have changed. I now only listen to my Zen Micro maybe 20 mins a day going to and from work. During that time, I find myself listening to just a few singles or songs over and over day after day. Having 5GB is either overkill or not enough, in that I listen only to a few songs, or I want to listen to a song but it's not on there because I didn't load it because changing the music on there is such a hassle. So any flash player would better fit my needs of listening to a few favorite songs, in playlist or random order. I do like the built-in rechargable battery, I hate having to separately recharge batteries, so that's what's most appealing about the shuffle. And I admit using iTunes to manage a constantly changing playlist of songs to put on the shuffle is easy. I'd be reluctant to let go of the Zen Micro because it's a great device, but it no longer fits my usage.