New Players Similar to zen Stone Add Nice features

The zen Stone is still out there, and its price has been reduced to 34.99 on the Creative website. However, Creative has also released two new players without screens that have the accessibility of the Zen Stone plus some nice new features.

One is the zen Stone with Speaker 2 GB. As far as I can tell, this player is exactly like the Zen Stone except that it has 2 GB of memory and a built-in speaker. I have not seen one, so I don’t know what the sound quality of the speaker is like. It costs $49.99.

The other is the MuVo T100. This player has 4 GB of storage; plays Audible formats 2, 3, and 4; has a one-touch bass boost; and connects directly to a USB port without the need for a cable. The only drawback of this player, as reported by a T100 user on the Blind iPod mailing list, is that it apparently doesn’t move between sections in Audible books correctly. It costs $69.99.

Creative has produced other inexpensive MP3 players, but these include screens and extra features such as voice recorders and stopwatches. Based on what I’ve heard about Creative players with screens in the past, it is likely that the basic features of these players are reasonably easy to use, but that the more complex features require memorizing menus or are difficult to access wihtout sight. If you want a fully accessible player, therefore, be sure no screen is mentioned in the description of the player you’re considering.

I think it’s interesting that both Creative and Apple have produced players with larger memories and no screens. Presumably the hardiness and small size of these players make them appealing to sighted users. I hope this type of player continues to be popular for a long time.

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