Loquacious D and the Player (MP3, that is)

For well over a year, I’d been enamoured with the idea of joining the cool kids and getting myself an MP3 player.

My commutes were long and lame. And workouts in the cardio room at my gym were almost unbearable. Try huffing and puffing on a treadmill that’s on an incline while trying to watch either MuchMusic, whatever how-to show on TLC or Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room on CNN. Hard.

This time last year, I decided I was getting me an MP3 player. But then I procrastinated for months. But which one should I get? I mean, I saw all those flashy TV ads for the iPod, and while I admittedly was taken, something inside told me not to fall for the flashy hype.

Enter into my world Creative Labs, which apparently had a line of players which was said by tech reviewers to rival Apple’s. For months it was: Creative Zen or Apple iPod? iPod or Zen?

I finally ended my internal struggle last Friday when I marched into the Future Shop downtown after much deliberation and went straight for Creative’s newest product, the Zen V Plus. It had everything I was looking for: 4 GB worth of space for any song I always wanted to have but didn’t have in my music library. An FM tuner to listen to the radio in the morning. And the most crucial thing: it was SO cute!

It’s too bad the honeymoon only lasted until Wednesday night.

One thing I remember reading – which was a bone of contention for anyone reviewing the Zen V Plus – was the five-way directional joystick located just under the screen. On more than one occasion, the reviews stated this device was not the friendliest to wannabe users with fat fingers.
This is a picture of the hand I use to operate my Zen V Plus. No fatty tissue here. Only long, spindly fingers.

So you’d figure chopsticks like those would be ample enough to manouvre a simple device with an eeny-weeny joystick, right?

Well, here’s my case for trial separation from my Zen V Plus. Here’s a picture of what the Zen V Plus looks like, in all its flashy, cute glory:

See? THAT is the model I fell in love with in all those print ads. Now, here’s a picture of MY Zen:

It may be hard to see from the picture, but just compare for a sec. Notice anything different? Let me help you out: the promotion picture farther up has something my Zen is now missing: a JOYSTICK.

That’s right. Sometime on Wednesday night, my joystick disintegrated and is somewhere in the recesses of my player, rattling around whenever I pick it up.

Sure, the sound quality is great, and it still downloads like a dream. It’s just that now if I want to navigate through all the directories, I need a FINGERNAIL to do it. And I’ve been running out of those this week.

I think it took me three or four tries – and about 40 minutes – to just find an e-mail for Creative’s customer support in the U.S. And now I have to trudge back down to Future Shop in hopes they see my plight and help rectfy this.

‘Cause Lord knows, after putting up with Best Buy during my camera ordeal, I do NOT want to have to go through this with their sister company, which I hope is 100 per cent LESS idiotic.

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