Creative Sync Manager and Tech Support Suck

I bought a Creative Zen Vision: M recently to replace my beloved Neuros (which still works fantastically as a car MP3 player, but after several years of hard use has a battery life of about five minutes, and is no longer being made, so no replacement battery is available).
I love my Zen. It’s beautiful. It plays perfectly, and the screen is gorgeous.
But its sync manager is a piece of crap.

It keeps trying to sync with Outlook, which is not installed on my system, even when I told it not to. Creative’s tech support has been less than helpful. I googled around and found lots of pages telling me that the sync manager works great with Outlook — not helpful. I also found a review on Cnet that said the sync manager didn’t actually synchronize, it just transferred. So if, for example, you remove an MP3 from your collection on your computer (by, say, deleting it from the library), it doesn’t remove it from the player – or vice versa. Not cool. The Neuros Sync Manager has its oddities, but at least it actually synchronizes! So I started looking for something better.
MediaMonkey is a free program I found some time ago through this awesome series of entries on Lifehacker and used to normalize the volume levels on my MP3 collection. Turns out, MediaMonkey also has a surprisingly powerful sync feature – which actually synchronizes, rather than just transferring. So I decided to try it. I had a hiccup where it wasn’t recognizing the files the Creative sync manager had ported over — so I formatted the player, and then it worked perfectly. Yay! I am in business!
Even better: MediaMonkey Gold (the paid version) has a neat feature where I can set it to watch certain folders for updates and automatically add them to the player upon synchronization. This should make my podcast habit a lot easier to support. Now to see how it handles me deleting podcasts from the player when I’m done listening to them.

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3 Responses to Creative Sync Manager and Tech Support Suck

  1. keith says:

    submit to ipod. submit to steve jobs. steve jobs knows all, understands all.
    lol i actually love itunes and my ipod is amazing. however i have heard the same from other people that creative zen is teh shit. sorry about the sync problems cuz. i hate it when my old mp3 juke would act up on me. It would drive me nuts to to be able to manage my music.

  2. Ealasaid says:

    Dude, iPod can suck my nonexistant balls. Steve Jobs is just as bad as Bill Gates when it comes to being a dick monopolist. I already have the Gates monopoly in my life, I don’t need the Jobs one too. :D
    Looks like Apple is finally getting taken to task for their anti-trust habits, which makes me grin.
    Someday I will get off my lazy ass and shed computer monopolies once and for all, and go Linux.

  3. keith says:

    Jobs is definitely monopolist. no doubt. they do have a knack for finding whats trendy, hip, and “cool”. That is what really has led to ipod nation we have today.
    The up side to Jobs monopoly is that they stand by their product. They honor warranties and update like crazy to make their products better. Also the third party warranties offered by best buy and target are reasonably priced and honored on just about anything.
    It does suck that the mp3 or even portable media devices has become monopolized by basically one company. I think there is a lot of room for growth and creativity in portable media industry and its sad that we are only really getting any decent ground breaking products coming from one company.
    Sony has a huge amount of pull in this area but they are so focused on portable gaming that they have forgotten that they should be offering their own online music store and movie place. PSP itself is wireless and could download music at a decent rate. They have completely lost that battle though, itouch is basically a PSP that doesn’t play games. The upside to PSP is that it can do so much more then just music and web browsing and videos, and it’s offered at half the price. I really wish sony would get off it’s ass and do something there.