It’s probably impossible to set hands on one of these in time for the end-of-year holidays, but Creative is now officially offering a 32 GB version of its flash-based Zen media player. The credit-card sized players feature a 2.5-inch LCD display, battery life offering up to 30 hours of music playback (or five hours of video), and an organizer feature that can sync with Microsoft Outlook calendars, contacts, and tasks.
As a media player, the Zen supports MP3, WMA, unprotected AAC, WAV, and Audible 2/3/4 audio formats, along with Motion JPEG, WMV9 and (with transcoding) MPEG 1/2/4, DivX 4/5, and XviD video. The unit will also happily display JPEGs, GIFs, TIFFs, PNGs, and BMP files, so you can wow your friends with snapshots and other images.
A 32 GB capacity puts the Zen at the top tier of flash-based players: while flash media players are well known for their practicality and battery life, they often lack the capacity to carry around meaningful amounts of video. The 32 GB Zen can handle up to 120 hours o WMV9 video encoded to 500 Kbps, or as many as 8,000 songs.
The 32 GB edition of the Zen player is priced at $349.99; Creative currently lists it as "out of stock," but at least they’re listing it! That’s an improvement on months of rumor and promises.