I’m quite happy with the Zen Micro MP3 player, but being the nagging bastard that I am, here’s what I think might come handy in a later version of the firmware:
- USB drive mode: I don’t know if it’s just me – while the new firmware is supposed to let me mount the Zen’s hard drive as a USB drive without additional drivers, I can’t get this to work. Or has this been marketing doublespeak and only refers to the designated storage that you can reserve for non MP3 stuff – is there no way to mount the whole drive???
- Audio file types: This is probably something that needs to be addressed by desktop apps like iTunes and WMP10: I would like to be able to differentiate and/or filter between music and other audio content like podcasts or audiobooks. This is needed if I want to shuffle just among my music files, for example
- Automatic bookmarking: I came across this when I accidentally hit “stop” in the middle of a podcast. Wouldn’t it be nice if, whenever you do something like that, the player automatically bookmarks the time you left listening mode and lets you return to it later? Maybe these bookmarks could even e stored in the comments part of the file’s ID3 tags??
- Last listened to: It would also be nice when the file has last been *completely* listened to. See above
- Caching: I was astonished to find out that I often have to wait a few seconds when moving between playlists, obviously because the hard drive has to start spinning again. PLEASE – this is soooo 80s – I’m sure someone can come up with a clever caching algorithm to make this smoother for the user.
- History: This would be an additional menu item in the “DJ” menu: let me see the 50 files most recently listened to. This is much more useful (to me at least) than the files I have played most.
This is it for now, all in all I’m pretty happy with the Zen Micro. A leather case would have been nice, though. There doesn’t even seem to be one by third party vendors.