In attempting to create an mp3 player (download mp3's on Youtube converter service) that can stand up to the legendary Apple iPod, different companies have tried a great number of approaches. Some try the direct knockoff, others add flashy new features, and others try to create products with their own unique aesthetic and appeal. Most fail miserably, and apple holds on to its three-quarters market share. Although I was not expecting much when I saw it, I have to say that the Creative NOMAD MuVo2 fails somewhat more spectacularly than most it catching up to Apple.
The first thing you'll notice when you read the package of the NOMAD MuVo2 is the description advertising its 1 inch hard drive. 1 inch hard drive? Holding 4 GB? What's the point to that? Typically, mp3 players with hard drives hold large amounts of music, at least 20 GB, but usually 30 or more. Mp3 players without hard drives use flash memory, solid state chip based memory with no moving parts. Although flash memory is not good for holding large amounts of data, it is quite it to the task of holding 4 GB. So, one has to wonder why the NOMAD MuVo2 uses a hard disk to hold its 4 GB. Looks to me just like a bunch of moving parts that can break for nothing. Throw in the fact that it's 1 inch, (instead of the usual 2.5) and it becomes apparent that this feature is nothing but a liability.
My next complaint about the NOMAD MuVo2 would be its general shape and interface. Although in attempting to be a cute little square it does not fail entirely, when it comes to usability, it does. The first thing we'd have to notice is lack of any real screen. Although it does have a simple screen, big enough to display the title of the song you are listening to, the user will quickly discover that the screen is absolutely useless in terms of navigation. So are the navigation controls, for that matter. The NOMAD MuVo2 relies on a simple little 4-way button to allow the user to navigate through his library, while using the tiny little screen as a reference, and throws in only a play/pause button additionally. Experience will immediately show that this is a totally inadequate system. It should also be noted that, although 4 GB is not a lot of space when talking about video, the user is completely out of luck if he wants to watch video on his NOMAD MuVo2.
To its credit, however, the NOMAD MuVo2 uses only a generic USB cord to connect to the computer, and is powered by a cheap, use a replaceable lithium-ion battery, both improvements over the iPod.