Tired of waiting for Creative to fix the Zen Touch playback problems and update the firmware to support PlaysForSure, I got a Dell DJ30 for my birthday. So far, it’s passed the first test: after a quick firmware upgrade, I was able to download my entire Yahoo Music Engine library (most of which is from the $5/month subscription service) and it worked!
Overall the feel and controls are pretty nice. Dell uses a scroll thumb wheel rather than the ‘touch’ pad on the Zen. The wheel is better because it has feedback for each click. Also the overall unit is noticeable smaller even though the capacity is 30 vs 20GB.
It looks like even Dell has its own set of problems. For starters, it can take as much as minute for the unit to turn on (what is this, a PC?). For podcast files at low sample rates, it plays back correctly, but the time indication is way off. I might need to up-sample the MP3 files to 22.05 or 44.1 kHz to make it display correctly.