New Creative ZEN hearts iTunes Plus

If we didn't know better we'd say Creative had a bit of a crush on Apple. If it's not making diddy speakers for the Shuffle, it's now making players t

If we didn't know better we'd say Creative had a bit of a crush on Apple. If it's not making diddy speakers for the Shuffle, it's now making players that'll work with iTunes.The rather splendid looking ZEN comes in credit card dimensions yet packs a 2.5in screen with 16.7 million colours. And at just 12mm thick it’s not going to cause any unsightly pocket bulge in your long johns.As well as playing your AAC music collection ripped from CDs via iTunes, it'll also spin iTunes Plus tracks – that's the pricier high quality EMI songs shorn of their DRM protection, rather than the bog standard 79p ones. Course, it'll still manage good old MP3s or WMAs (including the copy protected kind) making it one of the most versatile music players around.Come to mention it, it's pretty handy at video too, with WMV9, MJPEG, MPEG4-SP, DivX and XviD all supported. Take that awkward H.264-loving Apple.Other treats include an FM radio and an SD card slot for bumping up the 4 and 8GB capacities (sadly there are no plans to release the 16GB incarnation here) and a storming 25-hour music-playing battery life that shrinks to a still impressive five hours when having a marathon video session. Damn it – how can we watch the entire nine-hour Lord of the Rings trilogy in one go now?Essentials Creative ZEN 4GB, 8GB Price: £100, £140 On sale: TBA Contact: Creative Related stories: Creative i50 gives the speaker a Shuffle Gadget of the Day – iriver Clix 2 8GB Samsung premieres prod-able P2