Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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If you are one of the many owners of a Creative Zen Micro MP3 player and having problems making it work in Windows Vista, this guide will help you get it connected. Despite what I've read on some message boards, the Zen Micro will work with Windows Vista, but it will have very limited functionality compared to what you could do with it in Windows XP. Creative hasn't made too much of an effort to correct the problem, either.

This guide will show you how to make Windows Vista recognize your Creative Zen Micro, as well as explain how to copy music onto it and display correctly in the player. It's going to be a lot more hassle than what you're used to, but it's still better than buying a new MP3 player.

First, to even get Vista to recognize your Zen Micro, you will need to upgrade it to the current firmware version of 2.21.02, which can be downloaded from

Here's the bad news:
1. You can only upgrade the firmware from a Windows XP machine.
2. Upgrading the firmware requires you to erase the entire drive, meaning you'll have to copy all your music back on it after the update.

Now that you've upgraded the firmware, connect the Zen Micro to your Windows Vista PC using the USB cable. You're system will immediately recognize it as a portable device. This is the only way to even get the thing to recharge via USB.

You know all that software you used in Windows XP that let you organize the music on the device, change file names, and so on? None of it works in Windows Vista. Creative has a few programs you can download that supposedly work in Vista, but they wouldn't even recognize my player.

The only way I could get MP3 file copying to work was if I did it manually, as if I was copying to a portable hard drive or flash memory stick. Talk about tedious.

Furthermore, you need to make sure the ID3 tags on your MP3's are correct, because that's what the Zen Micro uses to display the file information when you go to play them. I've found the best program for editing ID3 tags is Winamp, which can be downloaded for free from In Winamp, just open the MP3, then right click on it in the playlist menu and choose View File Info. Make sure the Artist, Album, Track Number, and Title are all correct.

If you copy some MP3's to your Zen Micro and they don't show up in the Music Library when you try to listen to them, it means the ID3 tags are either incorrect or just blank. If you had to erase the drive in order to upgrade the firmware, good luck getting all the file names correct when you re-upload all your music.

That's pretty much it as far as making the Creative Zen Micro MP3 player work with Windows Vista. You can still make it work, but it's going to be a lot more effort on your part, especially when you want to add new music. If you've found a better way, please let me know!

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