Audio stalwart Creative has announced a brand spanking new MP3 player designed to work with iTunes. After the company launched a new range of 'Made for iPod' peripherals last year, the new Creative Zen is the first Creative player to support iTunes AAC music files.

Previously, the entire range of Creative players came under the 'Creative Zen' bracket with another name as a suffix. But this new player seems to be called simply the Creative Zen. Could this mean that the Creative MP3 player range is being scaled down to just one player?

One thing's for certain - it's packed full of features. Available in three different capacities - 4, 8 and even 16GB - it's the size of a credit card and yet there's still a 2.5 inch colour screen. And most interestingly, it will now play songs ripped from iTunes in AAC format. It'll also support unprotected iTunes Plus tracks from the iTunes store, in addition to MP3 and WMA music tracks. The player also has an SD slot to import other tunes.

Creative Zen for iTunes

"The Creative Zen immediately gets attention because it has the same size screen as our award-winning Zen Vision:M, but is so much smaller, lighter and thinner," says Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. "Now people can have a great video watching experience with a very compact player."

The new Zen supports a wide selection of video formats, including MPEG-4, DivX, XviD and WMV. Still no Quicktime MOV support then, but even so, this looks an incredibly versatile player. One charge of its battery cell will apparently provide you with up to 5 hours of video playback or 25 hours for music - and for such a small player, that's top of the range.

The Creative Zen's display supports up to 16.7 million colours, and the classic Creative user interface has been given a new look to freshen things up a little too. The player also includes a built-in FM radio with 32 station presets, a voice recorder, a personal organiser which can synchronise contacts, 'to do' lists and calendars with Microsoft Outlook.