Creative is launching a new iPod Shuffle-style MP3 player in the form of the Creative Zen Stone. It's a 1GB flash player which is incredibly small, light and available in a multitude of colours.

The product has no screen, making it a barebones player which will compete directly with Apple's iPod Shuffle for the low-end of the market. And selling for around £30, it's significantly cheaper than the Shuffle's £55 price tag.

Tech.co.uk was able to have an exclusive first look at the Zen Stone back at CeBIT in March, and yesterday spoke with John Moseley, UK marketing manager for Creative.

"The Zen Stone is an exciting new product for us," he said. "We're entering a corner of the market in which we're not currently competing. And while the Stone can be compared with the iPod Shuffle, our product has a much more convenient price and better sound quality also.

High quality audio

"If you do a quality comparison of MP3 players, Creative will generally come out on top because we spend a lot of time trying to make our products sound as good as possible. We're an audio company and that's what we're good at," he said.

Available in a choice of six glossy colours, Creative says the Stone's looks match its performance. There's room for hundreds of songs and it can run for up to 10 hours on its rechargeable battery. You can navigate through your folders with the Skip feature and add some surprises to your listening with Shuffle playback.

The Stone connects to your computer with a standard mini-USB cable so no included USB dock here, much like the second iPod Shuffle model.

Moseley also promised that there would be many more products from Creative coming before Christmas this year. He hinted that the Singapore-based firm might be setting itself to release a successor to the flagship Zen Vision:m MP3 player.

New products coming soon

"There will also be other new products released between now and Christmas, at all levels of the market. It's great to have been working on the Vision:m for 14 or 16 months, but now we're looking forward to other things.

"We're going to release products ranging from entry level stuff all the way to the other end of the spectrum to perhaps levels that have not been seen before," he said.

See our full interview with John Moseley next week. Read our exclusive first look review here .