Mauriat Miranda     mjmwired

Creative Zen Vision M in Linux

Well I normally don’t get too many gifts or exchange too many gifts during Christmas. But this year I got an MP3 player. I got the Zen Vision M from Creative. And I was very much impressed. Outside of MP3 playback. It has video playback for MPEG, Divx, Xvid and Windows Media. It also has a FM radio, which can be recorded as well as a voice recorder. Reviews on the internet rate it better than the video iPod.

There was one big disappointment: the device was engineered to only work with Windows Media Player 10, which is only supported in Windows XP. Windows XP/MP10 use something called MTP: Media Transfer Protocol to communicate with MP3 players. Unfortunately I run Windows 2000. Luckily the device worked perfected in Fedora Core 6 using libmtp (supported in Fedora Extras).

I installed Gnomad 2 and Amarok (both in FC: Extras):

# sudo yum install gnomad2 amarok

I can use Gnomad to add files to and from the Zen. This looks similar to something like FTP.

However Amarok provides access almost identically to Windows Media Player once setup.

To configure go to:

Settings > Configure Amarok… > Media Devices

Select Add Device…

Use the plugin: MTP Media Device

Enter a name for the device “My Zen”

Hit “Okay”

In the main window, on the left, select Media Device and hit the Connect button. Make sure you are NOT connected to Gnomad or something else.

Once connected it shows music properly sorted with album and artist, etc. However the Zen does have one annoying issue. It relies entire on ID3v2 tags instead of ID3v1, so all my music from 1998 to the past few years appear unsorted.

I’m pretty sure there is a way to use some perl library to script a command to copy all data from v1 to v2 for all my music. I’d appreciate any hints. For now, I’m manually editting every file and copying. What a pain.

In any event I highly recommend this device. Much better than the iPod in both features and price.

Posted in: Devices, FC6, Multimedia,


  • Dave Taylor on January 31, 2007 - 11:11 AM

    Thanks for this! I was wondering about buying one of these but only run Linux. I have an old Nomad which is supposed to support MTP but gnomad just hangs.

  • sEAN on February 11, 2007 - 03:03 AM

    see gnomad2

  • ole on February 28, 2007 - 01:13 PM

    Hi, thanks for this info. However, I have the problem that my Zen player (exactly the same) only recognises ID3v1 and not ID3v2. Very strange! any thoughts on that?

  • Mauriat on April 29, 2007 - 06:18 PM


    That’s a tough one. … I know this probably isn’t the best solution, but can you try to see if it works with Windows XP? Or maybe see if your firmware is up to date?

  • johann lo on April 28, 2007 - 06:18 PM

    Hey mate, I’m running FC6 w/ amarok like yourself, but on my Creative Zen Vision M, it will read but Won’t WRITE….. no errors in /var/log/messages, I am out of clues???

    Same symptoms in Gnomad: will read, but won’t write

  • Turbomaniac_7 on April 29, 2007 - 05:17 PM

    Since you are using w2k I can recommend mp3tag for converting id3v1 id3v2

  • Johann on June 12, 2007 - 10:22 PM

    Thanks for that, I’ve resorted to using my windows laptop (work issue). I can also get it to work in XP in vmware with FC6 hosting (but that’s only USB 1.1 as I only have workstation 5.5).

    maybe an update will fix this (or break more stuff har har)

  • anekam on August 5, 2007 - 03:03 AM

    foobar2000 has a built in tag converter if necesary…

  • dexter on January 12, 2008 - 11:23 PM

    Thanks man.

    I installed linux last month and this was one of the reasons i was reluctant to remove windows. now i have one less reason to keep wndows :)

  • Drew on February 8, 2008 - 04:04 AM

    Hey I got mine on PCLinuxOS, but in the hardware list it’s recognized as a scanner :S It’s still called Creative Zen Vision:M, Gnomad2 will read it but I’ve got no luck as far as amarok or banshee goes, any ideas?

  • mehraz on February 14, 2008 - 02:02 AM

    Thanks for the tip.
    Couldn’t find drivers or support for linux on the creative website, but I got my zen working with Amarok…even better.

  • Not Me on April 23, 2009 - 11:23 PM

    This is a Python script I run on all the podcasts I download. It checks for id3v1 and id3v2 tags and copies them to both (changing some of the tags in the process – this is handy for podcasts). You can run it on either an individual file or a directory. It could be a good starting point to adapt for your purposes.

    import sys
    import os.path
    import ID3 # Supports ID3v1 only
    from mutagen import easyid3
    from datetime import date

    def get_title(path):
    # First check for v2 title.
    id3 = easyid3.EasyID3(path)
    title = id3[‘title’][0]

    # Next check for v1 title
    if title is None:
    id3 = ID3.ID3(path)
    title = id3[‘TITLE’]

    # Use base file name if no ID3 title available
    if title is None:
    title = os.path.basename(path)

    return title

    path = sys.argv[1]
    artist = sys.argv[2]

    if os.path.isdir(path):
    paths = os.path.listdir(path)
    paths = [ path ]

    for path in paths:
    title = get_title(path)
    album ='%Y-%m-%d')
    genre = ‘Other’

    # Set ID3v1 tags
    id3 = ID3.ID3(path)
    id3[‘TITLE’] = title
    id3[‘ARTIST’] = artist
    id3[‘ALBUM’] = album
    id3[‘GENRE’] = genre
    id3 = None

    # Set ID3v2 tags
    id3 = easyid3.EasyID3(path)
    id3[‘title’] = title
    id3[‘artist’] = artist
    id3[‘album’] = album
    id3[‘genre’] = genre
    id3 = None