Creative Zen Players Lose FM Recording

Creative has apparently bowed to RIAA pressure, issuing a firmware update for two of its players that removes the FM recording feature. In the past, the music industry has argued that recording from radio broadcasts hurt music sales, and has most recently attempted to stop satellite radio services from implementing similar features.

Specifically, the firmware change affects the company's Zen MicroPhoto and Zen Vision:M players. In the release notes, Creative gives no reasoning for the change other than saying "this firmware removes your player's FM recording feature."

The change overshadows other enhancements, including support for Audible Type 4 tracks, the addition of a volume restriction feature, and enhancements to the user interface and usability. But many customers may be less apt to apply the update in order to save the FM recording functionality.

The RIAA has made moves to prevent recording in other devices, most notably in portable players from the satellite radio providers. The group sued XM in May, with RIAA accusing XM of "massive wholesale infringement" of copyrights by allowing users to save songs heard on the service to the device.

Requests for comment from Creative were not answered as of press time.

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