Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 19th Nov 2007 08:08 UTC
Multimedia, AV Geeks.com sent us in one of their consumer electronics, the Linux-based Archos 604 PMP for a whirl, and we surely gave it one. This 30 GB PMP is the fourth generation video product from Archos, one of the biggest names in that market.
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Bloody hell
by bralkein on Mon 19th Nov 2007 10:19 UTC
bralkein
Member since:
2006-12-20

It was only a few years ago that I had to save up in order to buy the Archos Jukebox Recorder, which was just a laptop disk in a box with an mp3 decoder and I think it cost me more than this thing would. It's crazy how fast things move on.

I wouldn't buy this myself, because I don't really see the point of watching videos on the go, but it's always good to see a useful Linux device. I wonder how much it would cost if they'd had to fork out for some proprietary software instead?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bloody hell
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Nov 2007 10:23 UTC in reply to "Bloody hell"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The Archos UI and libs are proprietary, so they don't save that much. Most such media devices don't even run full OSes, but even if you had to license a full embedded OS, that would be a few cents up to 2-3 dollars per unit.

Reply Score: 1

No ogg?
by Toonie on Mon 19th Nov 2007 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Bloody hell"
Toonie Member since:
2007-11-19

I would have thought that as this device is Linux based, then it would have been easy to add ogg vorbis support for audio, and whilst they're at it, how about ogg theora video ?

Regards, Toonie.

Reply Score: 5

RE: No ogg?
by whittmadden on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:37 UTC in reply to "No ogg?"
whittmadden Member since:
2007-10-08

Will we ever see the day that ogg gets the equal treatment that the other formats get?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: No ogg?
by HeLfReZ on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE: No ogg?"
HeLfReZ Member since:
2005-08-12

no...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No ogg?
by jtinz on Tue 20th Nov 2007 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE: No ogg?"
jtinz Member since:
2006-02-06

Will we ever see the day that ogg gets the equal treatment that the other formats get?


No. We will not. Basically mp3 is good enough, the patents are about to expire and hardly anyone uses ogg vorbis anyway. Furthermore, the ogg vorbis format is similar to WMA and whatever ogg claims, nobody wants to risk lawsuits over a format that hardly anyone is using.

Reply Score: 1

Meizu Minione
by kragil on Mon 19th Nov 2007 11:36 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

If that device ever becomes a reality it will IMHO blow everything away. I love big screens ( 720x480 would rule ). And the option to buy it without a digicam is just cool ( i never use those cheap ones anyways ).

http://en.meizu.com/userforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=704&FID=12&PR=3

Reply Score: 1

RE: Meizu Minione
by Hands on Mon 19th Nov 2007 14:34 UTC in reply to "Meizu Minione"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

First off, your post is off-topic since it is little more than an advert for a completely separate device. Ignoring that, and bringing things back to the Archos 604...

I like the way that Meizu thing looks better than the iPhone, but I don't see any other really good reason to get it. The dimensions and resolution trump the iPhone, but I couldn't seen any other info about actual hardware capabilities such as processor speed, built-in memory, or WiFi. In addition, it runs Win CE. I've had Windows Mobile for the past few years, and the only thing that I can say that I really preferred was contact navigation. That single benefit is lost/obsolete with a touch screen, and there are multiple things that I don't like about Windows Mobile.

I do think that if someone can make a product that works well as a phone and a portable media device, they will do very well. The iPhone proved this, but for my money the iPhone still falls short. From the meager details that I found about your device, I have no reason to think that it will fill that niche completely either. So, in the meantime there is plenty of room for specific-use devices.

The 604 is a specific-use device. Archos has traditionally made some of the best video devices anywhere. As stated in the article, they are continuing that tradition here. Other devices really don't compete when it comes to video codec support. Try putting video from various sources on just about anything other than this and you'll quickly see how attractive it can be to own a device that doesn't force you to convert files before loading them.

Reply Score: 2

price
by l3v1 on Mon 19th Nov 2007 12:05 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, I still don't really like the price of it, a new one costs currently ~$230 (the $175 price mentioned is for a refurbished one).

Reply Score: 3

Silly device
by Ben Jao Ming on Mon 19th Nov 2007 19:38 UTC
Ben Jao Ming
Member since:
2005-07-26

Why'd you wanna watch a movie on that kind of screen, anyways!?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Silly device
by leplatdujour on Mon 19th Nov 2007 19:42 UTC in reply to "Silly device"
leplatdujour Member since:
2005-08-16

Because you'd look rather silly toting one of those big plasma screens onto the train and then looking vainly for a power plug, that's why...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Silly device
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Silly device"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Exactly. While in mainland and west US people don't use trains or busses or underground much to go to work, in NY and Europe people do. And they need something to pass the time with, and such a device helps. I know my brother in law watches "Lost" on his 2" iPod Nano on the way to work and he doesn't mind that small screen, let alone Archos' 4.3" screen.

Edited 2007-11-19 20:03

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Silly device
by Ben Jao Ming on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Silly device"
Ben Jao Ming Member since:
2005-07-26

No one needs to watch movies in a train. This is pure materialism and shallow cultural digestion. People who care about movies watch them in a proper environment.

This thing was made for a stupid consumer generation. Just like Hollywood movies. And I bet that's exactly what people watch on these silly devices.

(this post is subjective.. please beg to differ)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Silly device
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Silly device"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

We beg to differ. Personally, I don't read many books (I read technical and non-fiction books alright, but I am getting bored with novels). When I used to commute via train when I was living in UK, I wish I had a video player back then. But they were non-existent in 1997-9. And so I slept all the way through to work. It was boring. If I had a video player, I can assure you I would have used it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Silly device
by orfanum on Tue 20th Nov 2007 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Silly device"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Hang on, I will just book myself into the local scriptorium and librarium and lock myself into monkish meditation before I turn the pages of this holy thing called a book...(and yes, this is just a stab at humour)...

seriously, these things are made for people with, yes, money, and, unfortunately, a lot of time on their hands waiting for the infernal transport infrastructure in this neck of the woods (the UK) to unstick itself.

By the way, what do you watch in the hushed tones of your home ampitheatre :-)?

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: Silly device
by CVDpr on Fri 23rd Nov 2007 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Silly device"
Mains charger
by petera on Mon 19th Nov 2007 19:48 UTC
petera
Member since:
2006-04-22

You could always buy one of those Mains to USB chargers, or car cigarette lighter to USB charger if you want to take this on holiday and not your laptop.

There quite cheap as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Mains charger
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Nov 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "Mains charger"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Unfortunately this is not always an option. USB-to-cigarette-lighter does not always use the right kind of Volts, there are many generic such adapters that will kill your device, simply because your device expects different power strength. Unless you buy one from Archos, you can't be sure that it will work correctly.

Reply Score: 1

E-Book Reader
by Earl Colby pottinger on Mon 19th Nov 2007 21:00 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there any reason why they don't just add the software needed to make it an E-Book reader?

I have tons of stuff in HTML, and most can be converted to simple text if needed.

If you can handle HTML, PDF and text on something this size/weight/price I would love it. My laptop works fine if I am sitting down but is a pain to carry/read if I go on a walk.

Reply Score: 4

RE: E-Book Reader
by jtinz on Tue 20th Nov 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "E-Book Reader"
jtinz Member since:
2006-02-06

The device has support for both PDF and HTML. But you will want to buy the newer A605, which sports an 800x480 screen and is cheaper.

Reply Score: 1

605WiFi
by str8edge on Tue 20th Nov 2007 04:17 UTC
str8edge
Member since:
2007-11-20

I'm surprised that they sent you a 604WiFi. I have been enjoying my 605 WiFi for a few weeks now. Its basically a cleaned up version of the 704... Some of the new features include better button layout, 800x480 resolution, 160GB HD and better codec support. However there's a catch with some of the codecs/extras. Archos have decided to remove OPERA from the unit. Its now a plugin you must buy separately. The other plugins are the podcast(H.264 AAC sound), the cinema plugin (MPEG-2/VOB 5.1 sound - AC3). Archos Tech support have mentioned they are working on other plugins too, such as Opera Widget support.

Reply Score: 1

RE: 605WiFi
by Eugenia on Tue 20th Nov 2007 06:09 UTC in reply to "605WiFi"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Geeks usually carries surplus and refurbished items (new items too of course), so the 605Wifi will be available to Geeks.com reviewers in many months from now.

Archos does not give away review items, journalists only get a 25% discount for a review.

Reply Score: 1

tux2005
Member since:
2007-04-03

Good review, sounds like a cool device but if things like the Asus EEEPC can extend their battery life I would take one over these any day.

Also my Hitachi 720p projector does have some interesting cropping systems for working with 4:3 material, it has a few different pure cropping modes and then cropping modes which also stretch the AR but not uniformly so the middle of the screen doesn't become as stretched while the outer does. These modes can be great for watching content broadcast at 4:3 and the like excluding things like news broadcasts just be cause then you start cropping titles.

Reply Score: 1

missing vorbis, flac and theora
by jemmjemm on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 09:04 UTC
jemmjemm
Member since:
2007-08-06

I prefer devices that play vorbis, flac and theora plus can handle ogg containers.

So this one does not fit in ;)

Reply Score: 1