Is Archos 604 A Good Multi-media Player?

By: Richard J Runion

You have three basic options, with respect to the type of multimedia player to buy. There is a player that comes with a hard disc for program storage, another that uses flash memory (memory sticks, flash cards, etc.) and yet another using standard CD format with storage of music in mp3 or other compressed formats.

Features, design, usability and battery life differ with each manufacturer. Before you zero in the model you want, consider the pros and cons of every product.

Your selection is likely to be affected by developments in the availability of online music and video programming. The ability of your multimedia player to share different media formats and protection will matter, too.

Go for a multi-dimensional portable video player, if you plan to watch movies or TV while traveling. Apart from playing music and video, it allows you to view digital photos. Features like recording video from VCR or TV are present in some models.

The Archos 604 measures 5.1 x 3 x 0.65 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 9.05 ounces. It is equipped with a 4.3 inch LCD 480x272 pixel/16-million-color screen to insure a quality image; the 30 GB hard drive enables storage of up to 40 movies. Your TV will facilitate high resolution play back, of up to 720 x 576 DVD.

Archos 604 enables you to record from your TV or other video sources, such as a DVD player, VCR, or camcorder, in MPEG-4 format. Audio recording (PCM or ADPCM WAV) on this multi-media player is very effective. Use Archos 604 as a camcorder; just connect it to a digital camera using the DVR travel adapter.

Apart from about 40 movies, you can store 15,000 songs or 300,000 photos on the 30 GB hard drive. You can use different format such as MP3, WAV, WMA and WMA files. You can also view formats like JPEG, BMP, and PNG.

If you want net access, opt for the Archos 604 WiFi model which comes with a built-in Opera browser and allows you to surf the net, and browse your email. Archos podcatcher software captures audio and video podcasts without having to use a PC.

The battery comes with music playback time of up to 16 hours, and video playback time of up to 5 hours. Archos offers one warranty.

The complete package consists of Archos 604 portable media player and recorder, headphones, dedicated USB 2.0 cable, DVR station adapter, pouch, quick-start guide, legal and safety notices.

On the flipside, reading web files on the relatively small screen may prove a bit difficult; you can connect it to your TV screen. Memory is limited to 30GB, and you may require external memory devices to augment it. The package comes very few free accessories.

Overall, I do endorse Archos 604 as a good buy.


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