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ARCHOS Expands Media Player Connectivity

While the Apple iPod line defines portable media players, there are a lot of other options if you're interested in alternate features, form factors, and designs -- see, for example, AnythingButiPod.com.

SanDisk is focused on portable flash memory players, Creative has a broad range of models for specific needs, Samsung has developed some stylish designs with new features like Bluetooth, and the Microsoft Zune has entered the market with Wi-Fi connectivity.

But if you're looking for something beefier -- a personal media player with a bigger screen and built-in speakers so you can share your music and photos and videos on the go -- then look to the Archos Gen 5 line.

ARCHOS specializes in upscale players with similar designs: widescreen, 4" to 7" screen, some touch-screen, high capacity hard disk storage up to 160 GB, and a docking station for A/V capture. But the most interesting ARCHOS 605 and 705 WiFi models have full Internet connectivity with Web browsing, media playback, and e-mail.

The ARCHOS Gen 5 line was introduced last year, and this month ARCHOS has significantly enhanced the line with new firmware upgrades, plug-ins, and add-ons:

Web Browser Playback of Flash 9 and WMV 9 Videos

Free firmware update to enhance the Web Browser plug-in ($29), which already plays common video sites. Now supports the newer Adobe Flash 9 and Microsoft Windows Video 9 formats to view social networking sites including YouTube and MySpace, plus media on sites such as CBS, NBC, PBS, MTV, and BBC . (Free upgrade, 5/08)

Web TV and Radio Plug-in

Search and play Web radio and TV stations, streamed live over the Internet. Access more than 9,600 Web radio stations, 600 Web TV stations, and 110,000 podcasts. (Available 5/08, $19)

TVportation Plug-in - Stream live TV

Use the ARCHOS TV+ WiFi Digital Video Recorder as a streaming media server. View live home TV over the Internet, change channels. (Does not currently support recorded / stored content, or files shared over the home network.) Also can use an ARCHOS 605 or 705 WiFi with DVR Station as the server for live TV. Clients for ARCHOS 605 and 705 WiFi, Windows PCs / laptops, Windows Mobile smartphones. (Available 5/08 - free download of server for ARCHOS TV+, $49 for ARCHOS 605 and 705 WiFi)

GPS In-Car Holder for ARCHOS 605 WiFi

In-car windshield holder with GPS antenna. Software provides full-fledged navigation system with TeleAtlas maps. (Available 4/08 - $129 stand-alone, or $399 bundled with 30 GB ARCHOS 605 WiFi player)

See my Portable Media Players Gallery for more information on portable players, from music to video, flash memory to hard disk, tiny to widescreen.

    Find the ARCHOS 605 WiFi on Amazon.com

Manifest Tech Site


This entry posted on April 28, 2008.

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