Pros Wide range of formats, perfect size, great colors, serves as a flash drive and it's very user friendly.
Cons Lack of accessories & you have to pay for plug-ins to use Mp4's
Summary I think that this product is the best buy for your $250. I bought the 30gb Ipod, Zune, and Zen Vision before getting this product. This is the best one by far, it serves as a flash drive, lets you see and edit your files as if you were using a computer, and it has an external speaker. With great colors and 80 pre-loaded pictures, this is the best buy for your money. Also, it has album art and moveable thumbnails for video. The only drawbacks for this product is that it doesn't have a wide range of accessories like the big-boys. Another draw back is that you can only get acessories and plug-ins from the Archos site. Other than these minimal flaws, this is the best product that I have seen, especially since it is the same price as the Ipod or any other product that is out there. You will absolutely love this product if you buy it. Trust me
"still needs work"on by billg1969
Pros big hard drive, small form factor
Cons slow processor
Summary While the size of this device is great and the hard drive space is appealing, I believe the technology of the processor needs more work. I do a lot of video compression for mobile devices and this device was less then what I would expect. My encoded MP4 files (which you have to purchase an extra plugin for $20 in order to playback) would loose sync very quickly. Before long the audio track would not match the video track. Yet, the exact same MP4 file plays back flawlessly on my Qtek s200 phone. I have no idea how this device has the processor power to play back DVD VOBs as is described in numerous places. Maybe other video formats playback better but MP4s not so good.Updated
Upon further testing, it seems this device has been fine tuned to WMV files. They work great, picture and audio quality can be left pretty high and the audio/video does not fall out of sync. So, compress WMV files and stay away from MP4's for this device.
Pros Display, sound
Cons Customer Service, Technical Service, Quality of Parts
Summary I had the Archos 404 PVP for about a month before the LCD screen became defective. I could no longer access music or video files as the screen was blank - looked like it was cracked. I tried to contact Archos customer service and finally after a couple of days managed to talk to someone who cut me off both times. The rep promised to send a shipping number to ship the device for warranty repair to Archos but the shipping number never arrived at my email. Terrible awful service and would never buy from them again.Updated
I have an update on the service I received from Archos Technical and Customer Suppport regarding a defective Archos 404 PVP. The unit finally arrived yesterday (Feb 1, 2007)- I had shipped it to Archos just after Christmas. After a lot of missed calls, hangups, them screwing up my credit card information, ect, it finally arrived intact. In fact, instead of reparing the unit, they simply replaced the thing with a new one. Their service department is not very well run and messages left with one rep inevitably do not get passed on to the one you were dealing with. I wrote complaint letters to Archos Corporate head offices around the world and to the Better Business Bureau as well - to advise them of the lousy customer service. I would advise against buying anything at Best Buy or from Archos period!
Pros Very nice screen, recording capabilities, Great Interface
Cons No Removable battery, battery life, Doesnt record out of the box.
Summary Let me start off by saying that this is one of the best Mp3/video Players i have ever owned. I recently took this product on a trip with me and i really loved it.
it fit great in my pocket and it was not heavy at all. I really liked the fact that i could record T.V. on it before i went on vacation to Europe so i could watch american shows. The Screen may be small, but is an excellent screen for video viewing because of the 16 million colors it cou,d produce. The interface was ok, but it was hard to operate the 404 in the dark.
Now let's get on to the bad stuff. The main reason i didnt give this product a ten is because of some bad things that archos did. First, i didnt like the fact that the battery for video wasn't that great. It came to about 4.5 hours which is reasonable, but the Cowon A2 has 10 hours. Another thing i dont like about this product was no removable battery. i would have loved to be able to take another battery on the trip with me so i dont have to recharge so often. The worst thing for me was when i had to buy the DVR station. It was a hassle because i thought "wow, im getting a great deal on this" and then i forgot to figure the numbers in for the recorder.
Generally, this is one great product, especiallt if ur a college student looking for a good video player that had a bigger screen than the ipod. So despite a lack of some usefull features, this is truly one great product.
Pros Small, Great Photo and Video viewer, recording, can edit and delete on the device(names, palylists etc.), built in speaker, dual interface(icons or navigator, which is a folder view), works as drive
Cons Maybe some people would like it a bit smaller, occasional freezes, no line in recording right away, not iPod so it is a bit difficult to get accesories
Summary I have had this since March and can say it is azmazing. I got it for $200, less than an iPod video, but now you can get it cheaper. The 404 along with music excells at playing videos and makes a great photo viewer. I had an iPod and you dont have to convert pictures to the device and you can zoom in. The amount you can zoom in depends on the pictures size.
As for recording there is a built in Mic, but its more of a novelty. With the travel dock you can input audio and video through AV cables. Unlike the new iPods you can output video through the headphone jack with AV cables.
With its Media Player Device and External Hard-Drive modes you can put any file you want on it and you can organize the folders however you want. Syncronizing is fast an painless. Also updating is fairly simple. You download a file and place it in the Archos. Then when you want to update you turn the device on and press update in the system menu.
One thing I like that I feel more players should have is the basic editing features. In the 404 you can move rename and delete songs. You can also create and edit playlists and entire folders.
On the review it says there were few EQ's but with the newest firmware you have many more options. One thing to note is that for additional languages you are told to download "Language Packs." There are none. They are somehow integrated into the updates but I dont know how. To get spanish I downloaded the Spain firmware which also gave me a dozen other languages.
Also one final note, some programs cant sycronize with the 404. I dont know why, the device just simply restarts. Napster is one of these but you can just use Windows Media Player. Amazon Unbox works fine though so you can still have a video source
Over all its a very solid and good device. It does have its few little glitches every once in a while but nothing as drastic as when my iPod froze and I had to wait for its battery to drain. The only bad side I can think of is the navigation. Its no big deal but takes a while to get used to. There are ridges to help you tell the buttons apart but if you cant tell them apart in the dark putting your hand above the screen to reflect some light helps. I highly recommend this to anyone, but if you want something for pure music you could go smaller.