Pros reliability, great video, good audio
Cons no volume leveling, speaker coul have been a little louder
Summary I have tried the iPod 80g with video, the Wolverine ESP 160g. the Creative Vision W 60g , and my Archos 504 80g.
The iPod was not for me - I cant knock the product, but its screen size was just too small. I returned it to Circuit City after 2 days.
Next came the Wolverine.I ordered it online(Costco.com) and could'nt wait to get it. It had all the features I wanted- bigger screen, huge hard drive,card reader (so I could download my pictures from my camera right to this thing),ect. I returned this item to my nearest Costco store the next day. It was a big dissapointment. The videos that I had dowloaded to it would not play. The video playback was choppy and distorted.
Next I bought the Creative Zewn W. Great product, excellent video playback, nice screen, great audio player.I bought it from Walmart.com and after a week I returned it to My neerest Walmart store. Although the software it comes with is realy great, I didnt like the inabilty to manage my files the way I wanted. I also didnt like the fact that you have to allocate the amount of hard drive space you want. Anything put on the "hard drive" space is not recognized by the Zen, only your computer(even if its a pic. or an audio file or a movie. If you can deal with this, its a great product
Finaly it bought the Archos, also from Walmart.com. I fell in lovee with it right away. I bought the 80g 'cause the 160g was not available and its more than I wanted to spend on a pvp player anyway. Actually, the unit I have now is the second i've had. The first one, for some reason, shut off and would not power back on the very next day. I
took it back to Walmart and re-ordered another unit- the one I own now. I've had this one 3 mo. now, not a single problem.
The video is EXCELLENT(avi /divix files)- I had to download their "pluggin"(20 euros- yes its in euros)so I could play mpeg movies/audio. Its a great mp3 player. I found it easier to create a playlist from the unit itself rather than creating a m3u file and copying it to the unit(MusicMatch kept freezing up when I tried to create a m3u file)The unit can also be used as an MTP device-you must have Win. xp with service pack 2 and Windows media player 10.I recommend this unit to everybody. My brother-in-law also bought the same unit and has never had a problem with it.
Pros fairly easy to use, wonderful picture, great toy!
Cons accessories were very slow in making it to market & misleading (see below)
Summary this is my 3rd PMP - another HD large screen died after just 4 months of fairly light usage (thank god for extended warranties as i got my money back when it was found irreparable, but still!!??!) but by then i found this one and at 80gb, it held 4 times more than the other... i wanted the 160gb but couldn't wait any longer as i was leaving town but figured i could return exchange this within 30 days for the 160 - but even fully loaded, i've only used maybe 15gb, and that's my entire CD collection plus video. unfortunately, i am having problems with converting some of the torrent movie downloads (many play on Real only and even DivX cannot convert others) but hopefully i will figure that out too... overall, i am in love with this - found docking station at WalMart (yeah i know, chinese slave labor but hey, sometimes you gotta go with best price, sorry!) for $25 less than elsewhere and long before most websites even had it, altho i got the travel docker first before discovering it does not allow viewing, only record function, and PC adapter is not necessary either as orig packaging has cable adapter included as well as "optional AC adapter" (so all you really need is the dvr docking station, and i have heard you can manage without that too if you're smarter than i?) so i am a very happy camper and well prepared for upcoming lengthy back surgery and recupe time!
"Definitely a MEDIA player with a fritzy, though very comprehensive interface."on by The_Jerrymobile
Pros large bright screen with large viewing angle, comprehensive and easy to use interface, great media compatibility, great media playback, great battery life
Cons Must purchase software for Mpeg 1, podcast, and DVD playback, not very portable, prone to freezing, volume buttons not lockable, pricey accessories with redundant features, no search function
Summary At first look, the Archos 504 looks like a media player that rivals or even surpasses the iPod. It has a larger screen, much greater media compatibility, a straight forward interface, and a battery life befitting of a commuter or a frequent flier.
Long have I looked for a portable media player that paralleled the iPod, and I thought I had found it in the Archos 504. It should have been my first clue that I couldn't find a working in-store model anywhere, but I didn't care. I saw the vibrant screen of other players in the same line, the smooth interface, the stylish buttons, the great video.
The first thing that I noticed about the Archos 504 was the earbuds. Better in many ways than most, and more comfortable. They would most certainly be a good fallback pair.
Like the iPod, the 504 was expected to charge through USB before purchase of a $30 charger, or a $100 AV station. This gave me a good opportunity to upload my media. To do this easily, it required connecting it as a windows media player device. I queued up all of my music for transfer, and made the mistake of leaving it alone with my computer. Big mistake. When I returned, the 504 had shut down, and media player had aborted the transfer. I booted the 504 back up, and tried the transfer again. After media player recognised many of the songs as already present, it found the point at which it had left off, and transferred two songs before the 504 shut down, and the process was aborted. I then found the song at which it had left off, and removed all of the songs that preceded it in the transfer list. The rest of the transfer went off without a hitch.
The fact that the player does not play Mpeg1 videos is rather annoying, but I had planned on getting the upgrade pack anyways, so I didn't worry.
During playback of music, I found that the player would freeze or shut down, and either have to be turned back on, or be reset. This is a major deterrent if one plans to mountain bike or snowboard with the player secured to a belt clip (also sold separately) or tightly secured inside a pocket.
-the ultimate demise of the Archos 504-
How did this media player fail? It did not get dropped, it did not randomly explode like a cell phone battery or an iPod screen, it fell asleep to undergo an operation, and never woke up.
Since the Archos 504 does not come with support software, it does not detect updates, and it can not undergo a computer-assisted USB connection. These are two of three elements that lead to my returning the unit (but that is another story).
Interested in why the player was shutting down during use so frequently, I ventured to the Archos website to look for a firmware update. Sure enough, there was one. I loaded the new firmware on to the Archos 504, and began installing it. The installation was quick and painless, at the end of which, the system asked my permission to restart itself. I allowed it, and that was the moment in which the Archos 504 went into the big sleep. The screen froze, and I watched as the life faded from the screen. After minutes of weighing the consequences, I decided to reset the unit. After 12 seconds of holding down the power button, it turned off. When it turned back on, it was not the same player as went under the knife. That’s right, it was not the sleek interface that greeted me, it was the infamous BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH. I tried both reset buttons on the player, but neither would remedy the problem. It was stuck in limbo between firmware versions. It could not even be recognised by my computer, because, of course, the connection had to be established by the player. I couldn't even get my content off of it. The smartest geeks could not find a way to remedy this problem.
Pros Excellent picture quality, awesome sound, great versatility
Cons Owners Manual does not give easy to follow instructions and the FAQ's are not much help
Summary I received the Archos 504 as a Christmas gift and then spent the next 2 weeks trying to get some DVD's loaded onto it. The manual did not mention that the MPEG4 codec was needed. The manual also did not give directions to any websites to allow conversion of the DVD to the proper format. Once I spent an additional $50 for software, I was able to convert the DVD's and upload them on my Archos. Overall the Archos is a great product, I've got over 2500 songs, all my digital photos, and 20 movies or TV shows and still have over 50GB of storage left. The add on items: the speakers, the DVR converter, the external stand, and the extra software that I had to purchase to convert the DVD's all added up to an additional $250 for this product.
"Great Unit"on by whiskeyman71
Pros Super picture, fantastic sound quality
Cons Comes with close to nothing and a case that will not protect the unit the way it needs to be.
Summary Over all dispite the total lack of extras, this unit is fantastic. If you have owned an archos in the passed this unit will blow you away. If your someone into small thin pocket sized mp4 players then this unit will not be for you. That said if you enjoy actually seeing your movies without having your screen right up in your face then you should really enjoy this unit. One other thing I highly recommend replacing the ear buds with the new bose earbuds. The earbuds this unit comes with not only sound bad but they are very uncomfortable to wear. The bose earbuds are hands down the best I have ever owned.