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Showing 1-10 of 163 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 296 reviews
on April 25, 2017
I bought this years ago before smartphones could play music. I am ANTI Ipod and I thought this thing would be the wave of the future. I was wrong! Don't get me wrong when it worked "it worked". GPS function was horrible, video recording was ok, music played fine. All of a sudden something happened with the screen, I didn't drop it or cracked it, it just stopped responding. I still have it to this day but I can add or delete files and the battery is completely dead, I have to use the external battery just to turn it on. Archos once had a fan in me but not anymore.
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on October 26, 2009
Video Player: A+
Music Player: B- (built in speaker); A- (headphones)
Internet: C
Storage: A+
Battery Life: C+
Interface: A

I have owned the Archos 5 250GB for about 2 months now. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this device, but overall I have to give it a positive rating. I like the interface, storage capacity, video quality, and most of its features. I keep the Archos with me almost all the time, and as a PMP it performs admirably. I have whole seasons of TV shows, about a dozen feature length movies, and hundreds of songs at my immediate disposal, and the device is nowhere near full. The video quality is amazing, very crisp, and the screen size is about perfect for my needs. I also truly enjoy the kickstand, so you aren't forced to hold it all the time. The Archos 5 isn't without its issues, however. The one downside here is the built in speaker, which is low quality and sort of tinny sounding, but sound quality is good when outputting to headphones or a stereo system.

My first major complaint with the Archos is battery life. Both their official site and list the battery life at 22 hours music and 7 hours video playback time on a single charge. This is vastly inaccurate. A little research will show you that this was tested on the 60GB unit, which utilizes flash memory instead of an HDD. I can't swear to this, as I don't own a 60 GB, but I believe these numbers may be accurate for that model. As for the 250GB, 12 hours music and 4 hours video playback time on a single charge is more accurate based on my own testing. Frankly, that doesn't cut it for me, and I was vastly disappointed, but with the addition of a Duracell instant battery charger, it is acceptable.

My second major complaint is with the web browsing. While the Opera based browser works well, the system uses Flash Lite, a program developed for mobile phones. Flash Lite IS NOT COMPATIBEL WITH FLASH 10, so the claims that this player is fully flash compatible border on false advertising. This means that sites like Netflix, Hulu, and any network site offering full episodes will not work. Basically, web browsing works pretty well, but entertainment sites aren't going to function, which is pretty restrictive for what is essentially a portable entertainment device. The Wifi connection, however, works quite well and checking email and other such activities are easily accomplished.

Archos also makes a big deal about promoting their WebTV functionality, but that is really worthless. It works, there's just nothing out there worth watching. The demo video they show actually accesses a video that comes preloaded on the HDD, not WebTV content. Don't let this function persuade you to purchase.

Finally, be prepared to buy extras, the mini-dock is an absolute essential, as are some of the plug-in packs. These should really all probably be included for the price, but it's still a decent deal afterward, so it's not that big a deal to me.

Bottom Line: The Archos is an excellent PMP, but any claims to be more than that are exaggerated. If you are looking for a good portable music and video player, you will be thrilled. If you are looking for something for internet heavy applications, I would look around a bit more.
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on October 26, 2009
Pros: Its not an iPOD so it doesn't force you to use iTunes. Lets you navigate MP3's by files/folders or ID3 tags. Many players force you to use ID3 tags so unless your music's ID3 tags are perfect you could be missing a lot of songs. Can add and remove files by dragging and dropping folders in windows or using windows media player. Beautiful screen. Easy to use. Great picture viewer. Video player was really really cool. Connected to any wireless networks I connected it to. Kickstand is extremely useful. Between what it let you do and how it did it this thing is truly the coolest toy I have ever played with. (yes even better than an iPhone) I loved this thing.

Cons: Apparently it has horrible failure rates. Mine had the hard drive fail after 2 weeks of use. Archos has abysmal product support reputation in the US. You have to buy codecs to play certain media types which isn't really that big of a deal. It played 90% of my movies without the add on codec pacs. Crashes a lot when viewing certain web pages that run flash. Occasionally crashed when doing other things too but not often enough to be annoying. Also annoying you have to pay an extra $25-50 to be able to connect it to a TV. EQ was nice but didn't get near as loud or offer near as many options for sound as my Cowon X5L.

Summary: I returned my defective unit for a full refund(minus return shipping). Amazon stopped selling this unit for a week or two while they reviewed their stock of units to see if they were defective. That says something about the issues other people were having. I got a strong feeling that this unit would work from probably 1 month to 1 year then need require repair or replacement. I'm not really interested in shelling out $300+ for a neat toy that will only last a few months to a year before it needs to be shipped back for repair and leave me without an MP3 player for a month or two. Thing is awesome when it works. But it is too big of a gamble to assume you or I would get our money's worth.
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on February 14, 2010
Archos 5 250 GB Internet Media Tablet Archos 5 250 GB Internet Media Tablet

On paper (or screen)it LOOKED good. A 250 GB capacity media player! Face it, for true music lovers the tepid 4-32 GB capacities of current flash technology are underwhelming---great for songs to exercise to, but not the choice of a hard core music freak who mixes and matches music ongoing. Moreover, I have owned several iPods and I HATE Apple's "closed" approach to using the iPods, forcing one to use the appallingly bad iTunes software, encrypting one's music into an obscure file structure on the device, and generally limiting---even forbidding any choice of HOW content can be organized, moved, and deleted from the devices. Maybe the "smooth" experience of an Apple product is great for people who conform to Apple's dictates, but to me it feels like "digital fascism"!

The allure of Archos (in general) and the Archos 5, specifically, was the promise of a "drag and drop" interface, flexible options for play list creation, and the promises of a device based on LINUX. Themajor selling point, though, was inclusion of file formats forbidden on most mainstream media players (including Creative Zen, which I have owned four devices)---OGG, FLAC, and a plethora of video codecs---seemingly.

The reality of the Archos 5 250 GB is not just sadly lacking, but appallingly tragic. First, the device weighs a TON compared to smaller, lightweight devices like my current iPod Touch or Zen V. That said, it IS a hard disk-based player---and it is made out of ammunition-grade metal. Not "pocket friendly", but still manageable. The large size is, likewise, a function of the hefty 4.8" display---a nice size for video!

The reality is that this thing is a DINOSAUR! First it uses a resistive touchscreen technology of the type patented in the 1970s! It requires calibration and even then is far less than precise. The interface of the Archos 5 IMT (not to be confused with the NEW Archos 5 IMT which ships with Android)is stale and clunky. The menus look like the type used in some automotive media systems---large type, easy to read, but hardly the sleek feel of a modern device like the iPod Touch, or Zen. Navigation of media is hampered by a notable latency as result of the hard disk access times, and one must thread through a hierarchal folder structure, even for play lists.

The device also suffers from the mandates of the EU to "protect hearing"---i.e.-it lacks any real volume using normal headsets of the type shipped with most media players. The sound, itself, even aided by an onboard graphical EQ, sound "flat" and lacking the dynamics and roll offs of "proper" hi fi audio. Sad, given the units ability to play lossless audio formats such as OGG and FLAC. Oh, and the iplementation of the LINUX OS on the device---well it is proprietary, locked down in the firmware ("for your protection")and arcane. Is it "hackable"? Only nominally---by absolute geeks.

Connecting to WiFi, while not a cakewalk, did work well provided one sets up a server device using Universal Plug and Play (UPNP)---a task beyond most average users, and fraught with security risks. So wireless media access, while possible, remains a dauntng task. The included Opera web browser and email client were---well, unusable. The tedium of trying to do any serious web tasks with the device's interface and wonky latency made it a non-starter.

Worse---Archos makes you BUY "additional codecs" and hardware to play certain formats and to perform certain tasks such as recording audio/video and playback through external devices. The device includes built-in "nag screens" to entice you to "add" functionality that should have been part of the purchase price. As to "support" by Archos of the device---well, best bet is to find an online community and pray you can find a "guru" there. Tech support from Archos SUCKS!

There is more I could say, some positive: I WANTED to like this device. I made compromises with this device...I was willing to be a co-dependent for this device...BUT three weeks after purchase---without provocation---without so much as a hard knock---the touchscreen FAILED. UTTERLY! Failed! As I said, Archos support is abysmal, nee, non-existent. failed quickly. Back in the box...RMA from Amazon..back it goes for a refund. (And truthfully, Amazon deserves to eat this unit---it IS a dinosaur---it is outdated, and they sold it based on price without regard to functionality).

The quest for a high capacity media device continues...Archos wil NEVER see another dollar/euro of my hard earned cash. This experience was akin to purchasing a Porsche Carera and getting a '58 Buick! Ipod killer? I think NOT. Caveat Emptor.
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on May 21, 2012
Ive owned about 5 archos. A few due to returning to amazon who is awesome for returns by the way.. However after Amazons return policy expires you are on your own. Archos is not only tricky when it comes to repairs within their warranty. They are sneaky! It can take months to get something repaired..
Yes! Archos are very sensitive as many reviews have pointed out. Even just shaking one can mess it up. Let along fall 10 inches off your couch onto the soft carpet. LOL Those are issues in the past I let slide. This time is the last straw with the Archos company ..
You have heard about all the extra charges with archos, they charge for all kinds of extras that you would need to even use them. like the app to watch movies lol or a charging dock if you dont want to wait 12 hours for your computer to charge it... Here is my last straw with Archos as it is the most unethical yet! My warranty is finally up and so is the battery life in my Archos5.. Maybe 10 minutes on a full charge.. This can happen to any electronic device. So we naturally think just replace the battery.(No big deal).. Well only Archos can replace the batteries... Thats right like an ipod they are soldered in. Its only $157 to have the battery replaced. Plus shipping both ways. LOL
$157 to replace a battery! My kid has an ipod that has got to be 6 years old and it still holds a charge.. All of my Archos products start slowing down within the first years. I guess you get what you pay for. I just dont understand how a company can justify $157 to replace their own crap batteries.
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on October 31, 2010
Another customer dissatisfied with Archos customer service.
I bought this item to watch my movies on my HDTV, using the DVR station, while I exercise. I intended to watch both standard and Hi-Def movies, and bought the Hi-Def plug-in. However, when I tried to play HD movies over 2GB in size, the device would not output the video. I tried this on several HDTVs with no success. The device will output HD files under 2GB, but the video quality on those files is so poor as to be worthless (they are supposed to be Hi-Def, after all).
So, I contacted tech support, and after going back and forth a few times, I was told that the only way to play video files greater than 2GB was to sync them using Windows Media Player. I pointed out that, as a Mac user, I could not do so. They said I could boot into Windows. I told them I don't want to boot into WIndows - that's why I have a Mac. They said, tough luck.
So, I contacted customer service. I pointed out that nowhere on their website or in the documentation that accompanies the device does it say anything about being unable to play Hi-Def files using a Mac. And I asked for my money back. To which they replied that they don't refund money on software. No apology. No attempt at trying to meet me even halfway.
This is a corporation that makes millions of dollars. I expect they could have afforded to refund the $20, and kept a customer. But, I will never buy an Archos device again.
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on January 30, 2010
I recently "upgraded" my home entertainment center, creating a Home Theater PC, and as a result have converted all of my music (including LPs and cassettes, not just CD or "downloaded" stuff) into high-quality WMA format, for playing through Windows Media Center.

I decided that the little portable, flash-memory-based music player I had wasn't enough... it's ideal for sports usage, but not so much for entertainment when traveling. And when I travel, it's typically LONG DISTANCE travel (China, Europe, etc).

So, I started looking. I first thought I'd try an iPod classic... it has a large hard drive, and could store most of what I wanted including some movies. But I rapidly discovered that the iPod can't even be turned on, really, without "registering" and giving Apple my credit card number for an "iTunes account" (which I never plan to use anyway). Then I discovered that it would not read any WMA audio files or WMV video files, and would need to convert everything (ON MY HARD DISK, not just "during transfer")... meaning that my disk space usage would DOUBLE. So... back went the iPod.

I thought I'd be OK with a Microsoft Zune... but then discovered that the Zune can't be synced with Microsoft's own Media Player application. Silly, but true. So... no Zune, either.

I started asking around. A coworker told me about this device, and I started doing some research. I noticed plenty of negative reviews, and plenty of positive reviews. I quickly discovered the one thing that most of the negative reviews had in common... a complete lack of understanding that this is a HARD-DISK-BASED DEVICE.

You don't want to take this thing jogging, or play racquetball with it on your belt. It's also not going to have fantastic battery-life time. Both of these are due to the simple face - this is a COMPUTER HARD DISK DRIVE, at its core. And it's a BIG hard drive. If you wouldn't do something to your computer, it's a good idea not to do it to this. If you do... don't be surprised if the hard drive fails, and the thing becomes a "brick."

Don't expect 50 hours of playback time, either. This device is really designed to work with external power, and has a battery which is sufficient to give you a reasonable amount of "disconnected" operation.

For what the device is... a portable storage device with the ability to play back, in wonderful quality, all of my music and movies with almost no limitations... it's nearly perfect.

My main complaint is that the price you think you're paying isn't the "real price." Because what you get in the box is a "starter kit" and you'll need to buy more... quite a bit more, as it turns out.

You'll want one of the "base station" solutions. The USB charging solution is pretty poor, really... it's good for maintaining power, but not so much for actually charging the device. So, plan on one of the base stations with charging capability, or buy a third-party charger (from, for example, Gomadic).

If you're going to play Apple (non-DRM) music, or watch the majority of high-quality video formats, you'll be buying additional CODEC packs (there are three of them, at $19 a piece). This is a little irritating, though I knew it going in.

There are some games available for the device, but the device really isn't a "game machine" so much as it is a really nice portable media player. But if you want to play games, you're mostly limited to this. (You can download and install many, many "Flash 9" games... but without a real keyboard, most can't be played properly.)

The web-browsing capability is terrific... but remember, this is a wi-fi device, not a cell-phone device, so you'll need to be on a configured (or a free) hotspot in order for that to work. You can't just travel around town and have it work seamlessly. (There is a cell-phone-based version of this available, and there's also the new, Android-based version, but that's not the case with this version.)

Remember what this device really is... a high-capacity, fully-windows-compatible, high-quality-playback device, intended to be portable but really most suitable for use in "stationary locations" (a car, an airline seat, your desk at work, etc) where you can supply it with a continuous power source, and (if desired) a specific wi-fi uplink point.

And assume that you'll be spending at least another hundred dollars to make this a "complete solution."

I knew all that going in, and I'm very happy. My sole complaint, really, is that the "charging by USB" is terrible... and you really, really need a base-station/charger for that.
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on September 21, 2009
You may love it, like it, or loathe it. I say this because this product is revolutionary as of 2008/2009. 250 Gigs in your hand and able to play in not just mp4. It has wifi and many more capabilities. So we can say the hardware is great but the software is pretty crappy. Whenever I surf the web slightly too fast or faster than it can handle, it crashes. You need to have patience when dealing with this machine. Remember this is not flash memory. You can feel the hard drive moving around and working. That in addition to surfing can make it crash AND IT WILL. WAIT FOR THE PAGE TO LOAD. AND OH BY THE WAY THE CUSTOMER SERVICE SUXZZ AZZ. THE A$$CLOWNS NEVER ANSWERED! I have been on hold for hours at a time and it is NOT 24/7. So I believe its safe to say if your tech savvy, go for it.

Fact of the matter is, the capabilities of this product blows apple out of the water. You can fit so many movies on here and all of your music. If you understand this and are patient, you'll like the device. If you hate apple and the weak competition, you'll love it. You can drag and drop movies, music, THEN switch it to windows media mode and copy all of your playlists. It's remarkable.

If you don't want all the space this device offers, not too tech savvy, don't have patience, or don't see anything wrong with Apple (limitations, drag n drop, syncing with other computers, etc), or frequently use customer service, you probably will not like this product.

UPDATE: As of 1 Dec 2009 I have finally encountered problems like the rest of everyone. I got this item July 19th this year so at a little more than 4 months here are the problems...IT WILL NOT BOOT UP! It keeps rebooting after the "Archos: Entertainment your way" icon shows up. I can't access the main menu.

I troubleshooted and did research on how to do disk repair, disk formatting and so on but none of it works. Right after I select disk repair or formatting, it starts over again and again, plugged up or not. Consumers beware! I do not regret my purchase because there is no other mp3 player that gives it competition. Once again if you do not have patience, don't waste your time or money. Surprisingly I got an answer at about 20 minutes of hold time. No sarcasm, but that's so much better than the last time I called. I'll keep you posted on the repairing as I send it in to get fixed

*UPDATE: As of today (Wednesday December 30th) I contacted Archos about my repair. I received an email basically saying I would have to pay for a repair ($167.50) or get 15% off of an Archos 5 or 7 unit. I was beyond irate (I'll just leave it at that) and called them up today. Keep in mind I purchased this product LESS THAN 5 MONTHS AFTER ALL THIS HAPPENED...Can you say WARRANTY?!?!?! They said they may have not received my proof of purchase (which I know I printed straight off of Amazon and put in the box) so I emailed them my proof of purchase again and they should be fixing it by the end of the week. I will keep you posted

UPDATE: I received my Archos back the second week of January. I apologize for forgetting to post it. All is well and it works like a charm nowdays. Have come across any problems and its now April. Like I said before, when it works it's golden. But dealing with Archos customer service and repair can be very annoying. You must be persistent.

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on April 29, 2010
I bought an Archos 5 160GB from Amazon just over a year ago. I got it because Archos is the only manufacturer of decent sized hard drive media players (I have an iPod classic, those are NOT decent sized). Flash players simply don't have enough space and you have to spend a small fortune to even get 64GB of space on them (at least Creatives have expansion slots). Who wants to be constantly swapping out your music collection for what you "might" be in the mood for? I'd rather have all my music all the time so both my wife and I can be satisfied with the selection. That's not even considering if I wanted to have any videos on there...

Anyway, when I got my A5, it wouldn't charge fully. I sent it back to Archos and 3 and half weeks later it came back to me with NO CHANGE. I contacted them again, they said to send it back. So, I did... This time a different player came back to me. It was a scuffed up 120GB (not the 160GB) that had a non-functional touch screen.

I was fun trying to even convince support that they had sent the wrong player cause their documents said they sent a 160GB. Anyway, they finally agreed to give me a pre-paid to send it back. So 6 months after buying the player I had a player that charged. Unfortunately that's not the end of it.

First, let me say that Archos firmware is terrible. The layout and graphics are decent, but the actual internals are horrid. It frequently crashes/stalls for no reason... Connecting to a wireless network, switching from audio to video files, changing the background, etc. There are other issues that I will continue with...

I tried transferring all my music (approx 65GB) over using it as a Windows Media Device (aka MTP mode). No program can finish a sync successfully (Window Media Player, Songbird, MediaMonkey). It dies part way through. After extensive discussion with Archos support, I was able to determine that the MTP protocol my be to blame for this. My music is on a Samba share and at some point, the MTP protocol triggers an error in the Samba server and the MTP protocol cannot recover itself.

So I gave up on MTP... Switched the player to hard drive mode. Tried transferring all the music over at once and running the library update function. Well, that results in only about 50% of the music being added to the library. Well, more time talking to support... They let me know there's some limits on the number of files per folder. Something like 999 files (maybe it was 9999, can't remember). Anyway, I was within the limit and changing it around didn't fix the problem. So I had to load sections of music at a time in order for all of it to show up. Eventually I was able to figure out that when MTP fails, if I run chkdsk for a few hours on the A5 from Windows and then redo the MTP sync, I can eventually get all the songs on that way.

All of a sudden a few weeks ago, I stopped being able to connect to the internet from the A5. I could access UPnP stuff in my network, but nothing on the internet. Well, after debugging with 3 different access points and tons of settings, it turns out that something in my gateway had changed and the firewall was blocking all outbound requests from the A5. It could use DHCP and my DNS successfully, but the traffic going to the internet would be dropped. I ended up having to add a specific firewall rule to allow all traffic from the A5. Didn't really feel like spending more time figuring out what else they had programmed poorly.

Well, if you're looking at this player, you know that you have to buy plugins to get AC3 decoding and HD playback for videos. Since I had a working player (internet and music), I figured I'd get a few DVD's on there to take on a trip with me. Well, I rip my DVD's to a hard disk for my Media Center, so they have DVD resolution with AC3 audio. The files are in XVID at 2600kbps because that's the codec and lowest rate that gave me the quality I wanted in an MPEG-4 AVI file. Since I didn't want to have to keep two copies of the AVI (one with stereo sound, the other with AC3), I purchased the Cinema Plugin. The purchase was an experience because it took three different support people to get the correct media player registration in their system since it had been RMA'd.

You would think everything would be fine... NOPE! Video looks fine, audio sounds fine... Except for the fact that they're really out of sync. Not just bad dubbing out of sync. Can't watch the video out of sync. I know the movie files are good. They playback correctly on an original xbox with XBMC, Windows 7 Media Center 32bit, Windows 7 Pro 64bit, openSUSE 32bit, and even a eeepc with windows XP pro on it. However, Archos support says that it's the files (which were ripped/encoded using different programs)... Even though they've already confirmed that MPEG-4 AVI's are the ideal format. Archos support said that stereo is ideal for sound and that I should use that... Then why do you even offer the Cinema Plugin?!

I've noticed a few things with music. If you don't use Windows Media Device mode to sync the player, you cannot modify ID3 tags and have the player update the information in it's database. If you remove a file, it stays in the player's database. So in short, don't sync the player out of Windows Media Device mode. If you embed the album art into your music files expect SLOW response out of the media player. Basic navigation becomes choppy, switching songs takes longer, and you even get occasional pauses in music near the beginning of the song. As soon as I had MediaMonkey remove the album art from the tags and put it in the folder with the songs, everything started running MUCH faster.

You're probably thinking this is just one person's experience with a bad player... It not... I have a friend with the exact same player. He was able to confirm all of the problems that I've been having with the exception of the internet issue. However, we tried his player on my network and it did the same thing.

Fortunately, I'm a software engineer with degrees in computer and electrical engineering, and have the technical background to debug most of these problems without contacting support. Can't even imagine if my parents had been having problems like these. It just annoys me that companies can get away with putting out devices with sub-par software/firmware.

To summarize this short novel of a review...
It'll be a cold day in h*** before I buy and/or recommend another Archos product. Other companies need to bring back hard drive media players. What happened to the hard drive players from Creative, Toshiba, iRiver, and even JetAudio?
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on June 5, 2017
pain in my ass would not work correctly for me at all and didn't support any video format I threw at it
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