Archos 504 80GB Portable Digital Media Player and Recorder (500870)
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- Lightweight and portable digital video, movie
- Photo viewer with easy-to-use
- Compatible with MP3, WAV, WMA and protected WMA music files
- Uses high-speed USB 2.0 for both file transfers and charging
- Lets you play music through a stereo or videos over your TV via an optional docking station
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10-22-2007 - Brand New Item. Description - ARCHOS 500870 ARCHOS 504 PORTABLE DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER (80 GB)
With the Archos 500870 504 80GB Portable Digital Media Player and Recorder you have all the entertainment you need at your fingertips, in a package that stays ultra portable. The perfect companion for everything from long trips to short bus rides, from going to parties to just hanging out around the house, the Archos 504 lets you not only take your favorite music, movies, and moments with you, but helps you make new favorite moments wherever you happen to be.
With a screen size surface three times that of similar size PMPs (portable media players), the Archos 504 ensures you can thoroughly enjoy movies and videos. This unit uses a bright, 4.3-inch TFT LCD display with over 16 million colors to provide you a crystal-clear, sharp picture with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 480 x 272 pixels of resolution, as well as an intuitive GUI (graphic user interface) for easy-to-use navigation. The Archos 504 not only plays your videos and movies, but lets you store over a whopping 226 regular movies or 58 DVD-quality movies on its hard drive in either MPEG-4 or WMV formats, at up to DVD resolution. You can also purchase and download optional plug-ins from Archos' website that will allow you to play H.264 and MPEG-2 formats up to DVD resolutions as well.
Not only is the Archos 504 a portable video and movie player, but a high-resolution photo viewer as well, complete with features such as zoom, music, and transition effects. You can easily download photos from your PC, or transfer them directly to the 504 from your digital camera via the optional docking adapter. This unit is compatible with JPEG, BMP, and PNG file formats, and can hold up to 800,000 photos at a time, depending upon file size and what else you are storing at the same time. The Archos 504 can even read and display PDF documents for on-the-fly work situations, although it may not implement all PDF features.
For those times when you can't afford the distraction of watching high-quality videos, the Archos 504 can be your music player, storing and playing up to 40,000 songs so you can keep working, walking, or doing whatever you need with your own private soundtrack. This unit displays the track, artist, album, and album cover of whatever you are playing, and supports stereo MP3 decoding from 30 to 320 kbps CBR and VBR, as well as WMA, protected WMA, and WAV (PCM/ADPCM) formats. Furthermore, the Archos 504 can play AAC music files, and AC3 stereo sound files with the additional of optional software plug-ins that can be purchased and downloaded from Archos' web site. And just in case inspiration strikes or you want to make sure you don't forget something important, this handy media player lets you make voice recordings through its built-in microphone, or via the optional DVR travel adapter or DVR station through a stereo line-in jack in WAV format.
The Archos 504 is fully compatible with DVD-quality VOD (video on demand) and online music stores, allowing you to purchase and download new music and movies directly online rather than having to transfer everything from more traditional media sources. This media player can also record directly from TV in high-quality MPEG-4 with stereo sound via the optional DVR station, so you can take your favorite television shows with you wherever you go. And if you are at home, the Archos 504 can play back any of your movies or recorded TV programs on your television itself, also through the optional DVR station.
The Archos 504 has a built-in 80 gigabyte hard disk so you have plenty of space for anything you need, and includes a high-speed USB 2.0 connection for transferring files. This unit features a 3.5-millimeter stereo headphone jack mini-jack and TV output, and dedicated connectors for hooking up optional adapters or the DVR station. The 504 also features a music playback time of up to 17 hours, and a video playback time of up to 5.5 hours on its built-in LCD display, all with its internal, removable lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery that charges via computer through its USB port, or more quickly with the optional docking adapter or DVR station, or a separate optional power charger. The Archos 504 is compatible with both PCs and Macs with a USB port and Linux, Windows ME or higher, or OS X or higher, and requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher and Windows Media Player 10 or higher for use with PlayForSure video and subscription services. This media player allows firmware updates to be downloaded via www.archos.com, weighs approximately 11.15 ounces, and measures approximately 5.1 x 3 x 0.9 inches (W x H x D).
What's in the Box
Archos 504 portable media player, headphones, dedicated USB 2.0 cable, DVR station adapter, protective case, quick-start guide, and legal and safety notices.
Top customer reviews
Ok, so now that you know the value of the interchangeable batteries, let's go over the actually battery itself. I believe that Archos claims a 5 hour charge for these products, and while that's a bit generous, I regularly get at least 4 hours of continuous video playback. And let's face it -- we bought the Archos 504 to watch video, not listen to MP3's.
That's my cue to talk about this unit's video playback. The only thing keeping me from giving this player 5 stars is the lack of supported video codecs. Sure, it'll play .h264 or .vob (MPEG 2) files if you buy the extra software plug-ins from Archos, but come on! Why nickel and dime us for these plug-in's when we're already forking over a chunk of change for the player?!?! Clearly, you've already developed the software, just include it for cripes sake! And what about Real Media? I realize that it's not the greatest of formats, but I have a TON of South Park episodes in RM that I had to convert to AVI's. It'd just be nice if there were more supported video codecs. That's my lone diatribe regarding the video codecs, I promise. It does play MPEG 4 .avi files encoded with DivX and XviD as long as you encode the audio with WMA v2 or MP3. Basically, any movies that you've downloaded should play fine.
And the screen is pretty fantastic. Not only is it bigger than any other portable player on the market, except for the Archos 700 series, but it also looks crisper than most. I don't recall the resolution, but movies look great on it. Obviously, you have to give it a good file to get a good picture, and I haven't viewed any MPEG 2 material on it, but AVI's look great -- good resolution and color.
One of the other areas that players can frequently turn me off for good is in the file transfer mode. I hate iTunes with a passion, and it's one of many reasons why I'll never own an iPod. I do NOT want to have to load files into a program that'll screw around with them in the process of transferring them to my device. They're my files; leave them alone! Thankfully, Archos provides two methods for file transfer: as an external hard drive or as a Windows Media Player device. Personally, I go with the external hard drive choice because dragging and dropping files is quick, easy, and intuitive. If you're into synching your player and want to use WM, great, but I love the fact that you can just drag and drop files into the folders that you want without using proprietary software. Transfer occurs via USB 2.0, and the connection requires a special dongle that Archos provides with the obvious caveat that you can't go pick up a conventional USB cable to charge this sucker. I don't know exactly why Archos chose this connection except for the obvious financial benefit of specialized equipment (an unappreciated iPod immitation). Charging is very slow using this cable, but Archos claims that the docking bay or DVR station allow for much faster charging.
Like the file transfer system, the menu system is pretty intuitive as well. Directional buttons as well as an OK (select)/back and tab/menu buttons comprise the column of five buttons that reside to the right of the screen. These allow you to navigate through the icons on the home screen. There are 8 icons for video, music, photos, browser, resume, tv scheduler, video recorder, and audio recorder. Obviously, video, music, and photos will take you to their corresponding media. Browser allows you to browse all folders in a file folder format (say that 10 times fast!) while resume takes you back to where you last left off, and the finally three deal with recording media. I have yet to record any media on this player; so, unfortunately I can't review that aspect. But the ergonomics of this player are easily a 4 of 5. It's a little clunky, but for a player with an 80 GB HDD and a 4 inch screen, how can you complain?
The proprietary dongle that connects via USB is a bit disappointing as well as the lack of video codec support straight out of the box, but you are provided with the dongle (don't lose it!), and the AVI support will account for the majority of most viewers' videos. My rating would breakdown like this:
design - 5
ergonomics - 4
functionality - 5
ease of use/format support - 3
value - 5
This is an awesome player and a great deal. If you're a frequent flyer and are the slightest bit tech savvy, which you are if you're checking this out, I'd highly recommend this unit.
Otherwise you have to charge through a USB port. I bought this so that I wouldn't have to lug my laptop on trips and not having a power adapter defeats the purpose. I knew that before I bought it though so I guess I can't complain too much. I also purchased the DVR adapter to record TV but It is extremely difficult to use. Archos advertises setting up recordings through Yahoo calendar, but they don't tell you Yahoo has done away with this feature. If you're not good with computers, you'll have a hard time putting DVDs onto the unit, but it's a cinch if you know what you're doing & have the right software. I did have problems synching through Windows media player, but transfers in hard drive mode worked fine.
Update:This thing is a POS. I'm on my second unit now, but am experiencing the same problems that I returned the 1st unit for. I have yet to get through an entire day at work without the unit freezing or crashing on me. The only way to fix the problem is to remove the battery and power it up again. This gets annoying real fast. Archos customer service was no help in the matter (but they are aware that the units shock people). Stay away.
Most recent customer reviews
I am still learing all of its capabilities
I fits in perfectly with my needs.
had to pay more money to get access to all video codes's, but at least xvid & divx are supported with no conversion...Read more