Technology and the occasional justified rant


Archos or iPod?

There are many things you can be sure of in this life. Death is one, but if you want to discuss something less morbid let’s talk about technology – the fact that if you purchase any item, as sure as night follows day, at some point in the not-to-distant future you will be disgruntled when the new / improved model is launched.

As it happens, I discussed this on the old web site when my iPod (the classic white model with the grey LCD screen) was superseded. That didn’t really bother me since it’s primary (indeed, only) function as far I was concerned is playing music. And it didn’t need a colour screen to do that.

However, in general, there’s probably no good time to buy technology. Buy too early and you’re likely to be the guinea pig who suffers the early teething problems. Buy too late and a severe case of device-envy could hit you even before you get home from the shop (or in this world of e-commerce, before the courier company finds your house).

Archos 605So what’s with the Archos or iPod title? Well, I’ve been considering buying a portable movie player for a while. I have a few trips coming up, including one to South Africa – lots of time sitting around airports or on airplanes. And loads of DVDs and recorded t.v. programs that I’ve never watched (and probably never will). I’ve been pondering an Archos 604 for a while, but that’s now been superseded by the Archos 605. Seems to do all I require, plus it boasts built-in WiFi and can make use of the same software we purchased to enable the wife’s collection of chick-flick DVDs to be viewed on her iPod.

I was seconds away from hitting the purchase button when I entered into a conversation with Lakeland Steve (Florida resident and Apple share-holder). He informed me that the 5th of September was the day to watch out for the new product announcements from Apple, and the smart money is on a new large-screen touch-screen iPod (built along the lines of the iPhone). Let’s face it, Apple are pretty good at marketing and doing things at the right time, so they’d be mad not to update their product line before Christmas. However, this scuppered my Archos purchase – whether temporarily or permanently I don’t know. Of course, if I wait for the new iPod, it won’t be available in time for the South Africa trip.

So readers, what do you think? Archos now or iPod later?

…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.


Darren Adams • 26 August 2007

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  1. Steve 26 August 2007 - 10:40 pm Reply

    Tricky call… sorry I messed with your head.

    My thoughts.

    If Apple do launch a new video iPod, will it have a screen as large as the Archos… probably not. The Archos is designed primarily as a video player where I think the iPod is a music player with video capability. That said, Apple do have a habit of surprising the market and this may well be one of those times. A 2GB Shuffle is almost a certainty give the decrease in flash memory costs recently. Therefore the Nano will also probably get a memory size upgrade at very close to current prices.
    So the big question…. is the touch screen technology used in the iPhone available at a price where it would be economical to produce a video iPod with it and could they shoehorn in a large enough memeory to compete with the Archos ?
    Don’t know… what I do know is that anything Apple come out with will be very nice to look at and will probably be an instant must have item.

    Your call…. sorry I can’t be more help

  2. Darren 27 August 2007 - 12:10 am Reply

    You didn’t mess with my head, you made me think of the options 🙂

  3. Darren 27 August 2007 - 10:15 pm Reply

    Turns out that “recorded t.v. programs that I’ve never watched” will stay on the Sky Plus box because there’s no easy way of getting them off and onto a media player. I optimistically thought the USB port on the Sky Plus box could be used to transfer recorded programs, but actually the USB port doesn’t have any purpose. Yet another disappointment from Sky.

  4. Stephen Hood 27 August 2007 - 11:25 pm Reply

    Darren you may also want to look at the PSP as well then.

    Wide screen style (16:9), 4.3 inches and quality is superb.
    You can transfer videos onto memory sticks etc. UMD purchases not required.

    Wi-fi for grabbing RSS Feeds and mobile browsing from hotspots

    Since your in the U.K. – there was a new slew of services announced recently for GPS and Voip/video chatting specifically for UK etc.

    A new model that is 30% lighter and 20% slimmer is coming out in the next month or so.

    The new model adds USB charging so no power supply to carry around as required before. It also adds TV out option so you can hook it up for T.V. viewing.

    Memory sticks are extra cost but it also means a certain amount of flexibility and longevity that the nano and shuffle don’t enjoy. the iPod has oodles of space.

  5. Stephen Hood 27 August 2007 - 11:29 pm Reply

    There was also some announcement with Sky around HD tv recording..but I think that was for the PS3 not the PSP.

  6. Ports 28 August 2007 - 3:22 pm Reply

    You failed to buy the product that you wanted and solved all your problems and more to wait for an unannounced, unproven product from a manufacturer who has a track record of style over substance and inflated price? On the recomendation of one of their shareholders?

    Christ! There is one born every minute. A Microsoft rep was telling me that the next version of Exchange is going to be great ….

  7. Darren 28 August 2007 - 3:42 pm Reply

    To be fair Ports, that shareholder was my brother. I take your point though. Mind you, neither Archos or Apple ever claimed their devices would provide proper clustering. Nor do they crash and remain unusable for a couple of days.


  8. Steve 28 August 2007 - 8:00 pm Reply


    All I was trying to do was maybe head off a bit of buyers regret. We’ve all been there… bought something, only for the new version to be launched a week later.

    Influential as I am, my tuppence worth was never going to influence the Apple share price. I also own some Boeing stock, and I urge you to buy one of thier planes if you ever get the chance. Strangely enough… I also own shares in Crocs…. you know… the ugly shoes. I personally wouldn’t be seen dead in them but I know a lot of people love them.

    So there you go, it was just me looking out for my little brother.

  9. Steve 29 August 2007 - 2:19 am Reply

    It’s official.

    It has just been announced that at 10am on the 5th September 2007, Apple will hold a press conference in San Francisco. The iPod seems to be the only subject. Although some seem to think that with the recent news about The Beatles former members solo work coming to iTunes, an announcement could be made making The Beatles catalogue available.

    Now wouldn’t that be nice for Xmas

  10. Darren 29 August 2007 - 1:05 pm Reply

    @8 – the wife asked me if I wanted some Crocs and I said “no”. When she asked why not, I said it was because I had no plans to join the circus.

  11. Steve 29 August 2007 - 2:27 pm Reply

    And the Crocs story gets better.
    They have just launched a range of clothing somehow using the same material that they use for the shoes.

    Can’t wait to see them………….not!!!

  12. Darren 30 August 2007 - 1:35 am Reply

    Well, I guess they’ll be waterproof – but they’ll chaff a bit. Of course, none of this helps me decide… Archos or iPod 🙁

  13. Steve 30 August 2007 - 3:31 am Reply

    Let’s face it Daz, you have already made the decision to wait and see what Apple have to offer. The hype here has gone into overdrive.
    Apple have done their usual and released just enough information to bugger up any decision making you may be doing until after the 5th September.
    I will say this about Mr. Jobs… he knows how to suspend a market for a week or 2.
    I guess you’ll just have to check on the airline website to see what you’ll be watching on the way to SA.

  14. z 5 September 2007 - 10:04 pm Reply

    well now that they announced the 160gig ipod classic it is tough and becomes screen size? flash? or battery life? Archos has the first two ipod has the battery life….apple claims 40 hours

  15. z 5 September 2007 - 10:05 pm Reply

    oh yeah I just bought an archos….takes a long time to charge and you have to purchase accessories with it….the forum has some good info on maximizing battery utility with charge adapters

  16. Tony C 7 September 2007 - 9:57 pm Reply

    I have an Archos AV500 and it for portable video playback it’s brilliant. Great screen and 100Gb HD makes anything Apple have look stone age. ‘Tis a top notch music player as well.

  17. luke 4 January 2009 - 5:00 am Reply

    ok honestly apple is good and all but i am pretty sure archos has them beat. apple sells a 32g ipod touch (its maximum capacity) for like 400 dollars. if you get the archos 705 you get a 7 inch screen and you can get up to 350g worth of space, now you dont need all of it but hey ur never going to run out thats for sure. or if you go with the archos 605 the it has a maximum capacity of 250 and it is only 400 dollars. and its cheapest one of that version is 350 dollars for 60g of space and a 4.8 inch screen. also these are the newest versions of the archos not the older ones. so really im sorry to tell all you ipod fans this but archos has the ipod beat no questions about it.

  18. luke 4 January 2009 - 5:01 am Reply

    o and the 705 with its maximum capacity is 500 dollars and cheapest is 400 i believe. so all hands down on the archos here.

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