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Good: Robustness. Linux compatiblity
Bad: Lack of comprehensive codec support
Comment: This device is packed with such potential. In fact it was released too early, hence its incomplete character in the way of codec support.
The build quality is excellent, as is the screen - which resembles an X-Black high contrast screen as encountered on many laptops. The sound quality is smooth though it could have been louder. After some initial learning, the navigation is quite straight forward. Video playback is great but could have been greater. The issue I have here is not with the quality, which is very good, but with codecs. Mpeg 2 is not supported out of the box. With audio playback AAC is not playable either without downloading a plug-in. I have been able to use the Archos 604 on a Mac using OS 10.4 and Redhat Linux 9 without any problems at all. It is surprising that Archos did not ship this Linux compatible device with the Ogg Vorbis codec.
The USB lead supplied is custom - a real worry should it be damaged. Lastly there is no line-in recording without the optional docking station which also allows for video recording and charging. The absence of a charger means that out of the box it can only be charged through the PC. Word of warning: some of us have discovered that the iPod charger does a pretty good job of charging an Archos 604!!! BUT SO HAVE ARCHOS! SO IF YOU DOWNLOAD ANY NEW FIRMWARE UPGRADE, THIS FEATURE WILL BE LOST!!! ( I.E. Firmware 1.4XX)
Despite the above deficiencies, it's a great Personal Media Player. Probably the best I have purchased so far.
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