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Good: Almost everything
Bad: The leather case/headphone socket placement.
Comment: I have had my AV500 for about 6 years now. I love it, and I still use it regularly.
There are the occasional glitches - mostly freezing, but replacing the battery solves that . Have had no issues connecting to my PC either in hard drive or media device modes. I have upgraded the hard drive a couple of times, too, and had no issue with firmware updates either.
The main niggle I have is that the case is designed for watching video, rather than listening to audio - you cannot have headphones plugged in and close the case (neatly, anyway, and only if you have a 90 degree adaptor).
Good: Fantastic for long haul flights
Bad: Not much, Archos customer support?
Comment: Had my AV560 for over 12 months now and in that time it's been pretty faultless. It has a couple of niggles and is best used in hard drive mode rather than windows media device. But the playback is great and movies encoded in DivX are really good. I watch this on planes now rather than the awful seatback video screens
Good: Most things are excellent
Bad: Cannot store on
Comment: Both my brother and I bought the av 500 - one 80g and one 30g. Both are excellent as players but that is all they are. We have both had to reformat the hard drive numerous times on one occasion losing 50gig of media!! On speaking to customer support I was told, in other words, to go take a jump. They are not interested and say they do not sell it as a hard drive, but it is pretty useless if every time you connect to your PC to add or remove stuff you have to reformat before the PC will recognize it!!! In fact it is unbelievable.
Archos should not be allowed to sell this as a portable media centre as part of the use of a PMC is to be able to add or remove stuff to use the device properly.
Good: An OK product
Bad: But don't try to upgrade the firmware!
Comment: I recently tried to upgrade the firmware on my Archos AV500 to the latest OS 1.5.12. I followed Archos' instructions to the letter. Midway through the update my Archos froze, and is now completely dead. When I switch it on nothing happens. The machine is not even recognised by my computer when I plug in the USB lead. I wrote to Archos asking for help nearly two weeks ago. Nothing. It seems that Archos don't put customer support very high on their agenda. So, if others are thinking of upgrading their firmware for the Archos, think twice, you may never use your AV500 again! I have no respect for a company that doesn't look after its existing customers. I for one, will never buy an Archos product again.
Good: Amazing screen, scheduled recordings and good battery life
Bad: The leather case; despite the fact that it asks for options as to which channel to record from, it's locked to the channel that is being played from, so if you change it you mess up the recording
Comment: Brilliant recorder and its music and video playback qualities are taken for granted. The previously mentioned recording problems could be improved and restrictions mean that playback on the TV is limited. Also as I have the 60GB version it would be nice to see a slightly slimmer body. The only other complaint is about the awful leather case which comes with it, because it has no output holes in it, so in order to listen with headphones the case must be open, so if you have to put it in your pocket the screen gets scratched. Even with the case closed it is a very poor fit in most areas and too tight in others meaning it frequently switches on in your pocket with minimal pressure and wastes valuable battery life. I have yet to find an unofficial case that solves these problems. I know this may seem a bit lame but the case is usually a major factor in preserving the life of the unit. Other than that I have had no problems at all.
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