The market for 4Gb Portable Media Players is a little crowded, and mostly dominated by Apple’s iPod as we all know. However, there are so many alternatives that in some cases, including this one, the Archos 1 Vision that offer more functionality as well as stylish aesthetics that rival that of the iPod.
The new Archos 1 is probably the best value media player I’ve come across. Costing just £25, it can store up to 2,000 compressed songs; however the feature I was most impressed with was its compatibility with lossless music FLAC files which provide much clearer, uncompressed audio than the standard MP3 alternative.
The down side to this though, being songs can reach over and above 50mb each so you would quickly fill up a 4Gb player. It also plays MP3, WMA, FLAC, APE and WAV music files which provide a lot more compatibility than the iPod. Your audio library is organised in the usual manner, being by artist, song name, genre etc.
In addition to this, you can store image files in JPEG and BMP which is probably all you would need when storing images on a 1.1” TFT screen. Other compatibility includes the ability to read .TXT files and .LRC (lyrics) files.
Battery life allows for up to 21 hours of music playback which is more than sufficient for most journeys and it charges via USB cable much like the majority of its competitors. Connectivity is simple; it is a USB 2.0 friendly device which is used for charging and synchronising music. There is software thrown in used for organising your library as well as audio conversion software which is idiot-proof so you will have no problems playing back all of your tracks.
In size, the mini PMP is just 7cm x 4cm and weighs just 28 grams or 1oz which is clearly, extremely lightweight. In terms of aesthetics, it has a soft, glossy black look with curvaceous edges and a simplistic yet attractive interface. The controls on the device are user friendly, being the usual central play/pause, volume and changing track buttons.
Another interesting feature of the Archos 1 Vision is that a built in microphone allows you to take high quality audio recordings which can be useful when away on a trip if you find yourself without a pen and paper. Whether you are taking notes or recording phone numbers, you can record anything which is a handy ability to have with you.
Archos has a great range of PMP’s as well as mobile internet devices, which are extremely popular and great value. This one has particularly captured my attention due to the extremely low £25 price tag. Which is extraordinary when you compare it to perhaps the iPod Shuffle which is almost 3 times the price and features no screen and a severe lack of compatibility.
Anyone who is looking for a bargain this Christmas and doesn’t fancy shelling out hundreds for an iPod, then the Archos 1 Vision is for you. A magnificent little portable media player that I would recommend to anyone. The device comes pre-packed with headphones and all the necessary equipment to get going.