OT-Replay on the Go! with Archos AV380 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-06-2004, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Just for info for those that want an excellent, if a little pricy, solution for portable video. I've played alot with Pocket PC's and encoders with OK results, but often finicky with encoding, and storage capacity always an issue.

The new Archos AV380 digital media player is really awesome. The 80gig model will store over 500 hours of video! The screen is 3.8 inches and the whole unit is just a little bigger than the screen, and around an inch thick. It's Linux based, plays MP3's, JPEG Photos, and MPEG4 (Divx) video and acts as a USB 2.0 or Firewire Hard drive as well. It does this flawlessly, in fact it has never hung or crashed in many hours of use, even when quickly rewinding and FF video. It even records Audio and Video, has a camera/camcorder add-on as well but I'm not using those for now.

I use DVArchive to export a bulk load of shows (Replay 4500's medium quality). I then use "Dr. Divx" to batch convert the Replay files to Divx (320 x 240 video, 96 Kbs Audio, 48khz Stereo, single pass. This is a super simple process and the video and audio quality is very good for watching on the go. If you want, you can use Dr Divx to trim the ends of the show, and trim the video frameing, then add it to the batch que.

I don't even bother to trim out commercials, the Archos has a joystick, that when pressed right/left does FF/REW. Up and down adjusts Volume.

This is even smaller than the Replay Portable prototype teaser that was never produced, and it's available today. I love my iPod, and it's great for music, but the Archos is one great product, an engineering jewel, and has been a joy to play with. It really does it all (IMHO of course).

http://www.archos.com/products/prw_500570.html

http://www.divx.com/divx/drdivx/


P.S. I also tried the RCA "Lyra" player, and returned it within hours, not near the quality, with the software actually half finished, hit a button and get a message "Not implemented yet"

Cheers

"Beneath the surface of the mud...... there's more mud still.......Surprise" -- CSN
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-06-2004, 09:19 PM
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I have the Lyra and am very happy with it. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The bottom line is that they both are a great way to go as a portable Replay device.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 07:54 AM
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So what are the advantages of the lyra?

Also, how good is the mp3 support on the archos? Are playlists implemented well? Can you choose songs by genre, album, etc?
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 07:56 AM
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Also, have you guys seen this website? http://www.tightsystems.com seems like a vaporware (won CES innovation award though) improvement on the archos
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 11:52 AM
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I pucahsed an Acrhos juke box to dump digital photos to while travelling. All it did well was hang, reboot, and hang some more. It was a steaming POS.

And 500 hours in 80gb? In postage stamp sized blur-o-vision maybe. What's the point?
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 12:39 PM
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foundation,

The Lyra is a bit smaller, lighter and less expensive. It does not require a series of dongles to capture video content like the Archos, but with a Replay, why would you capture video?

It just made a plane trip where I watched 4 hours of video copied from my Replay and converted to Divx with Dr. Divx. The battery life seems pretty good.

It is a pretty darn good mp3 player too with the 20 gig hard drive. You can manage your mp3s using the Music Match plugin or simply copy the files to the audio directory and have the unit profile the files reading the mp3 ID tags. You can choose songs by genre, album, etc.

It does photos and slideshows and can act as a digital wallet with the onboard compact flash slot.

People have even opened it up and swaped out the 20 gig and upgraded it to an 80 gig using Ghost 2003. It has even been done manually in Windows by preping a couple of partitions.

All that said, Ed Rempalski is correct that the internal software is a work in progress. There have been 2 firmware upgrades since Christmas. Those "not yet implemented" messages are disapearing with each upgrade. I think RCA wanted to get this out for the holiday season (it was only released in November) and are actively plugging the software quirks.

I don't want to thread crap on Ed's topic, I think both units are pretty cool. As you will see, this will be a hot catagory at CES with lots of announcements for handheld video players. But as of right now, all the others are prototypes or will be released later this year.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if you are referring to the new AV380 or the previous AV Jukebox (with the tiny screen). The 300 series have a 3.8 inch screen, it looks like all screen with just a few buttons on the right. I've got hundreds of photos and about 100 movies/TV shows, and about 100 CD's loaded.

The Video is quite clear and the audio is good as well. And it's never hung, ever. And it works perfectly as a drag and drop Hard Drive when connected via USB 2.0 to the PC. I'm very picky and would have returned it if it wasn't virtually perfect (at this price I wouldn't accept half ass).

On the Tight Systems unit, looks interesting, a Transreflective screen would be nice and is probably how they are getting the long video run time (backlight off most likely). The features sound good, removeable drive. I would like to see removeable batteries for all portable gear. It looks big compared to the Archos, as the Archos is barely larger than it's display, which is about the same size as the TS Unit. I'd really have to see one before making any real judgement. On the road, size matters.

"Beneath the surface of the mud...... there's more mud still.......Surprise" -- CSN
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-07-2004, 05:13 PM
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i have the archos320 for 2 months,and am very satisfied. it's had 3 firmware upgrades,drag and drop to units hard drive,simple enough
it is a well done,thought out unit. use with my replays & internet mp4's,
mp3's of old radio to listen to at work,load photos to display externally to
others large screen tv's via supplied cable and front of tv's av jacks.(i really never had use for those before,now i do!),record voice dictation via internal
mic. i will be adding the cam/camcorder and a fm stereo add ons soon.
this unit is a keeper and highly recommend as a portable PVR
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-16-2004, 01:06 PM
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How long does it take to re-encode a 30 minute show in dr. divx for play on the archos? Also can you automate everything so that it will just convert everything in a certain directory.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-16-2004, 01:27 PM
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Please don't forget to provide system specs (OS, processor & RAM) when providing appros. conversion times.

Thanks!

I've long coveted one of these, but spent my Xmas money on a new smartphone instead (KYO 7135 for those who care).

You could talk about the Archos all day and I would eat it up!

Peter
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-16-2004, 08:34 PM
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I got myself an AV380 for Christmas and I love it. It's great for use in airports, especially with a pair of Bose noise cancellation headphones.

One drawback though, it still has a fairly limited playback compatibility of MPEG 4 files. Hopefully Archos will be fixing this with future firmware releases like many of the full size MPEG 4 players have done. It does come packaged with VirtualDub and a custom front end that will take any video file and encode it to an Archos compatible file.

The AVCAM module seems to take good pictures outdoors, but I've had mixed results inside(however I don't claim to be a crack photographer either)

Battery life seems to average between 3-4 hours with video playback but there are several good 3rd party external battery options to choose from.

I was surprised that it didn't come with a carrying case. I've read that they will be available to purchase here in the US sometime early this year. I guess they have been available in Europe for awhile.

Would also be cool if they made a DVR/TV tuner combo attachment. It would be like having a portable replay to take on the road.

This person has a good website all about the Archos
http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/Archos/AV300/
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-01-2004, 11:00 AM
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Quick question for those of you with either the Archos or the Lyra. How do these players handle tracking your current position in a given media file? ie. if I'm watching a movie while working out, finish working out, my girlfriend borrows the player to listen to some MP3s, and then I want to continue the same movie next time I work out. Also, how do the FF anf RW perform (too fast, too slow, quick skip of x seconds?, etc)? As a benchmark that we can all appreciate, I'd love to have something that does all the above similar to the Replay (remembers position is multiple shows, variable QS/IR, etc). I haven't found media players outside of the Replay's that I feel comfortable with for that reason (including Xbox Media Player, Xbox Media Center, MMplayer on PalmOS, Windows Media Player, etc). I believe Mplayer on Linux could be configured to work for me here, but I can't very well cart a Linux PC with my to the gym. :-)

FWIW, I've been playing around with a lot of these same issues with MMplayer and my newish Tapwave Zodiac PDA (PalmOS). It's a bit smaller than any of these devices and has the benefit of always being with me (it's my PDA). However, as Ed mentioned, storage capacity isn't in the same league and it sounds like these dedicated devices might have a bit more decoding horsepower too. I'll definitely be watching these devices as they develop... <sigh>

Daniel
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-02-2004, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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The Archos has a basic bookmark that you can use. Pause then Stop then Power Off, when you power-up it will ask if you want to resume. Multiple bookmarks like the Replay would be better, but it does have a good navigation system;

It has a very nice "Heads Up" Transparent data screen that shows simultaneous, current position status bar, Total Time, Time Remaining, Time Played, Time of Day, Volume Level, Battery Status.

If you note your current position, you can push the joystick to the right, it will FF in steps, slow at first, then much faster. You can get back to your place in a few moments, very well implemented, and it never hangs or crashes (in many hours of use so far).

Thanks for the link to the Archos info, great site. It would have saved me some effort, I modified a Belkin iPod external battery pack and use Maxell 2100mah AA NiHi Batteries in it for over 10 hours of Video Playback. I like mine but it was a bit of a pain to make.

"Beneath the surface of the mud...... there's more mud still.......Surprise" -- CSN
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-03-2004, 07:18 AM
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dbonds,

The Lyra will remember where you left off in all of your videos. When you click on a video, it offers the option to continue where you left off or to start from the begining. As for the FF/Rew, you press firmly on the 4-way control button (like a joy stick) to advance or rewind. I goes 1 speed, but fairly quickly. I have mistakenly chosen to restart a video and then FF'd 15 mins into a show in a few seconds.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-03-2004, 09:26 AM
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If you get an AV3x0 and wish to discuss it, visit us at
groups . yahoo . com/group/ArchosAV320340/

the forum is a great source of knowledge and wisdom about all things AV3x0 related including encoding. Shane, whose site is listed above, is a regular contributor.

Things are getting very exciting for the Av3x0, a new project, named "AVOS" has private developers creating new OSes and games for the unit. see
avos . sourceforge . net/index . php?a=pics
for some pictures of AVOS in action.

for a comparison between the archos and the lyra, see
www . techolio . com/ pvpshowdown/

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moderator AV3x0 forums
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