Golden Archos

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Have you ever had an itch for an interesting gadget, but you weren't sure if it was worth the price? Have you figured you'd let some time pass to see if improved technology, or just growing desire, would finally entice you to buy it?

Archos makes a line of personal media players that have stymied me in just that way. These are pocket-size (nine-ounce) gadgets that can play all your personal media, as well as lots of content available on the web. While the Archos products are intriguing, they hadn't overcome my resistance to make an actual purchase.

Until now.

I picked up the Archos 605 Wi-Fi thanks to a great deal on eBay. The 80 GB hard drive model retails for $350 and can be purchased from for $260. I snagged mine for just $191.50.

My interest comes from the fact that this model has Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can view and post videos to YouTube and DailyMotion, stream audio from your favorite music websites or play audio and video podcasts.

An iPhone can do most of those things as well, but the Archos has features that we iPhone owners are still waiting for Apple to add. Using an Opera web browser plug-in, the Archos supports the viewing of Flash content. It plays music in formats the Apple products might never accommodate. It can act like a DVR attached to your TV, but one that lets you replay those shows on the go.

The Archos has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, compared to the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone. Archos also has a content portal, though it severely lacks the variety of Apple's iTunes store.

But, frankly, the choice to buy an Archos really has little to do with other gadgets you may own. It's more about grabbing content off the web or off your PC over a wireless network so you can enjoy that programming wherever you travel.

The Archos 605 Wi-Fi comes with either a 4 GB, 30 GB, 80 GB or 160 GB hard drive. The 80 GB model can store up to 100 movies, 800,000 photos or 45,000 songs.

So if you have the itch to buy this gadget, go ahead and scratch it.

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