I can't believe it!!!!!
I've had a 605 WiFi for just under 3 years now, and top of my Christmas shopping list for this year was an Archos 5 500GB. Just as I was searching through some online stores trying to find the best price I discover that it has been discontinued, with no upgrade replacement model available - I am in shock.
My 605 has a 160GB hard drive and it is virtually full to capacity at all time, with entire seasons of TV shows and loads of movies, as well as my (ever expanding) 40GB music collection. I was eager to upgrade to the A5, with 500GB capacity, so I wouldn't spend as much time swapping video files on and off the thing. I travel a lot
, both for work and pleasure and my 605 goes everywhere with me. It is perfect for watching on planes and in hotel rooms (where I regularly hook it up to the TV).
What am I supposed to do now? By a A43, with a puny 16GB of flash memory? It's insane!!! As far as I can see it looks like my only real option is to go for the A7O, which I have seen advertised with a 250GB drive - but I really did not want to step up to the bigger form-factor, as it makes portability an issue. My 605 fits snugly into the front pocket of my laptop rucksack - it also slips reasonably neatly into virtually any jacket pocket - I can't see that being true of the A7O.
But wait!! None of the Gen 8 models come with any kind of 'on the fly' recording capability through any kind of DVR, or docking station? WTF?
This was the key reason I bought the 605 in the first place. As I am away from home a lot I like to transfer the contents of my SKY+ planner onto the 605 and take it with me. How am I supposed to do that on a Gen 8 device?
Looks like I'll just have to pray that my 605 doesn't fail on me at any time in the near future (I've already replaced the battery once) as I will not be able to buy another similar device from Archos at any time in the (foreseeable) future. This will remain my only means of recording, until I can track down a device from another manufacturer.
If I cannot get a HDD device with massive storage capacity that can record from my satellite box, then I see no reason to buy an Archos. I might as well join the rest of civilization and buy an iPod (something I have refrained from doing for so very, very, very long).
I am, to say the least, very disappointed with the new range - but if previous Archos history is anything to go by, I can't see them listening to their existing customers and re-introducing a product that was unique and different from any competitor product (by that, I mean Apple).
It looks like they've decided that since Apple are not revamping the iPod Classic (at least they still make it and you can still buy it!) and have gone down the solitary route of solid state memory in all their players that this must be the recipe for success. But wait, you can but a 64GB iPod Touch - and common belief is that a 128GB version is not far away, so why only 16GB in the A43?
Archos cannot hope to compete with the likes of Apple by matching their products with a 'similar' style (albeit slightly short of the mark) - I think they've remove the one and only unique, stand-out product from their range and it's going to cost them customers.
Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps the HDD models did not really sell that well and perhaps nobody wants to record from their TV to their Archos any more, in favour of downloading. But for me, it was the key selling point and why I was attracted to Archos in the first place - now there is nothing in their range that I want to own. It, truly sadly, looks like Apple will be getting my business this festive season.