Charbax and Andy W.

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suproach
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Post by suproach »

So it really is white?
I'm not crazy?

I agree that all it takes is a firmware update for archos to make the 605 just as user friendly.
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Charbax
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Post by Charbax »

roylovelock wrote:If the restrictions are removed to the end user and the os are made configurable as in window / linux with the ablity to add programs and generally play with them then thats gona be the winner.
I think that the main reason we use Windows configurable PCs is because there are so many different hardware configurations out there and software developpers need a platform that makes it easy for them to code a software that works across all the different hardware configurations.

In the case of the pocket device, and for the living room set-top-box, I don't think that there will be many different hardware configurations. I think that there will be some very basic standards for the hardware in those two usages, and thus it makes no sense to load an OS and a CPU platform on it whose purpose is to make different hardware configurations compatible.

Also even if there will be different hardware and software platforms for the winning pocket devices, each different hardware configuration will be mass manufactured so it makes it worthwhile for software developpers to optimize the most important applications for each embedded hardware platform. You won't need specialized applications on a pocket device, at 99% of the cases, even as a pro, you will need basic applications to access your personalised content portal.

I think that the winning pocket device will make things easier and not more complicated, the winning device will be the one with the less bloatware and the most instantaneous access to services and content in a way that is even easier to use then a mobile phone. Today it doesn't make much sence those numbers we have to type into those mobile phones which we have to associate with people, associating random numbers with people is confusing. And other features of the phone such as voicemail and the keyboard lock are a real pain to use for most people. So I don't think it will be difficult to make a device and an embedded platform that makes things more logical for on-the-go use.
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Archos need to wake up

Post by mitchelln »

I think that Archos are sitting on their laurels a bit. They have definitely got the "we're the #1 PMP supplier" attitiude. Now, up 'til now this has been pretty much the case, but the competition are catching up and even surpassing them now. Take the Cowon Q5. If the specs are true they are going sell those things by the bucket load.
Archos need to start listening to their loyal users. The wish lists on this forum seem to stay just that - unimplemented wishes.
I know I keep banging on about it, but why don't they put Ogg and Flac support in? It is by far the best audio codec out there and has absolutely no licensing issues. People keep asking for it and it is not a technical issue - its just a couple of lib files for goodness sake. It is not the engineers, but Archos management have just said "Non".
People on this forum respond by saying that Ogg is a minority format, well perhaps it wouldn't be if more manufacturers started being a bit more innovative supporting it!
This is the crux of my argument. Other manufacturers, such as Cowon, are being much more innovative than Archos. They have to be to get their foot in the door. Once established they are going to give the old school manufacturers a bloody good run for their money. The Q5 has completed trumped Archos feature wise. The 605 innovative? No way.
I have seen the Far Eastern manufacturers dismissed out of hand on this forum as nobody's and pirates. Archos would be wise to do so at their peril.
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Post by suproach »

Have you seen the Q5 review, obviously not.
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mitchelln
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Post by mitchelln »

suproach wrote:Have you seen the Q5 review, obviously not.
LOL. I saw it after responding to this thread :) However, I have to say it was more of a preview than a review. The device is still 2 months from release. Perhaps Cowon may pull it off, perhaps not.
I don't think it alters my argument much though. If not the Q5 then what about a Q6 or an offering from some other manufacturer?
The daft thing is that Archos don't need to do that much to get ahead again. More codec support and dropping this silly obsession with proprietary connectors, docks, paid for plug-ins etc. Every review so far of the 605 has said they don't like this. They said it of the 604 in fact. Nuff said about Archos listening...
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Post by alankayser »

The Q5 has been cooking in the Cowon pot for quite some time now. The official official maybe release is still a few months ahead. But the longer it cooks the sooner some other manufacturer will surpass them. It does look good on paper, but perhaps shoehorning so much into it is it's own downfall. Or maybe they can pull it off.

The problem with Archos at this point may be that each generation comes within a year and the new functions don't always seem so "gotta have that!" Of course that's just me. I never had a problem with their pick and choose plug ins and adapters, but at some point perhaps it gets to be too much. Take the Opera browser for instance. Now I would think that if you are buying this device that the browser is a foregone conclusion. So you might expect it to be included. If you didn't do your homework beforehand then SURPRISE!!! you've got to buy it. So you can see that some newbies might be put off by this approach. But for others it's a good deal to be able to buy only what they need. I guess it's a pretty fine line, and a tough call for Archos to be able to please all the people all the time. Same for ogg and flac. Some people think it's a necessity, others think "Who are Ogg and Flac, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's cousins?" So, for Archos it's to include or not to include? That is the question! Whether tis nobler...uh, sorry about that.
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Post by mitchelln »

I definitely believe shipping the 605 with web browsing switched off was a huge mistake. It's not as if the promised price drop really materialized. A 30GB 605 with the web browser plug-in costs the same as I paid for my 604 wifi. I can't believe Archos made such a daft decision.
The bundles that were speculated about never materialized either. So you have to keep going back to the Archos site and pressing the buy button more than ever before. It just smacks of penny pinching meanness.

Re. Ogg/Flac. My main beef here is that it is such a trivial thing to do. Two readily available files placed in the lib directory, that's it! The brownie points and kudos from the reviewers alone make it worth the small effort surely!
It's just sheer bloody mindedness. This forum needs a "gallic shrug" emoticon to cater for Archos ;-)
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Post by alankayser »

I agree that the non-included browser was a mistake for Archos. Does make them look bad. Other plug-ins I can see charging for.

Archos ancient history, the PMA430. Now I know I'll get flamed for this, but function-wise I think the PMA is great and returned my 604wf because I didn't think it was really an improvement over the 430. Don't have a 605 so I can't say if it's any better, but on paper it seems pretty much a small step up from the 604. OK, so the PMA screen is small and it's not exactly fun to use WiFi on it, but hey this thing worked out of the box, came with all the plug-ins and adapters, plays and records audio and video, has TV input and output, and is still going strong after a few years of constant use and being stuck in my pants pocket every day. Heck it even kept me company on long flights to China and I was able to connect to the internet in my Shenyang and Beijing hotel rooms on several trips.

So now Archos seem to be putting out new products frequently but in reading many of the posts it seems like the G5 series was not ready for prime time. Plus, like the G4 many of the promised functions have not appeared. Shouldn't they be ready when the product is released? I really would like a G5, but they have to do better and not rely on customers to beta test their products. I think I'll wait until G6, or maybe G7!

Oh, and Ogg and Flac may indeed appear on the Raon. ;)
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Post by Charbax »

mitchelln wrote:It's not as if the promised price drop really materialized.
$199 official release price of the 605 WiFi vs. $449 official release price of the 604 WiFi. Are you sure that you cannot see a price drop in those only 10 months between the launch of 604 WiFi and 605 WiFi?
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Post by alankayser »

But, the $199 price is not a fair comparison since it is only 4gb, and does not include the browser. The 604wf had 30gb and included the browser. So if you want to not put your spin on it then compare the 30gb price and add the Opera plug-in. Then you can understand, if you truly want, Mitchelln's point. A 30gb is $299, plus the browser it's $329. Now that's the fair comparison. You can certainly buy a 604wf for even less than that now.
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Post by Charbax »

Blah blah blah. I'm not going to include the browser since the browser was removed exactly to reduce the cost of the basic unit which is what micheln is saying didn't happen, which is basically ridiculous thing to say.

And 4GB flash memory model was one of the other features that was chosen to provide a lower entry price. Anyways if you want to compare 30GB, then $299 launch price is much lower price then $449 launch price of the 604 WiFi 10 months ago.

$199 and $299 are launch prices. I think we will see the Gen5 at much lower prices than this, and the whole Archos Content Portal especially can make it as cheap as free in my opinion when combined with content contracts through partnerships with the content partners. http://archosfans.com/2007/09/08/can-th ... -partners/

I think we can soon see the different capacities of the 605 WiFi sold at $99 and even cheaper because of the Archos Content Portal and the way the access to content subscriptions contracts can be binded with the purchase. Even there could be deals without subscription where a simple registration with a credit card and personal information with or without a minimum monthly content purchase amount could provide a discount on the basic hardware price.
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Post by alankayser »

I see your point, but...

The ACP with a contract locks people in very much like another PMP we all love to hate.

Also, this type of discounting would mean retailers like Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, etc. carry the Archos devices. Now what I would like to know is this: How many US folks on this forum have actually ever seen a line of Archos devices at any of the major retailers? I live in central Florida, mid way between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. There are at least 100 of these type stores within the area. Plus CompUSA, Target, and Sam's. In all my time here I have only seen one Archos product in any Wal-Mart ( at least 10 different stores), a DVR for the 604, but no 604. I have seen one 504 at a Target (about 5-10 stores). I have never seen any Archos products at the at least 10 Best Buys in the area. I have never seen any Archos product at any Circuit City(similar amount as Best Buy). The only store that carried Archos was Sam's and they no longer carry them, and the CompUSA where I worked carried the 404. I sure do wish they would, so I could at least have a hands on with the 605.

This is not a knock on Archos by any means. Just curious as to why this area is so lacking in their products and how they might be able to discount with what is basically a lack of retail distribution. So if some folks would like to give a shout maybe I can get an idea about other areas in the US.

One last thing. I have never had any sales person in any store know anything about Archos. Of course they really don't know much about much anyway, so that's not surprising. I don't think selling ACP through retailers would work, these folks don't even know how to turn on a TV! I recently needed a new power supply for my desktop. At Circuit City and Best Buy the typical answer was, "Duh, I think we have them over there, but I'm not sure." Or, "You mean a power strip?" And these are folks working in the computer department. Useless.
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Post by alankayser »

Mike

J&R? You must be located in NYC. Interesting. Perhaps Archos or the retailers just think Florida isn't a good outlet for this type of device. They are probably right. Too many old-timers, resorts, etc.

Anybody else?
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Post by Andy W »

Bose, Apple and others (e.g. Sony) all have their own dedicated stores with knowledgeable staff....maybe Archos need to swallow some arrogance and try it!
Andy W
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Post by suproach »

Yes i am located in NYC, it seems so few people these days understand LAT/LON
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Post by Charbax »

Well this is what is supposed to change with the gen5, this is what it and its ACP is designed for, getting it more broadly distributed.

All the big guys now want in on the VOD and music on demand over the Internet. They all used to stock DVDs and CDs and made a lot of money on it, and they all know that now that content is going to move digitally over the Internet.

So it's quite simple, which device today provides this VOD and music on demand solution. I tell you there probably isn't many that's worth putting on shelves this Christmas. What Archos is doing is trying to be that device that is worth putting on shelves at every large retailer.

And the way Archos is doing this is to provide a platform where the retailer can continue hooking up digital content directly over the Internet to their customers. Not only selling the content that previously they sold on DVDs and CDs, but imagine this simple thing, the Best Buy section of the Archos Content Portal could also provide an interface to the whole of http://buy.com so customers can buy anything from their web shop directly on the TV and order in a single click! You haven't got other products that provide this ease of use.

So count on the Best Buys definitely considering and I wouldn't know but I am betting on several of those big guys have ordered huge quantities of the Gen5 including the DVR Station and they will want to sell as many as possible and even subsidize the cost. No matter if that requires each mega store to setup a new counter with a guy trained especially to register customers with their complete personal details, checking if they are blacklisted from the nationnal loan "good payers" listings and getting people to sign long term contracts to get refunds and subsidizing on the hardware, which would be an optionnal marketing strategy and wouldn't be required like Apple and ATT does. And unlike Apple, this is open and fair competition and non exclusive partnerships with retail and content partners. The customer would get for example $100 discount on the retail Gen5 hardware price for each year he signs up for a for example $10 monthly content subscription, but this also implies that the big guys have their subscription plans ready before Christmas, which might not be the case, I think Best Buy and Wal-Mart's content subscription plans might not be ready before early next year, it's also a matter of negotiations between the big retail guys and the major music and movie content providers.

Of course for this to happen before Christmas, the Gen5 has got to be totally perfect and pass several strict usabillity and stabillity tests which the big retail guys probably want to put it through cause big retail guys don't want to back a product which may have a certain kind of firmware glitch, that kind of bad press is not something any of the big retail guys will want to back. And also the big retail guys will want guarantees from Archos that they can deliver the sufficient quantities of stock in time before Christmas, and given the size of Archos they might not have enough production capacity to satisfy the full production speed just now, although I guess this time wouldn't be too late to speed up production to the maximum if there is some big retail/content guys signing some big urgent orders.
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Post by alankayser »

I admire your ambitious scenario for Archos, but IMHO that's quite a stretch. The only way that would possibly work is if all Wal-Marts, Best Buys, Targets, Sam's Clubs, Curcuit Citys go ahead and hire people with some tech experience. Going into any of those stores and expecting anything but a blank stare about anything except maybe an iPod is an exercise in frustration. It's just not going to happen. And I just can't see these stores that pretty much ignore their cutting edge technology wares hiring people to sell one specific product, well dream on. I think most people in the US on this forum know what I mean about the big retailers. They pay minimum wage and you get minimum service. A kiosk? Most of them don't even have an iPod or Zune kiosk, why an Archos? The Archos store mentioned is a good idea, and probably free standing kiosks in malls would be an even better idea, but that would take quite an investment on the part of Archos, both in rent and hiring salespeople. So, IMHO, selling their plans on-line may be their best and only chance to make any sort of an impact.

And I've also never seen any Cowon products in any of those stores either. Your only shot at a PMP, at least from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, Florida is Apple, Creative, Sandisk, or Zune. You might find an N800 if you look hard enough.
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Post by nasi »

Charbax wrote:Well this is what is supposed to change with the gen5, this is what it and its ACP is designed for, getting it more broadly distributed.
What, exactly, is so great about the Archos Content Portal?

For the most part it will be selling protected content ÔÇô┬áthat is, media files encrypted with Windows Media DRM.

DRM, as you are so fond of pointing out to everyone == CRAP.
(ref. http://news.zdnet.com/2422-13569_22-156220.html)

You often cite this as a reason for iPods being CRAP. The reasoning seems to go along the lines of:
  • DRM = CRAP.
    iTunes Music Store sells DRM protected files (ignoring the DRM-free EMI catalogue, Podcasts, etc.).
    iPods can play iTunes DRM encrypted files (as well as non-encrypted ones).
    Therefore, iPod = CRAP (because it can play one flavour of CRAP).
Let's look at the 605, shall we?
  • DRM = CRAP.
    Archos Content Portal sells DRM protected files (ignoring the free stuff available in a couple of countries).
    Gen 5 players can play ACP DRM encrypted files (as well as non-encrypted ones).
    Therefore, Gen 5 = CRAP (because it can play one flavour of CRAP).
Have I missed anything? :-s
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Post by Charbax »

Yup, you miss a lot.

Apple's DRM is crap, Apple should be sued to bankrupcy: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/portablemu ... /wma_apple

While Archos supports DRM but doesn't force it on anything. It's up to Archos partners to use DRM or not.

There's nothing wrong with supporting DRM, what's wrong is when you use DRM to lock out competition, such as Apple is locking out Archos from iTunes and locking out iPod/iPhone users from competing content portals.

Apple hugely sucks and nobody should like that company for anything it does, not even its white anti-technological design nor flashy newbie OS that is good for nothing. Musicians and Architechts might use Macs but that doesn't improve those industrys efficiency, and probably also that Apple took that market through anti-competitive crap-loaded prosumer software.
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Post by nasi »

Charbax wrote:Yup, you miss a lot.

Apple's DRM is crap, Apple should be sued to bankrupcy: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/portablemu ... /wma_apple
All DRM is crap, no exceptions. You did watch the video you refer to didn't you? They have a go at Microsoft and Sony just as much as they do at Apple.
While Archos supports DRM but doesn't force it on anything.
Apple does not force DRM on anything or anyone either. Nobody is forced to use the iTunes Music Store when buying an iPod (which also was not forced upon anyone). It is up to users to buy protected files or not. Do not confuse iTunes with the iTunes Music Store, they are not the same thing.
It's up to Archos partners to use DRM or not.
That's irrelevant, it's all part of the experience provided by Archos. If Archos partners choose to use DRM (which they will) then the ACP experience is one of DRM-filled crap. If Archos were such a shining bastion of fairness and the common good, as you seem to be painting them, they would not have built a system that has DRM technology built right into it's core. No, sorry, that excuse just doesn't wash.
There's nothing wrong with supporting DRM, what's wrong is when you use DRM to lock out competition, such as Apple is locking out Archos from iTunes and locking out iPod/iPhone users from competing content portals.
All DRM, by definition, locks out competition ÔÇô that is one of it's goals. Again, time to go re-watch that video.

True, you cannot play an iTMS music file on a 605. But you can't play a file from Amazon Unbox on an iPod either. You can't even move files between a 605 and a Zune, because Microsoft decided to use a different DRM scheme for themselves and everyone else.

The fact is, you can use competing content portals on the iPod, if you choose the right portal Places like emusic for instance, where you can buy your DRM-free music and play it on an iPod, a 605, a Zune, even a UMPC  whatever takes your fancy.
Apple hugely sucks and nobody should like that company for anything it does, not even its white anti-technological design nor flashy newbie OS that is good for nothing. Musicians and Architechts might use Macs but that doesn't improve those industrys efficiency, and probably also that Apple took that market through anti-competitive crap-loaded prosumer software.
As an aside, your arguments would hold that more weight if you didn't smother the more intelligent points you raise with all this narrow-minded garbage. You could spew this type of verbal diarrhoea about any large corporation and it would probably be just as valid and equally pointless.

Since you seem to have a beef about anti-competative behaviour why don't you spend more time telling us all about the travesty that is Microsoft? That is a company that has actually been found guilty of anti-competative behaviour by courts around the world.

I am sure you don't use Windows yourself, or any other product of the Evil Microsoft? Oh, hang on, but you do. Even if you don't use Windows (and have a 100% Open Source computing environment) you own numerous Archos PMPs which have licences Microsoft DRM technologies in them, which brings us full circle back to DRM = CRAP!!! :-)
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