Product Type: Archos MP3 players
Newest Review: ... a really impressive amount of time before you have to plug it back in. Upon connection the Archos acts as an external hard drive, meani... more
A simple solution for ipod apathy
Archos Gmini XS200 20 GB
Member Name: Fractal_Walsh
Archos Gmini XS200 20 GB
Advantages: Great value with 20 GB's in a small package. Simple plug in and go, drag and drop file management.
Disadvantages: : Lack of features could be disappointing to the ipod generation. Navigating tracks can be slow.
The Archos Gmini, for my requirements, is one of the best MP3 players on the market and is brilliant value for money.
That being said, I think it's really important to add the disclaimer "for my requirements" as the main things I love about my Archos may well be negatives to the Ipod lovers out there.
Owning a smart phone, all I really want from my music player is a simple system with the biggest possible memory size in the smallest possible package. I don't want to play solitaire on it, watch video clips and I really don't care about album art.
For me, the Gmini achieves just that. It's a simple, no frills design that packs 20 GB (approximately 5,000 songs) into a solid, impressively compact, little case small enough to put in any pocket. While being small it still has a strong, weighty feel to it that personally I really prefer to some of the lighter, flimsier cased players on the market.
The sound quality is good and the volume has more than enough power behind it.
The screen is a plain, LCD display, with a back light that activates on use.
Navigation is via a joystick which is much preferable to the unnecessary touch screens found on other high end players. One of the biggest negatives however, is that by the time you hit the 3,000 song mark scrolling through the artists can be quite time consuming and there is no decent quick scroll option.
With fewer features and a low detail display I have found that the battery lasts a really impressive amount of time before you have to plug it back in.
Upon connection the Archos acts as an external hard drive, meaning that you can access, add/remove and rename your music files via the standard files and folders set up that you use day in day out on your pc. This for me is a must. I have owned an ipod in the past and being of the opinion that itunes is a program of pure evil it is a massive breath of fresh air to be treated like a sane minded adult and be left to drag and drop files to your hearts content.
Also with no need for the installation of drivers or music management software, the Archos makes a perfect "plug in and go" player, meaning that while you're out you can easily connect to a friends pc, with a standard USB cable, and share music or use as an external hard drive with minimum fuss.
To summarise, the Archos Gmini is by no means a suitable alternative the ipod. If you want the features, the trendy design and high spec then I strongly suggest you spend the extra money and buy an ipod. On the other hand, if you want simplicity, good size to memory ratio and value for money then the Gmini is undoubtedly the one to buy.
Summary: Rather than an over priced fashion accessory, this is a no frills player with the right priorities.
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