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Home » Dad Toys, Products

My Third Baby – My Archos 605 WIFI

Submitted by on Thursday, 4 September 2008One Comment

Since my last post was about tummy time and real babies, I figured a post about electronics and pseudo-babies was in order.

Before I start, here are a few things you need to know about me:

  1. I do not own a T.V. (nor do my wife or children) and haven’t owned one for two years
  2. I want to be able to choose what I watch and do not like to watch commercials
  3. I prefer movies over TV shows
  4. I have wireless internet at home
  5. I love music
  6. I find that Vancouver radio stations are crap
  7. I occasionally travel for work, sometimes with travel times of 20 hours each way
  8. I find 20 hours of airplane movies BORING
  9. I either walk to work or take the bus to work
  10. I was in the school choir when I was in grade 3

Okay, maybe you didn’t need to know the last one, but I thought I’d tell you anyways.

Now, to my third baby.  My Archos 605 WIFI is my all-in-one dream gadget.  It is a portable media player, and I think the only main features it is missing are GPS and a built-in phone.

Two other things you should know about me are:  I generally know where I am (most of the time), and I don’t want to be interrupted with phone calls while listening to music or watching a video.  Having said that, GPS and a built-in phone are two features I can do without in a portable media player.

Now onto what it isn’t missing (don’t you just not dislike double-negatives?).  Sorry, I should be kinder to all you tired dads and moms out there and write more coherently and flowingly.  Maybe I could if I wasn’t so tired myself :-) .

This baby is a portable media player that plays any video or music file format you throw at it.  In addition, it has a pdf file viewer, photo viewer, ability to connect to wireless networks and share/stream files and browse the web, widget capabilities (like weather forecast, currency conversion), mass storage and web radio/TV capabilities.

Am I drooling?

I know what you are thinking… what’s the difference between this and the iPod Touch, and why is he drooling over this iPod Touch knock-off?

Well, this is actually not an iPod Touch knock-off.  Archos was producing PMPs like this way before the iPod Touch was even an apple in Apple’s eye.  And there are important differences between the two.  I don’t want to say that one is better than the other (although if I had to save one from a burning home, I would save the Archos first), I would rather say that it depends on what you are looking for.

The iPod Touch is sleeker and has a better battery life, but the trade-off is with screen size, storage capacity and price.  The Archos 605 gives you are larger hard drive and larger screen for a lower price.

So enough of the iPod Touch debate… on to the real imporant question…. what does my wife think of all of this hoo-haw?

Well, when I first told my wife I was going to get this, I got the usual grin and shaking head.  Kinda like as if she was saying, “Okay, go ahead, get it…. you’ll need something to keep you occupied before you go sleep, because you’ll be sleeping on the couch.”  But, after I got it, I hooked up the web radio from this baby to her favourite radio station (not a crappy Vancouver radio station) and plugged it into our stereo, and she was a happy camper who could see that this was a very justifiable purchase.

With a newborn, I do not get a lot of time to sit back and watch movies. Actually, I have NO time to sit back and watch ANYTHING.  I usually use this right now for the web radio, quickly browsing the web if I don’t want to turn the computer on, and listening to music (or watching the occasional movie-snippet) on my way to work.  Luckily I haven’t had to travel lately, but next time I do (which hopefully won’t be for awhile), I will be able to choose what I watch on the plane and not be doomed to 20 hours of edited-for-content chick flicks.

Of course, unlike my real babies, the Archos is not perfect.  Some things you should know if you are considering buying one (and I encourage you to do research for yourself to make sure this is the right thing for you) are:

  • it doesn’t come with all the capabilities that I described above out-of-the-box.  You need to purchase and download plugins to be able to use web radio, watch certain video file types and browse the web.  Totally unintuitive, but I guess that is Archos’ way of making a few extra bucks.  So, be prepared to spend between $50-$90 extra for the plugins, depending on which ones you want.
  • it doesn’t come with a docking station or AC wall adaptor.  You can only charge it via USB from your computer.  So you can anticipate buying a mini-dock or battery-dock if you want to be able to charge it via your wall outlet.
  • the case that comes with it isn’t very good, so you probably will want to consider buying a carrying case for it, and there are a few on the market that are pretty good.
  • there is no “resume” function, meaning, if you turn it off in the middle of something, when you turn it back on again you have to navigate from the start menu back to where you were.  Not a huge deal, just a minor annoyance.

That’s it on my third baby for now.  Will let you know if I have any more babies any time soon (although I’m sure my wife will not want to be pregnant again for awhile)!  We will get back to our regularly scheduled programming and talk about real babies again tomorrow!

Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to share your own favourite gadget stories and comments!

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