Archos 405 media player review | Battery & Software
Archos multimedia player cradle
30GB memory & Li-Ion battery
This Archos Media Player has no less than 30GB of internal memory at its disposal. This holds approximately 10.000 pictures or 12,250 MP3 songs. A disadvantage I experienced is the fact that the multimedia player becomes rather warm after a while, and now and again it takes quite some time before videos, pictures and/or music appear on the monitor. It is not possible to enhance the memory capacity, still, you will find it hard to completely fill up 30GB. The playtime of the Archos 450 with a Li-Ion battery is approximately 12 hours of music and 4 hours of video in the most ideal circumstances. Charging the battery should be done through the USB cable connected to the PC or a separate (not included) external adapter. The media player reloads faster through an adapter, however, you will have to purchase this item yourself since it is not included.
Archos ear phones
Archos music options
The Archos 405 offers a couple of music options, among which of course the volume and switching between the external speaker or 3mm jack, and on top of that you can select the audio output: Analogue Line-Out or SPDIF. If the MP4 player is set to Analogue Line-Out, you'd best adjust the bass boost level or set the equalizer. The equalizer offers a number of preset options such as rock, techno, jazz and so on. You can also adjust the parameters yourself to the desired setting. All of this is nicely visualized; and not too technical, thus keeping it enjoyable.
Archos retail package
Archos 405 sales package
The Archos 405 is standard delivered with a protective pouch, a DVR adaptor holder, earplugs, a data cable and the necessary manuals. It is sufficient to get started, and nearly all the functions become available. 'Nearly' because the DVR station should be purchased separately online just like a large number of various other accessories. Even an adaptor to prevent charging the Archos 405 through a pc has to be purchased online. I find this regrettable, since it takes away a lot of the functionality of the standard package. You are almost forced to purchase accessories from the website in order to be able to fully obtain the product's functionality.
Archos MP3 player accessories
The following accessories are available for the Archos 405 multimedia player: DVR Station, camcorder, docking adaptor, portable speakers, headsets, car adaptor and a leather pouch in various colours. The website lets you download special software plug-ins that enable playing MP4, M4V or MOV extensions with an AAC sound channel. If you want to play full movies on the Archos 405, you can also buy the Cinema plug-in, that lets you play VOB, MPG and PS extensions, even in 5.1 surround if you connect the Archos to a 5.1 system and activate SPDIF. The latter is carried out through the DVR station.
Software & USB
T here is no software included with the Archos 405 and it is not available either. This is not a disaster; if you have a computer at your disposal with at a minimum: Windows ME, 2000, XP, Media Center or Macintosh OS X or higher / Linux (with USB Mass Storage Class support) and USB 2.0 port, you will encounter no problems to transfer files to the Archos. The MP3 player is able to defy nearly every synchronization program. Simply connect the included USB cable to the Archos, connect it to your pc and start your favourite synchronization program. I used the Windows Media Player and this worked perfectly. Transferring is carried out at an astonishing speed and everything is neatly sorted and organized in an instant on the Archos, making it a piece of cake to find your files. Transferring videos takes longer at times since the video file sometimes not complies with the Archos requirements. Windows Media Player then has to convert the file and transfer it, converting takes time, the transferring thereafter is done quickly.
It is a joy to be able to work without software because it prevents you from having to install things on your computer; Plug & Play and it works extremely well.