Archos rolls out MP3 device with 6GB hard drive

Portable storage device maker Archos Technology is introducing a palm-size, real-time MP3 recorder and player with a 6GB hard drive.

The new Archos Jukebox Recorder -- which weighs 12.3 ounces and is slightly larger than a deck of cards -- can record up to 100 hours of "high-quality" music or 500 hours of voice recordings from sources outside the Internet, all in MP3 format. The device permits real-time, on-the-fly recording from any analog or digital audio source, including home stereo, radio, CD player, separate microphone via stereo or in-line jack, or it can be used as a voice recorder through the unit's self-contained, built-in microphone, according to Archos President Henri Crohas.

"This Jukebox Recorder opens up a whole new era for MP3 devices, which until now did not have the recording capability because they lacked the computing power to encode MP3 in real-time," he said.

The Archos Jukebox Recorder sports USB connectivity and MusicMatch software, which lets you convert a personal disc collection into MP3 and download it into the Jukebox Recorder. The recorder/player incorporates a 6GB hard drive, and the Recorder appears as another hard drive on the computer screen, allowing the user to drag and drop MP3 or other files from your Mac directly into the Jukebox Recorder. Hi-fi music recordings are encoded at a high sampling rate of typically 128 Kbps up to 160 Kbps. The capacity is 100 hours at 128 Kbps.

The recorder is equipped with a graphic, backlit LCD panel providing up to 12 lines of alphanumeric characters to display such information as song title, artist's name, and playing time. The unit has a direct access button for volume control and a choice of analog, digital or microphone as recording options. The latest firmware that supports additional software extensions can be downloaded directly from the Archos Web site.

The Jukebox Recorder requires Mac OS 8.6 or higher; iMac, G3 or higher; USB Manager version 1.2 or higher. Pre-orders are being taken for the US$349.99 product, which is due to ship on June 15. In March, Archos introduced five new peripherals for MP3 music fans that can be connected to the Mac.

This story, "Archos rolls out MP3 device with 6GB hard drive" was originally published by PCWorld.

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