Bestselling Portable Video Players


Hey there all, our rundown of some of our most popular netbooks last week was very well received. People asked if we could put together a similar piece about the portable media players we carry, and while we don’t carry too many, I’ve got a bit of a top three here for those who were curious.

As you might expect, the list is leaned a bit in favour of the iPod, they being the practically ubiquitous media player of choice by now, but there is an Archos in there, for those of you who like something a bit bigger and a bit more durable. It also avoids pretty much all the hassle with proprietary formats and iTunes, which isn’t a bad old deal.

iPod Touch:

Apple’s iPod Touch is one of those products that’s just done shockingly well for itself; when Apple first announced that it was to release a device that basically amounted to an iPhone without the “phone” there were a lot of questions about it, but as it turns out, people are very interested in picking up a device with a large, touch-sensitive display, fairly large scale flash memory and solid video.

Click through to see our page for the iPod Touch 32GB :)

Click through to see our page for the iPod Touch 32GB 🙂

Since launch though, the Touch has morphed and, while the Nano has gained a camera, the iPod Touch has become the “entry-level” device for those looking to have a bash at apps on Apple’s App Store, meaning you needn’t pick up an iPhone to get in on the app-action. It might seem simple enough, but it’s one of the biggest points in the iPod Touch’s favour over other media players.

Add to that the fact that the recently released third generation of the iPod Touch comes with up to 64GB of storage, you can imagine putting video on it that bit more easily. Moreover, it comes with the same style of processor improvement as the iPhone 3G S, so you can rely on it to keep up with your apps a little more neatly than the older second-generation models.

iPod Classic:

In direct contrast to the iPod Touch Apple’s iPod Classic basically omits all of the bells and whistles in favour of a fairly outrageous 160GB capacity. Moreover, unlike the old 160GB iPod Classic (originally released a couple of years back) the new 160GB Classic has dropped a significant amount of its bulk.

Click through to see our page for the 160GB iPod Classic

Click through to see our page for the 160GB iPod Classic

The Classic isn’t much to look at, but the software is solid, as long as you can take using iTunes to manage your music. The only real issue is that with such a high capacity, you’re going to want to fill the thing with video, and there are two problems with that. The first is that you don’t have the same kind of screen size as on the Touch (obviously enough) and the second is that, as with the Touch, you’ll have to convert everything into an iPod friendly format.

It’s worth pointing out at least that the iPod Classic is relatively cheap, especially compared to the carious iPod Touch models, weighing in at €229. It also boasts a battery life of up to forty hours, with judicious use.

Archos 705:

Back in the days before the iPod Video existed, French media player manufacturer Archos was basically the only option you had if you were looking for a hard drive based portable video player. Years later, Archos still has some of the most attractive portable media players going, especially for people looking to play videos on the go.

Click through to see our product page for the Archos 705.

Click through to see our product page for the Archos 705.

Where the iPods top out at a 3.5” display (on the Touch) the Archos 705 is truly massive by comparison, with a display fully 7” across. Moreover, the 705 boasts wireless connectivity and its own web browser and YouTube functionality.

Perhaps the one feature that really sets Archos players apart from the iPod range is that they’re all drag and drop friendly, with minimal need to convert videos to suit the device. My “minimal” I mean that in my entire time using Archos devices (around three years) I had to convert a handful of files to let the device interact with them properly. Of course, the downside of all this is that you’re going to want to make sure your music if well organised before you start dragging it across, but it’s certainly a nice low-tech solution to the proprietary software issue.

The Archos 705 is 80GB for €199, which isn’t a bad deal. It really is an example of a device geared entirely towards mobile video, as opposed to mobile music with video on the side (as with the iPod), but it’s also superb at what it does. The fact that the whole body is metal lends it a ruggedness that’s hard to find in many devices.


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