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Archos Jukebox HD-MP3 Recorder

MP3 player

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Review When we reviewed Archos' Jukebox 6000, we felt it was a good product hampered by some niggling flaws. Now the French manufacturer has released an updated version: the HD-MP3 Recorder.
While many features remain the same - you can still play MP3s or back up your files to the 6GB hard drive - the updated model also allows you to record MP3s. However, it's important to note that the Jukebox can only play MP3 files, not WMA (Windows media audio) files.

To copy your music files to the Jukebox, drag and drop them to its drive window, which appears whenever the unit is connected to your PC via USB. The supplied MusicMatch Jukebox software is excellent for organising your playlists, but we were annoyed by the lack of any facility to edit these.

Sound quality was superb for preripped MP3s and those recorded from a hi-fi. You can use the recording facility to make voice notes too, which can then be uploaded as MP3s to your PC. Though you need to speak fairly close to the built-in microphone, the sound quality was adequate for most purposes.

Though, at 350g, it's heavy, the Jukebox's portability is assured by the fact that we managed to get around four hours' heavy usage out of the NiMH batteries. As a back-up device, the unit performed well, taking 10 minutes 39 seconds to write a single large 503MB file to the 6GB hard drive. Writing 1.22GB of mixed files to the Jukebox drive took 29 minutes 57 seconds, which compares well with other external hard drives we’ve tested.

With fine sound quality, substantial functionality and the capacity to store 6000 minutes of music, the HD-MP3 Recorder is a big hitter. However, this also extends to the price - at £247 this isn't the cheapest MP3 player you can find. There are few devices on the market that offer as many options or as much capacity as the Archos Jukebox. ®

Info

Price: £249
Contact: 01672 810 366
Website: www.archos.com

Specs

Hard drive: 6GB
Battery: 4xAA NiMH
Dimensions: 115x83x34 mm
Weight: 350g
OS: Windows 98 SE/2000/Me/Mac
Other: MP3 support only, Headphones, Charger, MusicMatch Jukebox software

This review is taken from the August 2001 issue. All details correct at time of publication.

Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.

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