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New Archos WiFi-enabled PMP runs Linux

Sep 7, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 24 views

A forthcoming portable media player (PMP) from Archos will be based on embedded Linux, confirms Opera Software, which will supply its Opera Web browser for the device. The Archos 604 WiFi will probably resemble Archos's currently available 604 model, but with added wireless networking and possibly a… higher-resolution screen.

(Click for larger view of Archos 604)

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The currently available, non-WiFi-enabled Archos 604 (pictured) has a 4.3-inch 480×272 display, 30GB hard drive, TV out, and USB 2.0 connectivity. However, the new 604 WiFi will likely have a higher-resolution screen, given that Opera says the device will use the “medium screen rendering” (MSR) version of its browser, rather than the “small-screen rendering” (SSR) version for sub-VGA displays. Likely native resolutions for the 604 WiFi model include native PAL (720×480) or native NTSC (720×576).

(Click to enlarge)

Archos 604
(Click to enlarge)

Additional specs for the non-WiFi-enabled Archos 604 include:

  • 30 GB hard drive
  • Video Player (Screenshot) with hardware controls
  • Audio player (Screenshot):
    • Stereo MP3 decoding @ 30-320 Kbits/s CBR & VBR, WMA, Protected WMA, WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
    • With optional software plug-ins:
      • AAC3 music files
      • AC3 stereo sound files
  • Photo viewer (Screenshot)
    • Supports JPEG, BMP, PNG
    • Optional docking adapter for direct photo transfers
  • PDF viewer
  • Optional DVR station records in MPEG-4 SP with ADPCM stereo sound, resolution VGA (640×480) @ 30 or 25 f/s, in AVI format
  • Audio recorder (Screenshot) through built-in microphone, or stereo line-in through DVR station
  • USB 2.0 High-Speed Device (compatible USB 1.1): Mass Storage class (MSC) and Media Transport Protocol (MTP)
  • USB 2.0 Host : Mass Storage class (MSC) and Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) (with optional docking adapter)
  • Claimed video playback time of 5 hours, or 16 hours music playback time
  • 5.1 x 3 x 0.65 inches (130 x 78 x 17 mm)
  • 9.05 ounces (255 grams)

Opera earlier supplied its browser for the Linux-powered Archos PMA400 PMP. Like the new 604 and 604 WiFi, the PMA400 was touted as a “fourth-generation” device when it shipped about a year and a half ago.

Archos founder Henri Crohas stated, “We broke some barriers in the pocket media assistant realm in 2005 by making an advanced device that not only boasted 30 GB of storage and could record TV programs, but also provided full Internet access. This time around we have selected Opera once again to deliver a superior Internet experience to this new generation Archos device.”

Opera EVP Scott Hedrick stated, “Opera [brings] the full, unabridged Internet to the A604WIFI in a surprisingly PC-like manner – an experience that is unmatched on a small device.”

Another recent Linux-based device, Nokia's 770 Internet Tablet, includes a high-resolution 4.3-inch LCD display (800×480), WiFi, and an Opera browser with integrated Adobe Flash plug-in.


DVR Station
(Click to enlarge)

Archos has not set an availability date for the 604 WiFi. The 604 is currently available, through Archos's reseller channel, or direct from Archos, priced at 380 Euros (about $480).

An add-on “DVR Station” cradle (pictured at right) that lets the device control A/V equipment via IR and serve as a TiVo-like DVR (digital video recorder) is also available, priced at 100 Euros ($127).

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