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Subject: Re: Should I buy the JBFMR20? Some questions and worries.
From: Björn Stenberg (bjorn_at_haxx.se)
Date: 2003-08-06


Shawn Watson wrote:
> Cons
> - battery life short before recharge
> - worried about unknown battery drain problems
> - cannot swap out batteries

If (poor) FM radio reception is not crucial for you, I would recommend looking at the Archos Recorder 20 instead of the FM Recorder. It uses normal rechargable NiMH AA batteries, which has a number of advantages:

- You can keep a charged set in your pack and replace if they run out.

- AA batteries are availiable in ever-increasing capacity. Currently you can get 2200mAh ones giving you a play time well in excess of 12 hours (some have reported as much as 16 hours).

- AA batteries are very cheap and easy to replace, so there is little need to worry about battery decay over time.

- AA batteries can be quick-charged (1 hour!) in an external charger, which I find very convenient when out and about a lot.

> I will be using it mainly for long distance cycle touring up to 8hrs a
> day. All my MP3's are 192kbps.

As a fellow cyclist, I could not imagine going back to the limitations of mp3cd players. Limiting myself to the few hundred songs that fit on a cd would mean I'd constantly have to make choices about which music to bring on a trip or training run, and worrying about breaking the fragile disks. With a harddisk-based player, I just bring everything, all the time.

I currently have a 40-gig disk in my archos, filled with my entire music collection. That's over 8000 songs, which I often play from a huge random playlist. That's more variation than any radio station, anywhere. In fact, my archos has made me rediscover music that I rarely otherwise picked out and played manually. Did I mention I love random play? ;)

> - How easy is the battery to replace if I have problems? ie only from
> archos in france?
> ANS: inside warrenty archos replace free of charge? Cannot purchase this
> type of battery anywhere else?

Correct. You can't buy a new FM battery, even from archos. The only way to replace it is to claim a warranty issue.

With the Recorder 20, replacing the batteries is done in 15 seconds by removing two plastic covers (no tools necessary). AA NiMH batteries cost a few dollars a piece.

> - Is there any annoying copy protection nonsense to navigate, or is it
> just drag and drop from harddrive then play?

Just drag and drop.

> - Does it come with a carry pouch so I can clip it onto my cycling pants?

It comes with a pouch, but it does not have a clip, only a strap you run your belt through. But I suspect there are lots of 3rd party camera or minidisc pouches that will hold the archos.

> - Getting a sense that the archos's arn't that reliable. ie many ppl
> reporting problems. Is this true or is it no more than any other player
> on the market? A case of you only hear from the ppl having problems perhaps?

Archos unfortunately does have a history of manufacturing errors such as bad solders. However I wouldn't say it's common enough to put you off buying one.

> I've dismissed the iPod as too expensive and the Creative Nomad Jukebox
> Zen NX looks good but no built-in radio at this stage (to be honest I
> haven't looked at this one in detail yet - could be a possibility as it
> has a removable and easily purchaseable battery, it's size and weight is
> between the bulky Archos and the super-slim iPod, and it's not too
> pricey).

I'd take a long good look at the hoops they require you to jump through to transfer data to/from the device. Creative has a history of making their products unneccesarily clumsy to use.

> Perhaps now would be a good time to have a un-biased player
> comparison discussion: JBFMR20 vs iPod 30 vs Nomad JB Zen NX 30?

Being unbiased is very difficult. We all value different features. The lack of radio on the Rec20 is a show-stopper to some people, while the lack of replacable/upgradable batteries on the RecFM is a show-stopper to me.

-- 
Björn



Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew
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