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Subject: Re: Should I buy the JBFMR20? Some questions and worries.
From: Neon John (johngd_at_bellsouth.net)
Date: 2003-08-06


On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 16:10:39 +0930, Shawn Watson <shawnw_at_internode.on.net>
wrote:

I've had an FMR for about 6 months now and could not be happier.

>Questions:
>- How long can you really expect the battery to last on the JBFMR20
>before recharge? (archos says 10-12hrs). Does it really last that long?
>- How long would the battery last if I'm playing 192kbps MP3s? what
>about only 128kbps MP3s? What about just the radio?

I primarily listen to audio books at 32kbps. I get at least 14 hours and many
times longer. I can't recall when I ran a battery down.

Battery life is wholly dependent on the sample rate, as this directly affects
the disc spin time. I suggest getting a batch resample program like CDEX and
downsampling to 128k or lower for your mobile listening. You won't hear the
difference with the background noise (and probably not when still with
headphones). I use a program called Jukebox Synchronizer that keeps the FMR
in sync with a directory tree on my computer. I have enough hard disc space
that I can keep a low sample rate tree of music in addition to my normal
192kbps stuff.

>- How easy is the battery to replace if I have problems? ie only from
>archos in france?

Pop the end cover off, shake the battery out.

>ANS: inside warrenty archos replace free of charge? Cannot purchase this
>type of battery anywhere else?

Who knows? I've yet to see a report of a bad battery. The cells look
standard so I imagine a battery company could tape a couple together for you.

>- How long can I expect the Lith-ion batteries to last before complete
>exhaustion?

probably until you're tired of the unit and ready to upgrade :-)

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

NO! It's just a portable hard drive with some player hardware attached. It
mounts to your computer as another hard drive.

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

After a fashion. The case is pretty flimsy. I got a little CaseLogic fanny
pack made of wet suit material. Made for a CD player but works well for the
FMR. Very light weight.

>- 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?

Infant mortality is horrible. Apparently zero QC at the factory. Once you
get a unit that works, however, it seems quite reliable. I've caused 5 FMRs
to be purchased so far and after the DOA hassles, none has given any problems.
I HIGHLY suggest buying from an actual store and not online so that if it is
DOA out of the box, you can get a new one immediately. I buy from Best Buy
here and get the product replacement plan. I make it a habit of firing up the
thing in the car to check it out before I leave the store. Caught 2 DOAs that
way.

>
>I know upgrading is difficult: pay a lot, or do it yourself and void
>warranty.

Not sure what you'd want to upgrade other than the hard drive size. No big
deal, in any event.

>
>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). 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?

The Nomad is as large as a CD player and very heavy. The FMR is actually
fairly small. The photos on the net make it look bigger than it is. It fits
comfortably in my shirt pocket.

For me there really wasn't much choice - I had to have RockBox and that means
an Archos product.

I've been through every audio technology since vinyl (including my original
Sony CD walkman that would almost play a CD on a set of batteries...) DAT,
Minidisc, CD, CDR and now this. This is the only portable audio product that
I've enjoyed enough to actually use daily after the new wears off. With
Rockbox I can keep several audio books underway at the same time and easily
switch off to music. I can keep several configs for the different types of
source material. I have 3 major complaints. One, the length of time it takes
to boot, fixed with the flashable code. Two, the headphone jack is fragile and
won't make contact if any lateral pressure is applied. Three, the display is
too small. That's it.

John

---
John De Armond
johngdDONTYOUDARE_at_bellsouth.net
http://bellsouthpwp.net/j/o/johngd/
Cleveland, Occupied TN



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