By Richard Menta- 4/18/01
So you have several hundred MP3 files and are in the market for a portable MP3/CD player. There is just one problem, you still need to purchase a CD burner to make the CD's to play on it. Yes, you could just get a regular MP3 player, but burning your music collection to a CD will preserve it better than leaving it on a hard drive that is susceptible to crashes and data loss. Archos has come up with an interesting option.
The company announced a new portable to its growing MP3 player line, the Archos Jukebox CDRW 8x4x24-MP3 Recorder Player. The player comes in two pieces, the portable CD itself to tote your music and an external 8x4x24x CDRW. The player takes a standard CD and on the fly converts the files to the MP3 format. Those files are then sent to the recorder where they are burned onto a blank CD. Pop the newly minted CD out of the burner, put it into the player and you are ready to go.
The two-unit configuration means there is no need for a computer to convert and play files, which gives the product a nice flexibility. The Jukebox CDRW can convert and copy a dozen or so regular CDs onto a single MP3 CD on the burner or it can simply make individual copies in standard CD audio format. The CDRW also connects as an external drive to your PC to burn the MP3 files on your system.
Another feature that sticks out about the Jukebox Recorder Player is that it offers a fast FireWire interface as one of the connection choices. This makes it quite unique among MP3 players that usually rely on a slower USB interface for file transfers.
The Jukebox CDRW will be released this summer. There is no price point announced on the player as of yet. Below are the specifications:
Drive Type: ATAPI / IDE CD-RW Drive 8X 4X 24X
Internal Buffer: 2 MB
Interfaces and Transfer Rate: USB, FireWire (PC & Mac), PC Card or CardBus (PC only). 3600 KB/sec with CardBus or FireWire (8x4x24x) 1800 KB/sec with PC Card (8x4x12x) 900 KB/sec with USB (4x4x6x)
Media Supported: CD-ROM, CD-ROM-XA, CD-I, CD-DA, Video CD and CD-Bridge.
Write / Recording Method: Track-At-Once (TAO), Disc-At-Once (DAO), Multi-Session (MS) and Packet Writing.
Supported MP3 Format: Reading: 30 to 320 Kbps - Variable Bit Rate (VBR) Rea-Time encoding on CD-R or CD-RW (Selectable 30 to 160 Kbps)
Display: Graphic Backlit LCD (Up to 12 lines of characters) Play Buttons are Integrated into the lid.
Audio Specifications: Stereo Digital / Analog Line In, Stereo Line Out, and Earphone Jack. Signal to noise ratio > 90dB. Max Output Power: 100mW Freq. Response 20 Hz - 20 kHz Harmonic Distortion: < 0.1%
Power: 12V AC Adapter Included
Weight: 520 g (18.34 oz.)
Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 3 cm. (6.3 x 5.1 x 1.18")
Package Includes: USB, PC Card CardBus or FireWire interface cable, AC Adapter, stereo headphones, & carrying pouch, Master software and driver diskette.
The Archos Jukebox 6000 - is a 6GB jukebox MP3 portable and can be ordered from Amazon for $349
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