Multimedia on the move

Move over iPod, Personal Media Players (PMPs) - video, photo and music handhelds - are the next big thing. Microsoft is partly responsible, having designed software for PMPs slated for release later this year from hardware partners including Creative and iRiver (which has also created a Linux-powered model). PC World has previously reviewed early non Microsoft-backed efforts such as Thomson's Lyra and Archos's AV300.

Archos AV400

Archos has now launched its AV400 series of pocket video recorder, initially in 20-80GB versions with 100GB models to follow. The AV400 has a 3.5in or 3.8in colour LCD display (size depends on model) and supports regular data backup, photo slide shows (JPEG), music (WAV, MP3, WMA) and video (a bundled utility converts movies to the DivX format ready for USB 2.0 transfer). It can record directly from input sources such as a TV or VCR using the TV cradle (pictured) and recordings can be scheduled individually or (we're informed) by exporting the Yahoo! Australian TV Guide calendar file. Optional accessories include an FM radio and remote control and 4-in-1 media card adapter.

Archos is expected to release its AV500 (a completely new mass-storage Pocket PC/PMP hybrid) later this year.

Archos AV400

Price: $1150 (approximate price for 20GB device)

Distributor: i-Tech International

Phone: (02) 9261 8101

URL: www.itechinternational.com; www.archos.com