David Pogue reviews the Archos AV320 ($336), and the RCA Lyra RD2780 ($420), the early and almost good enough AV players… I like the way this stuff is shaping up, but will definitely hold out for the iPod version, even if it doesn’t come from Apple (but, pretty please…). Video is easy to create, hard to capture and pretty hard to carry to play – someone has to make it simple.
With portable players for digital music becoming a smash hit, video was sure to follow. Two hand-held video players are now on the market. [New York Times: Technology]
Make no mistake: it’s quite a technical feat to build a personal video player that does so much and costs so little. And compared with, say, personal DVD players, these early players cost less and take up a lot less space; they also offer recording features and play a lot more than just Hollywood movies.
Apparently, adding polish and coherence to this seething mass of features is an even greater feat, however. RCA ought to send the young Lyra to its room without supper, so that it can think about what it means to be a well-behaved video pod. Archos, on the other hand, has the first truly usable video pod on its hands – a little rough in spots, but otherwise ready for prime time.