FRANKLYWNOW - DenLan - Ticker A - An iPod Rival Can Browse the Net and Downloa

DenLan - Ticker A - An iPod Rival Can Browse the Net and Download Audio and Video

An iPod Rival Can Browse the Net and Download Audio and Video

Archos has always been the underdog in the portable media player race. While it manufactured some of the first real MP3 players, its products have been overshadowed by the iPod. With its new 605 Wi-Fi, this wallflower is hoping to be the belle of the ball.

The 605, which will be available later this summer, has a 4.3-inch touchscreen. There is a built-in PDF and photo viewer, and an optional DVR allows you to schedule recordings of live television for later consumption.

The most interesting feature, however, is Wi-Fi. The 605 can browse the Internet, download audio and video from distant servers and even play back video from services like CinemaNow and YouTube. An optional $30 Web browser can handle Adobe's Flash media format and renders Web pages just as they would appear on a PC, a large improvement over the oddly laid-out pages found on most mobile devices.

The Archos 605 is available with hard drives holding 4 gigabytes ($230), 30 gigabytes ($300) or 160 gigabytes ($400). There is even an optional remote control with a standard keyboard, which you might use to tap out requests to your favorite online radio station. JOHN BIGGS

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