Archos taks on iPod mini with 20 Gig player

MP3 players

How do you fancy an iPod mini size digital music player with a full iPod sized storage capacity of 20 Gigabytes? Well Sony got close with its NW-HD1, and now it appears that French manufacturer Archos has actually pulled off this marvel of miniaturisation with its upcoming Gmini XS200.

The tiny player measures just 7.6 x 5.9 x 1.9cm and weighs 120g which is roughly the same size as Apple’s, unbelievably hard to find the UK at least, iPod mini. Yet the XS200 has five times as much storage as the mini offering 20 rather than four Gigabytes. It also trumps its Apple rival on battery life, offering ten hours as opposed to the mini’s eight, and it will play WMA files, though not AAC ones.

One rather cool innovation in that it sports a virtual keyboard that enables users to name tracks and playlists on the fly.

The Register, which got a sneak preview, reckons though that it is not much of a looker and that its LED screen is a tad tricky to use.

Can’t imagine that Apple will launch any more iPods until its next Expo in San Fran in January. Then we’d be amazed if we didn’t see the iPod form factor splintering all over the place with larger capacity iPods with colour screens rubbing shoulders with smaller ones offering at least 20 Gigabytes of storage but featuring more basic facilities.

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