ArchosFans.com

Archos News, Forums and Videos

Archive for January, 2008

Archos should release an SDK

Posted by Charbax on 28th January 2008

It is going to be interesting to see what Archos official reaction is going to be to last month hacking of the 604 WiFi, 704 WiFi, 605 WiFi and 705 WiFi: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewforum.php?f=34

What if Archos let people run whatever they want on the ARM side of the product and still keep full unhacked control of the DSP side of the device? This way hackers cannot interfere with DRM, Macrovision, codecs and such since the ARM processor wouldn’t be powerful enough to run different codecs, and the platform might not make it possible to brake DRM, Macrovision, plugins and other secured systems of the device?

Just as with the PMA430, Archos offered an SDK to develop stuff that could use the ARM core of the Texas Instruments DSP chip, and never let developers really use the DSP chip which does all the multimedia stuff.

Then perhaps, the next step would be Archos enabling through an SDK access to DSP stuff, such as enabling VOIP, live video-broadcasting, video-conferencing, web radio, but always making sure they keep unhacked control over DRM, Macrovision, plugins/software patents, and that Archos doesn’t facilitate any type of piracy.

I guess all this might be hard to manage, but I guess also it would be best if Archos could tap all the brain power from the software development community, perhaps even providing a monetization opportunity for people who would like to add the integration of third party software on the device and turn the Archos 4th and especially 5th generation into partly open Linux machines while still combining that with full access to all the types of secured and legal multimedia stuff that they are specialized in.

Question is, can Archos provide that balance? Can Archos prove to its partners that an official SDK doesn’t disrupt any of its contents, technological agreements, secured processes nor patent and software licensing agreements?

Apple seems to want to release their SDK environment for the iPhone and iPod Touch soon, so to counter that, I guess Archos probably should consider supporting third party software and support it with some SDK. But all that depends if Archos is able to keep its proprietary features under control and that Archos can prove that none of it should bother or disrupt any of Archos current content/technology/distribution partnerships but instead strengthen all of them.

Continue this discussion in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=11993

Posted in Hacking, Suggestions | View Comments

Archos will have a booth at the GSMA world congress in Barcelona on 11-14th February

Posted by Charbax on 23rd January 2008

This could be the release of the revolutionary Archos HSDPA product that has been in preparation at the Archos R&D labs for three years.

It could be the unveiling of the product and its functionalities with or without the partnership announcements partnering with different HSDPA network providers in different countries. Rumors are it could be SFR for the HSDPA service in France. My guess or my hope is for Three of Hutchinson-Wampoa to be a partner for the UK, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Hong Kong and Denmark. Deutche Telekom could handle HSDPA service for Germany and the USA as T-Mobile.

Archos could release a product with a sim card slot for HSDPA service, still hopefully also keep the WiFi connectivity. And sell the device as is without the necessary HSDPA service plan included, so you could buy it and use any HSDPA sim card with it from any service provider in your country of your choice. http://3.dk for example in Denmark is providing a monthly 299kr (= 40€ or $58) HSDPA access plan with up to 7.2mbit/s download speed and 348kbit/s upload speed with a monthly bandwidth usage limit set at 10GB. I am very much a fan of this type of HSDPA plan. The question is, are those HSDPA networks ready to support a potentially massive usage of streaming video at high bitrates by a lot of customers who would be fascinated by this revolutionary technology.

Possible business plans:

- Archos has started selling the 605 WiFi 4GB with the DVR Station Gen5 for 1€ in France, with a 24-month 19€ per month non-cumulable content subscription to watching movies in the Archos Content Portal. Archos could very well simply use this exact same subsidizing deal to market the HSDPA powered Archos product in cooperation with the HSDPA provider who also wants to get a fair share of the overall potential product, add-ons, subsidizing, content and bandwidth revenues.

- Archos could do like Amazon does with the Kindle on the EV-DO network in the USA. They could sell the HSDPA powered device with or without a subscription that subsidizes the entry price of the bundle with the DVR Station Gen5, and subsequently charging for use of external bandwidth for browsing the Internet, downloading and streaming files that are not part of the content portal. As for the files on the Archos Content Portal, the bandwidth required to transfer those could thus be covered by the transaction required to access that content. So for example the bandwidth could be unlimited basically for streaming commercial content from the content portal, as well as the streaming that is going on might not be in full DVD quality, since that content might be re-encoded to lower bitrates and resolution suitable to view on the LCD, and suitable to save as much as possible on the HSDPA bandwidth usage. So there could be a special version of the Content Portal automatically switching depending on the HSDPA or WiFi connection being used.

- Archos could release a HSDPA Dock for all 605 WiFi users and a HSDPA firmware update to have the exact same features but in a slightly bulkier product than the product that will have the HSDPA module built-in.

I believe the HSDPA connectivity could be absolutely revolutionizing for the history of Archos in terms of the mass market appeal the product could subsequently have. Archos CEO Henri Crohas has previously hinted that making a cell phone was not a priority, but what Archos could bring with this product for the first time also is voice-over-IP on HSDPA. Which could help sell this product as a little free worldwide calling machine. “Get free worldwide phone calls”, “Use Skype”, Instant Messaging. Gmail in your pocket, remotely access and control your Archos TV+, remotely access your whole film and music file collection streamed over the Internet using a software like Orb or using an FTP server on NAS drives in your home if you have a decent upload speed, free unlimited music streaming from a built-in Flash 9 based Last.fm personalized music discovery service and on-demand music streaming and downloading over HSDPA and WiFi.

Basically, I think that the possibilities become endless with such a HSDPA product and I have been waiting for it for years. Now I am just hoping that the HSDPA providers will be enthusiastic to give such possibilities to their customers using their 3G networks which they often invested so much money in acquiring licenses for and for which they mostly haven’t yet found the ways to recoup on their investments. So hopefully many HSDPA providers will want to try to do it this way, agree to let people use VOIP on it, agree to leave the WiFi on it, agree that it supports all those codecs, resolutions and bitrates, agree to let people access any content they want over the Internet. And so many other Worlds Firsts that this device would bring. This would I also think make the Flash based Archos more usable to still have access basically to a huge music and movies collection be it your personal collection simply streamed over the Internet from online storage or from your home storage or to every single piece of music and every single movie and TV show streamed on-demand from the Internet legally from services such as the new Last.fm and an equivalent for free unlimited streaming video access.

Thanks to cajl at jbmm.fr for the tip.

Posted in Rumors, Suggestions, Tradeshows | View Comments

Shinyshiny likes the Archos 605 WiFi

Posted by Charbax on 19th January 2008

Posted by shinyshiny.tv

Posted in Reviews, Videos | View Comments

Rumor: Flash 9 update coming this month

Posted by Charbax on 11th January 2008

SamY from the forum got off the phone with an Archos customer service person who said that there is a firmware update coming up later this month with Flash 9 support. This might also bring some Opera browser improvements (faster scrolling and more) and perhaps it will close the hacker vulnerability hopefully with some official statement on the possibility of the release of a software development kit.

What Flash 9 support could bring is compatibility with more video portals such as http://vids.myspace.com, http://metacafe.com, http://sevenload.com, http://vpod.tv – Streaming Flash video sites such as http://mogulus.com, http://ustream.tv and http://justin.tv might also work. More Flash Games could possibly work with this, required might possibly not only be that the Flash version support would be upgraded to version 9, but also that displaying of flash content in the browser better use hardware acceleration. Flash based streaming music services such as http://last.fm might also start to work with such an update.

This rumor was posted in this thread: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=11800

Posted in Rumors | View Comments

Qtopia running on the 605 WiFi

Posted by Charbax on 10th January 2008

Bubu, who previously hacked of the PMA430, has just posted a snapshot of Qtopia running on the 605 WiFi:

thx to grond, sideways, _kb and other guys I’ve now a working qtopia env on the 605 wifi

will post a test image soon tomorrow or on friday…

we are there guys…

Posted by bubu at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?p=66373#66373

Posted in Hacking | View Comments

Amazon Unbox and HD Plugin are coming soon

Posted by Charbax on 10th January 2008

Cliff Edwards from Businessweek reports from CES:

The Archos TV+ is a piece of equipment that houses a hard drive and connects to the television to record shows and download movies, either directly or from a network connection to a home pc, from services such as CinemaNow and Amazon Unbox.

Archos says the box will be updated later to record in HD

I think he meant to report that Archos says the box will be updated later to playback HD content.

Posted in News, Rumors, Tradeshows | View Comments

Archos at CES 2008

Posted by Charbax on 8th January 2008

Archos does not seem to have a regular booth at CES, so Archos probably has some private hotel meeting room or something like that somewhere, where Archos sales people can meet with US based retailers and show the latest products. We will keep you updated if we find any specific coverage of how Archos really is present at the CES 2008, and if they have any official things to say about the HD Plugin, Webradio plugin, Realmedia plugin, Opera browser update and if they have some comments about the recent Archos Hacking that has been going on. It seems Archos is mostly releasing the TV+ at this CES. This is the coverage that Archos is getting in the media and on tech news blogs:

• CNBC “Power Lunch” Broadcast – Cooley’s CES Picks – Brian Cooley of CNET showcased the ARCHOS TV+ in this TV segment as one of the Top Portable and Tangible Devices at CES this year. The segment ran today at 9:00am PST. “You can say it’s what the Apple TV should have been.” – Brian Cooley. Watch the video here

• CNN – Broadcast is also with Brian Cooley who will be showing the ARCHOS TV+ – segment will run today at 3:00pm PST.

• G4 TV Network – Broadcast will run today at 7:00pm PST and will be highlighting the ARCHOS TV+ and 705 WiFi.

• Canada’s Get Connected Radio and TV Shows – Broadcasts highlight the 705 WiFi and ARCHOS TV+. Both are scheduled to run sometime in the next day or two.

• US News & World Report – Products that Download Movies to TV. More info

• Engadget – ARCHOS TV+ WiFi-enabled DVR Gets Official. More info

• Digital Trends – ARCHOS TV+ DVR Touts WiFi. More info

• TV Squad – ARCHOS TV Gets Official: PVR + Online Video Device. More info

• SlashGear – ARCHOS TV+ is Everything the Apple TV Should Have Been. More info

• Ubergizmo – ARCHOS TV+ Wireless DVR, Media Hub. More info

• PC Mag – It is safe to call the ARCHOS TV+ a groundbreaking product. More info

• CNET – ARCHOS TV+ Wireless DVR, Media Hub. More info

Posted in News, Tradeshows | View Comments

Archos to use Opera 9.5 SDK for a faster and better browsing experience

Posted by Charbax on 4th January 2008

Faster scrolling in the browser, smoother zooming, new overlay layers to some of the Interfaces to speed up the browsing experience, faster browsing, better widgets support. All this is coming up on Archos devices soon with the new Opera 9.5 SDK for devices which Archos has said they want be the first to implement. This could be in the form of a firmware update for the 605 and 705 WiFi. Hopes for new or better features that this will bring among others in the firmware features wishlist is that this new Opera SDK also hopefully brings Google Gears support so Widgets, the Archos Content Portal and certain Web 2.0 sites could run faster and work also while offline.

At least some faster browsing experience will be very much welcomed, faster rendering of sites that have a lot of javascripts and images. We are looking forward to more details from Archos as to when they plan to implement this improved Opera browser support, if it will be as a firmware update to the 605 and 705 WiFi, exactly which kinds of improvements it will bring and when we can expect it.

Press release:

Opera Software has released Opera 9.5 SDK for Devices which Archos is going to be one of the first to use. The release will include a new beta visual effects layer that will give users an emotionally heightened Web experience with fluid transitions, panning, zooming and interactivity.

Opera 9.5 SDK will also include an improved evaluation kit that allow device manufacturers like Archos to quickly experience the potential of a product aimed to deliver the latest end-user experiences for Internet browsing, Web applications and Web-based user interfaces.

Beta versions of a new visual effects layer and Opera Zoom will enable trendy, effect-rich usability, with fluid zooming, transitions and panning. To speed benchmarking, evaluation and time-to-market, today’s release also introduces a bundled Flash plug-in demo and set of standard Opera Widgets, such as calendar, news reader and calculator. In addition Opera 9.5 SDK significantly improves Web page rendering performance over its predecessor, resulting in a speedier start-up and more enjoyable browsing experience.

Archos is making plans to use Opera 9.5 SDK’s new features to their full potential. ARCHOS, a pioneer of portable media players (PMPs), produces the most advanced and full-featured wireless devices of its kind. With a successful track record of delivering Opera for full Internet and Widgets with their Wi-Fi-enabled devices, ARCHOS expects to leverage the Opera SDK for Devices for its future products.

“The Opera 9.5 SDK gives ARCHOS devices a powerful Web experience that can engage our customers with both full Web browsing and Opera Widgets,” says Henri Crohas, CEO, ARCHOS. “Our strong partnership continues to help us go beyond end-user expectations, and deliver a high quality product. Opera remains ahead of the game with Opera 9.5 SDK.”

Other upgrades in the Opera 9.5 SDK include improved management of Widget states and download, extended APIs for password, certificate, cookie, session and plug-in management, as well as built-in site patching support.

With Opera 10 already underway, the next edition of Opera’s SDK will include upgrades to features available with today’s release as well as the final version of the visual effects layer and Opera Zoom.

Source: http://www.linuxelectrons.com/news/embedded/15653/opera-introduces-opera-9-5-sdk-devices

Posted in News, Rumors | View Comments

Archos 605 WiFi is hacked, (705 WiFi and 604 WiFi as well), happy new year

Posted by Charbax on 1st January 2008

User fiat hacked it in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=11144

More information at: http://code.google.com/p/arcwelder/

Posted to Slashdot: http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/08/01/01/0131228.shtml

Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/31/arcwelder-gives-root-binary-executable-to-archos-605-and-705-p/

and Digg: http://digg.com/mods/Archos_605_wifi_hacked

Perhaps Archos reaction to this will be as Apple’s reaction to the iPhone hacks, to release a software development kit, which could possibly help speed up the release of more of the features of the firmware wishlist: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=5046

As far as I understand it, this might still be far from usable in a way that third party developers could add many new features through this hack, and also Archos could close this hole in a next firmware update.

Posted in Hacking | View Comments