The Archos Jukebox Recorder is a boxy, little mp3 player that is quite useful for storing your entire mp3 library, or even transporting other files (although this is normally impractical if you wanted to transport a file to a computer that doesn’t have the Archos software already on it).

The Recorder allows you to record songs directly off of the radio if you are so inclined, however this is also quite impractical unless you own software to edit the songs at certain points (otherwise you get commercials, DJ voices, etc), but an enterprising person could probably find freeware somewhere on the internet to do it -- I personally got tired of looking.

Now to my important point: the player comes with a warranty that, barring extreme conditions such as using your mp3 player as a lethal weapon, guarantees Archos will repair or replace it with a new one. Well, my first player worked fine for a couple months but then all of the sudden the operating system just wouldn’t boot up: it had some kind of error that froze the machine so after struggling through weak to non-existent technical support we finally sent it back in. Seeing as the player can function as an all-in-one mp3 player library, I had all my mp3s on its hard drive…and when they sent me a new player, I no longer had any mp3s. Luckily, I had backed up some of them, but I lost more than 300 songs and with a worse-than-56K modem that becomes very annoying.

I have had the second player for about 6 months now and…grrr…one of the buttons (there are only 4 or so) no longer responds. It’s the menu button in case you were wondering so I can no longer change the play mode, record songs, nor do a number of other things (I don’t know what they are because I can’t get there anymore)!

I have friends who have the Studio edition and they do not seem to have problems --oddly enough theirs is older than mine. The hassle of sending in my player and waiting for months for them to send me another wearies my resolve so I am just going to keep this one until it completely breaks. I suppose most of Archos products may be perfectly fine and I just happened to be unlucky, but if and when I decide to invest in a new mp3 player I plan to buy from a different manufacturer.

I guess this brings me to two main points:

1. I do not necessarily think Archos is a poor company, except for the fact their tech support had some 21 year old girl who didn’t know anything and couldn’t refer me to anywhere else, just avoid the particular Jukebox Recorder 6000 I have been unlucky to come across. (I’m not sure, all recorders may be 6000’s because they all have the same memory capacity).

2. More obviously, always backup your mp3’s instead of trying to make room on your computer for other memory-intensive games/programs/whatever.