Archos Jukebox Recorder 20

I recently picked up an Archos Jukebox Recorder 20, a 20gb MP3 player and recorder.  It's selling on eBay for about $210-$220 (US$) but I found a retailer selling it for under $200.  I guess it's obsolete now, replaced by the Gmini 120.


Archos hasn't tried to tie their player to any online service or software - it's just a portable hard disk that can play and record MP3s.  You hook it up through USB (it gets power from the USB port when you do this so it's not drawing the batteries) and it shows up as a mass storage device.  You drop MP3 files onto it and you're ready to go.  No “digital rights management” in sight (maybe there is with MusicMatch, but I didn't even install it).


One of my main reasons for buying this one over an iPod or one of the other devices is that it can record a stereo signal through line in - It seems most devices have a microphone, but no line in. I guess the assumption (and it's a pretty safe one) is that most users will have their music on their PC already but having the line in makes it a pretty handy portable hard disk recorder.


Another big plus for the Archos is that the OS has been completely replaced by a group of developers who reverse engineered the devices and created RockBox, an open-source OS for the Archos devices.  The replacement OS is faster, has a cooler UI, plugins for the “now playing” screen that do interesting things while music is playing, and other new features.