Archos 18b Vision Review

19 Apr 2013 at 21:19 (Random Randomness) (, )

I had been searching ages for a cheap and cheerful MP3 player that also had video playback. I really only got this for podcasting Dr Karl, since I can’t stay up that late anymore. Anyway, on to the review.

I was expecting great things from this after seeing all the positive reviews, but alas, I was to be disappointed.

Firstly, it has an annoying habit of cutting out the first second or two of each track. This is because whoever programmed the software likes fade-in. And no, there isn’t an option to turn this off. The result of this is that the first words of the podcast are cut out. True, I’m not missing out on much, but there was really no reason for this function, and besides, it’s annoying. You see, we are already getting off to a bad start.

Second problem: shuffle. Umm, yeah it has none. What I mean to say is it has a shuffle function all right. But it doesn’t actually work. I wish I could show you a demo, because it really is quite ridiculous. Set the player to shuffle, then go into your folder and choose a track. When you get to the end of the track, instead of choosing a file at random, it will go to the first track in the folder. No, I’m serious. If you press the next-button, it will go to the next track in the folder. I’m pretty sure this is not how shuffle is meant to work.

File arrangement. I don’t get its logic, I really don’t. Most players would sort by either file name, album name, artist name, track name or date. I am still trying to find out what the 18b sorts by, because there is no pattern to it. Which means finding the track you want is a pain. I mean, I’d like to listen to my Dr Karls in order. But in order to do that, I have to do heaps of scrolling, because it doesn’t arrange them either by file name or date. Same goes for folders. I have no idea.

Last point: dodgy buttons. It’s just badly made. When you press the plus button, you never know if the volume will go up or if it will go to the next track. Same thing for the other buttons: you can never be sure what they will do. Another last thing I forgot: when the backlight switches off, it makes a dull thud, which, though minor, is also slightly annoying.

My verdict? Do you need to ask? It wasn’t worth the £30 I paid for it. I seem to be getting swizzed a lot these days, huh?

Update July 2017: I hadn’t used this for a couple of years as I now have a hand-me-down smartphone that can play MP3s much better than this device. Well, I’ve discovered that the device is totally bricked. It’s been plugged into my netbook for hours, has been safely removed, but still plugged in. The battery refuses to charge and it will not switch on. Pressing the reset button does nothing either. It used to show the battery charging animation, now it’s just showing the USB logo.


At least it still functions as a USB drive, I guess. That much still works.

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