Saturday, May 13, 2006

Picture Viewers- 10 Multimedia Players and Portable Media Centers Reviewed

By Brandon Baumgarten

Recently a friend of mine was planning a Photo Eurail Adventure. He said he was going to buy 4 or 5 more Compact Flash Cards, so that he would have enough room for all of his photos. "Eben," I said, "get a Multimedia Storage DVR. When you fill up a card just transfer your images to it." Then we really started to think of the possibilities. "You can even bring your entire photo collection with you on the trip to Europe. You may as well show off your artwork, instead of just talking about it. Put your Tunes, Movies and Lake Tahoe skiing videos on it." It was the perfect solution. He was flying back home before the trip, he could show everyone all of his photography and bring all of his music with him.

You have spent years collecting music, movies, TV shows and Photos. Get it together with a PMD Personal . With up to 100Gb memory, these cool players allow you to transfer pretty much all your photos and entertainment and take it everywhere you go. There are a dozen of them out now, all by different companies, each one using different formats with different features which ones best for you? How many giga bytes should you buy? We compare 10 excellent image viewers to help you decide.

Keep It Short and Sweet Equipment Review.
1. Archos AV700 100GB and AV700 40 GB Mobile Digital Video Recorder

The AV700 with its amazing 7” LCD and 480x234 pixel screen is your media companion. It lets you store up to 400 hours of video, 250 movies, 55,000 songs or 1,000,000 photos. A 100GB capacity in an 8-inch machine is huge! You can record and play 1000's of TV shows and movies. The AV700 lets you get video and music content from Microsoft PlaysForSure web sites. Now you can take all your entertainment with you everywhere you go. Using the Archos AV700 rechargeable battery, you'll get up to 30 hours of life for music and up to 4 hours for video playback. Transfer via a USB 2.0 connection. Then organize your photos and watch slide shows on the unit's screen or any TV. Weight 210 oz, Dimensions: 4.2”x8.2”x0.8”

2. Archos AV500 100GB and AV500 30 GB Multimedia Player DVR

The AV 500 has a 4”, 480x272 pixel screen. You can store up to 130 hours of home videos, up to 85 movies, up to 15,000 songs or up to 300,000 photos on the 30 GB capacity. Up to one million photos with the 100GB AV500. It's the perfect digital photo companion. USB 2.0 high-speed data transfers. Download pictures from your computer. Organize photos and show them in slide shows, record TV programs, movies and home videos directly from your TV, VCR, DVD, cable and watch on the go! Schedule programs up to month in advance. The AV 500 features a music player and stereo speakers. Easily organize songs and customize your music. Archos AV500 Multimedia Player also records in WAV (PCM or ADPCM) and from analog stereo sources. A stereo microphone to record notes or a concert. It even comes with a nice case! Weight: 11.11oz, Dimensions 7.6”x12.4”x2.4”

3. Epson P-4000 80 GB and P-2000 40 GB Multimedia Storage Viewers

The Epson Viewers have a 3.8” LCD with 640x480 pixels. View, store, and playback photos, music, and videos. Plus listen to MP3 and AAC audio files. The Epson's include rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Downloading memory cards to the P-2000 is quick and simple. Images are presented in groups of 12, you select a photograph then you can zoom in and move around to check the images details. When you click the display button, it gives you image information including the file size, and other important image information. Once you have viewed and edited your shots you can store the file on the Epson P-4000 80 GB, P-2000 40 GB hard drive. The Epson Storage Viewer has a video interface for connecting to a television, monitor, or projector. The photo viewer has direct printing to some Epson printers without a computer (Epson Stylus Photo R300, R320, R600, and PictureMate). Weight: 1lb, Dimensions: 5.8”x3.3”x1.2”

4. Samsung Yepp YH-999 20 GB Portable Media Center
The Yepp has a 3.5” LCD screen and at less than an inch thick is a Windows based portable multimedia device that makes it easy to store and your valuable photos and play up to 5000 songs, 80 hr. of TV and movies, Movie/Music/Picture Formats: MP3, WMA, WMV and JPEG. Features a USB 2.0 interface. For fast transfers. With the Yepp you can enjoy and share your favorite entertainment with family and friends. It's simple to sync your music, video and pictures together, Hooks up to a TV or stereo. Yepp it's got a rechargeable battery. (I couldn't help it) and even displays album art for your albums. This is a very well designed multimedia device but it's not mac compatible. Weight: 8oz, Dimensions 3.82”x4.21”x.83”

4. SmartDisk FlashTrax XT 80 GB and XT40GB Digital Multimedia Player

The FlashTrax has a flip up 3.6" color LCD screen. Transfer, store and share digital images with the ability to zoom and pan. A slide show feature previews photos and allows you to add background music. Thousands of high resolution images fit into this portable multimedia player. It also records and plays movies and TV. Connect FlashTrax XT to a TV or video projector for large screen viewing with family and friends. The FlashTrax XT , watch movies and videos at your desk, in your car or on a plane anywhere. A Compact Flash reader slot is built in and with an adapter the FlashTrax XT transfers images from all popular flash memory cards. Connect FlashTrax XT to your TV and show your photography to family and friends! Weight: 15oz, Dimensions: 3.82”x6.22”x1.38”

6. iRiver PMP-140 40 GB Portable Media Player

The PMP-140 with it's 3.5” LCD screen lets you take your audio and video media files with you on all your adventures. With an incredible 40 GB of storage is not just for digital photos, it plays full-color, full-motion video, too. The unit has a big 3.5-inch TFT LCD and an audio input so you can load audio from other devices, without a computer. The iRiver PMP-140 doubles as a voice recorder, with its built in mic. Transfer media files to the PMP-140, Via USB 2.0. You can store up to 160 hours of video or up to 1,200 hours of music. The iRiver PMP-140 supports formats MP3 and WMA to WMV and DivX (AVI) video and BMP/JPEG image files. Weight: 2.6lbs, Dimensions: 8.1”x7.5”x3.9”

7. Creative Zen Vision 30 GB Multimedia Player

The exceptional Vision 30 has a 3.7" SharpPix 640x480 pixel high resolution 262,144 color screen with transflective technology that lets you see the screen, even in bright sunlight! It's great to bring all your photos and entertainment with you every where you go. Tens of thousands of photos, up to 120 hours of videos, or 15,000 songs. The Zen Vision is not only lightweight and slim, beneath its classy magnesium casing are features that will fulfill all your digital entertainment needs. Store your whole music collection on this player. Listen to over 1000 hours of music, It's an MP3 player for up to 15,000 songs. Even share your favorite songs with your friends through the built in speaker. A must for all amateur and professional digital photographers. Weight: 8.2oz, Dimensions: 4.88”x2.91”x0.79”

8. The Nikon MSV-01 CoolWalker 30 GB Digital Storage Photo Viewer

The MSV-01's 2.5” LCD is 490x240 pixels. It's packed with features yet easy to carry and simple to use. View your digital photos anywhere. Connect CoolWalker to a TV and impress family & friends with your photos on the big screen. It lets you upload data via USB 2.0 and the Nikon MSV-01 is equipped with a data card slot. Plenty of storage space. Store up to 10,000 digital photos. Calculated for 6 mega pixel images stored in JPEG FINE format. Direct printing without the need for a PC is made possible through support of PictBridge. Weight: 12.3oz, Dimensions: 3.2”x5.1”x1.4”

9. JOBO Giga Vu Pro 60 GB and Jobo Giga Vu Pro 40 GB Personal Media Device

The new JOBO Giga Vu Pro Personal Media Device has an adjustable brightness 3.8" LCD monitor with 320x240 pixels, a touch screen for keyboard entry. WiFi enabled. With an optional Compact Flash WiFi card, the unit can become a node on a wireless network allowing sharing of files with other users. Download your priceless photos in JPEG and RAW file formats. Real Raw Decoding allows the unit to decode RAW formats from Canon, Nikon, and Kodak Pro. Virtually all other RAW formats can be viewed. View 12 thumbnail images per page and a slide show mode (JPEG only). Zoom 1,2,3 or 400% for JPEG and RAW formats. Rename albums, add comments and add keywords to images. You have full control with the JOBO Giga Vu Pro. Play, stop and pause MP3 files. Headphone audio line out. Built in speaker w/volume control. USB 2.0 high speed transfers and Rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Weight: 14.82oz, Dimensions: 5.7”x4.2”x1.5”

10. Apple iPod Photo 60 GB, iPod Photo 30 GB with Video Playback.

The Apple iPod With it's 2.5” wide screen display holds as many as 15,000 photos. This skinny little mobile media center fits in your shirt pocket with room to spare. You can create your own movies or purchase music videos, Pixar short films, or select TV episodes via iTunes 6. Catch up on your reading with audio books. Create photo slideshows, complete with music. Watch video podcasts, It has a calendar and address book. It's worth noting that most of the accessories. Get up to 20 hours of battery life. Plus, a bigger display and a new color, black. Weight: 5.5oz, Dimensions: 4.1”x2.4”x0.55”

There's not much point in listing prices here, you know how quickly they drop on electronics products. Visit to compare prices, read actual customer reviews, see product photos find accessories. You will find reviews for the Apple iPod Photo, Archos AV700, Archos AV500, Epson P-2000 and P-4000, Samsung Yepp YH-999, SmartDisk FlashTrax, iRiver PMP-140, Creative Zen, and the Nikon MSV-01 CoolWalker. Also for Nikon and Canon Cameras.

Visit for great ideas. There are a lot of free photography tips, tutorials and travel information there.

I have been a professional photographer at western ski resorts. Starting out in Wyoming. Where I landed my first professional photography job, taking action photos of skiers on the slopes at Grand Targhee. I am a freelance photographer based out of Lake Tahoe, CA.

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