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A Small MP3 Player
The Archos Clipper is an MP3 player with 2GB of internal storage that comes with the claim of being big in sound and small in size. As this is the smallest, although not by much, MP3 player that I have seen then I can certainly confirm the latter while the former claim is perhaps more debatable. The Archos Clipper, which features a spring clip on the back of the unit thus explaining its name, has dimensions of 53 x 27 x 10mm (H x W x D) and weighs just 14g.
This small unit is predominately black in colour, mainly matt with lacquered panels for some of the controls, apart from a silver Archos name and icons for various options. Due to the limitations imposed by the unit’s size, Archos has made some compromises with regards to this player’s feature set and its layout. Unlike the Sansa Clip+, my regular companion for providing music-on-the-move, which is only slightly larger than the Archos device, the Clipper has no screen. You therefore have no access to any visual information regarding the current track, playing mode and time or even the battery level.
Instead the front of this player features four lacquered panels. These panels are arranged around a matt play/pause button. The four panels provide volume up and down control on the right while the left side contains the fast forward and backward controls. The only other control is a slider switch on the right side which acts as the lock/unlock feature for this device.
On the opposite side of the Clipper is a 3.5mm jack socket. This socket serves the dual purpose of allowing you to attach a headset, either your current favourite set or the supplied ear-plug kit, or use the special cable provided in the box. With this short 65mm cable, which features a 3.5mm jack at one end and a USB plug at the other, you can link the Clipper to a computer.
As with the 3.5mm jack socket, some of the Clipper’s control features allow for multiple functionality. The centrally positioned play/pause button will also act as the power switch when a long press is used to turn the Clipper on and off. Furthermore a two second hold on this button will switch the Clipper between normal and shuffle mode when playing tracks.
Depending upon whether you apply a short or long press, the fast forward and backward controls will move you to the next/previous track or quickly move the track in the appropriate direction. Using these two buttons while the player is paused will move you to the next or previous folder contain content. A small red LED on the side of the unit blinks fast when music is being played and blinks slowly when in pause mode.
The Clipper does not come with any software for importing or managing your content either pre-installed or in the box. You have to rely entirely on your computer’s operating system for this purpose. With either Windows or Mac systems you can transfer selected music using copy and paste. Windows users can also use the Sync option found in Windows Media Player to transfer content. If, at any time, you want to remove a track from the Clipper then you will need to attach it to a computer and use your operating system’s delete feature.
The Archos Clipper can easily be attached to an article of clothing using its clip feature. However the unit’s lack of visual feedback and the bundling of several features on to various controls do not make for ease of use. You are limited to 2GB of storage as there is no memory card option. If you are happy to accept these limitations then the Clipper can provide reasonable quality output with up to 11 hours of battery life. The Archos Clipper is priced at £17.99.
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