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Archos Key 4 GB MP3 Player with Built-In Micro SD Card Reader (Black)

by Archos

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • 4 GB capacity for storage of up to 1000 songs (expandable via micro SD)
  • 12 hours of playback on a single charge
  • Backlit LCD display with 96 x 40 pixel resolution
  • Supports MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files
  • One-year limited warranty

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 2.8 x 1.3 cm ; 27 g
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Item model number: 501511
  • ASIN: B0034YA70W
  • Date first available at Sept. 8 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,966 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Verified Purchase
This is a power full MP3 player. Very good bang for the buck. I especially like the fact that you can add SD cards to this! Also, the retractable USB is a plus. The head phones that came with it, was not that good. I bought new ones. Power it ones and you can play weeks long. I like like the quick record button. Come is handy from time to time.
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By normega on July 2 2011
Verified Purchase
excellent little mp3 player- would be nice if it could normalize tracks to keep a consistent volume, but beyond that does everything it should. Very convenient to have the usb plug built in- the plug doesn't come with a dust cover though. anyhow, for a casual, especially for exercise mp3 player this is highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gemini13 on Jan. 5 2011
Player doesn't come with instructions. The menu can be read with a magnifying glass, maybe. Can't get a sound out of it. Waste of time and money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 75 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Stupid S/W + Nice H/W Jan. 7 2011
By jsk - Published on
Verified Purchase
Edit 2: If you can live without built-in USB connector, I suggest you to look somewhere else to find a better one. FM transmitter is just too weak to be useful. When volume is jacked up using MP3Gain, a lot of distortion is audible. Yes, this player doesn't sound as good as other leading players. Stupidity in UI is everywhere. For example when you plug it into a USB port to charge, you must turn the player on BEFORE plugging it. If turned off or turned on after plugging it, it doesn't charge at all. I don't think Archos will release a new firmware. This is just a cheap Chinese mp3 player found anywhere, but with Archos branding.

Addendum: Volume change is truly horrible with this player (read below to figure out why). I strongly recommend normalizing volumes of mp3 tracks using MP3Gain so that you don't need to do so frequently. Google it. I'm sure it will be one of your handy mp3 tools.


Horrible UI screwed up a nice, well built player. Here are some undocumented details.

First, this player has key-lock feature which is activated when no button is pressed for about 15 seconds. When active, the backlight turns off, and any button press will be ignored. Weirdly, it ignores only ONE button. Therefore, the feature is of no use when the player is in a pocket where buttons will be pressed multiple times. Now the stupid feature backfires because you just have no idea if the key-lock thing is active or not without checking if the backlight is on or counting 15 after the last button press. For example, to fast forward you need to long-press + button, but if key-locked, you have to press a button once before that. If not, the long-press will be simply ignored, and you'll wonder why this player does not fast forward. It will annoy you at every single turn when changing volume, moving to next track, ...

Second, there are shuffle/random play modes. When playing music, long-press (press & hold) the M (menu) button. Then you can access the play-specific setting menu. There you can change play mode including folder random (excluding files in sub-folders) and all random, EQ (no custom setting), and play speed (good for those listening and studying English). This play-specific menu is separate from the system menu that you can access by short pressing the M button. Note that play settings for recordings are separately saved.

Third, whenever you change some settings (either system or play settings), you have to turn off the player by long-pressing the big center button to save the changes. If turned off using the on/off switch, the player will lose all changes in the settings. Interestingly, once saved, the changes in the settings are preserved, and you can turn off the player using on/off switch without affecting them. Along with the settings FM radio frequency and FM transmitter frequency are also saved. However, FM radio frequency selection mode (either scan or preset which are switchable by pressing the center button when listening to FM radio) and FM transmitter status (which you can turn on or off by long-pressing V/T button when playing) are not saved.

Fourth, the record button works as A-B repeat key when playing. Do not long-press the record button because it will activate record mode.

Now, about the H/W.

1. The built-in USB connector is SUPER DEAD convenient.
2. MicroSDHC slot lets you load a lot of music (but cannot be used at the same time with the internal memory: have to choose one).
3. The build quality is very nice (the painting feels like Thinkpad exterior), and it has very good grip in your hands.
4. FM transmitter will be useful on a long trip in your friends' car. The signal is very weak, so leave your earphone plugged in as an antenna.
5. Recording is marginally acceptable.

If Archos's ever going to release a new firmware,

1. Please remove the key-lock thing.
2. Let it just instantly resume playing if turned off while playing.
3. Merge internal and external memory into one.
4. Give us custom EQ.
5. Please support displaying unicode characters in Title/Artist display.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Things an MP3 Player should do July 27 2010
By Raj - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have spent a fortune on finding an ideal MP3 Player, while some met my requirements, almost all failed at two basic things...
Have to carry cables for transfer songs or charging : This is a very basic flaw in a lot of MP3 Players, you need to carry a cable for charging / loading songs / podcasts... and that is very inconvenient when you need it because you end up searching, untangling in vain most of the times.

Ability to browse the songs as I loaded them, and not in some preset sorting like by album / by genre etc. I have gone through a pain staking process of organizing my music into different categories (Gym, Podcasts for learning etc) and getting to my choice of song / item becomes too difficult. Archos had this feature all along.

While this player scores big on these two items. it has a lot of features already advertised which are very useful as well.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great device; but lasted only a couple of days July 30 2010
By Naranjo01 - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a great device with great features. Basically; it is more than you can expect for the price and the size. The only problem that I have is that the LCD screen broke after two days and now has a line of dead pixels and is almost impossible to read.

The costumer service is excellent. They offered to repair or replace my product, but since I live in Costa Rica, it's not worth to send it back to repair because of the shipping costs. I guess if I lived in USA it would be a different story.

FM transmitter and recorder, voice recorder, the ability to browse folders, size and weight, no cables needed, and of course; the Built-In Micro SD Card Reader.
Excellent customer service.

MINE didn't last a week. Everything works, except that I can't read the screen. As I said before; Archos offered repair or replace the defective item; however, I am not planning to send it back because I live in Costa Rica.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Near-Perfect for the Price July 29 2010
By Jesse Field - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've owned three SanDisk Sansa products in the past, but all have failed for one reason or another after about 2 years of service. Oh well.

I decided to buy the Archos Key immediately when I saw that it does not require a cord, and includes both radio and voice recorder functions, just like Sansas. I really appreciate both features -- I probably listen to the local radio stations even more than I ever use my .mp3 playlists. Also I'm the kind of geek who records himself reading poetry, talking to my boyfriend while I sip wine, and conversations in long car rides, storing it away in case I ever want to try my hand at transcribing natural language.

So the Archos is a great product for all those reasons. Here are the cons:

The input system can be aggravating; the manual is perfunctory. You can input FM channel presets on the device by holding down the "M" key, but I had to email customer support (twice) to be told that -- I couldn't figure it out on my own. You turn it off and on by either a switch or holding the main button down a while (but the latter won't work if the switch is turned to the "off" position), you raise and lower the volume by first pressing the "V" key and then using the left and right keys, which usually switch the .mp3s. You'll learn, but it's aggravating, I find.

There's no "hold" key (at least that I can find) that prevents the buttons from being pushed if while the thing is in your pocket. Again, not a game killer, but aggravating.

I'd still buy it again at just over $30. I just wish it was a little more perfect.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
super value great for audiobooks, could use a couple more buttons Dec 23 2010
By R. Lamm - Published on
ok, I picked this up for $35 at a local store and i really like it.

built in fm transmitter with selectable frequency
built in usb no cables to carry and recharges in any usb without drivers, noce all in one package
great sound
very light and compact for a rechargeable transmitting mp3 player

have to memorize a few button combinations to get certain menus, can be confusing but once you got it down its easy
no hold button but it does have a 10 second timeout when it locks the buttons and ignores the first button pushed.
linear track selection, so organizing folders doesnt really help

overall a great deal on a 4gb player, i like the fact i can turn it on in the car, turn on the fm transmitter and hit play, no wires to plug in.

dont let the pics fool you its not really all that wide.

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