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Old 05-04-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
NatCh
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American Airlines Begins Offering In-Flight Personal Media Players

American Airlines Begins Offering In-Flight Personal Media Players

It seems that American Airlines has started implementing a new twist on the venerable in-flight movie: they're handing out Archos 704 and 604 PMPs with Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones to their passengers -- no extra charge for first class, but we poor peasants in coach will have to shell out a bit extra if we want to play in that sandbox. The PMPs will "provide on-demand access to up to 12 feature films; up to 15 hours of pre-loaded television, news programs and music videos; 50 music CDs and 14 American Airlines-branded audio channels" and will be available initially on a few U.S. trans-continental flights. That one's apparently a done deal, but they're also running a 'pilot' program on one intra-continental route (Chicago to L.A), which involves a smaller screened PMP with complimentary (i.e.: we don't want them back after you've used them. eeew.) ear buds.

Presumably, if all this works out well, we'll see them on more flights. No word on whether we'll be allowed to use them during take off and landing, but if not (as seems likely), we'll still have SkyMall and the AA magazine to fall back on, I suppose.

See the full story for more details, and what routes will be covered.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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i'll stick with united and the sony reader. somehow i don't think they'll have my kind of books.

not porn, get your mind out of the gutter natch.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:02 PM   #3
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Yeah United definitely has the better planes than AA (at least long-haul). But I admit, I would love to try the Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones. I got a Sennheiser Noise Canceling headphone, and it's already quite good. Especially when you don't want to damage your ears when watching movies during a flight...
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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UncleDuke, you wrong me, sir. I wouldn't assume such a thing about another MobileReader without some serious supporting evidence. Well I wouldn't unless I thought I could get a laugh out of it. Besides, I don't think they're offering books at all, just video and music programming.

I have a pair of the orignal Sharper Image noise canceling headphones (somewhere in storage, I think), and they worked remarkably well. They're just the on the ear type you got with walkman type devices before earbuds became so prevalent. With those things on, there just wasn't any airplane engine noise at all. Oddly enough, though, I found that if I turned the noise cancellation all the way up, they would mess with my equilibrium, and make me a bit woozy. It was strange. I hope I've still got those rascals and can find them when we move, since I'm about to be flying on a monthly basis starting August/September.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:56 PM   #5
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I still have the original Bose 1 version (the full ear cups) which I prefer to the 2nd version that sat on the ear or the 3rd version (earbuds.) Mine can even cancel the talkative salesman in the next seat. There are even plug extensions to allow them to be used with the inflight movie.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:42 AM   #6
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lol, too funny about the chatty neighbors! I though most airlines already had TV screens in the back of the headrests, that have most of these features. Of course I do like the idea of being able to watch what I want, when I want (hence the reason I always carry a portable DVD player with me, even had my PDA with several movies on SD last time). To bad they're always trying to find a way of squeezing blood from a turnip, by trying to get more cash outta us casual economy-class passengers. For what First-Class pays, they should get to keep the Archos or the other PMP!

Regarding noise-cancellation headsets, I've had a pair of the Sony earbuds that came out a few years ago. They work great on buses, in the office, and on planes, though it's easy to accidentally knock off the interchangeable earbud cushions. My wife liked them so much she swiped my pair and I ended up buying a second set (only ~$100 a pair). One other reason they're so great is that you don't really need to have the volume up too loud since most ambient noise is cancelled; e.g., my hearing will last just a bit longer. ->

Last edited by Azayzel; 05-05-2007 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:55 AM   #7
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I'm with Duke... I'd rather bring my own reader, and/or a portable DVD player of my own, and have my choice of what I want to read or see, as opposed to the choices the airline is likely to give you ("Let's see: I can watch Rush Hour 2, The Wedding Planner, or Corky Milano... or read the latest Danielle Steele or Reader's Digest airline edition... hmm...").

On earbubs, I've been using a set of Shure E2c sound isolating earbuds for the past year. They are not active noise-cancellers, but the earbuds are foam pieces that fit into your ear and block outside noise very effectively. They have superior sound quality, work great during my commute, and I can hear my music clearly when on my motorcycle. About $100, I'd recommend them to anyone.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 05-06-2007 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:26 AM   #8
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seriously... if you fly inter-continental on a normal airline, you've got vod above the tray table in coach for free. At the very least, you've got non-vod. This is just bs so AA can be cheapasses and not upgrade their planes and then charge you for the priviledge. (Any word on how much?) The headphones are very nice, though.
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