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Being the middle child is never easy, and Philips certainly doesn't make it easy for the Aria sitting between its GoGear brothers; the slightly cheaper Vibe and the slightly more expensive Opus. Not only does the Aria need to stand out amongst members of its own family, but also from the Jonses next-door, in this case, the ever-popular .
Apple's push into video with its Nano range has forced other companies to follow suit. The Philips Aria sports a 2-inch display and is capable of playing SMV video files, and if you haven't heard of this extension before don't be alarmed, it is a very obscure video codec. This means you likely have to re-encode all of your previously collected video materials using the re-encoding software bundled with the player. We tested the software with a 4.5-minute MP4 file and the re-encoding process took almost twice as long.