Several months ago, I started playing around with software called Orb. Orb is meant to run in your home, on the computer you store your media (think your music files) on.
Orb allows you to access your music and video files from anywhere on the internet. Orb Networks software, running on your home computer, talks to the main Orb web site. When you are away from home, you go to the Orb site and log in. Orb then connects you directly to your home computer and allows you to stream the media.
Basically, you can listen to your music and watch your videos from anywhere.
So if I get a hankering for the Beastie Boys, I just log in and decide which album to play.
Or, if I'm looking for something more specific, you can search. In this case, I did a search on the word 'baby'.
There's a ton more you can do with Orb if you use all the features. With a TV tuner card, you can watch TV remotely ala Slingbox. You can look at photos and even access you content via things like a PSP.
There are a few limitations. The quality of playback is directly tied to your upload bandwidth. The wider your pipe, the better quality the streams. You need to leave your computer running all the time, not a problem if you have a media server already, but for some a concern. Lastly, Orb seemed to crash a bit. You have the capability to restart Orb remotely, but it shouldn't crash so often that it's noticeable.
Orb is windows only, so Mac users are SOL. Too bad really. Any integration of Orb & iTunes would be pretty neat for getting at all that iTunes music you bought.
I think Orb is a great product and points to the future where access to media you own will be available anywhere on any device.Posted by michael at May 24, 2006 11:46 PM