Feeds

Orb opens up iPhone

Placeshifting comes home

Boost IT visibility and business value

Exclusive Orb is expected to announce that it's supporting Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch in the next few days. Orb provides access to your playlists and songs on your home PC (as well as photos, videos and TV) from anywhere. It's Sling without the hardware, with many users simply using it to access their home music collections at work.

On the iPhone and Touch, Orb is accessed through the browser. It wasn't as straightforward as that, however, since Apple stealthily blocks applications that use RTSP, the standard mobile streaming protocol. It will deliver your streams in MP4 instead. And this is what it looks like.

Orb on an iPhone

Orb: playing a tune

And here's the iPhone/Touch accessing the latest, Orb-powered version WinAmp. This version, which hasn't really been trumpeted, turns your home media player into a very limited kind of on-demand radio station for friends.

Orb on the iPhone: into WinAmp

Orb on the iPhone: into WinAmp

With the iPhone, you can send a link to friends in an SMS chat session, which is how you play a song you just bought - but don't have on you - to a friend:

Orb streaming links embedded into an SMS chat

Orb streaming links embedded into an SMS chat

There's also a YouTube video here.

Why is this stealthy software company so significant? Well, for starters, it provides the kind of obvious-in-hindsight service that IP protocols are all about. Can you imagine a telco waking up one morning, thinking: "I know, let's give subscribers access to their home music collections - and charge nothing for it!"

"Place-shifting" offers an interesting contrast to the two great hypes du jour: User Generated Content with its mantra of "the user is in control", and "Software as a Service" (SaaS). Both have a grain of truth about them, but supporters to tend to miss the barn door by a mile.

There is NO media revolution from videos of cats falling down stairs: we do expect greater control of, and access to media we've already bought, however.

Similarly, SaaS is (again) being touted as the biggest revolution since Edison, but it's hard to envisage cheap local processing power disappearing when we have so much digital media to manipulate and juggle. What some SaaS services share with placeshifting services like Orb is that where the media resides just matters a lot less. As long as you can get to your spreadsheet/playlist, you worry less about carrying it with you.

But you knew all that already. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.