Feeds

Orb opens up iPhone

Placeshifting comes home

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.