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The whole reason most of us have smartphones in the first place is the constant ... Smartphone Reviews forum

  1. #1
    MStrawder's Avatar
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    Orb

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    The whole reason most of us have smartphones in the first place is the constant connectivity they give us to our family, friends, offices, etc. With the 'mobile office' becoming the buzzword in businesses, it is even more important that users be able to access their files anytime, anywhere. Then there's those of us with a Blockbuster or iTunes store worth of media saved on our PC's that we want to be able to access anytime, anywhere. Either of these feats is easily accomplished with a web-based service called Orb.

    Owned an operated by Orb Networks, the service allows users to access the files on their PC from anywhere in the world, including their mobile devices. Best of all, it's free. Did I mention it can grab your favorite RSS feeds and stream live TV too (hardware dependent)? Well, it can. The setup is incredibly simple. Download the client, create an account, specify the folders and type of media you want to access, and login to your account from anywhere to stream your content. I think that adds up to about 4 steps total to be able to grab important office documents anytime or access your MP3 library on your mobile device.

    The service features a fully customizable homepage (pictured below). From here you can select quick previews of your photos, videos, music, documents, and live TV, or go straight to a specific category and view all of your content. It's movable, scalable, and best of all, it's your choice what you want to see.


    Once in your music/video browser, you can create and edit playlists, select indvidual media to stream, and organize your collection for faster viewing, all with simple point and click. Sort your media by artist, genre, rating, and view thumbnails or a 'list' view for a more in-depth experience. Have a favorite internet radio station? Create a custom channel in your audio profile and listen to it anytime, anywhere. Have a favorite internet program that comes on when you're at work? Not a problem with Orb. Simply set up a timer and Orb will record it for you for playback on your schedule.


    The best part about the Orb service, other then being free (think I mentioned that), is that being web-based means there are no extra applications to download onto your device. In simplest terms, that means it will work with virtually any mobile device with a web connection. Pictured below are screenshots of the mobile version on the iPhone's Safari Browser and the mobile page seen by most other devices. Both allow full access to the wide variety of Orb's features and are as user-friendly as the standard homepage.

    Orb really wants you to get the most out of your browsing experience and to do that, they offer a high level of customization. Particularly in the format the media is streamed in and the overall quality. By default, Orb performs a bandwidth test before you begin streaming to ensure smooth, seamless playback of your media. If you find you're still getting choppy playback after the test determines a streaming speed, you can set the speed limit manually. Also included is the ability to change the streaming format. Choose from 5 different formats including .asx, .sdp, .3gp, .pls, and Flash. A wide range of choices to fit nearly any device.

    So for a quick recap, you'll need to download and install the client on the PC containing the media/documents you want to access. Login to MyCast. Enjoy. It really is quite that simple. I do feel I should mention that when accessing documents on a BlackBerry device you are not able to simply open them through the interface. You'll have to save them to the device to open. Also, the playlist feature does not allow you to scroll through the songs in mobile view. Rather it grabs the contents of the playlist and sends them as one large stream. Those points aside, I cannot recommend a better mobile media browsing application that provides the level of customization that Orb does. Especially for the price tag of $0.

    Check out more details at Orb's website or grab the client here.
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  2. #2
    Capdot's Avatar
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    Good product here. I've been using it for months.
    BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.247 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102

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    BlackBerry8900/4.6.1.231 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102

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    Great review MS....will check it out.
    BlackBerry8900/4.6.1.231 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102

  5. #5
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    ive been using this product for a couple of months its flipping awesome, dont have to waste space on my iphone with videos and music.
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    I will have to check this out!
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  7. #7
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    great app... if you want to call it that.

  8. #8
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    Ive been using the version of orb thats attached to winamp remote for years. Its really kewl
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    Glad to hear so many people have used this service and enjoy it. I was reading several articles the other day about web-based storage and remote access becoming a big market in the business world and thought that the average user could benefit from it too, just for entertainment rather then document retrieval. I've been using the service for almost a year now and have really loved it. It gives me full access to my media library without the need for an insanely large sd card, converting movies, and/or picking what I want to take with me.
    "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure" ~ Marianne Williamson
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