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Orb

CNET Editors' review

This is not a flashback to the chart-defying tricks of ambient house music progenitors The Orb, although if you have their music you can use this Orb to play it anywhere. No, this Orb melds module-based personal portals with your hard drive's media content and lets you stream it to almost any Internet-connected handheld device.

The setup will probably be challenging to users who aren't familiar with how to open ports, but, fortunately, there's plenty of help in Orb's user forums. Once you're good to go, the program launches in your browser and you can choose whether you want your video module to be front and center, how wide your music module should be, and if you really need yet another weather widget.

Uploading your media files is a time-consuming and tedious process that could be greatly improved upon. After that, you can "MyCast" them. MyCasting is what Orb's publisher calls Webcasting when done with its program. If your home PC has coaxial access, you can stream television, as well as photos, video files, and music.

By circumventing the need to reload media files on a second machine and having the handheld connection, Orb seems pretty nifty. The system requirements, though, are stringent, and the upload process is slow-going, making this a useful product with room for improvement.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.4 stars

    out of 22 votes

    • 5 star: 11
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 8
  • Current version:

    4.0 stars

    out of 1 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

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Results 1-1 of 1

  • 4.0 stars

    "Patience has its virtues."

    March 12, 2009  |   By MCFrasher

    Version: Orb 2.01.0026

    Pros

    Works well, most of the time.

    Cons

    Can be flaky, especially after windows updates.

    Summary

    I've been an Orb user for years. I used to stream to my laptop. Now I stream live tv and video from my home PCs (I have two accounts) to my ipod touch with OrbLive installed ($9.99 in the app store). Overall, I love this service. It is cheaper than the alternative of buying fancy hardware and waiting for software to become available for the iphone/touch (eg. Slingbox). It is flaky. I have issues every four or five weeks where my program will no longer launch on my PCs, my program guide disappears etc. I usually have to do a complete uninstall and then download the latest version of the software and reinstall. Sometime it is days before I can get things to work. You get what you pay for (nothing to $9.99 to install app on iphone/touch). But overall, Orb is a great service and they always seem to get things straightened out within a matter of days when there are issues.

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