OrbLive Media Streamer for iPhone

Orb Networks has officially announced the availability of their OrbLive 2.0 app for iPhone/iPod touch.

OrbLive enables users to stream media content from their computer — music, internet radio stations, videos, photos, webcam streams, and even live TV (with a TV Tuner) — to their touch device over Wi-Fi and 2G/3G cellular networks. Working in conjunction with a free Windows PC application, OrbLive removes the limitations of hard drive capacities and by utilizing Orb’s “powerful networking capabilities” allows users access to their entire media library anywhere they can connect to the internet. The app also gives users the ability to preview all their Office documents (docs, xls, pdf, ppt, txt file formats are all supported). However, it should be noted that since OrbLive is dependent on the server application to be running, users will have to launch Boot Camp or their choice of virtualization software to make use of the app on their device, though Orb did say they are working on a OS X and Linux version.

Originally released as a jailbreak app, OrbLive 2.0, with the advent of the App Store, brings the myriad of streaming options to those uninterested in jailbreaking their device. The app is available now in two flavors, the full version for $9.99 and a free version that limits you to three randomly selected files of each media type, but beyond that neither require any recurring service fees.

In my brief testing of the application, it worked exactly as advertised and allowed me access to all the media files from my WinXP partition with just a few clicks. The video streaming, though, left a lot to be desired, even over a local Wi-Fi network as it appears to be transcoded and thus was severely pixelated at times. You also couldn’t fast-foward/rewind. However, despite these minor quibbles, OrbLive is a boon to those with large media libraries, those indecisive about what to sync, and of course those that interested in watching live TV on their touch device.

For additional reading about OrbLive, be sure to check jkOnTheRun’s coverage.