The long wait for a Mac version of Orb is over. Orb today announced a Mac client with support for OS X 10.5 and up. The free application streams media, a live view from a webcam feed — hello kitties on my iSight? — and stored photos or video to practically any device. Orb does this over a web connection, so you can listen to DRM-free iTunes music on a non-Apple handset, for example.
“The free Orb application and service enable the streaming of any media type from computers running Windows or the Mac OS, to any other Internet-connected device including laptops, mobile phones, and even TVs connected to a game console. Users can enjoy all their music, photos, video and webcams anywhere, anytime, without first having to download content before they leave the house, or upload anything to the cloud. All media stays on the computer and is streamed directly to the remote device. Unlike other mobile services that ‘trick’ iTunes into downloading titles to non-Apple devices, Orb for Mac simply streams the content over the Internet.”
I’ve used Orb since 2005, and it’s a solid product for those on the go. My most current usage is to stream music from my Windows Home Server directly to my iPhone and Palm Pre, but it can be handy for many other situations as well. In the past, I was streaming recorded television content from a Windows Media Center computer over the web. Orb says that there’s no television tuner support in this first version, but it plans to add such functionality in a future version. I’ll definitely have to look into the webcam bit because the Orb press release says it can stream from a “webcam feed in iTunes.” Last I checked, my cats didn’t have a webcam feed in iTunes, but maybe I can set one up for them so I can spy on them. You can grab the download here, even if you don’t have a webcam feed. ;)