Orb App for the iPhone review
I’ve used Orb since v1 on the PC, and love it. I just dump my movies, videos, photos, music on my hard disc as normal, and then they’re available over the web if I so choose.
From the reviews, I was expecting nothing to work. But it does! I run the app, log in (only needed first time), and browse around my media looking for something to play.
The free version only shows you 3 items in any folder. Well, if you want, you could just have a max 3 items in any directory, and then you can watch everything using the free version. £5.99 isn’t worth rearranging your entire hard disc though, and the webcam still needs the paid version.
Once you hit play – then it plays! Now… Orb traditionally uses a web browser, and indeed you can just go to the iPhone Orb site and browse your collection through Safari. The only problem is, the Orb team have turned off transcoding to MP4 or whatever the native iPhone format is. So if your media is stored in iPhone format – you can just use the web client, and don’t need this app. But if you want your PC to transcode the media on the fly, you have to use this app to receive it. Maybe it’s how they raise funds to pay for the encoder on your PC.
Anyway… I tried playing 6 movies, and they all worked. Tried skipping position (which Orb on PC often used to fail on) – that worked. Stutter on one video, but another was fine. Overall, I’m pretty impressed.
Regards comments on quality and stuttering: I think that could be your slow DSL uplink speed. That’s always been the limiter for me, and it always goes via the Internet, even if you’re using it at home.
As for the TV card… Well, mine’s never worked with v2 of Orb server. I think that’s my old, dodgy tv card.
So… If you’re already an Orb user, then this iPhone version seems to work pretty well. If you’re new to Orb… Well, as a whole it can just be flakey, so try the free version, and if you don’t like it, try another product.
Footnote: OK, on my demo for the snapshots, the screen stayed fized after one skip while the audio continued. It’s not perfect… But it’s OK. However, I would note that almost no updates have happened in the past year. I suspect Orb are just scraping along, so perhaps look elsewhere for an app from a new, fresh company, if there is one.