[Review] OrbLive [3/14/2010]
For this App Review we will be looking at Orb
OrbLive is a media streaming app. With this app you can stream music, videos, documents, images, webcam feed, and Live TV.
- Webcam Feed
- Live TV
I know how exciting that all sounds! Lets get started.
When you first open OrbLive you will be treated to a green Orb and a connecting to server message. If you have not logged in yet, it will prompt you to put in your login information.
Once Orb has connected, the first screen you will see is the Video library. You can sift through your videos in a few different ways.
- All Video
- Online Videos
For browsing through videos I have, I tend to use folders. Makes it easy for my to find what I'm looking for. Now, I must say that the reason the only thing showing on my phone is Top Gear. This is because I just formatted and haven't hooked anything up yet. I just threw them on for this here article.
Once you tap the folder you want, it will provide you with (in this case) episode names, and thumbnails.
As you can see in the screen shot above, once you tap the video, it will show you a little loading icon over the thumbnail. If you tap the + icon beside the video, it will add it to a playlist.
I couldn't seem to get the video to fit the screen, and there was some bad compression every so often. But, it works! Did I also mention is will stream HD content? It does! It will stream any media content in a format that your phone can play. Also, if you are watching a video and want to go browse through the list and maybe add another to the playlist, it will keep streaming. You can see the live stream in the top right corner as you browse.
Next we will take a look at music. The categories for music are
- All Songs
I like going to the Artist view so I can select a specific song. Once you tap the artist of your choice, it will give you a list of their songs.
Once you select a song, it will show you another view. In this view you will have media controls, and the ability to view the album art. As you can see, the whole layout of this program is ported from it's iPhone counter part. More on that later.
You also have playlist control. You can edit, save, and clear the current playlist.
Next is images! When you select images you will be presented with the following options.
- All Photos
I tend to use the folders view because it gives me a good look at my groups of images.
After selecting the folder I wanted it will give you a grid view of thumbnails. You can tap shuffle to view a slideshow of the images. While in the slideshow you can also save the images to your phone. Or you can tap the image you want to view it.
Webcam time! Orb has a very cool function, the ability to turn on your webcam and stream live video and audio from it. This works well if you want to check up on your computer while away from home.
Under the video tab, you will have an option for Webcam. When you tap this it will give you a list of available webcams. Once you select the one you want, a live feed will show up. Here are some screenshots.
And last but not least: Live T.V.! This optino will only work if you have a compatible t.v. tuner hooked up to the computer that Orb is installed on. I unfortunately, do not. But I do know that the option works, and it works quit well.
Before I wrap this up, some things need to be addressed. Orb is clearly just ported from their iPhone counterpart. This hurts the experience because you can't have Orb runing in the background while streaming anything. I wouldn't expect it to stream some video in the background, but Music would be nice. The interface also falls short on the fact that it is a direct port. It would be nice for it to take advantage of the physical buttons on the phone.
Orb is $9.99 on the market. There is also a free trial version to try before you buy.
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