A while back I looked at an impressive piece of software called SlingPlayer which basically allows you to watch videos stored on your hard drive, Sky Box or Tivo player anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet. As impressive as it was, it does require investment in a SlingBox attached to your media device so it doesn't come cheap. However, imagine if you could access literally all of your digital media and appliances at home while you are on the move - and not have to spend a cent. That's exactly what Orb offers - a simple but powerful freeware streaming software that enables users to remotely access all their personal digital media files including pictures, music, videos, webcams and television. The truly great thing is that it can be used from just about any device that has access to the internet including laptops, pocket PC, smartphones, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and video game consoles.
You simply have to sign-up for an Orb account and you can instantly access your digital devices remotely. All the available media on your device will be available for download with the use of a file explorer plug-in. Orb can be used as a replacement (a much simpler and more effective one too) for Microsoft's Windows Media Connect software for computers running Windows. So for example, you can use your PS3 or Xbox 360 to watch videos, audio, and images on any PC with the Orb installed. Orb transcodes the video files from the computer, including Windows Media Files, on the fly as as long as the computer running Orb has the correct codec.
Perhaps you want to watch TV on your smartphone? If your PC has a TV tuner, Orb can allow you to access it remotely from your phone and even control media devices such as Tivo's to access your saved recordings. The same goes for your webcam - you can use your webcam as a surveillance device and see exactly what's going on from your phone, laptop or any other mobile device simply by logging into Orb.
Finally, the Orb also allows you to share data without the need to install P2P software or upload it to another site. Simply select the files you want to share, enter the email address of the person that you want to share it with and they will receive a link providing access to the data whether it be films, music or pictures. Whether you're looking for a simpler way of sharing your data or ensuring that you can access your media at all time, the Orb is an impressive and powerful piece of software - and best of all it's completely free! Maybe it's time to sling away the SlingBox.