Hung Truong: The Blog!

Orb + EVDO = Awesome!

May 20, 2007 | 1 Minute Read


I had heard about this Orb thing a while ago. It’s this program you install that acts as a sort of proxy where you can get your computer to convert and stream on demand any media that’s sitting on it. I originally had no interest in it, since when I’m away from home, I have my laptop which can provide me with videos and audio and whatnot.

Just recently, I got a Motorola Q and I’ve been trying to figure out what new cool things I can do with it since it’s a smartphone. Revisiting Orb, the possibilities look promising.

I just installed Orb on my computer. Basically, Orb connects with a central server. From a website, you can log in and “request” the media that’s sitting on your home computer. When you “request” something, the local program will start encoding the media at a decent bitrate and stream it to you over the web. It’s pretty cool, actually.

When I used my phone to try and grab stuff, videos were a bit low (my phone only gets like 78kbs in Albuquerque), but audio was ok. When I move to Ann Arbor, the bitrate should improve by a lot, since there’s EVDO coverage there. When I plugged my phone into the computer and used the local connection, the videos were surprisingly high quality. It was really cool watching a video on my phone like that.

I probably won’t use it much while I’m here, but once I get to Ann Arbor I’d like to test the feasibility of watching tv shows on my phone from anywhere.

There is an issue of privacy since you allow the Orb software to index all of the files on your computer and list them online (it’s password protected). The privacy terms seem okay though. I’d prefer a totally direct method of connection though, instead of relying on Orb to keep my privacy. Not that I’m doing anything illegal. It’s the principal of the thing.