Now forget the transfer of large files on USB. With Orb, you can store
all your multimedia files on a PC and enjoy them on all your other
The computers are sold with hard drives with a capacity more than
comfortable. Indeed, 500 GB of storage is no longer luxury but almost a
standard. So its a big problem to keep everything in your PC: DivX
movies, videos or vacation photos, giant MP3 music library. To watch a
movie that is in the computer room on your laptop, you can of course
transfer it with a USB key or download the file directly by the system
of file sharing in Windows. But the manipulation is binding: it needs to
repeat the process for each file; it creates duplicates and clogging
the hard drive of each machine.
Make your PC a server
There is much more simple and effective option: keep files on one
computer, and broadcast directly to all the others, including consoles,
smartphones, etc. In clear terms, make your computer a "Broadcaster
content" from which, like a YouTube, you can watch your videos or listen
to your music online without having to download them. In addition, if
you want to go further, with good software, you can even share all files
on your computer and not just your music and video.
By default, Windows provides functions for remote access and sharing of
content. But, although with Windows 7 and Windows Media Player 11,
things had improved considerably and so it remains difficult to be able
to look absolutely all content on all types of devices (PC, smartphone,
console, TV or media gateway) using only Microsoft solutions. In the
similar way, iTunes can distribute the contents of its library to five
other computers, but do not have all the necessary flexibility.
The best part of this makes you enjoy all your multimedia content on
absolutely all your connected devices called Orb: a site and software
free and very easy to use. We reveal to you step by step implementation
and use of this magic tool.
And to really enjoy your music and videos throughout your home, we have
also selected a range of equipment dedicated to this purpose. Simply
follow throughout the guide.
What you need:
– Windows PC or Mac with minimum of 2 GHz processor
– 1 GB of RAM
– 40 MB hard disk space (100 MB additional to store temporary files)
– Windows XP (Service Pack 2 installed) or later, Mac OS X 10.5 and
– A connection to broadband Internet
Access your files from anywhere with Orb
Orb is software that is almost magical, ultra-simple to implement and it
provides an intuitive interface. And efficiency issue; it is simply
unmatched. Not only can it distribute multimedia content on any PC in
the house, but also on any other computer in the world! In addition,
many devices other than simple computers know how to connect to Orb:
box, consoles, smartphones, etc. Moreover, and this is not the least of
its advantages, this software and service associated with it are totally
free! It would be a shame to deprive them.
Step 1: Install Orb
Download Orb. The Orb20SetupUs.exe file then saves on your
hard drive. The software only works if you have an Orb account. But do
not worry; you can create an account automatically while installing the
program. Orb has thought of everything!
Start the installation by double-clicking the file Orb20SetupUs.exe. An
information window appears. It merely tells you what events will take
place afterwards. Click Next.
It is possible that your firewall prevents the proper functioning of
Orb. The firewall of Windows is running normally without any problem
with Orb. But if you have installed another by yourself, it is possible
that it seeks to block communications that attempts to Orb trying to
establish your home network and the Internet. To overcome this problem,
simply tell your firewall to permanently allow Orb to communicate on the
Internet. You will realize, as your firewall will certainly ask by
itself the question.
This is true for the firewall that is also good for the virus: it can
also decide to block the action of Orb. The window installation Orb
reminds you the same. And this is also when it appears that your
antivirus or firewall will ask you to intervene. Once that is resolved,
You will then create your Orb account directly from the installation
window. Enter the information requested, including a valid email address
on which you will be sent an email confirmation of account creation.
Note your nickname and password. Then click Next.
Orb takes care to verify that your installation allows many broadcast
and viewing of multimedia content. Click Next once completed this test.
Orb then proposes to configure your software to the broadcast on the TV
using a game console (Xbox 360 and PS3) or a media player. Whether or
not you have such a product, select Yes and click Next.
Then indicate how your appliances are connected to the network: by
Wi-Fi, by wired connection, or both. Choose the answer depending on your
configuration, and then click Next.
That’s it! You’ve done the hard part! Orb is now installed and should
work without any problem. By default, it has already been identified and
lists all the multimedia content (and more) of your computer, found in
the My Documents folder.
Step 2: Login to Orb
All management of Orb is online; the site is associated with the
software. To connect, simply launch a web browser (all browsers are
compatible with Orb) to the following address: http://mycast.orb.com.
On the page that appears, simply enter your nickname and password.
Please tick the boxes Remember me and Auto Login. Thus, you will be
automatically logged in the future by going to this address.
Click Sign In to start.
The page that opens is a bit like Netvibes, personalized portal. It’s
quite the spirit of Orb: your Orb MyCast page is now your portal,
totally customizable to your multimedia content and a little more as the
page loads of gadgets from the Internet, such as weather, photos from
sharing sites, etc.. By default, the page must be in English. If this is
not the case, click the very bottom right on the icon of the flag, then
select English drop-down list.
To play content: click on the Menu button located in the upper left. A
sub-menu appears displaying different types of content you can view
and/or listen and access the setup menu.
Click, for example, Video. The interface then changes quite
substantially to clone the classic appearance of a multimedia file
manager. Users of Roxio software, iTunes and even Windows Media Player
will not be disoriented. The left part is the list of folders and the
shortcuts available; in the central part appears the details on the
contents of the folder selected in the left list.
To play a video: just double-click on the desired file. A dialog opens
almost immediately, asking to open a file type .asx in the case of
videos. The video playback starts as soon as you have confirmed the
opening of the file. It’s your usual media player which then takes over:
Windows Media Player or VLC, for example.
To listen to music, the manipulation is similar, but you have to click
in the Orb Audio menu. All the files containing music and located by
default in the My Music folder of My Documents are available as well.
You can arrange them in Orb and create playlists by launching it with
double-click to listen to multiple albums at once.
Now you can, from any PC connected, start playback of multimedia files
contained on the hard drive of the PC on which you have installed Orb!
And it works even outside of your home from any Internet-connected PC.
The only constraint is that the computer that hosts the Orb software
stays on when attempting to access its contents.
Orb on your smartphone
There is a version of Orb software for most smartphones. Thus, on the
Apple AppStore, you will easily find the necessary application (OrbLive)
for the iPhone. For phones running the Android operating system, there
is also an AndrOrb application. Finally, Orb is also for Windows Mobile.
And in any case, you can always run the browser on your smartphone at http://test.orb.com to
verify its compatibility.
Orb alternatives: iTunes and Windows Media Player
The software from Apple or Microsoft, the two giants of the media
player, iTunes and Windows Media Player, also provides remote access to
their content. It is indeed quite possible to give access to your music
to five different computers on a home network with iTunes. Windows Media
Player, in the meanwhile, has a very simple function of sharing
content. In all cases, these functions are somewhat less intuitive and
efficient than Orb. In addition, the technology used by these software
is the same (protocol UPnP, that is, "Universal Plug and Play" which
allows devices, when connected, to be detected and automatically
configured on a LAN), and thus this may even conflict Windows Media
Player or iTunes since they have launched their function with file
sharing enabled and finally may damage the operation of Orb.
Orb contains many other features other than music and video; Orb is also
a gateway for direct access to Flash games, to news sites, to web
radio. You can even configure it to allow access to any file, whether
Word, Excel, etc. With the functions of photo-sharing, you can even take
your entire library from any computer. Orb is also developed to
broadcast television streaming: all you need is a tuner card on the PC
where Orb is installed. Alternatively, you can even broadcast your
webcam films. Feel free to go digging through menus and Orb options: it
contains numerous treasures.
Access movies and photos from your TV
Spreading the music and videos from your PC to your TV is possible,
thanks to the integrated UPnP TV converter that came with your box.
Unfortunately, it is not always activated. You can blame the
manufacturers (or ISP?) for that which "Resulted in limited" material
Some HDTVs "art" are equipped with Ethernet jack and have the logo (UPnP
or DLNA, that is "Digital Living Network Alliance"). They can then
access your local network and "talk" with other UPnP devices (including
your PC with Orb running in the background, for example). They can
therefore dispense with the decoder of the ISP. Warning, the tariffs are
high and, before buying, you should check if the integrated media
player to your TV is compatible with files that you store in your PC.
Till today does not yet have TV decoders equipped with software like
Media Center and able to decode the content stored on the PC. However,
some ISPs have clearly shown their intention to integrate this device
with their device. To keep track of the progress of these developments,
check with your ISP.
Access videos and music from your gaming consoles
The gaming consoles has become the latest, with the Orb software, of real
media servers to distribute your photos, videos and music on your TV,
hi-fi or home cinema. It must, first, connect to the Internet,
retrieving its WEP or WPA key, using different virtual keyboards.
With PlayStation 3
Launch internet from the PlayStation 3 interface and enter the address
mycast.orb.com. Then enter your username and password. Then you can have
access to multimedia files stored on your PC. There is yet another way
to use Orb with the PS3: click "Search for media servers" on the
interface of PlayStation.
The Orb icon appears in the categories music, photo and video. Clicking
on this icon gives access to files containing the files to distribute.
If the broadcast window is too small, press twice the right stick (R3)
To use Orb on the Wii, install the Internet Channel (it’s actually a
browser) available on the WiiWare online store. Launch the browser and,
in its Address Bar, enter the address mycast.orb.com with the help of
the keyboard. On the page that appears, enter the username and password
that you’ve associated with your Orb account. You now have access to
content from your PC. Remember that Orb has default content files stored
in Windows Libraries: images, music and videos located in the My
Documents folder. Anything outside of this folder can not be detected as
multimedia content. Finally, remember to leave the PC on.
With Xbox 360
In the Xbox 360 interface, go to the category My Xbox and select Music
Library, Library Images or Video Library. In the Source window that
opens, select the computer on which you have installed Orb. For PCs
running the Media Center from Microsoft (included in Windows Vista,
Windows 7 and very few Windows XP Media Center Edition), the console has
a function for direct connection to the software.
From the number of tools available on the Web, there are two excellent
software which were used to exploit the content of your. The first is TVersity, has a strong point: resizing videos for
optimal vision for the Wii. It is available for all game consoles,
including portables like the PSP, the iPhone, the BlackBerry Curve or
the Nokia tablet 770/N800. The second is Vuze. Its for fans of high resolution and its Media
Server function is designed for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Equipments designed for sharing multimedia content
In addition to the decoder box and TV, there is equipment exclusively
dedicated to the sharing of multimedia content, music or video,
The Micro Hi-Fi to stream Internet radio
If you are looking primarily for simplicity, why not offer the services
of a hi-fi system specially designed for use within a home network?
Several manufacturers have already taken the plunge and developed micro
Wi-Fi system which is able to connect to the PC. Philips offers its
channel with MCI500H, a good compromise between price and quality. Its
wireless capabilities allow it to give you access to Internet radio and
all the audio disc drive of your PC. To enjoy the benefits of this
network channel, you must use the PC side of the Philips software that
is provided. Its too bad in my opinion, and so we preferred Orb.
The AirPort system to create a Wi-Fi
In recent years, Apple has developed a small case, called AirPort
Express, powered by the electrical outlet and connects with an Ethernet
cable to your box. Compatible with Mac/PC, it can create a separate
Wi-Fi network from your box, but related and therefore useful if you
want to expand their scope. Finally, and importantly, there is a mini
jack that can connect to any analog audio amplifier to enjoy its entire
iTunes library anywhere in the house. Obviously, you can install as many
terminals as there are parts.
The multimedia gateways to make the connection between
These devices can make the link between the content stored on a PC and
the receiver of your choice. Two broad categories that market share are
with or without hard drive. The multimedia gateway that does not have is
the diffusion of the contents of the PC. One who holds may be used
along with a multimedia hard drive. The price range extends from 100 to
several hundred dollars depending on the size of the hard drive and
proposed functions (DTT tuner, DVR, etc.).
Among the models without a hard drive, Western Digital offers a housing
(WD TV Live HD Media Player) equipped with an Ethernet jack which
connects to your home network. Hence, it can identify image files; music
and videos stored on other networked devices (PCs, consoles, hard disk)
and diffuses them to a TV, a hi-fi, another PC with its output
adjusted. Its main strength lies in the multitude of audio and video
formats supported. Note that with its USB ports, it can easily be
transformed into multimedia hard drive with an external hard drive.
Among the models with hard disk, Wyplayer is equipped with a dual tuner
TNT HD, and especially, it can connect to your Ethernet network or
Wi-Fi. Note that it can be purchased "raw" or with a hard disk drive
(several capacities are available).
The Wi-Fi radios to stream music files from your PC
Among the wide range of audio products available using Wi-Fi to connect
to the Internet, there is Wi-Fi radios and they have two functions:
broadcast web radio or broadcast content, exclusively musical, of a PC.
The Philips Streamium range includes three devices, all of which can
retrieve music stored on your PC, including the NP 2900. The Logitech
has also developed its range of music players in wireless, including the
Squeezebox. There’s something for everyone: a simple Wi-Fi "radio" to
put on the shelf of your kitchen to the gateway for digital music