Installing Orb was just as simple, and I didn’t even have to register for a new account! The account I registered for Winamp Remote was also valid for MyCast – due to them using the same servers. On installation, I became instantly aware that MyCast offered more features besides streaming audio.
Instead of being welcomed with your selection of music, MyCast has a general start page, where it presents you with a selection of random songs and pictures, favourite videos, a TV programme guide and even the weather report. This is just a taster of what you can do, as it is quite customisable.
Once inside the media library, things look quite similar to Winamp Remote. But instantly, we see that you can also stream videos. I tested this with several different video types and qualities and was really impressed. Just like Winamp Remote, it detected the bandwidth available and encoded it at a bit rate that my Internet connection could handle
It even took a 1080i HD media file, and transcoded it on the fly. Doing this, used 66 per cent of the FX62 CPU we had installed. That’s very impressive indeed.
And of course, if you want to, you can download or upload files directly to and from your “server”.
As it stands, there are no Mac or Linux versions of Orb, which is disappointing and obviously to use this you will have to keep your computer on all the time (or at least when you want to access it). If you have a dynamic IP address, this poses no problem and the only details you have to remember is your MyCast username and password.
If you’re only interested in streaming Audio, Winamp Remote is tailored exactly for that – cutting out all of the stuff you don’t need and making it look and feel as much like using Winamp as possible.
However, Orb is everything that Winamp Remote is and more. Streaming Audio, Video, Documents and even working side by side with a TV tuner. This is truly impressive software with more features than I’ve had a chance to test. The possibilities are endless and not only that, but it’s completely free to use.
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