Orb MyCasting - Confused! Complicated!

Orb Networks recently released their free MyCasting service, that allow you to watch videos from Youtube, Google, Daily Motion etc on your Mobile or PDA or any device that has a browser and media player. 

Orb MyCasting makes it possible for people to organize, enjoy and share their videos, music, photos, TV, documents and other digital media when (time) and where (place) they want it, using the devices – be it a mobile phone, PDA or laptop – that they already own. Source: RELEASE: Orb Networks takes YouTube, other sites, mobile with Orb MyCasting - FierceWireless

I was quite thrilled to know about the service. The service optimizes the content for your mobile for better experience and data transfer. But the architecture of the whole service is quite baffling. I didn't quite understand why?

For the service to work, you must have an 'Always On' PC at home. It must be always ON and connected to internet. Infact, your PC will act as your broadcasting station, in other words manage and create media streams for you. When you access your media channel from your mobile, infact you are connected to your PC at home to receive the stream.  Your PC at home acts a webserver for media stream. Now this is not quite impressive. I do not have a rugged desktop. I have run my $1400 laptop non-stop to use the service. Doesn't make sense to me.

Orb Networks should have provided a network based solution instead. It would have been much cleaner and simpler to use. No installations required. You login and manage what kind of channels you need. Streams are created on the server and when you access you receive the content from the server. Obviously, on the server side it is not required to duplicate streams or content. The same stream can be delivered to more than one user. It looks like, Orb Networks is scared of bandwidth costs it might end up paying.  Or is there any other not-so-obvious engineering reason to adopt this kind of an adhoc architecture.

I have another question, whether it is legal to take a video on MyTube and convert it into a different format (size,bitrate,...) to fit into mobile devices?

(Updated again on 11/19/2006) : While Orb opens up a great new opportunity to access all the media that you already own on your Mobile phone, the solution relies on the fact that “you must run your home PC always ON”. This is a serious trouble for people who only own a laptop or two. And if you want to share a clip on your channel with your collegues/friends, your laptop will either die due to the traffic or you can not work on it while the clip is being accessed.

Watching video clips is my main reason to use Orb. I believe if YouTube opens up for Mobiles with optimized content, I don’t see value in Orb Mycasting. Music and Photos streaming to your Mobile, is not for me. I don’t see any need for it. If some one want to listen to music on their mobile, by streaming, god bless the cellphone and its battery.

[tags]orb, mycasting, mobile-applications, mobile-video, mobile-life-style, cellular-life-style[/tags]

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