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Orb Seems to Be Improving

April 19, 2008

I was on vacation this past week and used Orb to listen to new podcasts that arrived on our home server in my absence.

I discovered that Orb has made some improvements that make it work much better with my HTC Mogul phone using the native Windows Media Player:

  • I can now use the Windows Media Player in Windows Mobile 6 to skip forward in the track I am listening to. Previously this had required two tries at playing the tack after the advance each time I wanted to do this. This capability comes in handy when listening to a podcast that I had to previously stop in the middle of.
  • If a streaming file stops, I can just hit Pause, then Play on Windows Media Player and the file picks up where it left off (actually a little behind) after rebuffering. This is much more convenient that having to go back to the Orb page in Pocket Internet Explorer and click on "resume stream" (which might well have been on a different page.
  • Orb remembers the bitrate I like to stream playback so I no longer need to manually set that (or wait for Orb to test bandwidth with each playback).

Lastly, this isn’t really an Orb improvement (at least I suspect not), but with EVDO Rev A, audio files are much more likely to stream without incident on my 35 minute commute. Previously, I could count on at least one time when I would have to spend about 5 minutes restarting the stream from where I was in a podcast because of network issues.

This new convenience of Orb will probably lead me to sync podcasts less to the the MicroSD card in my phone and rely more on Orb.

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