Orb Passes 1 Million Users As ABI Argues Against Media Barriers

Orb Networks said it has surpassed 1 million users registered for its MyCasting software, which allows them to stream digital media from the Internet and computers to any remote device that has a media player and Internet access--whether another computer or laptop, PDA, mobile phone or connected game console.

Orb's announcement came on the same day that ABI Research released a white paper, "Digital Content Unleashed," that examines the need for breaking down barriers in consumers' use of digital media.

"Orb's surpassing of the 1 million download mark shows that an increasing number of consumers are looking to eliminate restrictions in where and when they watch their content," said ABI Research Director Michael Wolf.

ABI pointed to Apple's iPod/iTunes pairing as another example--and the "most obvious"--of a company that has created solutions that help consumers access and manage the wide variety of content at their disposal.

But, Wolf noted, "while the convergence of different networks, the enabling of networked and broadband consumer electronics devices, and the vast array of content available to buyers, are all creating a new generation of empowered consumers, many are having a difficult time accessing and managing this content in any cohesive way.

"Over time, enabling the transition to a seamless digital media experience over open networks will ultimately benefit media companies as much as it will assist consumers."

Orb first released its software two years ago. Since then, it has served up 55.81 million media streams since then, and seems to have a large following among heavy metal fans--with Metallica, Pink Floyd and Linkin Park being the three artists streamed the most. But the Beatles, who still can't be legally downloaded, came in at fourth place.

TV streams have been led by sports (Major League Baseball and Sportscenter), followed by news/information (CNN Newsroom, "CNN Headline News," "Today Show"), and then popular TV shows ("Seinfeld," "Mythbusters" and "Scrubs").