phling! (phling.com, phling.mobi) is a service that gives you access to the music, podcasts, and pictures stored on your PC and allows you to share them with up to six friends. It’s a lot like a mobile-only, audio and images-only version of Orb.
To use phling! you need to download an application to your PC (Windows XP only, Vista “coming soon”, Windows Media Player 10 or later required). On the mobile side you can use the phling! mobile website or a downloadable player application which is available for many devices including Symbian S60 and many recent Sony Ericsson and Nokia S40 phones.
I tried the mobile web version of phling! and found it generally worked well. By default it lets you view the the contents of the My Music and My Pictures folders on your PC, although you can change which folders are available using the the PC app. Click the name of a song to stream it though your phone’s media player. There is also a “Shuffle Play All” option. phling! can handle MP3, DRM-free M4A (iTunes/Quicktime) and WMA (Windows Media with or without DRM) audio and .jpg images.
The phling! PC app runs as a background service on your PC. With the basic setup you can only access your music if your PC is powered up, connected to the internet and not “sleeping”. phling! recently launched a new feature called MusicStash that lets you store up to to 4GB in the cloud with phling!. The music in your MusicStash can be played even when your PC is off.
phling! has a “Free Music” section where you can listen to tracks uploaded by musician’s participating in phling!’s Mobile Music Promotion program. Artists also get personal page where their fans can sign up to recieve promotional messages such as announcements of new releases or concerts from the band or artist.
So between Orb and phling! which should you use? For video it’s no contest as phling! doesn’t do video. If your PC is running Vista it’s also Orb for you as phling! doesn’t support it yet. But if you are still running XP, I think phling! has the edge for music. Orb has nothing comparable to MusicStash, your PC must always be on to use Orb on your phone. I also found the phling! mobile web site much more responsive and slightly easier to navigate than Orb’s. I didn’t try the phling! app but theoretically at least it should provide an even better user experience.
Like Orb, phling! is free. However, if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, streaming audio to your phone can get VERY expensive. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 3 “Fair”
Mobile Link: phling.mobi