Streaming music from a computer to all manner of home audio devices is an area Sonos, Logitech, and Apple have been competing in for years. The recently-released MP-1 music player from Orb, though, is a surprise contender that can perform a host of streaming duties for less than $70. Like the competition, it works by connecting to a powered audio device via an in-line jack, and can play music stored locally, on a network, or from services like Pandora when streamed over 802.11b/g/n WiFi through its companion Orb Caster media server software. To sweeten the package, the company is also throwing in their Orb Controller app for iOS devices -- which normally costs $10 -- for a low price of free, and apparently has plans to release an Android version of the remote sometime in the near future. Sure, it's a little strange for us to see a company known for their free media streaming software jump in the hardware game so abruptly, but the MP-1's mixture of functionality for the price is a pretty enticing first step. Plus, if the move ignites a price war to the bottom with the aforementioned competition, who are we to complain?

[Thanks, Tom]