Useable wireless photo frame to stream RSS Flickr stream?
March 30, 2009 8:02 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to post pictures to flickr or similar, and pull in the RSS feed of the photos I post with a photo frame I hope to give my parents.

I've searched this and other forums, and have not found any solid recommendations so far. My parents will be retiring soon, and will be getting broadband access for the first time in their lives. We live several hours away, and it would be great to send them pictures an a routine basis. We already do the snapfish thing, and they love getting the prints from that service, but it would be nice to have a digital frame update wirelessly.

I've read poor reviews on Momento, and am also not interested in paying a subscription fee, as withe Ceivo.

If anyone has successfully set up something like this for their relatives, your tips are sincerely appreciated. I can set the frame up in my parents' house this summer, I'd just like it to work without too much problem once it is set up.
posted by cahlers to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have a frame that does just this - the Kodak W1020 (or W820 for a more affordable option).

Once you've set it up on your home network you can tell it where to get photos from - its internal memory, an SD card, or one of a few internet sources. It has especially easy support for Flickr feeds, but you can set it to retrieve photos from an arbitrary RSS feed that you set up. I've done this to combine a few different photo RSS feeds using Yahoo Pipes and set the frame to download from the resulting feed.

So far (I've had it a few months) it's worked brilliantly and the best thing is that it just works (once you've set it up!). The picture quality is good, it's only if you look at it up close that slight blotchiness is noticeable. And you can set a timer for it to turn on and off each day, so you don't even have to do that manually.

The only downside really, and you'll note this from other reviews online, is the clunky Kodak software you have to use to set up the feed. It's not too bad though, and you should only have to use it once.
posted by bent back tulips at 9:00 AM on March 30, 2009 [4 favorites]

bent back tulips, thanks. Do I need a PC to stream a flickr feed to the frame? Do I need to use a PC to set up the frame initially? My parents and I both have Macs.
posted by cahlers at 9:31 AM on March 30, 2009

From Amazon reviews of those products, it looks like there is Mac software available from Kodak's website, but not included with the frame initially.
posted by kingbenny at 9:49 AM on March 30, 2009

Thanks, the website describes how to log onto the frame from a mac - no need for software installation.
posted by cahlers at 9:49 AM on March 30, 2009

I had the same thought when I moved out of my home state a few months ago. Rather than going with a frame, I got my mom a Chumby (I admit that my desire to play with one may have played a role in this decision). There's a free widget that pulls photos from my Flickr account, and it also has some other nice/amusing features - e.g. I set it up so that it displays a dim clock at night, then switches to alternating between a bright clock and a weather forecast from the time she wakes up until about 11am, when it switches over to her channel full of amusing stuff (like the Abe Vigoda tracker).

Much to my surprise, my mom (mid-fifties, tech-hopeless until the last year despite a decade of my coaching) LOVES IT. The web interface for adding and removing widgets is easy enough for her (although the alarm/channel-changing stuff I set up is a bit too difficult), it's got a nice mix of whimsical and functional widgets, and it's sort of cuddly. "Chumbelina" is currently offline due to her broadband company's goons messing up her router configuration, and she really misses it. The need for steady WiFi is the main caveat - but you'd have that problem with any of these things. The Chumby is subscription-free, open-source, and so far hasn't given me any problems itself.

It's not the sort of thing most people would want sitting on their mantles, but she adores it. It's an option worth considering.
posted by McBearclaw at 11:42 AM on March 30, 2009

I'm aware of the chumby, but the screen is too small and my parents would not play with it enough to justify its cost.
posted by cahlers at 11:44 AM on March 30, 2009

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