How to Print with Pictbridge
January 30, 2007 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Printing from my computer to a pictbridge-only photo printer

For Christmas I received a Polaroid P310 Photo Printer with Pictbridge. The only input is a USB port; the printer is designed to print only from a Pictbridge-enabled digital camera.

I'm curious as to whether this device can be hacked to print from my computer? I would like to modify photos before I print them.
posted by jefficator to Technology (3 answers total)
USB is not a symmetric protocol. A USB Host, such as a computer, does not have the same wiring or behave the same way as a USB Device. USB Hosts are designed to talk to one or more USB Devices. USB Devices are designed to talk to one USB Host. USB Hosts are not designed to talk amongst themselves. Neither are USB Devices.

USB printers and USB-capable cameras are both generally USB Devices, allowing them to plug directly into computers, which are USB Hosts. Your P310 printer is a USB Host, like your computer, which is why it's able to plug directly into the camera.

To make two USB hosts talk to each other, you'd need a third piece of hardware in between that looks like a USB Device from each of the connected hosts' point of view. Such things do exist, to allow you to transfer files from one computer to another over USB cables, but AFAIK there isn't one available that understands both sides of the PictBridge protocol. Even if there were, it would likely cost you more than a standard photo inkjet printer of comparable quality to the P310.
posted by flabdablet at 10:08 PM on January 30, 2007

You could probably modify the photos, put the pictures back on the memory card with the same filename, put the memory card back in your camera, and print them.
posted by helios at 12:54 AM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

ditto helios. Connect the camera/card to your computer, access the photos, edit the photos, put photos back on camera/card, connect camera to printer, print edited photos.
posted by pmbuko at 4:38 AM on January 31, 2007

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