Are there any scriptable digital picture frames?
May 23, 2008 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Hey Metafilter electronic hardware folks: I want to set up a digital picture frame that I can control via software on a Linux desktop to toggle between two different images on command. What should I buy?

Everything other than the basic idea is flexible: I want to hang a digital picture frame on my wall, and I want to control it via software so that I can run a program on my computer that will switch it from displaying one image to displaying another. I will know the images I want to switch between beforehand, so I just need to be able to send the frame a switch instruction (though I could certainly transmit the entire picture every time I switch if that makes things easier). I can connect the frame to the computer via USB or a network connection. There will be reliable access to wireless networking if that helps. I could probably even get the frame its own static IP address if that turned out to be what I needed.

My problem is that I know nothing about digital picture frames, so I don't really know what's out there that might do what I want, and product sheets for frames aren't much help for figuring out whether they'll work for my purposes. So, Mefi, what's out there that will do what I want? I'd prefer not to spend more than about $100, and I don't care about how much storage space the frame has (realistically I won't ever be storing more than a few pictures on it). Any ideas?
posted by jacobm to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't hang a Chumby on the wall, and it's a little small, but mine has been totally satisfying me as a picture frame. It will talk WiFi and just pull whatever kind of photostream you like - Flickr tags/user, some CGI you control, whatever you like. And it streams audio, can display a game of Life as a picture, play Flash games...sheesh - I don't mean to sound so Pepsi Blue about it. But it's been a great little gizmo.

The screen is small though - probably a little too much so to be a real feature of a room I guess.
posted by freebird at 11:18 PM on May 23, 2008

Well, you need to have access to the software inside the digital frame to switch the picture them. That may not be easy.

I think your best shot is to use an old laptop (or buy one at ebay) and turn it into one.
People have done that - just google "digital frame linux" ...
posted by m94402 at 11:33 PM on May 23, 2008

Since you will be displaying the images directly from a computer, just use a monitor. You can get a slightly used 15" LCD in that price range.
posted by kindall at 11:41 PM on May 23, 2008

Long-shot but might help: If what you want is really only to switch it from your computer desk, rather than necessarily using your computer, almost all digital frames come with a remote control that will do this from a distance.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:15 AM on May 24, 2008

I've been looking for an internet-addressable picture frame forever. Just give me an IP address and Linux, dammit.

No luck yet. I've resorted to cannibalizing cheap laptops, which is silly and wasteful.
posted by rokusan at 3:26 AM on May 24, 2008

There was a laptop-based Instructable posted yesterday that might give you some ideas.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:53 AM on May 24, 2008

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