I’ve suffered much when it comes to digital photo frames. I purchased a number of frames from multiple manufacturers for members of my family with the expectation that I would, for time immemorial, email said frames images, thus allowing family members the opportunity to see new photos without having to drag them over from the computer. Alas and alack each one of these frames (Damn you, SmartParts!) has failed and their attendant services have gone out of business.
I’m an optimistic fellow, however, and they say digital picture frame usage after being burned by picture frames in the past is a triumph of hope over experience. Well fool me again, picture frames, because I’m going to talk about the eMotion Social-Connect Digital Photo Frame with LifeGoRound.
This is a bog standard, $149 photo frame with 8-inch screen and 800×600 resolution. It has 512MB internal memory and supports 802.11g WiFi. Nothing amazing, right? Well, this picture frame imports your images from your Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa feed. You’ve even got a little Twitter and YouTube in there, as well. It uses something called LifeGoRound and works fairly well. First, we present a video by the inimitable founder of the company, Norm Levy, who apparently hasn’t been paying attention to anything Truffaut wrote about raising tension in film.
Yeah, pretty basic stuff. I set this frame up in a few minutes and was browsing my media a minute or so after that. I was able to feed a collection of almost all of my Facebook images to the frame immediately and, most important, I didn’t have to show my mom how to use it. This is, friends, high praise for a picture frame.
Can I absolutely recommend it over other frames? No. There are better-looking frames out there, including some from Kodak. However, if you want fire-and-forget updating for a loved one who may not know how to update their own picture frame, this is definitely something to look into.
While I’m sure Mr. Levy’s company will be around until the FSM returns to Earth to judge the wicked, I cannot recommend any photo frame married to a web-based service unequivocally. I’ll already experienced two photo frame flame-outs and there are doubtless more on the way. My hope is that this one will stick around because I don’t want to have to ship my mom another frame.
Photo frame manufacturers take note: Build a photo frame with a built in POP client and web presence with dynamic DNS support – essentially a postfix and apache instance on a small board – and the world will beat a path to your door.
Norm has been kind enough to offer three of these as give aways for our Gift Guide so you, the reader, can judge for yourself the suitability of said frames to your needs. Feel free to comment below and we’ll pick three lucky winners on Monday.