Flickr on my photo frame Part 3

The long running saga of getting my Flickr photos on my photo frame finally leads to a result.

As I predicted in ‘Flickr on my photo frame Part 2’ the Google Nexus 7 tablet has proved to be a stunner and all for £159.

So I didn’t need to buy another photo frame or subscribe to another service to replace the defunct framechannel.com I now have a superb screen on which to display my photos – when it’s not in use as my news reader and video player.

I also predicted there would be an Android photo app that I could use to to slideshow a selection of my Flickr photos. Well there is. I am now using FlickFolio. It allows me to select by collection, set, tag, gallery, favourites, groups, contacts and bingo its sits there pretending to be a photo frame.

G-HUB PropUp

 

All I need now is a upright stand that also acts as my Nexus 7 protective cover when moving it around. There is an ideal one available from Amazon the G-HUB PropUp case

 

 

In addition to all this convenient functionality it turns out that the authors of FlickFolio, Snapwood Apps, also have apps for Facebook photos, Picasa, Photobucket, SkyDrive and others – bargain.

DLNA

Furthermore with the correct app loaded the Nexus 7 will be DLNA compatible.  I will then be able to show photos off my network and/ or ‘throw’ photos at my TV for big screen viewing.  I have been using Bubble UPnP on my Android mobile so will experiment with it on my Nexus 7 for a while.

Note: There always seem to be some issues with DLNA so it’s a case of trying several apps to see which one best suits the devices on your LAN and the formats of the media you want to share (throw around).

Related items

Flickr on my photo frame 2

My Flickr photos on my WiFi photo frame

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Why wait for YouView or GoogleTV

I knew as soon as I decided not to wait for YouView or GoogleTV that there would be an announcement and sure enough TalkTalk announced that YouView  would be ready about September which incidentally is about when GoogleTV is expected in the UK according to the Telegraph.

So if I am not going to wait which box should I go for. There are so many to choose from. There’s the Roku , the Boxee, Apple TV, WD TV Live to name but a few. A lot depends on whichInternet services (channels) you want access to, remembering that the channels in the UK differ from those in the US. 

In the end I went for the new SONY network media and internet streamer the SMP-N200 which was only recently released and only £80 at Amazon.

SONY SMP-N200

The channels that Sony in the UK provide access to are shown in this interactive graphic

So if I was to ditch my laptop mashup what was I wanting from my box?

Physical
  • Well it would be nice just to have a small box that is always in situ ready to roll and was a lot less expensive than a laptop or nettop.
Internet Streaming
  • All I really needed was a half decent movie service. With the Sony I could get LoveFilm Instant for £4.99 a month and Sony Entertainment Network for PAYG movies.
  • Oh and any CatchUp TV services I could get. The Sony gives me access to BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 & the possibility of ITV player and 4OD to follow.
  • Access to YouTube channels would be good too and with the Sony I can sign into my YouTube.
  • Maybe even some social media? The Sony has Facebook and Twitter. I would have liked access to Flickr and/or Picassa but you can’t have everything can you?
Network Media
  • What about access to my NAS (LaCie LaCinema HD) where I store my photos, music and videos  – it can do that as well.
  • Does it do DLNA so I can pick up media on one device an play it on another.?  Yes it does that too. See the item My multi-room media shifting set-up on this blog
  • What about an Android app to manage the box and my network media. Yes it has that as well the Sony Media remote. Although I prefer a combination of the very neat Sony remote control and the much less bloated BubbleUPnP for catch and throw.

Throw music at your speakers

Yes I know it sounds a bit mad but in the UK you will soon be able to courtesy of SONY.

According to Stuff.TV Sony will be bringing their NS510, NS410 and NS310 speakers to the UK in the summer of 2012.

Sony-SA-NS510-SA-NS410-SA-NS310

Sony will enable you to select music from your PC, smartphone or network drive and ‘throw’ it at their speakers.

This is possible because all three speakers accept streaming via DLNA, Airplay (Apple’s own version) or Music Unlimited (Sony’s rival to Spotify). 

For me this is fantastic news (until I find out the price that is) as I have already set up my home media network to be DLNA compatible where possible.  See my earlier blog item My multi-room media shifting network

I can already ‘throw’ my music from my LaCie LaCinema to my TV, PC or smartphone. Now I will be able to throw it at some decent speakers anywhere in the house and even different music to different speakers.

Roll on the summer

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My multi-room media shifting set-up

One Quiet Media Server

I have always hankered after one store for all my media accessible to all my devices. I first of all tried this with a PC dedicated to media. It worked fine except I needed to leave it on all the time which was not very energy efficient and quite noisy. So I looked around for a Network Addressable Store with a media server.

LaCie LaCinema HD

I finally settled on the LaCie LaCinema HD 1 TByte. It’s small, quiet (no fan),  connects directly to my TV via HDMI and sits on my LAN.  So I can leave it on without disturbing anybody, yet it’s accessible to anyone in whatever room they are in.

Media Shifting

The other feature I wanted in my network media server was for it to be UPnP DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatible. The main reason for this was most if not all media players can recognise a UPnP/ DLNA server on the network.  Thus any media player device on my network should be able to fetch media from the server whether it be music, video or photos.

Including DLNA in the specification brought a surprise benefit – media shifting. This means that one device can take media from another device and play it on a third device. My mobile phone can take media off my laptop and play it on my TV (via the LaCinema). This feature depends on the software so for instance Windows Media Player 11 cannot send the media to another device but Twonky software can.

Internet Streaming

Being able to store all my media on my home network and shift it around to any player is wonderful, but today everybody wants to be able to stream their media from the Internet as well.  Thus we have services like Spotify to stream music, YouTube for videos and Flickr or Picassa for Photos (plus many other services).

The PCs and my smartphone on my home network all have access to the internet and can stream whatever service I like.  The beauty of DLNA is that I can use a PC or my smartphone to stream from the internet but send it to any other DLNA device for playing. This feature depends on the software so for instance Windows Media Player 11 cannot pass the stream onto another device but Twonky software can.

So here is my media shifting setup:

Device Media Software Feature
LG TV via LaCie LaCinema HD Twonky Server D, i
Revo Blick Radio Station WiFi Radio Revo – Audio only P, i
O2 Joggler O2 P, I
Windows XP PC Twonky Manager D, I
Windows Vista Laptop Windows Media Player 11 D, i
HTC Desire Android smart phone Twonky Mobile D, I
WD MyBookWorld (blue ring) NAS none
Kodak WiFi Picture Frame Framechannel i
Humax Freesat BBC iPlayer – ITVPlayer soon i

Feature Legend:

D = DLNA compatible so can play from any server and send to any DLNA player

d = DLNA compatible can play from any server and receive via a third device but cannot send to another DLNA player

P = although not DLNA compatible will nevertheless play from any UPnP server.

I = internet streaming to another device

i = internet streaming only to itself

My possible next steps

Now that I have experimented with DLNA I am ready to upgrade my media players. I should be able to upgrade to a decent stereo music player that is DLNA compliant

There were some DLNA Photo Frames but they don’t seem to be available anymore.

Some of the new smartphones come DLNA enable such as HTC Desire HD

Difficulties encountered

Windows Vista (Home edn)

  • Windows Media Player will only recognise the LaCie if I first use the LaCie Network Assistant to mount the drive it will then appear as PVConnect on LaCinima_HD
  • Windows Explorer recognises the the LaCie as a network media device but not as a Network Addressable Storage.  I can only access the folders on the LaCie through the LaCie Network Assistant.

Windows XP

  • Windows Media Player doesn’t recognise the LaCie even if the LaCie Network Assistant has mounted the drive
  • Windows Explorer recognises the LaCie as a network media device

Twonky Mobile

At present I am having a problem playing music from the LaCinema on my mobile. Play stops abruptly part the way through the track. I’m still working this one through with LaCie and Twonky.