Sunday, May 24, 2009

(wireless) Kodak picture frame w820 and Linux.

2 days ago I bought a KODAK EASYSHARE W820 Wireless Digital Frame. I intended of using it to stream media from my Linux computer, preferably using its wireless capabilities. The disappointing thing is that the manufacturer only provides software for Windows.

Connection to the internet is quite easy and straight forward. Just follow the instructions in the documentation. When connected, the frame automatically checks for firmware updates and prompts to install them. I upgraded smoothly, and all of my following impressions are based on the latest firmware available: 2008.10.28.

So, I am going through the process of finding the frame's capability to interact with Linux. It seems that three methods are available: USB connectivity, RSS feeds and UPnP support. Frame settings can be reached from the touch interface and through its web UI.

USB connectivity: The frame connects to the computer with a USB cable and is automatically identified as a flash drive. Normal file operations can be performed to transfer images and videos to the internal memory.

RSS feeds: The frame connects to various RSS feeds, most notably Flikr. It also has the capability of logging into a Flickr account. Also, custom URL feeds can be accessed. The configuration of the RSS connectivity is achieved through the frames web UI. You can find the frame's IP by accessing the frame's settings from its built in touch UI.

UPnP support: The frame has a UPnP client built in. However, this is not mentioned anywhere in the documentation that accompanies the product and few references exist in the Internet. I installed mediatomb, a UPnP server, on my laptop. Then through the Network Setting on the frame, connection to my laptop was enstablished and I could access my media, both images and video.

What I find missing from connectivity options it the ability to copy media files directly from the PC, through the wireless interface, to the frame's internal memory. Also, the possibility to change any of its settings through the web interface would be greatly desired.