The most difficult issue with creating a FrameChannel replacement service is how to get all those frames that are ‘hard wired’ to the FrameChannel service over to access FrameAlbum instead. It is practically impossible to change the internal programming of photo frames to use a different service. The manufactures refuse to update the software and there is no way for the consumer to do it on their own. The easiest method is to utilize the ‘custom Photo RSS’ feed feature built into many frames (Kodak) but not all frames have this feature.
For those frames without a ‘custom Photo RSS’ feed feature (I’m talking about you Toshiba) the only option is to fool the frame into thinking it is talking to FrameChannel when, in fact, it is talking to FrameAlbum. There are various methods of accomplishing this but the most straightforward is to utilize a modified DNS server.
A DNS server is akin to the contact list on your smartphone; when you type in ‘Dave Smith’ it ‘translates’ that to Dave’s phone number (1-234-567-7890). A DNS server does a similar thing on the Internet. When you type ‘www.streamingmeemee.com’ into your browser a DNS server translates that into a specific network address that your computer contacts to retrieve the webpage. Your photo frame uses the same mechanism to determine which server to contact when it is trying to retrieve your photos.
I have put together a specially modified DNS server that when asked for ‘framechannel.com’ returns the server information for FrameAlbum. When your frame is configured to use the FrameAlbum DNS server, rather than the server provided by your ISP, it will think it is talking to FrameChannel when in fact it is talking to FrameAlbum’s servers. The somewhat tricky bit can be configuring your frame to use the FrameAlbum DNS server. I’ll warn you now that it involves a bit of geekery.
All frames that I have seen require you to choose a ‘static IP network configuration’ to set a specific DNS server. The method varies widely between frames so I will not go into detail on how to access or set this option. If this is all gibberish to you I strongly urge you to reach out to your friendly neighborhood tech-head and ask them to give you a hand.
Here is the key bit of information you’ll need:
FrameAlbum DNS server IP address: 220.127.116.11 FrameAlbum DNS server hostname: dns.framealbum.com
If your frame requires two DNS server values simply use the same address for both entries.
Once you have set your frame to use the FrameAlbum DNS server you should receive an image on your frame providing you with an activation code that you can use to link your frame to your FrameAlbum account. Simply log into the FrameAlbum website and choose the ‘activate a frame’ link.
Please post any questions in the comments section below.
Thanks for your patience!