The oft delayed release of the first round of beta registrations is in progress now! It’s a small set and it’s based on first-come, first-served method. If all goes well with this group I’ll release a larger group on the next round.
You will receive an email from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ that contains a link that will take you to a registration page. You will be prompted for a password and your home ZIP code. You may also change your username if you wish. The ZIP code information will be used on future features such as weather updates, local news, traffic, etc. None of this information is shared with third parties.
Once you are logged into the service you will be presented with options to ‘Add a Frame’ or ‘Add a Channel’. You may have multiple frames and multiple channels. A frame may have multiple channels and a channel may be assigned to multiple frames.
Your first step should be to Add a Frame. You will be asked for a nickname, a Frame ID and to select the model of your frame. The FrameID is a unique identifier assigned to your frame by it’s manufacturer. You may leave it blank if you do now know it. If your frame model is not listed, or you simply don’t know it just choose the ‘Unknown’ option.
You should make note of the ‘Feed URL’ of your frame. For now this will be the primary method of getting the feed onto your frame. I’ll try to put together some documentation on the various frames but for now please review your frame’s user manual. It is commonly referred to as a ‘Custom RSS’ or ‘Custom Photo’ feed.
Once your frame is created, you can add channels. Channels are what contain the content that is displayed on your frame. At present only Flickr feeds are supported. More are under development.
When creating a new Flickr channel it will prompt you for a nickname and the Flickr username of the photostream to view. Only ‘public’ photostream photos are supported at present.
As always, questions are invited.
So I was reviewing my server logs this morning (Yes, I’m a geek — it’s what I do.) and I noticed an interesting entry…
GET /productId=IP14882/frameId=184820da466bcc29ccc5da3620389a26933950e3/sk1=DB7B067C7B8BC66FE49A67DE8D268183D867DA5CF0376662F62CDD5FCA5A0D1B/channellist HTTP/1.1" 404 356 "-" "TTCatalog-iPad/3.0 CFNetwork/485.13.9 Darwin/11.0.0"
There are several interesting bits here…
The product ID field is used to communicate what make/model photo frame is trying to connect with the service; In this case it is ‘IP14882’. I use this information to determine the native screen size of the frame and to track if it supports custom Photo RSS feeds. So far I have 14 unique productIDs in the database.
FrameId is used to unqiuely identify individual photo frames. Some manufactures use the MAC address of the frame, others use a simple numeric serial number. This one is larger than most.
Huh… I don’t know where to begin on this bit. First time I’ve seen it in a frame request. Anyone?
Update: I’ve re-read the FrameChannel Integration Guide and discovered that this is the SecurityKey. It is described as:
SECURITYKEY is an encrypted string used to validate that the URL is coming from a genuine partner device. The security key is an HMACSHA256 digest (as defined in RFC 2104) of the combination of PRODUCTID-FRAMEID (exactly in that order separated by a single hyphen character), using a secret 32-character key provided by Thinking Screen Media for each productId supplied. IMPORTANT: the secret key should be considered confidential information, and should not be shared or exposed to the public. A leak of the security key will require an Frame Media, Inc. Page 2 of 4 Company Confidentialimmediate firmware update by the device partner.
I’m assuming that this bit indicates that the frame is looking for a list of channels available (Thank you Dr. Obvious). However, I have no notion of the format it is expecting in return. Anyone?
And now for the really interesting bit…
"TTCatalog-iPad/3.0 CFNetwork/485.13.9 Darwin/11.0.0"
Well Hellllooooo iPad! I knew that FrameChannel had an iPad application/widget/thingy but this is my first example request. Many thanks to the intrepid soul who fiddled with their DNS and sent in this request.
Now… If I could just figure out how to respond to a channelList request… Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
I’ve hit a bit of a hurdle with the Toshiba frames. When they first contact the FrameChannel service they request a ‘channelList’. Frankly, the Toshiba frames are not the only ones that do this but since there are large number of Toshiba frame owners pre-registered for the service I’m focusing on them first.
If anyone here has in-depth knowledge of, or access to, the technical details of the FrameChannel support within the Toshiba digital frames I would be VERY grateful for a bit of guidance.
Pre-registration is going strong; 250+ so far. Thank you to all that have registered so far.
The web front-end is almost ready. It’s butt-ugly but I’m a fan of the ‘make it work THEN make it pretty’ design philosophy. 😉 I should be releasing a few pre-registrations this weekend.
So far, only public Flickr feeds are supported. Picasa is next on my list.
What feeds would you like to see supported?
You can now follow FrameAlbum’s progress on twitter as @FrameAlbum.
I’ve also created a FaceBook page (FrameAlbum) but I need at least 25 ‘Likes’ before I can get a direct link to the page. You can find it if you search for ‘FrameAlbum’.
Thanks for your support!
Update: So it seems that this link will get you to FrameAlbum’s page on FaceBook.