Category Archives: FrameChannel

Some D-Link love

D-Link DIR-685
D-Link DIR-685

I was finally able to get my hands on a cheap D-Link DIR-685 router/frame. This is a combination WiFi router + network storage device with a teenie-weenie 3.2 inch frame. It naively supports FrameChannel as well as Microsoft’s defunct FrameIt service.

I fired it up, ran a cable from my existing network into the ‘internet’ jack (right-most jack on the back of the unit), and plugged my laptop into one of the 4 remaining jacks. I then started up my laptop and opened a browser and entered ‘’ into the address bar. After entering the password (the default is no password — wow, that’s profoundly bad.) I was presented with the administration page.

I went to the ‘SETUP’ page, then choose ‘Internet Setup’ on the left. I then clicked the ‘Manual Internet Connection Setup’ button. I made sure the ‘Internet Connection Type’ was set to ‘Dynamic IP (DHCP)’ and ‘Advanced DNS Service’ was off. Further down the page is an option to enter ‘Primary DNS address’ – GOAL!

I have setup a customized DNS server that will correctly route requests made by the device to the FrameAlbum service rather than the original FrameChannel servers. In the ‘Primary DNS address’ field enter and then ‘Save Settings’. You can leave the other fields on this page unchanged.

I then rebooted the DIR-685 and activated the FrameChannel option. I was watching the logs on the FrameAlbum server and I saw the request come in and then the server promptly generated an error message — DOH! A quick update of permissions on one of the servers directories and retried it — WHAM! I see the beautiful green ‘here is your activation code’ image on my itty-bitty screen.

I ran back to my computer, activated the screen on my FrameAlbum account, assigned it a channel and a while latter I was squinting to see my tiny photos on the screen. Yippie!

I did find another bug during this process; the system did not correctly identify this frame as a D-Link product so I have some work to do to track that down — not a biggie, it works just fine the way it is.

Sadly, I’ve learned that the DIR-685 differs from the DSM-210 in that it does not use the same requests when talking to the server. I was hoping to use this device as a surrogate to add support for that popular frame, but alas, no such luck.

So while I can cross the DIR-685 off the list of frames to test on the service I’m still in need of a DSM-210 to be able to add support for that frame. If anyone has one they aren’t using and would be willing to sell cheap, drop me a line.

Release the Wiki!

I’ve been gathering info. on the various internet enabled digital photo frames for a while now. I’ve been using Evernote to keep it (somewhat) organized but I’ve gotten to the point where I want to share what I’ve collected. Release the Wiki!

At present I’ve loaded up information on 40 digital photo frames. I know there are plenty more out there; if you have a frame that is not listed please, Please, PLEASE drop me a msg. and I’ll add it to the archive.

I’m also going to include information on the FrameChannel protocol that I’ve gathered while developing the FrameAlbum service.

FrameAlbum 0.1 released!

The moment two or three of you have been waiting for… the release of FrameAlbum 0.1.

This release includes:

  • FrameChannel compatable RSS feed generation
  • FrameChannel photo frame ‘protocol’ support
  • Flickr, Picasa and weather radar image channels
  • A crude but functional web interface to control the feeds

There is no documentation in this release; you’re rather on your own for setup & configuration. The MySQL database schema is included but there is no automated process to build the DB.

A great percentage of this code was whipped together in a frenzy of Mt. Dew and Butterfingers and I am by no measure a PHP or PERL expert so please be kind in your comments. In fact, criticisms in any form other than code patches will be sent to /dev/null. 😉 (That’s really funny to the geeks in the audience, trust me.)

You can grab the code on GitHub here: (Yes, I know that’s not a GitHub link but I’m using Bitly so that I can gauge how many folks are interested in the code.)

Now that the code is finally released I can focus on the new feature list that has been languishing for way-too-long (Facebook, I’m taking about you.)

C U on the bitstream.


Hey! Look! It’s Alive!

Life has a nasty habit of interrupting progress on my world-saving projects. Such has been the case for the last several months. I’ll not bore you/embarrass myself further by sharing details.

I will say that have been spending time, a few fleeting moments at a time, prepping the FrameAlbum codebase for release. Yes, the oft and long promised open-source release of the FrameAlbum software. It’s close folks, honest.

Along with the release of the software I will finally release all the remaining beta invites and open the FrameAlbum site to normal registrations. I had originally hoped to have the 2nd generation of the web interface finished before opening the gates but alas, the previously mentioned ‘Life’ has preempted that goal.

Stay tuned!

A few random updates…

– I’ve located another issue with the Picasa grabbers that delays feed updates. I’ve seen a few instances where the process hangs during it’s regular updates. To prevent various nasty side-effects I’ve built in protections to prevent the process from running more than one copy of itself at a time. When it hangs it triggers these checks and prevents it from running again. I’m continuing to investigate.

– In other Picasa related news, we have a new contributor to the project! He is actively working on several Picasa improvements including a resolution to the ‘unknown user’ or ‘no public photos found’ error that some of you are experiencing. He is also working on… wait for it… private albums!

– I’m STILL trying to get my hands on a D-Link frame. I have, so far, been unsuccessful at winning them on eBay but I do bid on all that come up. I need one of these frames to troubleshoot the ‘big red X’ issue that most (all?) of you that have D-link frames have. Soooo….. if any of you have a spare D-Link frame they would lend to effort I’ll be eternally grateful and will be sure to immortalize you in the code comments. 😉

Thanks for your patience, and support!