Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Firefox Add-ons, Flickr, and $39 Make a Digital Photo "Frame"

Like many others, I am sure, I shelled out some money at Christmas time on digital photo frames as family gifts.  Given the growing library of digital photos our family has on Flickr (up to 13,000 now), it seemed like the digital photo frame was the perfect way to share some of those photos with grandparents.  I was stingy enough to resist the sophisticated ones that can update the photos over the web, but still felt like I had spent a lot of money...

Last night, by accident, I discovered another method for producing the same effect--potentially with the added benefit of keeping the television occupied with something worthwhile.  Our DVD player had broken, and as you can tell from the archaic TV set we still use, I'm a little frugal in this area.  So I went to our local Circuit City and found a PHilips DVD player on sale for $39.  As I'm trying to convince my wife and daughter that my frugality doesn't always mean loss of functionality, I read from the box that the player will display not only DVD movies, but a number of other media formats, including JPEG photos on CDs. 

"Oh," I think.

Remembering the 670 photos I downloaded from Flickr and put on an SD card for the grandparents to use in their digital photo frames, I burn those images to a CD, stick them into the DVD player, and discover that there is a slide-show functionality that displays all the images and loops at the end.  And if it looks pretty darn good on my old picture-tube TV, it would probably look great on one of those higher-end displays I steer my family away from every time we are at Sam's Club or Costco. 

Here's the recipe for anyone using Flickr to easily download hundreds (thousands?) of photos and make your own digitial picture frame for $39.  :)
  • Start with Firefox
  • Use the "set" feature in Flickr to create a new set just for the pictures you want to see. 
  • Install the greasemonkey add-on (requires a restart of Firefox) 
  • Install the DownThemAll! add-on (love this one--great for backing up all of your Google Docs as well; also requires a restart of Firefox)
  • Install the greasemonkey script "Flickr - Link Original Image"
  • View your set in Flickr, right-click and choose "Download them all," select only the images checkbox, and download all your photos into a single directory
  • Burn the photos to a CD, then have some fun!

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