Facebook to photo-frame HACK (Kodak W820)

POSTED BY Kirgy October 2nd, 2011 : 2 COMMENTS

I hate it when free services get permanently unplugged. Especially when you need them! About 3 years ago, when I was getting particularly excited about new wi-fi enabled products on the market (and PC World decided it wasn’t) I went and grabbed a bargain and bought a Kodak W820 wi-fi enabled photo frame for £40. The frame allowed you to stream photos from flikr, RSS, powered-on PC’s, SD cards, USB drives, and most importantly; email.

Kodak W820 Facebook RSS feed

That's my girlfriend on there by the way...

Recently however, the website which hosted this email and manual photo upload service from which the devices streamed (myframechannel.com) closed. Aparently due to “economy” quotes one blogger. I got to be honest, I haven’t used the damn thing in over a year, but earlier decided to switch it back on.

I was a bit confused at first, but a second of googling was all it took to realise I was screwed. This was really frustrating – I loved using this to email myself pictures from my phone and laptop – it just makes life so easy! No-one out there seemed to have much of an easy solution, so I made one of my own.

It actually only took 40 minutes to do this whole procedure, but I basically managed to set up a facebook album which streams photos automatically to my W820 wi-fi frame via RSS. So, if you want to do the same, just follow the steps below and you should get a sweet facebook stream. I upload tonnes of pictures to varying album directly from my N900 Maemo device, you can do the same on android and the crap iphone, so why not give your frame a facebook boost?

You will need:

  1. Your photo frame’s IP address connected to the same subnet as your PC (you can find out the IP in your router’s attached devices list)
  2. A facebook album, with your desired privacy settings (any settings will do)
  3. The photo to RSS facebook app installed, and set-up to the appropriate albums on facebook.
  4. Optionally: a php webserver, or something else to mask a URL to make it slightly more secure.

So, presuming you’ve done that – let’s get started, its actualy pretty simple;

Upload a picture

Upload a picture to the photo album you have selected to stream to the public RSS feed.

Just bear in mind that, even though the feed is given an obscure URI address, it is still publicly accessible. So if you share the link with someone, they will be able to view all those pictures from your facebook album regardless of the settings applied in facebook. I guess this is technically security data duplication as the RSS to photo software has differing security settings to that of the facebook album, but I guess that is kinda the point here, right?

Optional: Obscure the URL

I go by the theory that it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if the album is technically now publicly accessible, I’ll still try and make it a bit harder for others to view it. I have my own servers I used to add a file which just redirects a header to the given RSS feed when the given password in the URI is correct. You can do whatever you want with it really, you don’t even need to do this step, but it makes the paranoid person in me happy. To quote Kurt Cobain, Just because I’m paranoid, does not mean they’re not after you.

This is the file (myrssfeed.php) I created on one of my webservers:

<?php

if ($_GET["framePassword"]==”myPassword”)
{
header(“location: yourCustomRSSFeedURL.com”);
}
else
{
header(“location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItugh-fFgg”);
}

?>

Now when I point my frame’s RSS feed (see later) to the address: http://www.myURL.com/rssFeed/myrssfeed.php?framePassword=myPassword then my frame displays my feed, otherwise it gets an error.

Add a custom RSS feed to your frame

To do this, you will need the IP of your frame. Simply enter this into your browser’s URL bar, and you will get something that looks like this:

So, lets just say that works (if it doesn’t leave a comment and we can do some mutuel debugging).

Now, go to the “Photo RSS” option, once there click “Add”. Then fill in with that custom URL you got from the facebook photo to RSS app so it looks something like this (obviously replacing the fields. Please don’t say you’re actualy reading this after encoutnering a problem…geeze..)

Click ye olde save button, and you are done!

Well, almost done.

Go to your frame, and navigate the menus until you get to the RSS feeds, select your custom one aaaaand DONE.

Sweet

Now you can upload photos to that facebook album, and it is on your frame. So now relax and enjoy your facebook stream. Feel free to lol’n'troll the framechannel site’s statement of it being the economy’s fault. Oh, also, as you have now got custom pics steamed from facebook, you are now smarter than them. Good on you.

2 Responses

  1. Patrick Farmer says:

    Awesome tutorial!! I got through all the steps (I even tested to URL for the RSS feed in my web browser to make sure it was working and it was), but when I go to select the RSS feed on the frame, it says “RSS error: Invalid RSS feed”. Is there some setting on the frame I have to change, or am I missing something else? Thanks for your help!

  2. Kirgy says:

    Theres a couple of reason I can think of for this happening. First, it could be a connection issue; are you certain that your frame is connected successfuly to your network? I’m sure it must have had local access at least for you to be able to access the frames login page. This may not mean it now has access, or has access to the internet. It may be a router problem, or weak signal.

    It may also just simply be a typo in the URL. The best way to avoid such a typo (as the URL contains many crazy characters) is to just copy and paste the URL directly into the form rather than re-typing, which im sure you have done, but may be helpful for others reading this.

    I have experienced some problems with the frame when connected from a room far from the router, but this was also the case back when the frame channel was still active, so it is pretty much an unavoidable issue – you need to have good signal.

    Hope that helps Patrick.

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