Can the Brookstone digital photo frame play audio and video?
The Brookstone digital photo frame supports video and audio playback. Video clips need to be shorter than 15-seconds (compared to 2-minutes with the similarly priced Pix-Star frames). It’s worth noting that videos included in slideshows on Brookstone’s frames will only play as long as the photo transition settings. For example, if you set the frame to change photos every 10-seconds, videos will only play for 10-seconds before changing.
The music and audio setup aren’t great on the Brookstone frame. It’s slow to set up and hard to use – especially for anyone that’s not very tech-savvy. If video and audio playback matter to you, we suggest looking at the Pix-Star frame. It costs almost the same and you can play 2-minute video clips.
With Pix-Star’s digital photo frames, videos can be included in slideshows, audio files and radio can be played over slideshows, and you can even connect external speakers/headphones/earphones to boost immersion. Videos can also be set to play muted by default when included in slideshows. Videos can be sent by mobile app or USB/SD card, whereas audio files can only be sent by USB/SD card (note that audio messages can be sent via the Pix-Star Snap mobile app too).
How to remotely configure the Brookstone digital photo frame?
Brookstone digital photo frames cannot be remotely configured or managed. This is common to find in the mid-range of the market. Remote control functionality refers to the ability to use the supported web interface or mobile app to adjust, manage, and control your frames from anywhere in the world.
Pix-Star’s digital frames are an excellent choice if you want remote-configuration capabilities. You can manage and control up to 25 Pix-Star frames remotely via the web interface. This can be done from anywhere and at any time – as long as the desired frame is online. You can adjust their settings, start & manage slideshows, manage cloud & local storage, link new web albums, and much more.
Can Brookstone’s digital photo frame work offline?
The Brookstone digital photo frame can work offline thanks to its internal storage. Photos and videos saved here can be viewed offline in slideshows. This is very common at this price point. Once internal storage has filled up, you can either start to delete photos to make space for new ones, or you can connect a USB/SD card to expand storage.
It’s worth paying attention to a recurring complaint that Brookstone digital frame receives with regards to cloud services expiring after 1 to 2-years. When this happens, you won’t be able to use the frame’s mobile app, Wi-Fi, or cloud services. As of yet, there is no fix for this issue, even though customer support is aware.
These – among other – quality control issues are one of the main reasons we suggest avoiding these mid-range frames. Pix-Star’s frames are the same price, yet they’re a lot more reliable, versatile, and offer much better value for money. Many mid-range frames like the Brookstone struggle to find a place on the market as their price isn’t far from the premium range, yet their feature sets and real-world performance have a long way to go to compete effectively.
How do Brookstone digital photo frames compare with the Pix-Star?
Both the Brookstone digital photo frame and Pix-Star’s 10-inch frame share the same price point. That being said, Pix-Star’s frames are more versatile, feature-packed, and reliable in the long run. Pix-Star’s frames offer free-for-life cloud storage, video and audio playback, a web interface & better mobile app, a 4:3 aspect ratio, highly customizable slideshows, no touch display, and more comprehensive web album support.
Pix-Star’s frames can be managed & controlled from anywhere in multi-frame control groups (up to 25 connected frames) from a single user account. You almost have the same level of control over the frame as you would using it in person. Pix-Star’s video & audio support is more capable than Brookstone’s (2-minutes vs Brookstone’s 15-second video clips).
Pix-Star also doesn’t suffer from the same issue that Brookstone does. For example, Brookstone’s frames have received several “breaking” complaints whereby the frame’s cloud service “expires” and stops working. Customer service says they’re aware but that there is no solution. This has been happening as recently as January 2022 and is an ongoing issue. Pix-Star’s frames offer free-for-life cloud storage and related features – and have received no such complaints.
Pix-Star’s 4:3 aspect ratio is much better as it perfectly matches the aspect ratio of most smartphones and cameras’ aspect ratio when taking photos. Brookstone’s frame will often have photos boxed in by black bars or cropped to fit the full screen. Pix-Star doesn’t suffer from this issue, hence offering more immersive and effortless slideshows – and a better overall viewing experience.
All in all, while these frames are almost the same price, Pix-Star offers much better value for money. You get improved reliability, better durability, and a much more robust feature set. Pix-Star’s frames are better suited to the modern home & family thanks to their intuitive and smart design & feature set. They’re available as either a 10-inch digital frame or a larger 15-inch digital photo frame.
Does the Brookstone digital photo frame use a touchscreen?
Brookstone digital photo frames use a touchscreen interface – something we recommend avoiding. While this might seem like outdated advice, given that most smart devices use touch displays, digital frames are an exception. Touchscreen panels are much more expensive for any frame larger than 8-inches. This explains why the Brookstone frame is the same price as Pix-Star’s frames, yet it has the feature set of a mid-range frame; whereas Pix-Star’s frames (non-touch) are some of the most robustly featured on the market.
Digital frames seldom do their touchscreens well. They don’t have a terrific amount of processing power. Touchscreens are often laggy and unresponsive. They’re also scratch and fingerprint-prone, leaving you constantly wiping down the display to avoid ruining the viewing experience. Touchscreens are probably the least durable part of these frames, with many touch screen digital frames suffering from poor durability reviews and ratings.
Most premium digital frames don’t use touchscreens. Instead, top frames like the Pix-Star offer both a handheld remote and a remote-configuration feature that lets you manage your frame from anywhere in the world. For example, you can adjust the Pix-Star frame’s settings, start & manage slideshows, import photos from social media & photo-sharing sites, update firmware, manage local & cloud storage, and much more. This makes the touchscreen superfluous and skips all the hassle related to needing to be directly in front of your frame to make any changes.