HomeSmart HomesHow Cloud-Based Digital Photo Frames Work – And Why Buy!

How Cloud-Based Digital Photo Frames Work – And Why Buy!


Which cloud-based digital photo frames are best?

Pix-Star’s cloud digital photo frames are arguably the best of the market at what they do. These premium digital frames are made for families and are one of the few premium frames that cater to elderly users. Their intuitive design & layout make them easy to navigate, browse through pictures, and play personalized & customized slideshows.

With every Pix-Star frame you buy, you get free-for-life cloud storage, automatic cloud backups, web album support, video & audio playback, remote-control functionality, and much more. Each Pix-Star frame can receive photos from anywhere in the world via email, through the web interface, the Pix-Star Snap mobile app, and more.

Alternatively, you can load photos to the frame by USB/SD card and play slideshows directly off them without copying its content to the local storage first. If you’d like, you can copy these photos to the frame’s internal storage and even have them backed up to the cloud.

The combination of Pix-Star’s immersive display, versatile slideshows, robust feature set, ease of use, and family/elderly user-focused design makes them one of the best value for money options available today. There are no recurring fees, hidden costs, and strings attached. They’re available with a 10-inch display, and a significantly larger 15-inch display.

How do cloud-based digital photo frames work?

Cloud-based digital photo frames are quite diverse in terms of how they work. In some cases, you get a mix of internal storage and cloud storage. With other top frames, you have to rely fully on the connection with the cloud servers to sync and view photos daily. Other frames work mainly offline, but let you backup all of your photos, videos, and audio files to the cloud (which is often done automatically).

Cloud digital photo frames are usually only found in the high-end market. These frames are usually quite premium and have a lot of features & functions. The best digital frames offer several cloud-related services – the most common of which is web album support.

Web albums refer to photo albums that are stored on social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms. These platforms often include Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos & Drive, Dropbox, etc. Pix-Star arguably offers the most robust and versatile web album feature as you can automate much of the updating process effortlessly.

Cloud photo frames like the Pix-Star will automatically back up new photos as they’re received to the frame. You can use the cloud-enabled remote-control feature to manage cloud storage, start slideshows remotely, change slideshow sources, and adjust many of the frame’s settings.

Can cloud-based digital photo frames work without Wi-Fi?

Many of the top cloud-based digital photo frames offer quite a few offline features. Keep in mind that you’ll always need to be connected to Wi-Fi to sync the latest photos, update web albums, download pending photo-mail, etc.

The only truly offline way to load photos to a digital frame is by USB/SD card – though the caveat is that you don’t have much control over the play order or frequency of how photos are shown.

Pix-Star’s digital frames have 8GB of internal storage, which is enough for up to 30,000 photos (more than you’ll likely ever need. All incoming & received photos are automatically saved to the frame’s internal storage and are accessible offline via the frame’s media gallery. Even web albums that are imported from social media & photo-sharing platforms are saved to local storage.

In addition to its sizeable internal storage, Pix-Star’s frames support USB/SD cards without imposing maximum limits on their storage capacity. Since Pix-Star’s frames have a plug-and-play feature, you’re able to play slideshows directly off a connected USB/SD card without needing to copy the media to the frame’s internal storage first – giving you an almost limitless capacity to store and source photos, videos, and audio messages.

Almost all of Pix-Star’s settings are accessible and functional offline. You can start & manage slideshows, adjust brightness and color settings, create customized slideshows from specific files & folders via the media gallery, and much more. Pix-Star’s frames are great for families and for elderly users that don’t have constant internet access, but still want to reminisce over special memories when away from loved ones.

By contrast, other top digital frames – such as the Aura frame series – don’t offer offline functionality. You need a constant connection to the Aura cloud to receive and view photos. There’s no way to load photos directly to the frame without having them sync with the cloud (mandatory) to be viewed on the frame.

Can Pix-Star’s cloud-based digital photo frames be remotely controlled?

Remote control functionality is a feature that’s common to only a handful of the best cloud-based digital photo frames. Top frames like the Pix-Star offer free-for-life cloud storage and the ability to remotely configure your frame through the web dashboard. Here you can adjust the frame’s settings, start slideshows, make changes to cloud storage (and have it reflected locally), update the frame’s firmware, and much more.

With Pix-Star, you can connect & manage up to 25 Pix-Star frames from a single user account. These multi-frame control groups make managing all the frames in the family far less frustrating, and can even be set to automate much of the photo-sharing process through Pix-Star’s web album support.

Can I watch Netflix on cloud-based digital photo frames?

While many cloud-based digital photo frames can play short video clips, connecting to streaming platforms and playing movies isn’t supported. Digital frames are designed to be great at displaying your favorite photos & memories. They’re not designed to replace your TV or laptop. As such, features like video & audio playback support are bonus features that only the best digital frames like the Pix-Star offer.

In some cases, even basic video playback isn’t supported (as with Aura’s digital frames). With other popular frames like Skylight or Nixplay, video playback is either limited to just 15-seconds, or not available at all without paying for the “Plus” annual subscription package. Even after paying for the premium subscription plan, you can only play 1-minute video clips; whereas competing frames like the Pix-Star can play 2-minute clips without charging a cent extra.

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