Wanted: My photo library on a connected TV
One of the biggest missing pieces in personal photo management: the screensaver / slideshow
- I want my photos on my TV.
- I want an interface optimised for a TV remote.
- Here’s a demo
The longer version
One of the biggest problems with our large digital photo collections is that too much of it sits around without ever being looked at again. And if we do, it’s often while sitting at a desk, rather than leaning back on a sofa and relaxing. At the same time, the screens in our houses often sit idle much of the time, when they could be displaying an endless slideshow of our photos.
Windows and Mac have photo library screensavers built in, but I find them so limited as to be useless. For starters, randomness alone is pretty useless. How often does seeing a random photo trigger a desire for “more of that”, where “that” might be the same day, the same year, the same place, the same person, same folder, etc? So you want to be able to lock it to that time or thing at any point. And you want to be able to switch between random or sequential order at any point. And all of this should be controllable with the keyboard or a remote control without interrupting the slideshow.
Here’s an interactive demo of what I mean: Using a keyboard or remote control, Left/Right is previous/next in the sequence of photos; Up overlays options for order (←↑↓→ buttons select); Down overlays options for locking (←↑↓→ buttons select); Play/Pause plays/pauses; Enter/OK toggles visibility of overlays and current settings; Back cancels the current submenu and dismisses the overlays.
While this would be great to have on your computer, obviously where you really want it is on your connected TV, displaying photos from networked storage such as a Synology NAS. My demo uses the Roku remote as an example. I’ve surveyed the field for screensavers in Roku and Chromecast, and it’s dismal. There’s nothing remotely like this out there, and I can’t understand why.