Looking for a digital photo frame that can show photos from external USB storage doing the following - anyone know of one, please?

• Show photos directly from USB not giving you a file manager to copy stuff to internal storage

• Ideally able to cope with an external (powered would be okay) USB harddrive, not just flash storage. (or, at least, able to cope with very big usb memory sticks, not just the small ones)

• Able to recurse through directories and sub-directories containing photos, not needing everything in the root, and coping with arbitrary folder structures not assuming a DCIM structure like digital cameras create

I haven't been able to get this level of detail out of shop assistants or photo frame manufacturer websites. Have you got/used a frame that does some/most of this, please?

  • 1
    good point - about 70GB
    – dalelane
    Jan 22, 2012 at 21:30
  • Could you prepare a USB disk with photos like you described, and go to the next store where the frames are being sold and ask to try it?
    – Unapiedra
    Jan 22, 2012 at 21:42
  • It's a good idea - I did, today. No luck - the ones I tried all wanted to copy the photos to local storage, and couldn't play directly from USB. But to be fair, the shops round here all have cheap frames. Will try and look further afield next weekend.
    – dalelane
    Jan 22, 2012 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


I'm unaware of any digital photo frames which do the above. Although I do know that Kodak made one which would be able to display a user's Flickr photostream or Set of photos. I doubt you'd find a digital photo frame capable of powering a USB hard disk though because it would act as a USB hub and those almost always need an AC adapter for high power devices like HDDs.

Doing a bit more Googling on that Kodak photo frame, it also has SD/SDHC, CF and USB ports for adding photos and it's described as "Plug and Play" so it doesn't sound like (but I can't be sure) there's any file manager involved. It's called the Easyshare W1020 and can also display photos from an RSS feed too. Not sure how much that helps you, but hope if you don't find something which can solve all your problems that it helps you at least partly.

  • Thanks very much. What about with a hard-drive that has it's own power adaptor? Does that make any difference?
    – dalelane
    Jan 22, 2012 at 20:39
  • 1
    It might do, but you'd have to wait until after the disk has finished booting up first before plugging it into the frame and it may only read FAT32 formatted drives and not NTFS or EXT3/4 as it's probably expecting a USB pen which are FAT32. Also some drives may behave differently for example if the frame ever went to sleep, or the disk may spin down during times of inactivity and may not come back again without being rebooted. In short: "your mileage may vary" :) Jan 22, 2012 at 20:47

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