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dvn

Digital Photo Frames

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dvn

Check these out. I have the guys on another podcast I listen to (TWIP) mention them several times. I might get my mother-in-law for Christmas/

 

http://www.estarling.com/products.sf

 

 

Mike

 

Thanks for the tip. I bought the eStarling. Should be here in a couple days. Looks pretty feature-complete. I think she's going to love it.

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dvn

I received the eStarling TouchConnect photo frame 5 hours ago. I've just finished with sending off emails to support and the shipper. I'm now looking for a full refund.

 

Issues:

 

1. Fatal error while dealing with a .gp file. Yes. Fatal error. Unit is locked up. Cannot delete offending video file because navigating to the video folder triggers the fatal error. Power off and reset unit, losing all photos and settings. The only solution is factory restore. Then there's this...

 

2. Continuous looping of a .mov file sent from an iPhone. Again, cannot regain control of the unit. Power off is only way to stop playback. Cannot delete the offending file because it automatically plays upon entering Video mode which is where I need to go so I can get into the video files folder. No, there are no settings or other workarounds for this either.

 

3. Email support. Something very fishy about it, too. Their response to a detailed email is a link to a '404 not found'. So I dumped the file name from the end of the link and got a directory folder of home movies! How 'bout that. Doesn't instill much confidence in my premium product.

 

There is more to this email support story. From the responses I've been getting, it feels like I'm corresponding with a support bot that scans text for keywords and sends out a corresponding answer. Whatever is happening, it's a huge fail. I'm going to test this by sending an email with keywords only about network and wireless stuff. Curious to see if I get a response and what that response may be. Maybe an email saying, "I s - t h e r e - a - h u m a n - r e a d i n g - t h i s ?" You think?

 

In short, shun this eStarling product. It is glitchy and certainly not ready for prime time. I hope I get my money back without too much of a hassle. I'm definitely out the money it cost to expedite shipping in order to have it for this weekend's wedding. I guess I'll be heading to a local big box store and picking up a Kodak, HP or Sony. Or whatever. I should have remembered that raves about features is not a thorough 'banging on it', as we say. My bad. <_<

Edited by dvn

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geek-accountant

WOW!! Sorry to hear that. I was actually thinking about the frame on the drive into work today. I was thinking that I first need to get wireless into my Mother-in-law's house so I don't have to deal with it when we get the frame for Christmas.

 

Sorry you had to find out this is not a good product before I was able to order, since I was the one to mention it. Let us know if you are able to return it and get a refund.

 

 

Mike

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i-bystander

That blows! It sounds like you were banking on it to be fully set up by this weekend too. Thanks for letting us all know about your experience - hope you get your money back.

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dvn

Well, so far I can tell you that my email to support asking if a human was reading it got no response. But I'm not sure that proves automated support. Anyway, yes it's definitely a drag. But I'll get over to the mall and find something suitable so I'm not too worried about the wedding gift. I hope to hear back from the seller today. I gave them a fairly detailed account of my experience thus far and asked how to go about getting a full refund. More details are they come. If I have to, I can get PayPal involved, but I'm not there yet.

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dvn

I've opened a dispute with PayPal. This allowed me to send a message to the seller through PayPal. If this doesn't work, I'll escalate this to a PayPal claim and they can jump in. Considering what I've seen so far, I don't want to waste time resolving this.

 

Has anyone done this before with PayPal?

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mrossco

I've opened a dispute with PayPal. This allowed me to send a message to the seller through PayPal. If this doesn't work, I'll escalate this to a PayPal claim and they can jump in. Considering what I've seen so far, I don't want to waste time resolving this.

 

Has anyone done this before with PayPal?

 

Yes, and it works pretty well. If anything, PayPal seems to get a lot of complaints because it tends to side with buyers. As long as you fully document why you're unhappy with the product and your attempts to resolve the dispute directly, you should be fine. Of course, it also depends on whether or not the company has a sufficient balance in its PayPal account too. Good luck!

 

BTW, my wife and I looked at these a while back. If they have any Polaroid units, they seemed to have the best image quality and not too cheap a frame.

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dvn

Thanks. We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, I picked up an HP DreamScreen 100. This is pretty user-friendly. And it's almost the exact same size as the whatchamacallit. Facebook, Pandora, Internet radio, alarm clock, 2 GB built-in memory, wifi, and oh ya, it displays pictures and plays videos. Drag and drop from your PC using the included software. Wrong file types don't disrupt it. It simply says the file is unsupported and won't let you copy it to the device. That kind of simple error handling is one of the things the software developers for the eStarling fell down on. Too bad. On Error Resume Next. There, was that so hard? :P

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geek-accountant

I sent them a note also, but so far no response. I just checked the user feedback over on Amazon and it looks like a lot of people are having trouble with the estarling frames. One guy did get a response from tech support, this is what he got:

 

"Our apologies, Would you please try to plaster it with some double-face-plaster. Since if it work fine ,but we swap a new frame to you ,will spend too many times and some money , and you need return the old frame yourself.

Deeply sorry for our product."

 

I really liked the idea of just e-mailing photos to the frame. In my case, the only way for photos to get on my mother-in-law's frame is either being able to e-mail them (like the estarling frame) or someone going over to her house, which is not going to work. There is no way I could ever teach her to put photos on the frame herself, you should have seen how long it took me to teach her how to double click the mouse.

 

If anyone knows of another frame like the estarling, but actually works, with the ability to automatically load images from e-mails, please let me know.

 

 

Mike

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dvn
...One guy did get a response from tech support, this is what he got:

 

"Our apologies, Would you please try to plaster it with some double-face-plaster. Since if it work fine ,but we swap a new frame to you ,will spend too many times and some money , and you need return the old frame yourself.

Deeply sorry for our product."

Would that be the Parisian plaster, or the Chinese knock-off? :)

 

Anyhoo...I remember John Z talking about installing WMP 11 on his MSS. Since the DreamScreen needs to interact with WMP 11 in order to stream from a computer, I figured why not. I found the hack, and the install/setup went perfectly. Now I'm able to stream photos and music from my home server to the photo frame. How cool is that?

 

Also, I converted a .vob file to a format the photo frame can deal with - MP4, AVI or MPG - using a tool called Free_Zune_Converter. Now I can watch movies on it, too. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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