Although self-contained digital picture frames are cool and all, the limited functionality of some of these units has compelled many folks to create their own digital picture frames
. If you're looking for transition effects and other neat touches to spruce up a whole directory of photos from that wedding or summer vacation, why not build your own?
A disclaimer: this project requires some decent knowledge of desktop computers and some finesse working with PC components. Additionally, you better have a knack for tearing down a desktop PC system. The only prerequisite here is an extra desktop PC (yes, an old one will work) that you can convert into a display-centric picture server, if you will. If you have one of those PCs-on-a-board systems, this project will flow ever nicely.
Basically, you'll need either a tiny PC with built-in graphics
(a single-board unit like an Mac Mini, for example), a card reader to get pictures on this "wall server," a power supply and perhaps some fine woodworking to make a nice frame for the LCD portion of this digital picture frame. In this case, this small wall server ran the Opera web browser inside a Linux operating system so that pictures could scroll in order within any set time frame. Add WiFi to this setup and you'll have remote control over your pictures so that you can change them at will. A few of these in a main home hallway would blow away your houseguests, yes?