I "upgraded" from a 14" model, and this model actually has fewer capabilities, albeit with a larger screen. The user manual is not helpful, although the folks at Aluratek are available and helped me several times. The logic built into the software is this: you can select the playback source: internal, USB, or memory chip. You can also select the medium: Music, photo, or movie. If photo is selected and music is on the same drive, it will play the music at the same time as the slide. Media are played in the order they were loaded to the source. There is no random function. Photo formats supported: .jpg, audio formats supported: .mp3, movie formats supported: .dvi (XVID encoded video, mp3 encoded audio, screen resolution not greater than 800x450). If the device cannot read whatever it is trying to read (example: a .dvi encoded differently than above, or of higher resolution, it will simply hang up saying "Reading..." on the screen. The remote has no play button or pause button. It does have a go back button that does not work in movies. In movies, you can select the right arrow, which changes the playback speed. To return to normal speed, you have to press the left arrow the same number of times. The interface is not intuitive. For example, if you press Setup, what you see depends on what screen you are looking at. When I asked the Aluratek people why there is no usable user manual, they said if they documented all the features it would be an inch thick. Probably would. I managed to get this to work with a MacBook Pro with an animated slideshow with music, but it was laborious: create slideshow with animation but no sound in Keynote, export as a .mov file. Create the sound track in Garage Band and export as a .mp3 file. Merge the two using Wondershare Video Editor and export as an .avi file with 720x480 resolution. We bought this to put in my mom's apartment. She is 90 and does not do well with technology. I've set it up this way: - I took a series of 500 photos and randomized their names, alphabetized by the new name and loaded them into the internal memory. If there is no memory chip or USB thumb drive installed, when the device turns on it will play the photos from internal memory in order. I've also put different photos on six thumb drives, numbered 1 through 6, and added the special slide show I mentioned above to number 7. When one of my siblings drops by, they switch the thumb drives. The device is set to come on and turn off at convenient hours. If a thumb drive is installed, it will play from the thumb drive upon power up. Device works ok if you are technically oriented or can have someone set it up who is.
- How did the image on site compare with the actual product? Actual product looks a bit better
- Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Yes
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. The hardware is excellent. The software is terrible.
- Would you recommend this to a friend? No
I love this product. It has a very good screen resolutions. The photos appear on screen with awesome quality. I kept this next my 17 inch laptop on the same table and the picture quality is much much better than my 17 inch laptop with almost equal screen pixel resolution. I played some videos on this and they ran very well. One thing i dissapoined with this product is that it dosn't have Wi-FI support. Even a small 7 inch $40 digital photo frames now-a-days comes with a inbuilt wi-fi, for a $260 product i expect this to be there by default. One other problem is that it doesn't pay larger videos files of size > 200MB. I tried multiple format files, if the size of them is around 100MB or lesser it plays very well with out any issues but if the size of the file is above 200MB, the frame just get struck forever trying to play that file. i waited for hours but never played the bigger video files.
- How did the image on site compare with the actual product? Very much comparable
- Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Yes, no defect
- Please tell us about the quality of the product. Execellent quality with great screen reslution
- Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes