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10 Easy Nixplay Hacks to Share Your Family History – The Family Curator


The is not your Generation 1 device with slow low-resolution transfers to a clunky digital photo frame. Instead, high-res photos appear on the Nixplay frame in about the same time it takes to share photos wirelessly to any other device. Videos take only a little longer.

If you’ve ever used a digital photo frame, you’ll know that success is all in the setup and upload workflow. My old Kodak EasyShare was fun to use, but a real hassle to configure and keep loaded with images. Happily, Nixplay makes setup easy. After the frame is plugged in and paired with your wifi signal, it’s ready to play.

The free Nixplay Cloud service acts as host to share the images. Your account can be managed on your desktop computer via browser, or on your smartphone with the Nixplay App. The frame can add photos from social media, or pull images directly from Google Photos or Dropbox. Photos can be organized in playlists and rearranged to display in any order. In addition, photos can be grouped into individual albums and dragged to the playlist for display. 

I’ve been sharing photos with my parents since giving Dad the model for Father’s Day. It was easy to set up with his home wifi network, and my own account. We selected the transition and display style using the device remote, and I’ve made a few tweaks from home through the Nixplay dashboard. It’s been fun for them to see new photos of the fast-growing great-grandchildren, and I’ve enjoyed surprising them with old family photos of Dad’s own parents.

Beyond sharing everyday pictures of family and friends, the Nixplay digital frame is a great tool for sharing your family history and genealogy. These tips will help you turn your digital photo frame into a time machine to the past.

1. Understand Nixplay Albums and Playlists

Watch the Nixplay videos listed on the Website Support section to learn how to upload images and change the settings on your frame. Albums are your photo storage place in the Nixplay Cloud, and a good place to organize images. Playlists are the “Now Playing” photo stream on individual frames. You can drag-and-drop photos in a Playlist to rearrange the viewing order. 

When photos are added from the mobile app they are automatically placed in an album called “Photos from Me.” Images emailed and uploaded from friends appear in their own albums and can be configured to show automatically in the current playlist. Entire Albums or selected photos can be added to a Playlist for viewing. 

2. Add Captions To Your Pictures

Photos must be inside an Album before a caption can be added. Open the Nixplay App on your desktop web browser or on your smartphone, and click on Photos. Click “Create an Album” and name your album; for example, “Smith Family History”. Create additional albums for special projects, as needed. After photos are inside an Album, you can add captions. Click to select a photo and type a caption in the editing space. 

3. Use Playlists to Show and Hide Photos

Think of the Frame Playlist as the “Now Playing” selection. View all your connected frames in the Frames Menu. Click on a Frame to view the current Playlists. Click the button on the Playlist tile to Enable or Disable the Playlist. 

Create individual playlists for special projects, such as Christmas or Summer Vacation so that playlists can be disabled after the holiday. You can delete individual photos from a playlist at any time, but it’s quicker to stop showing a group of pictures by simply disabling a Playlist.

4. Share the Email Link

Each Nixplay account has an email address that can receive photos. To share this email, click the Friends Menu > Add New Friend and enter their name and email address. Select the Playlist for their photos. I use one general Playlist and a few special Playlists for family history photos, holidays, and games.

5. Happy Birthday Great-Grandpa! 

Print a list of birthdays for your four grandparents and eight great-grandparents and go on a photo treasure hunt to locate pictures of each ancestor. If you don’t have a picture of the person, try to find something associated with them such as their hometown, house, or scanned signature. Upload photos to your Nixplay Family History Album so they are ready to be shared on their birthday. Add photo captions “Happy Birthday Grandpa Fred May, born 20 March 1869.”

6. Grow a Mini-Family Tree

Create a family tree graphic image with your genealogy software or download a family tree graphic from an online website and personalize with two or three generations. Save as a JPG to upload and share like any photograph. If the graphic seems stuck as a PDF or document file, look for the Export As or Save As command to save a JPG version. Another option is to make a screenshot and save as a JPG file. Find a Kids’ Family Tree at FamilyTreeMagazine.

7. Family Holidays Across the Years

Set up a holiday photo playlist filled with snapshots from several generations and decades. Scan your old Christmas photo cards for a fun look at how everyone has changed. Include some non-photo holiday cards or make a short video clip while you pan over old a table filled with old cards to holiday music. Don’t stop with Chanukah and Christmas. Set up albums for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other holidays throughout the year to keep  your photos organized and easy to find. Drag the album or individual pictures into a Holiday Playlist  and share it with one or more frames. Remember that you can disable the playlist after the holiday to keep the photo stream timely.

8. Who’s Your Grandpa?

The Nixplay frame is great for two-way conversations. Could your grandchildren recognize their great-grandparents in a photo? Post an ancestor’s photo with the caption “Who is this? Email your answer in a photo to [your Nixplay address].” 

To play, anyone can type a message on their smartphone or tablet and make a screenshot JPG to be emailed directly to the frame. Or, they can write the answer on a piece of paper and take a photo to send. Answers will appear on the frame.

9. Ancestor Trivia

Mealtimes are a great time for new photos to appear with game show type questions. Create meme-style images with your smartphone, or add the questions in the caption box of a digital image. Choose all degrees of difficulty so the grandkids and parents don’t have it too easy. Send out the answers the next day

Here are a few questions to get started:

10. Heirloom Handoff

Looking for someone to take that antique chair or stack of old books? Send out a photo of the item with a caption about it’s place in your family history. Hint: Make it a really good story if you want to find a new home for grandpa’s tuba.

Our family has enjoyed seeing family and friends appear on our Nixplay WiFi Cloud Frame, and I love adding family history images to the mix. How do you share family history with a digital photo frame? I’d love to hear your favorite ideas.

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©2007-2018, Denise Levenick, The Family Curator.
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