Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

Started Mar 1, 2020 | Discussions
kgivens New Member • Posts: 10
Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?
1

Looking for Memento owners whose frames stopped working when the manufacturer went out of business. I'm trying to find a way to make the frame work again.

For the uninitiated, Memento was a large (35"), high resolution digital photo display frame that appeared in 2016 as a Kickstarter campaign. Its most unique feature? --the 3:2 aspect ratio of the LCD display. No other large photo frame offers that screen format. A 3:2 aspect ratio enables DSLR photos to perfectly fit the entire frame, edge to edge, without unwanted cropping. And its 4K resolution was cutting edge in 2016, not yet the standard for television flat panels. Consequently the Memento was not cheap; the larger model sold for around $900.

I bought one about a year ago, It was going to be part of a photo exhibit I'm doing this summer. When my frame arrived, I tested it briefly. My pictures looked truly amazing on the big, sharp screen. Sadly I didn't realize that the device had a giant Achilles's heel until it was too late.

The fatal flaw involved how photos were loaded onto the Memento. First you would upload your photos via internet to a cloud server owned by the manufacturer; then the photos would be downloaded to your frame, also via the internet. I wish I had stopped to consider what might happen if the company every went out of business. And that's exactly what happened just a few months after I bought my Memento. The company quietly turned off their phones, stopped answering emails, and shut off their servers. And once the servers went dark, loading ANY photos onto the frame was now impossible. Any attempt to do so fails, with an unhelpful error message along the lines of "server not found".

If the Memento was like most TV flat panels nowadays, it would have the usual selection of inputs (especially HDMI inputs). An HDMI jack would permit some relatively simple interventions that might resurrect user control of the frame. But the Memento has no HDMI jacks. Just two USB ports, both of which appear pretty useless.

I've seen a couple of fascinating hacking projects on YouTube in which retired computer monitors are turned into digital photo frames with the help of small self-contained computers like the Raspberry Pi. Most of these exploits require an HDMI port, which the Memento sorely lacks. Right now I'm sharing details of the frame's circuitry with several smart hackers and electrical engineers, at least one of whom is optimistic that this frame can be resurrected. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from other Memento owners and whether they've found any workarounds to this problem...or just tossed their frame into a dumpster.

FLV478 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

Did you ever find a solution to your smart frame issue? Just hung mine back up after moving and now it won’t connect to anything as it can’t find the server that doesn’t exist!

OP kgivens New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

No, I'm very sorry to report, I have not been able to solve this problem.

Can you see what firmware version your frame has? There are two ways to find this--- first, when the frame has been powered down and is allowed to power back up and reboot, you may see something that says "frame version" in small type on the screen. On my screen it briefly shows up on the lower right of the screen, but it doesn't always appear on every boot-up, for some reason. The other way to see your firmware version is to run the app and click on "Settings'' on the menu, if it will let you. (this doesn't work for me--- "Settings" is grayed out and unclickable when I turn on the frame and try to connect it to the internet.

I have found two, maybe three Memento owners who claim that their frame is still working normally, namely they can still upload pictures to their frame. That is incredible if true.One of these  users also claims that his frame does this without connecting to the internet, which frankly I have trouble believing, since that's not the way the frame was designed to work. Anyway, this guy says his frame firmware version is 6.02. In contrast my frame is 3.04.

It could be that frames that received the newest firmware still work but right now I can't prove that. If so, the next question becomes--- how do we get the new firmware? I don't see a downloadable repository of firmware anywhere on the net.

Please post your frame firmware version when you have a chance, thanks---

Kerry

Martin-B New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

Hi,

Firmware-Version on my memento frame is 6.02.

With this version its possible to locally upload photos to the smart frame with apps (iOS, Mac, Windows). Unfortunately the iOS App doesn‘t work since iOS 13. Therefore i assume the other apps will soon also not work on Windows or Mac and i also am looking for a solution to use the frame with i.e. a raspberry pi.

One advantage of the memento smart frame - besides the 3:2 display - is the smart solution for powering the frame. There are no visible cables on the wall!

I live in germany. We saw this frame in the summer 2017 at B&H in New York and were so impressed that we instantly ordered one. It was shipped from canada and arrived shortly after our return from our vacation in the US. Because it worked really fine we ordered a second one: so one is in landscape the other one in portrait mode.

I really hope, we can find a solution to further use the frame. Maybe its possible to build a HDMI-Adapter???

Kind regards

Martin

OP kgivens New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

IMPORTANT UPDATE for anyone out there who, like me, has a 35" Memento Smart Frame that stopped working and will no longer permit new photos to be uploaded--- THERE IS A FIX!

The answer appears to be the frame's firmware. Specifically if your frame has firmware prior to version 6.02, it's likely to be non-functional. The solution is to download and install the 6.02 firmware.

I searched for months online hoping to find newer firmware and (just as important) instructions as to how to install it. To my great fortune, a contributor on another photography forum contancted me from France to report that he obtained a link to said firmware from someone at Memento shortly before they went out of business. The link below tells you where to download the firmware and how to install it:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/188O6Ahh2hpMBx9X2jz4_bkO_o7LyzaAW/view?usp=sharing

NOTE: this appears to be for the 35" version of the frame only, not the smaller model.

I was able to update my frame in about 15 minutes following the instructions at the link above. It was a cause of great joy to watch my frame absorb the updated firmware from a USB thumbdrive, reboot itself, and then start working normally.

It remains to be seen if this will be a lifelong fix or it whatever remaining computer servers that are involved in the uploading of photos from the Memento app to the frame's memory will get eliminated at some point, killing the frame once again. Perhaps with this version of the firmware, the servers have been eliminated from the process altogether.  I hope that is the case, anyway.

Good luck, all---

NashSmartGuy New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

So, I own a 35” Memento. I’m on firmware version 6.02. I’m having a great deal of difficulty trying to upload photos. Over the past four days, I have successfully uploaded seven photos. That was with trying over and over again for some of them. The frame continues to drop off of the app and lose connection. I have tried the Mac app, the PC app, and the iPhone and iPad apps. Nothing seems to work consistently. I wonder if something has changed with the servers?  I really wish that there were another way to upload photos to this frame. It is absolutely gorgeous, but it is becoming a brick.

NashSmartGuy New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

NashSmartGuy wrote:

So, I own a 35” Memento. I’m on firmware version 6.02. I’m having a great deal of difficulty trying to upload photos. Over the past four days, I have successfully uploaded seven photos. That was with trying over and over again for some of them. The frame continues to drop off of the app and lose connection. I have tried the Mac app, the PC app, and the iPhone and iPad apps. Nothing seems to work consistently. I wonder if something has changed with the servers? I really wish that there were another way to upload photos to this frame. It is absolutely gorgeous, but it is becoming a brick.

OK, this is weird.  I tried again this morning, and I was able to upload 15 photos in no time.  They went to the frame without any problems.  It was super fast and didn't crash like they had been doing.  Maybe Saturday mornings are the time for Memento uploads! I'm very grateful!

Danno28 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?
1

I have owned the Memento 35" frame for several years now. The close to $1000 frame. I think that I bought it back in 2011 or thereabouts - can't really remember. My frame has always been a bit troublesome in that it would simply stop working/crash. The fix would always be to just simply unplug the unit (power cycle) and it would return to its normal operating format each time. Updates used to come in automatically from time to time. Lately the frame has been crashing more frequently so I did a factory reset on it. This of course forced me to set it up as though it was a new frame. Everything went smoothly except that I could not get my iPhone reconnected to the frame, that is, until I closed the Memento app on my PC.  Then my iPhone instantly connected to my frame and started cataloging all my photos so I could once again control my frame from my iPhone app.

So my point here is, I don't think you need to be connected to the Memento server to get your pictures loaded. It appears that my PC somehow made the connection over my LAN. And so did my iPhone once I closed the Memento app on my PC.  For some reason the frame can only handle one device at a time for control.  Even though I keep getting the error message that the Memento server is unreachable, everything still works.

Go figure!

SandraDS New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

I do have the smaller of the memento frames. mine still works and I can upload photos as long as I use my desktop computer. The app on my phone will work to change settings on the frame but I can’t send photos from my phone.

I saw on their website when you click to order it just goes directly to a link to download the app.

AndersSJ New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

I have the 35" version, firmware version 6.02. It has gotten unstable the last couple of months, requiring a power off rather frequently; but I am able to upload pictures using the Windows app over my LAN and WiFi, and has always been.

The Android app seems to have lost its grib, but I haven't explored it further - yet.

Further, I, years ago, prepared my own ICC-profile, which I use for exports from Lightroom, as the standard colour spaces does not fit the Smartframe's high gamut colour space. The 25" version is different, I think.

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NashSmartGuy New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

AndersSJ wrote:

I have the 35" version, firmware version 6.02. It has gotten unstable the last couple of months, requiring a power off rather frequently; but I am able to upload pictures using the Windows app over my LAN and WiFi, and has always been.

The Android app seems to have lost its grib, but I haven't explored it further - yet.

Further, I, years ago, prepared my own ICC-profile, which I use for exports from Lightroom, as the standard colour spaces does not fit the Smartframe's high gamut colour space. The 25" version is different, I think.

I'm having the same issue.  I'll come into the room, and the frame is showing the Memento logo with a small folder icon in the lower right corner.  I love this frame, and I really hate that the company went under.

I have finally been able to upload photos to the frame again from the Mac and iPhone apps.  I have found that as long as you're on the same network and don't worry about logging into your account, that it seems to work OK.

It's a beautiful piece of technology and I can't find anything to compare with it.  Samsung's The Frame TV is fine, but it doesn't have the correct aspect ratio for DSLR photos (unless you want to shoot in 16:9 from now on).

AndersSJ New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

First, I do not think the company "went under". Memento was a sister company (side business) to Adrenaline Amusements in Montreal, and I believe the marketing of the Smartframe was "discontinued" because of lack of interest from the market - whatever the difference. But the Memento timeserver still works (Amazon I think) and you can still download the Windows app.

In 2017 I had an e-mail correspondence with the management regarding the colour rendering and they seemed quiet enthusiastic about the frame;  which is a really nice peace of technology. They also revealed some technical stuff on how to communicate with the frame - which I do not understand - I must admit. But at some point I may be forced to dig into the details.

Regarding the Samsung Frame TV it is a nice try, and it has a well defined colour space, the DCI-P3; which the Smartframe had not. However the 32" is HD only; while the bigger screens (and the Memento Smartframe) are UHD. Right - the 16:9 dimensions are too 'smartphone'; but you could experiment with a custom made passepartout (matte) - like with the Memento.

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Tom Mirga New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Anyone here own a Memento Smart Frame?

I have a Memento smart frame 35", running frame firmware version 6.02, and using application version (Mac) 6.00. The away schedule began acting buggy about a year ago so I switched it off. Otherwise it is working fine. I wouldn't mind having a backup copy of the Mac application. All that is available on the Memento site is the PC version.

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