Introducing Elodie; Your Personal EXIF-based Photo and Video Assistant
Jaisen Mathai

Hi Jaisen, thanks for sharing this. I’ve long believed that your file system should be your primary photo organisation system (rather than some app’s database.) I’m lucky that I’ve been following the same (manual) folder-based photo organisation system for over 15 years, but most people who’s (lack of) photo organisation I’ve seen would benefit from Elodie.

I wonder if you’ve considered turning your talents to what I believe is one of the biggest missing pieces in personal photo management: the screensaver / slideshow.

Hear me out: one of the biggest problems with our large digital photo collections is that too much of it sits around without ever being looked at again. If we do, it tends to be while sitting at a desk, rather than leaning back and relaxing. At the same time, the screens in our houses often sit idle much of the time, when they could be displaying an endless slideshow of our photos.

Windows and Mac have random photo library screensavers built in, but I find them so limited as to be useless. For starters, randomness alone is pretty useless. How often does seeing a random photo trigger a desire for “more of that”, where “that” might be the same day, the same year, the same place, the same person, same folder, etc. So you want to be able to “lock” it to that time or thing at any point. And you want to be able to switch between random or sequential order at any point. And all of this should be controllable with the keyboard or a remote control.

Here’s an interactive demo of what I mean: Left/Right is forward/back; Up pauses and overlays options for order (←↑↓→ select and resume); Down pauses and overlays options for locking (←↑↓→ select and resume); Play/Pause plays/pauses; Enter/OK toggles overlays and current settings; Back cancels and dismisses the overlays. (Wireframe)

While this would be great to have on your computer, obviously where you really want it is on your connected TV, displaying photos from networked storage such as a Synology NAS. My demo uses the Roku as an example. I’ve surveyed the field for screensavers in Roku and Chromecast, and it’s dismal. There’s nothing remotely like this out there, I can’t understand why.

Unfortunately I’m not a programmer, so I can’t build it myself. Perhaps if you agree everybody needs something like this, you’d consider giving it a shot?

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