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Last post Author Topic: So, about wallpaper changers...  (Read 7001 times)

ConstanceJill

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So, about wallpaper changers...
« on: December 24, 2013, 03:54:04 PM »
Hey there .o/

I have a kinda specific request, for after trying various wallpaper changers I can't find the one that perfectly meets my needs.
It seems simple (at least from a user's point of view) yet from all the programs I've tried, all miss at least two of the following features :
- randomly chooses a picture from a folder (and its subfolders) to set as wallpaper and repeats the process after a user definable delay
- provides good quality picture resampling¹, keeping aspect ratio no matter what, including support of PNG files ; I don't mind if that requires another freeware (such as IrfanView) to be installed
- can be told to suspend its action if some specific process (in fact any one from a user definable list) is running²
- stay "simple": I don't need such things as automatically get the pictures from social networks, rating pictures or dozens of options...
- be freeware? :D

I took a look at several threads around here (such as http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=210.0 and http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=1008.0 ) and it seemed that probably could be done by modifying aCkRiTe's AutoHotKey script (which unfortunately I don't feel able to do).

So, does anyone know of a program that does what I want, or can make one? Please? ^^'


¹: because Windows 7's method, as well as many freewares out there, make very ugly artefacts on smaller pictures that didn't have any before upscaling them to the monitor's size, even though it would seem to be common sense to resize before converting to jpeg
²: because some older games such as the first Diablo (and most likely the first StarCraft, though I don't play this one) don't seem to like the wallpaper changing at all when using Windows 7, and I think killing explorer.exe before playing is not an acceptable option :p

skwire

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 05:30:15 PM »
I should be able to whip up a prototype pretty quickly tonight.  Stay tuned.

wraith808

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:03:55 PM »
Just something you might want to also look at: Wallpaper Cycler.

Don't know if you already looked at it, but it seems like it meets your requirements, especially in my use.

ConstanceJill

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 07:17:31 PM »
Hello there :]

I just tested the Lite version and it seems to be doing a good job as for the resizing of pictures without noticeable quality loss :}
However I didn't find where I could specify to stop when a specific program is running. I've read on its website something about CPU load, but Diablo is such an old game it will probably never load the CPU enough to trigger that feature ^^'. The reason why I want to prevent the wallpaper from changing when it is running is not because of performance issues but because if the wallpaper changes while the game is running, it will corrupt the game's colors.

So I'll still wait for skwire's prototype, but I'll keep this one in a corner of my HDD just in case, thank you :}

Edit: now that I think of it, I might just use this program you told me about and run the game using a script that kills/exits the wallpaper changer before running the game and runs it again after the game exited… that probably would be a simple solution for everyone.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 07:34:21 PM by ConstanceJill »

wraith808

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 07:54:58 PM »
Ah... I missed that part.  There are two places you can check for a way around it:

wallpapercycler.jpgSo, about wallpaper changers...

wallpapercycler2.jpgSo, about wallpaper changers...

But no way to check for a specific program.  For that, skwire's solution would probably be more optimal.  You could also have an AHK script that generates the shortcut and put it in a batch file that you run when you want to run diablo that does that first.

skwire

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 10:00:44 PM »
@ConstanceJill:  http://skwire.dcmembers.com/apps/swallswitcher/sWallSwitcher.zip

Please go here:  https://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=36876.0

2013-12-24_215700.pngSo, about wallpaper changers...

Again, this is a prototype to test functionality.  That is, the GUI is somewhat thrown together and would not be the final look.  The interface and operation should be pretty simple but please let me know if you have any issues.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 09:03:26 PM by skwire »

Shades

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 10:19:11 PM »
Nowadays I just use the standard wallpaper that comes with Windows 7. But this used to be a favorite of mine:
http://www.johnsadventures.com/software/backgroundswitcher/

Never tried this one myself, but looks promising:
http://www.caledos.com/lab/Caledos/featuresC.aspx

Although it doesn't fit the requirements from the OP, I cannot forgot about the eye-candy generated by this piece of freeware. At the time I enjoyed this very much:
http://alumni.cs.ucr.edu/~gstitt/motionpicture/
It is from 2004 and doesn't look to be actively maintained, but it still works in my Windows 7 64-bit installation and to be honest...I still like it a lot!

*- edited: added eye-candy part -*
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 10:39:27 PM by Shades »

superboyac

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 12:07:21 AM »
I went on a fairly OCD wallpaper changer software search recently (in the last couple of years).  I forgot the name of it, but I found the perfect one that had all the options and everything.  I need to remember the name...

got it!
http://jamesgart.com/wallpaperchanger/

Wallpaper Master Pro.  Very complete and awesome.

superboyac

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 12:12:15 AM »
Hey there .o/

I have a kinda specific request, for after trying various wallpaper changers I can't find the one that perfectly meets my needs.
It seems simple (at least from a user's point of view) yet from all the programs I've tried, all miss at least two of the following features :
- randomly chooses a picture from a folder (and its subfolders) to set as wallpaper and repeats the process after a user definable delay
- provides good quality picture resampling¹, keeping aspect ratio no matter what, including support of PNG files ; I don't mind if that requires another freeware (such as IrfanView) to be installed
- can be told to suspend its action if some specific process (in fact any one from a user definable list) is running²
- stay "simple": I don't need such things as automatically get the pictures from social networks, rating pictures or dozens of options...
- be freeware? :D

I took a look at several threads around here (such as http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=210.0 and http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=1008.0 ) and it seemed that probably could be done by modifying aCkRiTe's AutoHotKey script (which unfortunately I don't feel able to do).

So, does anyone know of a program that does what I want, or can make one? Please? ^^'


¹: because Windows 7's method, as well as many freewares out there, make very ugly artefacts on smaller pictures that didn't have any before upscaling them to the monitor's size, even though it would seem to be common sense to resize before converting to jpeg
²: because some older games such as the first Diablo (and most likely the first StarCraft, though I don't play this one) don't seem to like the wallpaper changing at all when using Windows 7, and I think killing explorer.exe before playing is not an acceptable option :p


To quote some of Wallpaper Master features that match your request:
Quote
Change wallpaper in order, in shuffle mode, or randomly according to rating.
Very high quality resizing of images to fit the screen optimally and keep their aspect ratio.
Skip a cycle if CPU load is too high (useful for when playing games). [PRO feature, $18]
Uses very little resources.
I think this is your answer.  It's not free, but cheap and worth it.

Ath

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 03:36:30 AM »
Again, this is a prototype to test functionality.
So you have another NANY entry? ;)

ConstanceJill

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 05:15:50 AM »
@ skwire : I tested the prototype, pointed it to a folder with a few pictures, set it to change every 1 minute and clicked start, but whether the exlusionary process I added is running or not, it doesn't seem to actually change the wallpaper even after waiting several minutes ^^'

@ Shades : I've been using John's Background Switcher for a while now but the resizing of small pictures is pretty bad too :/
I'll take a look at the other two you've mentionned.

@superboyac : Wallpaper Master is cheap enough indeed yet I don't like that the freeware version doesn't allow PNG images, even though these would be the ones to choose for testing the quality of its resizing :(

Shades

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 07:29:34 AM »
Upscaling (enlarging) images is very hard to do. Of course, enlarging an image with dimensions 1024x768 to 1280x1024 is not that hard, especially when the ratio remains the same. However, when upscaling to bigger

The compression level of the JPG image format is a huge factor in the upscaling capability of an image. Compression normally means: how can I get rid of as much image data as possible, without affecting the image (too much).

After compression (of any image format, really) the upscaling capability diminishes significantly. Myself, I tend to use the following rule of thumb: if you have a JPG image with 80% compression (a very common, if not the default level of compression) you can more or less safely upscale up to 20% of the original size (about 25% of the compression level value), but only if the ratio remains the same. For example: 1024x768 (original) + 20% would become 1280x1024.

After that, don't bother. Years ago, around 1998-2000, I did buy a piece of software (for about 150 of today Euros) that could significantly upscale images successfully. The floppy it came on wasted away and as far as I know this software isn't on the consumer market anymore. The guy who made it was always busy making computer demos (in Assembly) in his free time, while studying mathematics in University. He finished his study with a project where someone would make a random pile of coins from different countries and his software could tell you the exact amount of coins from a satellite image.

Recalculating the correct missing image information from any image is very hard to do and will always lead to artifacts. Nothing substitutes uncompressed image data. Still, all bets are off when the image ratio changes during upscaling, even if the image is uncompressed. Not all of the tricks that work when upscaling (compressed) movies, work as well for stationary images I'm afraid.

skwire

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 08:52:05 AM »
So you have another NANY entry? ;)

@Ath: Let's see if I can get it working for ConstanceJill first.

@ skwire : I tested the prototype, pointed it to a folder with a few pictures, set it to change every 1 minute and clicked start, but whether the exlusionary process I added is running or not, it doesn't seem to actually change the wallpaper even after waiting several minutes ^^'

@ConstanceJill: That's odd.  I developed and tested this in W7/64 and also tested it under an XP/32 VM and my wife's W7/64 laptop.  Now...there is one thing, under my W7/64 box.  For some reason, when a wallpaper is changed, it doesn't get repainted properly unless I drag a window around the desktop (or maximise, then minimise) some window.  Could that be the issue you're seeing?  FWIW, the XP/32 VM doesn't exhibit this issue, nor does my wife's W7/64 laptop.  BTW, for testing purposes, you can use a float value like 0.1 to switch walls every six seconds.  This part of the GUI will be changed in a future build.

Anybody else give this prototype a try?  At any rate, Merry Christmas, all!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 08:57:59 AM by skwire »

ConstanceJill

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 09:31:19 AM »
@Shades: Yes, I know that, but when you see that Windows 7 and some other programs add huge artifacts to pictures that didn't have any (such as small sized PNGs that never were compressed with a lossy algorithm) when upscaling them, while other programs don't, working with the very same picture set, it's pretty obvious that some of these programs are not working the best way.

@skwire: yup, looks like that was it, it started working once I maximised/moved a window and kept working after I set it back to its original size.
I'm also satisfied with the quality of resized pictures, and it does stop changing pictures when one of the specified processes is running. Good job, I am very pleased \o/

Now if I may ask for just a few more minor features:
- I'd like a way, from the program's interface (or system tray icon), to open or copy the path+filename of the original picture, so just in case I decide I don't like that one anymore, or I want to show it to some friends, it makes it easier for me to find it again
- would it be possible to force the picture change without waiting for the pre-defined delay from the system tray icon ?

That would make it perfect for me ♥_♥

tomos

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 04:53:58 PM »
Nice app!
I actually thought it didnt work, but then I realised I had to click "Enable Wallpaper switching" at the bottom :-[
I'll bet that's why you made that button so big - so as I wouldn't miss it. (But I still managed to...)

The resizing is being done quite well.
Last requests from ConstanceJill sound very good :up:

__________
win7 x64
Tom

skwire

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2013, 05:07:58 PM »
Nice app!

Thank you.   :)

I actually thought it didnt work, but then I realised I had to click "Enable Wallpaper switching" at the bottom :-[
I'll bet that's why you made that button so big - so as I wouldn't miss it. (But I still managed to...)

I'll be adding an icon to the button as well.  The GUI redesign is finished and, with ConstanceJill's testing today, I think we have a pretty decent app.

The resizing is being done quite well.

I'm using the standard Microsoft GDI+ library for the resizing so it should be fairly decent.

Last requests from ConstanceJill sound very good :up:

Both of those requests are in the latest build I have.

As an aside, can anybody thing up a better name for this application?  I suck at naming.

tomos

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2013, 05:31:25 PM »
^ WallpaperWhipper (?)
Tom

MilesAhead

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 05:34:43 PM »
How about Paper Cachet ?

skwire

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2013, 05:36:55 PM »
^ WallpaperWhipper (?)

Hmmm...not bad.   :D

For the record, ConstanceJill and I came up with PEWS (Process Exclusive Wallpaper Switcher).  I'm not completely sold on it so keep the ideas coming, though.  =]

tomos

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2013, 05:47:56 PM »
^ got that from you saying you should "be able to whip up a prototype pretty quickly".

On another note, I *think* I came across an image that is stretched with the "Scale" setting - but I cant find it in the folder (should have started with a smaller sample). [edit] found the image, it was laready stretched, so no problem there [/edit]
Where the path to file would be very helpful. (Is the new version up yet?)

I'm also wondering now if it would be worthwhile/possible to add sorting, as well as random. Could [in theory] be done like trout: list/repeat-list/random/shuffle. Or more like a file manager: by-name/by-date/random/shuffle.
(More of an idle idea than a personal request.)
Tom
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 04:11:48 AM by tomos »

rgdot

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2013, 06:28:05 PM »
Make a snack named after the requester :D

For example: CJWallpaper

cranioscopical

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 01:22:47 AM »
WallYouWant

Shades

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 02:31:20 AM »
SkreenSwapper

Using the first 2 characters of your nick seemed appropriate with this one...

4wd

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2013, 06:37:26 AM »
I'm not completely sold on it so keep the ideas coming, though.  =]

I'm not quite sure you'd like my idea, although the title is accurate the acronym may be a little off-putting:

I'm demented, so sue me
Arbitrary Screen Swapper With Integrated Process Exclusion


 :P


Disclaimer: In no way, shape, or form is this any reflection upon the work skwire does - more likely it's a reflection upon my warped and twisted mentality which often manifests itself in strange and interesting forms.

tomos

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Re: So, about wallpaper changers...
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2013, 09:45:40 AM »
Just trying this again (build #28), three queries/requests

1) is it possible to add the option "Fit"? This reduces larger images to screen size - but doesnt enlarge anything.
(The Windows 7 options are Fill / Fit / Stretch / Tile / Center.)

2) would it be possible to change the browse dialogue, to an open file type one. More info here:
-

The Browse window - I hear you and I will be redoing it shortly. Though I am so NOT looking forward to it. But regarding the file dialog - got an example?

For instance SourceTree, when I click one of the '...' buttons to select a folder, I get a dialog like the one to select files, but one that lets me select a folder:
 (see attachment in previous post)

Would you look at that ... apparently it's a standard Windows dialog, just a (much) less popular one.
Here's a code for it just in case if anyone else needs it - http://code.msdn.mic...nFileDialog-17b20409

3) I'm wondering would it be possible to disable a folder rather than have to delete it. If #2 above is implementable, this would not be of such big interest :-)
Tom