Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Make Watch Wallpapers that Keep Changing (in Windows)

If you're tired of kittens, waterfalls and abstract art as your Windows wallpaper, and if you've grown bored of seeing the same photo of your favorite Rolex, here's how to make an ever changing wristwatch wallpaper for your computer.

First, get John's Background Switcher, which is free, and free from adware, malware and other wares that can ruin your day. John's Background Switcher enables your computer to run a wallpaper slideshow.

It's the secret sauce behind the wristwatch rotating wallpaper system. John's Background Switcher lets you rotate wallpapers that you upload to Dropbox. So if you don't have Dropbox, that's your next step. Dropbox provides enough free space to store your changing wallpaper pictures.

Now comes the fun part: Find watch photographs and save them in a Dropbox folder of your choosing. Google "wristwatch photographs" and that will keep you busy for hours. Right click on a photo that you like and then click on "Save image as." You can find photos on watchmaker and watch review websites, wristwatch forums, and on online wristwatch magazines, too.

Omega Moon Watch.
Photo by Shane LinLicenced under Creative Commons. 
Here's how to use and optimize John's Background Switcher: Click on Settings. In Settings, click on Authorize to allow John's Background Switcher to access your Dropbox account. Enter in your Dropbox credentials. Then click on Add to add the Dropbox folder you created.

Because not all of the watch photos you find will be high resolution, you'll want to tweak John's Background Switcher so that low resolution photos don't look, well, awful. Under Settings/Picture Handling, check "Auto-center pictures if smaller than 30% of the screen." You can also set John's Background Switcher to only show pictures larger than a certain number of pixels.

In the main setting window, under Picture Mode, select Center pictures on the screen. In that same settings screen you can also select how often you want your pictures to change -- every minute, five minutes, 30 minutes, or whatever you like.

John's Background Switcher will also let you use pictures from Flickr. There are some great wristwatch photo groups on Flickr. Input the group's name in John's Background Switcher and the software will take care of the rest. One group's photo pool that's part of my rotating wallpaper display is Automatic Wristwatches, which has over 7,000 photos. Photos that you use from Flickr are not stored on your PC or in your Dropbox account.

By the way, you can do this with cats, too.

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