One of my favourite (but entirely trivial) apps for Windows is Slickr, an OpenGL screensaver that takes photos from my Flickr photostream.
Since getting the MacBook I’ve been looking for something equivalent to Slickr, but until yesterday I hadn’t been able to find anything (nothing that worked, anyway).
It turns out that one of the features of iPhoto is the ability to subscribe to “photocasts”. Point it at an RSS feed containing photos, and it will treat it as an album. One of the features of the inbuilt OS X screensaver is the ability to use iPhoto albums as a source for pictures for the screensaver. Mashup city!
My first effort was to try pointing iPhoto directly at the RSS feed of my photostream. That worked fine. However, when I then tried to use the resulting iPhoto album as a source for the screensaver, the images looked awful, as they were low-res thumbnail / small versions that were being scaled up to 1440×900 (the resolution of my screen).
I then tried a neat tool which provides the full-size images from Flickr in a feed formatted for iPhoto. You pass it the feed of the photostream you want, and it drops in the higher-res versions for you and serves you an alternate feed.
That works, but it still isn’t quite as configurable as I might have liked. Ideally I want a random selection, and probably to have more than the most recent 20 photos I’ve taken. The answer to the problem is an app called photocastr, which provides much more control over the feeds that are generated. It doesn’t cope with the requirement for a random selection, so I’ve gone for having 200 of my most popular photos sorted by Interestingness. It’s neat because it should mean that the stream changes as people choose to view different shots I’ve taken (kind of a vox pop thing).
For the sake of full disclosure here, something I’ve discovered whilst playing with this stuff is that the RSS feeds that iPhoto uses / generates are broken. Not so good. Black mark.
Stay tuned for more on my Mac move. I intend to post about the applications I’ve been using, shortly.
Technorati Tags: Flickr, iPhoto, Mac, mashup, OS X, photography, photocastr, RSS, screensaver, Slickr