Prentiss Riddle: Art

aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada

Prentiss Riddle

home art austin books
causes chuckles garden
kids language movies
music time toys travel
Search this site

Archive by date
Archive by title

Flickr'ed screensaver

The latest fun I'm having with Flickr is to save a bunch of favorites where my Mac uses them for its screensaver.

Riddle's Flickr favorites

For these purposes the definition of "favorite" is what looks good in the Ken Burns-style panning of the Mac screensaver. At the moment I'm favoring a lot of street art, squared circle shots, and other images with striking colors or textures. Not many portraits or landscapes. And I'm leaning heavily on Heather Champ and Lunaryuna among others.

So far saving the images is a manual process. What I'd like to do next is automate the grabbing of images from selected groups and streams so the screensaver can surprise me. Supposedly it can be done through the Flickr API but I'm not there yet.

art 2005.01.17 link


One problem with using the screensaver to view art harvested from the web is that it loses the metadata.

You see pretty much the identical problem when listening to many forms of streaming audio. Podcasting may or may not preserve limited metadata from MP3s, I'm not sure; my guess is that it will at least preserve whatever rough artist+title info is encoded in the filename.

Flickr filenames are just strings of digits and if there's a way to reverse-engineer them to get a URL or a username I haven't found it yet. In an ideal world, the JPG would have some useful metadata stored inside, and the Mac screensaver would be able to access and display it with the right keyboard/mouse sequence.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.17
Prentiss - there's a tool called "1001" by Adriaan - - it might do what you want, I don't know.

Personally I never ever see the background of my screen since I have a mess of windows open all the time.

Edward Vielmetti [edward punkto vielmetti cxe gmail punkto com] • 2005.01.18
Thanks, Ed. That looks like the ticket. 1001 itself seems to be a sort of RSS aggregator for Flickr, notifying you of new images in streams you monitor, but the page also says: "1001 comes with a Flickr screensaver that will incrementally display the latest image from Flickr. You do not need to have 1001 installed to use this screensaver."

I'm with you about never seeing my desktop, but I'm talking about my screensaver, which I see a lot of since I hardly ever shut my machine down. :-)

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.18
I am sad that it is not possible to get Flickr to generate an RSS/Atom feed for a user's favorites. (Yours would make my feed aggregator very happy indeed.)

Looks like the API call flickr.favorites.getPublicList can get that info out, but it's not plugged into their RSS system.

On the topic of the Flickr API, looks like you'd want to use that API call to grab your favorites, shuffle it a bit, and then call to grab a URL for each photo and to extract the juicy tidbits (author, tags, etc).

You could either hack together some background task (using one of the many scripting helpers available, such as to populate your Pictures folder with appropriately-named photos (and let the stock Apple saver module do the rest), or get down and dirty with the screen saver API and write a FlickrSavr. Sounds like fun, huh?

Dan Sandler [dsandler cxe dsandler punkto org] • 2005.01.19
Sounds like the kind of fun I should have gotten into in my downtime before school started. You should see the length of the list of things in that category!

I'm surprised that they don't have an RSS feed for favorites -- I was under the mistaken impression that they offered RSS feeds for virtually anything for which they have a view in HTML. I was wrong. It's been brought up in the forums, so maybe it's in their queue.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.19
Do you know about FlickrDesk?

Seb [rather cxe not punkto net] • 2005.01.24
I was looking at your site earlier, looking for a flickr screensaver... and now looking at GreaseMonkey scripts for I came across this:

this guy (Nicolas Hoizey) set up an external feed-generator, the URL syntax to use looks like:

I found that just now, and found this page in my history, thinking I could be of some help. enjoy

Rex Pechler [aprendizdetodo cxe sluggin punkto com] • 2005.10.21
More art >