I discovered John's Background Switcher on the excellent Donation Coder forum where the user y0himba posted a review of it. John's Background Switcher is a software that can easily switch background images, also known as wallpapers, in a set interval on the users computer. What makes this software special is that it not only provides access to local images but incorporates several online services as well.
The online services it makes use of currently are Flickr, Phanfare, SmugMug, Picasa, Facebook and Yahoo. That's a lot of additional - and may I add optional - content for wallappers for your desktop. Basic controls are always the same. The user pics an interval which can be anything from 1 minute to x days. A border can be chosen for images that do not fit the full screen and settings for multi-monitor systems can be configured as well.
The user can then add pictures or folders from the local computer or pick one or multiple of the services. Wallpapers will be mixed from all sources and one will be randomly selected for each interval.
Several services provide access to free content. The top 250 Flickr photos from the last seven days, from a specific group, or using specific tags can be selected without authentication. The amount of photos can be edited and it is possible to change the time interval as well.
John's Background Switcher is highly configurable. If you open the advanced settings you can configure pretty much everything. Selecting a minimum width for images, stopping image switching when running specific applications and a hotkey for immediate changes of the wallpaper are only three of the manifold options.
The application is compatible to all Microsoft Windows operating systems starting with Windows 98 including Windows XP and Windows Vista. Even the 64-bit editions are supported. It also requires the Microsoft .net Framework 2.0.
John's Background Switcher has been updated several times in past years. This includes the addition of new online services that photos and images can be snagged from, support for the Windows 7 operating system and many under the hood settings that have improved the usability of the background image switcher noticeably.
There is also support for additional languages like Russian or Finnish, a new keyboard shortcut to view the previous background image which is handy if you really liked the last picture or the ability to add random image effects to the wallpaper images that are selected as the desktop backgrounds.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.