I can’t stand plain, boring backgrounds. John’s Background Switcher (or JBS for short) periodically changes the background image on your computer (like every hour or every day) to something interesting. You can specify which pictures to choose from:
- Individual pictures on your computer.
- Folders containing pictures on your computer such as ‘My Pictures’.
- Flickr photo sharing – selecting pictures by person, tags, sets or just plain random. You never know what you’re going to get next!
- Facebook – your friends photos on your desktop!
- Vladstudio wallpapers – choose from the coolest wallpapers on the net!
- Any Media RSS feed – choose pictures from sites like DeviantArt, Photobucket,LOLCats and Zooomr amongst many others!
- Phanfare web albums – keep up to date with your friends and family.
- smugmug photo galleries – yours, your friends, anybody’s!
- Picasa Web Albums – choose from specific albums or any search text.
- Webshots – if you’re a Webshots user, you can choose from your online or downloaded photos and collections.
- Google Image Search – get pictures from anywhere across the internet.
- Bing Image Search – not a Google fanboy? Then Bing is for you!
- Yahoo! image search – the internet is your oyster!
Don’t want to read any more?
What Does It Do?
JBS sits in your system tray (down by the clock) and changes your background at the time interval of your choosing. You tell it where to get pictures from and how to show them – maybe you just want to see one photo at a time or maybe you’d like to see a ‘Snapshot Scrapbook‘ of photos thrown across your desktop. It’s up to you and you never know what’s coming next!
What Does It Look Like?
The settings dialog that controls all the functionality of JBS looks like this:
You add as many pictures sets from as many different places you like to the list and decide how you want them shown. Additional fine-tuning options are available from the ‘More Settings’ dialog where you can tweak till you heart’s content. Maybe you want a 3-month calendar on your desktop, your backgrounds always to be sepia or a cork noticeboard look – whatever you want is probably there. If it’s not, contact here and I’ll put it there!
How Do I Bring Up The Settings?
The notification icon (pictured right) lets you open the settings, pause switching, view all downloaded photos (especially useful if you’re using one of the montage modes – just choose ‘Cached Picture Browser’), email or save backgrounds, check for updates and exit JBS (nooooooo!). Full documentation is included explaining every feature, checkbox and menu item. If you don’t like JBS (I hope you’ll tell me why) the uninstaller will remove every trace of it from your computer – it won’t leave even so much as a temporary file on your system!
Did I mention that JBS is completely free? Well it is! It will work happily on all 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows from Windows 98 onwards (except Windows 7 Starter Edition). It uses Microsoft.NET 2.0 and if that’s not already installed on your computer the setup wizard will download and install it for you. If you have a version of JBS installed already just run the installer below and it’ll upgrade your settings for you – there’s no need to uninstall the current version first!