Random Wallpaper Program
Now for those of you who may have checked this out in the past there was an old program that I had linked to in here and discussed how to work it - but it's been a while since then, and that site is now offline, and better still there's a new program that I found, that works like a charm, and has more options than the previous one did. (Please remember this is not my program, I am merely refering you to one that I have tried, tested and now use on a daily basis) So read on to find out more...
Wallpaper Master is program that you can download and use to refresh your desktop with a new wallpaper at selected intervals that you choose. It has multiple options for you to play with, and you can have hundreds of wallpapers for it to choose from in nice, neat little categories. So... here's a little rundown on how you work it. :) (It is basically self explanitory once you open it up, but hey figured I'd do this anyway!)
Step 1: Download the program from here. Step 2: Getting Started
Once you have installed the program, you can open it up and get started added in the wallpapers you want it to use for your desktop. To open the program select it from your start menu - this will open the program to your task bar, right click on the icon (as shown above) and then select 'Wallpaper Master...' to open up the menu. Now, you should have the main window where you will be able to control what wallpapers you want to use, how often you want it to change as well as editting other settings for your wallpapers. But first, to ensure that the program starts when you logon to your computer, allowing it to run constantly in the background, select 'Further Options' from the bottom right corner of this window and click.
Now that you have this window you can select how you want the program to run on your computer. If you do want it to automatically start refreshing your desktop select 'Auto Start on Windows Logon' as shown above. (If you are going to have your desktop change every hour or so, it would be a good idea to make sure that 'Don't Count Idle Time' is not selected - otherwise it won't be a fixed interval between changes, it will only be if you are on your computer for that fixed length of time.) Now you can just hit 'OK' and go back to the main window where you can start adding in those wallpapers! Step 3: Setting Up Wallpapers
Now, focussing on this part of the window, this is where you make up your list of wallpapers. As you can see I chose to do my categories by television series. You can make your categories whatever you choose. Anyway just click 'Add Category' to get started and type in the name you choose. Clicking on OK, will add the category into the list under 'Main'. You can add as many categories as you like. To add files to the category, select the category of your choice and just hit 'Add Files' - search your folders for the pieces that you want to add, and then select OK. And now you have wallpapers organised into a category. Be sure to tick the box next to the category name to allow for it to be included in the wallpapers the program will choose from. It's that easy!
Categories aren't necessary. If you don't wish to have multiple categories, because you only have a few walls to choose from, don't bother adding in categories, just do 'Add Files' and they will be added to the 'Main' category.
Step 4: Changing Settings
There are various settings that you can change. Looking at this section of the window, you can see the headers 'Interval', 'Order', 'Position', 'Color' and 'Monitor'. Selecting these you can change various settings of how your wallpapers will run.
Looking at the first one, shown on your left, the 'Interval' settings. As you can see, you can choose to have your wallpaper change every time that you start up your computer. On top of which you can have your wallpaper change at selected periods of time. Just select the 'Fixed Interval' button, and then add in how often you would like your desktop to refresh in minutes.
As you can see there is an option to 'Use Ratings'. You can give each wallpaper a rating out of 5, and the program will use this information to change your wallpaper as it sees fit. I will go into ratings shortly.
The next one I am going to look at is, 'Position'. Here the default position of each wallpaper can be chosen. If you're resolution is equal to what the wallpapers are then you're pretty much set. However if you're like me and you have a widescreen laptop, playing with these settings can often help.
'Stretch' will stretch the wallpaper to fit the whole screen. Whereas 'Resize' keeps the wallpaper's original aspect ratio and just resizes it to fit the screen leaving bars of colour at the unused sides. Choose whatever option suits you best.
And if you're feeling slightly adventurous you can set up the Auto-Sizing, which just means that it will auto-size any wallpapers less than a certain size to be resized or stretched and what position you want them in. It's all very easy.
Looking at 'Color' now, this option defines what colour is to be used for your background. This really only applies if you have wallpapers that are centered, or resized on widescreen computers where you a background colour is visible. If this doesn't apply to you then skip this bit and continue reading at the next picture. :)
'User Defined' means that you can select a colour to use as your background, and this will be used consistantly throughout all the wallpaper changes. 'Auto-Analyse' however means that the program will analyse each wallpaper as it is refreshing your desktop and it will choose an appropriate background colour. Again you should just pick whichever of these options best suits your needs. And it's simple to go back in and change it over later.
Lastly I am going to look at 'Order' (I will discuss 'Monitor' later). This is where you can select how you want your wallpapers to change. Whether it be in a random order, with 'No Repeats' - or you can 'Use Ratings' which will allow for wallpapers that you rate highly to appear more often, and ones that you rate low to appear less often.
Or if you do not want a random order, you can select for the program to 'Choose in Order' which will allow it to go through all of your wallpapers in the order they are in within the categories.
If you want the program to randomize your wallpapers from all of the categories and not just one that you have selected, then be sure to tick the 'Choose From Multiple Categories...' box!
Step 5: Overriding Settings
Now if we look back at your file list for the categories. You can see a 'position' bar, and a ratings section. These settings for each wallpaper can override the default settings. Changing the position from default you can choose to have specific wallpapers at different positions from the rest of your wallpapers which will run in the default position that you have already set.
You can also use the ratings here to set the rating for each wallpaper so that it can influence either the timing change that you set up earlier, or the order that the wallpapers are chosen in. Just select the wallpaper and then set a rating for it. It will store this information and use it when choosing the order.
This is just some final information about the program. I will firstly discuss 'Monitor' that I skipped out in Step 4. Here you can select a directory from your computer that the program will monitor and any files added to this directory will be used instead of files selected from your categories. Be sure to have turned off the 'Choose From Multiple Categories...' option under 'Order' if you wish to use this option instead.
From the program you can select a wallpaper, view it in the top right hand corner and then click 'Apply Wallpaper' to change it to your desired wallpaper right away.
Going back to step 1, if you look at the options when you click on the icon in the task bar, you can actually rate the wallpaper on your desktop by selecting 'Rate' from here. Or you can change the wallpaper, clear it, return to your previous wallpaper and more. Under options you can alter the wallpapers position from here too.
And last thing I'm going to say is that from the menu you get on right-clicking the icon in the task-bar you can go to help, and locate the website for the Wallpaper Master program and get any answers you need from there!