Disruptions during move!

You may have noticed I have been moving my blog over the past few days and unfortunately there has been unavoidable down time, for that I am sorry.

I am going to do a post of what I have been doing and how I have been doing it and the final outcome.

In the mean time you can subscribe to my RSS feed and/or daily email digest, which will send you an email summary of my daily posts.

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Matthew Glover
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How To Use RSS Feed as Theme Picture Background Slideshow Source in Windows 7

You may already know you can select a bunch of pictures to cycle through as a slideshow in Windows 7 theme, but what you may not know is you can also utilize the power of RSS feeds too.

It is a documented but not well-known feature in Windows 7 theme that provide the ability to specify a RSS feed as the source of slideshow images. However, due to the limitation of the RSS feed use in Windows RSS Platform, you can’t easily specify a RSS Feed inside the Control Panel Personalization window. It must be created manually. Here is how.

Step 1, create or modify the theme pack file

The easiest way is to find an existing theme file, make change to it, and save as a new theme file.

The system default themes are located in

%systemroot%\Resources\Themes

And the user customized themes are stored in

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes

Open the .theme file in notepad or any text editor, and locate to the section, and change the content as following.

[Slideshow]
Interval=1800000
Shuffle=1
RssFeed=http://feeds.feedburner.com/bingimages

Save as the theme file to your desktop. And make sure  .theme as the file extension name.

Note that this theme will pull the images from Bing as the source of slideshow pictures.

Step 2: Activate the theme you just made

Double-click the theme file you just made to set it as your visual theme. If this is the first time you subscribe this feed, the following window will pop up asking

image

Make sure you click the first option “Download Attachments”, and then the new created the theme will show up in Personalization window. To activate it, just simply click it.

image

A couple of notes

1. The feed specified in the theme file will be subscribed through Internet Explorer, you can check and change the feed properties from the Feeds panel in Favourites.

image

For example, the default frequency of update to the feed is set to 1 day, you can change it from the Feed Properties window.

image

2. As noted above, in order to get the feed to work, images inside the feeds must be adhering as an enclosure item in the feed. Therefore, unfortunately, not every feed can be used as the source of slideshow images.

Some good resources to use

Other than Bing: http://feeds.feedburner.com/bingimages, Flickr will a very good resource to use, as their feeds to different set or users pictures are Windows RSS Platform compliant.