Crowdsourced slideshow for OS X screensaver
February 1, 2010 8:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to set up father-in-law's iMac so that his screensaver displays a slideshow of pictures from a folder. How can I configure this so that his kids and grandkids can contribute pictures which automatically gets added to that folder and shown on the slideshow?

FIL is a neophyte computer user, and hasn't quite mastered email yet, so relying on him to download JPEG attachments from his email is out. iMac runs latest 10.6 release.

Initially, I thought of setting up a Dropbox folder on his Mac, point the screensaver at it, and give all relatives Dropbox account access. But I'd also like to lessen complexity for the sender of pictures.

Is there any way I can have people email pictures to him and have the JPEG attachment automatically show up in the picture folder? I don't use Apple Mail but I think Smart Folders can be used to filter out email with a special subject line indicating incoming family pictures. But I don't know how attachments can be automatically downloaded from that smart folder.

Any suggestions or other methods?
posted by jaimev to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it's an attachment, it probably just shows up in the e-mail itself. Can he just point and drag to download? Even just putting them on the desktop is a start.
posted by Madamina at 8:32 AM on February 1, 2010

Dropbox isn't that complicated once people understand the concept behind it. It's probably the simplest solution.

That or you can get Hazel (or an Automator script) and have it strip pictures from the emails and put them into the correct directory.
posted by unixrat at 8:56 AM on February 1, 2010

Seconding Dropbox. . Make one folder public and give the relatives the URL where they can put the new pics.
posted by parabola01 at 8:59 AM on February 1, 2010

Best answer: Seems like you could have a common flickr account to which all the family members can contribute, and a screensaver module that plays the photos from that account. (Google for flickrsavr.) Would that accomplish what you want?
posted by browse at 9:00 AM on February 1, 2010

... quick addition.
posted by parabola01 at 9:00 AM on February 1, 2010

Response by poster: I think flickrsavr and a common Flickr account that relatives could post via email could work. Thanks for the suggestion!
posted by jaimev at 9:07 AM on February 1, 2010

I've done this with school Macs. But I use a screensaver that reads a Flickr photostream.

You could do the same, and then relatives could upload (or e-mail) photos to the Flickr photostream. This would have the added benefit of being two-way. Other relatives could see the photos too, and you could have multiple computers grabbing screensaver images from the stream.

If you just google "Flickr Screensaver Mac" you should find a few screensavers that do this. I use one called "FlickrSavr."
posted by MiG at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2010

Here is how to do this by email.

1. Get your father a account

2. Create a gallery for the pictures. In the album settings make sure that 'adding of photos via email or iPhone' is checked and note the email address.

3. In your father's iPhoto, do file>subscribe to photo feed... and paste in the URL (eg'S_NAME_HERE_#xxxxx to the gallery

4. In your father's system preferences, go to the screensaver module and choose the photo feed which will now show up there.

5. You and your family can now email pictures to the email addy specified in (2) and they will show up in your father's iPhoto, and subsequently in his screensaver

You can also subscribed to the RSS of a photo feed, but this won't work with Flickr as the pix are too small.

The Dropbox thing will also work but it means everyone has to install Dropbox, whereas the above works with email.
posted by unSane at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

While I would prefer to use the dropbox method others have mentioned, if that's too complicated for the FIL, emailing works pretty well with Apple Mail. In Mail, when a picture comes in attached to an email, the user can right-click on the attachment and the context menu will offer a "Save to iPhoto" option. Then it's just a matter of going into the OS X screensaver preferences and choosing that directory/library as the one to use for the screensaver image source.

Nothing like helping the in-laws with tech!
posted by webhund at 9:55 AM on February 1, 2010

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