Windows 7 AFP RSS Photo Theme

Originally published at Bleeding Edge 4th Feb 2009.

Inspired by Mike Swanson’s post of his fantastic Windows 7 Theme Pack from a selection of his wallpaper images and the already available Windows 7 Theme packs I have jumped aboard and gone a step further than Long Zheng’s post on RSS Powered Windows 7 Themes from Flickr users. The theme pack that I created uses a RSS feed of news photographs sourced from Agence France-Presse via Dave Winer’s FlickrFan project.

There are a few things to note regarding the install of this theme pack in that a few extra steps are needed to customise your settings for the RSS feed in getting updates more frequently than once per day, or you can leave the defaults to once per day as the AFP photo feed is updated quite often so I would suggest 4 hours is a good middle of the road option. The RSS feed can download in excess of 500+ images per day with image sizes ranging from 0.5Mb to 1.5Mb each you will need to take this into consideration.

Those of us here down under that have very limited download allocations per month I would definitely recommend not updating any sooner than every 4 times per hour, those in places around the world that have larger monthly download quota’s you can pick any setting you think that will not hurt your monthly download quota.

Firstly download the AFP FlickrFan themepack to your desktop and open it open it up (double click) and you will be presented with a popup window ‘Subscribe to RSS Feed’ and you should click ‘Download Attachments’ and by default you are now up and running getting updates once per day. If you want the RSS feed to update more frequently open up Internet Explorer 8 and navigate to your ‘feeds’ folder (Favorites -> Feeds) and you will have a feed titled ( and right click the feed and select properties and select ‘Use Custom Schedule’ and select how often you want the feed list updated, ¼, ½, hourly, 4 hours or daily and select how many items you want to store, the default is 200 and you can change this to a maximum of 2,500. The theme is set to change your background wallpaper every 3 seconds as drinking from the firehose without changing the background so often you would not get to see many of the images.When you do see an image and want to know more about the image you will need to open up Internet Explorer 8 and navigate to the RSS Feed and view the description contained in the feed as overlaying this text directly onto the images is well out of my league of wizardry.

For more information on FlickrFan and the AFP photostream read Dave’s post A taste of FlickrFan, Om Malik’s Introducing FlickrFan, Read Write Web’s Dave Winer’s new photo viewing software or Scobleizer’s The MacMini HDTV revolution.

If you do not have Windows 7 or this RSS Feed is just too much to download you can view the same images at the AFP OPML site created by Dave Winer.

Thanks to AFP for supplying the images, Dave Winer and the FlickrFan project and WordPress for hosting the images.