The TV in the kitchen is wired up to the MythTV box (which sits in a closet in another room). If the TV is left on after a recorded show ends, the MythTV menus are not so pretty to look at. The standard “Pictures folder” screensaver is nice, but I got tired of manually copying and managing pictures on the Myth box. Why not use Flickr as the automated source of the pictures?
I poked around for “flickr screensaver linux” on Google and was a bit disappointed. Most of the results a) discuss Mac- or Windows-only solutions, b) link to programs that no longer exist, or c) are more complicated than what I need.
Well, it is Linux … time to roll my own. Maybe this solution is so obvious that no one bothered to document it, but this is what I came up with. Maybe it will save time for someone else. Besides, I need a new post to break in the new theme on this blog.
The basic formula: RSS feed from Flickr + podcast downloader + cron + “Pictures folder” screensaver.
Read on for the details …
Actually, any RSS feed with images as
enclosures will work, since that’s what the podcatching software looks for. However, podget does not handle Atom feeds with enclosures, so make sure you reach for the RSS. The tricky part of this setup was finding a feed for the Interesting pics on Flickr. Flickr does not supply an official feed, but someone has already solved this problem. (His APOD feed is nice as well.)
You want step-by-step? It’s actually pretty Easy In Linux (not to be confused with regular easy):
- Install the podcatcher:
sudo apt-get install podget
podgetto download to the ~/Pictures directory. Here’s the relevant line from my
( alternate: tell the Pictures screensaver to grab images from the podcast directory )
- Add feeds to podget. Here’s my
# FORMAT: <url> <category> <name>
# my photostream
http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?id=31073629@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss2 screensaver Flickr mine
# my favorites
http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_faves.gne?id=31073629@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200 screensaver Flickr faves
# Flickr pictures with "interestingness"
http://feeds.feedburner.com/seanreiser/flickrinterestingness screensaver flickr interesting
# Astronomy Picture of the Day
http://feeds.feedburner.com/seanreiser/apod screensaver APOD
- Tell cron to grab new pictures once a day:
crontab -eand add this line:
0 5 * * * podget # run podget at 5am every day
(You may need to give a full path for