Would you pay for a desktop wallpaper slideshow? Let's rephrase that: Would you pay for shareware to create a desktop wallpaper slideshow? You might, if it's Wallpaper SlideShow Pro. What makes it so much better than the many free slideshow apps? Like the one that comes with Windows? Lots of things, starting with multiple monitor capability. You can custom-fit each separate image, too, so you no longer have to choose whether to center, fit, or stretch them all. You can add overlays like calendars and text, too. As we noted, Wallpaper SlideShow Pro is shareware, but it's free to try for 30 days (with watermark).
Wallpaper SlideShow Pro's user interface is as small and plain as the typical Windows settings dialog, but it's got everything you need right there, starting with a main window displaying all of our system's photo caches and the program's sample wallpaper. We unchecked those directories we wanted to exclude and browsed to and added an external archive. Wallpaper SlideShow Pro rotates up to 23 images per slideshow at intervals ranging from seconds to days. After we added our images (with Previews) we opened the Commands menu, which accesses everything that's on the even more extensive System Tray menu that doesn't already have its own control (and some that do). That seemed like a lot, until we clicked Options. How many slideshow apps have you encountered with 13 separate tabs on the options tree, and all of them actual settings, not About files? You'll find Images Info, Scrapbook, Calendar, and even Plug-Ins. When it's running, Wallpaper SlideShow Pro shows a roaming thumbnail in your Desktop Background settings in Windows.
Our only complaint about Wallpaper SlideShow Pro's presentation is the text watermark that appears on the trial version. Other than that, we've never seen a desktop slideshow program that does as much, or as well, as Wallpaper SlideShow Pro. So, do you need it? It's suitable for anyone who wants their desktop wallpaper to look great, but business users and those who set up public slideshows will be particularly interested. But you look at your wallpaper all day, every day, don't you?
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Wallpaper Slideshow Pro 3.3.
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Wallpaper Slideshow Pro is a great utility for displaying your favorite images as your desktop background wallpaper. Wallpaper Slideshow offers you complete control of your wallpaper collection. It has lots of options that allows you customize the way wallpapers are created, for example for each image you can decide whether it must be automatically resized to fit the screen, centered, tiled or spanned across your multiple monitors. It also possible to overlay a calendar, text or info taken from exif/iptc/xmp fields on your wallpapers. A new wallpaper can be set on windows startup, at regular intervals or manually when you press a hotkey or double click on its icon. Wallpaper Slideshow is simple to use, intuitive and complete with full context-sensitive help.
User friendly interface with full context-sensitive help.
Displays an unlimited number of images.
Displays images randomly or sequentially.
Can change wallpaper automatically after a specified time period (e.g. every 60 minutes).
Can change wallpaper on every Windows startup.
Automatically resizes images to fit your screen size.
High quality image resize.
Can use a different background color for each wallpaper.
Use a system tray icon for an easy control of the software.
Ability to hide your Windows desktop icons.
Multi monitor support. Each monitor can have a different wallpaper or a single wallpaper can be spanned on all monitors.
Smooth wallpaper change using a dissolve transition effect.
RssFeeds plugin allows to download photos from most online photo galleries such as Flickr, Picasa, Panoramio, Smugmug and others.
Flickr integration - The Flickr plugins allows to download public and private photos from Flickr Photos, Groups, Sets.
Can display custom captions with Exif,IPTC,XMP metadata support.
Can overlay on wallpapers a monthly calendar.
Can save/restore desktop icons positions.
Hotkeys to quickly change wallpaper or start the screen saver.