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
And the user customized themes are stored in
Open the .theme file in notepad or any text editor, and locate to the [slideshow] section, and change the content as following.
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
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.
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 Favorites.
For example, the default frequency of update to the feed is set to 1 day, you can change it from the Feed Properties window.
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.
Lastly, I had to give the credit to Long Zheng who firstly shared this find on istartedsomething quite a while ago.