Most people, if they bother, set their computer’s screensaver to photos contained within their desktop photo album. If you have tons of these images, then you’re not so likely to see the same pictures over and over. But over time these images can grow stale. And if you tire of them, Apple’s latest OSX, Leopard (10.5.0+), allows you the flexibility of setting unique screensavers. Three of our favorites are the WORD OF THE DAY, the RSS VISUALIZER, and iTunes ARTWORK.

Setting The ScreenSaver to iTunes Artwork or Word of the Day

You can customize your computer’s screensaver by changing the default from your computer’s name. Most people usually do this by showing pictures from their online photo album. But if you prefer to mix it up sometimes, try using either the Word of the Day or iTunes Artwork. The former expands your vocabulary, the latter creates an interesting mosaic of all your iTunes Artwork.

To change your screensaver to either option simply select SYSTEM PREFERENCES -> DESKTOP & SCREEN SAVER. Select the SCREEN SAVER tab and click on either the WORD OF THE DAY or iTUNES ARTWORK as your new default. Once you’ve chosen the screensaver, you can set OPTIONS for either selection.

If you select Word of the Day, your only option is to set which dictionary your words will come from. The dictionaries are preloaded on your Mac, and you have the choice of either Apple’s default dictionary or the New Oxford American Dictionary. After selecting the source, you can test your choice by clicking on the TEST button. Words will stream across your screen and settle on one particular one and give its definition. If you want to know even more about the word, press the D key, and detailed information about the word will be shown. It’s a great way to expand your vocabulary and improve your spelling.

If you select iTunes Artwork, you have the option of selecting the number of rows of album covers shown, and the speed at which they change. This unique mosaic paints a picture of all the music you find fascinating enough to download. You can show from 2 rows to 8 rows of album jackets. The lower the number, the larger the image will be. After setting the Options, click on TEST just to see how really cool this saver will be.

Setting The ScreenSaver to the RSS Visualizer

Resetting your screen saver to the RSS Visualizer will allow you to keep abreast of the latest info from your favorite feed. You can find out what’s popular over on DIGG, The New York Times, the BBC, and even with Apple Hot News, which is the default. If you have a feed established, you can see it on your screen.

To change your screensaver to the RSS Visualizer select SYSTEM PREFERENCES -> DESKTOP & SCREEN SAVERs. Select the SCREEN SAVER tab and click on RSS VISUALIZER as your new default. Once you have chosen the screensaver, you can set its options.

Select the OPTIONS tab, and a list of available RSS feeds are shown. You can select the RSS feed from the list by clicking on it, or you can type in a different URL of your choosing. Make sure it follows the basic HTTP:// addressing so that the feed will display. You can also select the speed of the feed items by adjusting the speed bar located at the bottom of the list. Once you’ve selected or entered the URL, click on the DONE button. That’s it. When your screensaver is called into action, you’ll see the latest info from your favorite site.

NOTE: A QUARTZ EXTREME-compatible graphics card must be installed on your computer for the RSS Visualizer to even appear in the list of available savers. If the RSS Visualizer option is not shown in your Screen Savers list, you don’t have the card, and you won’t be able to see your feed via the saver.


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