Click to Enlarge

One of the most anticipated Vista Ultimate Extras is the DreamScene application (currently in the preview state). It lets you use videos as your desktop background, and with the free DeskScapes you can take it to a whole new level. Of course to legally get this feature in Vista you’ll need to be running the Ultimate edition (it’s already been cracked though).

There is a way to take advantage of the more advanced desktop backgrounds in any version of Vista by using a free application called SSDream. It lets you set screensavers and images as backgrounds in addition to the typical videos. Intervals can even be specified, and SSDream will shuffle through the items you choose at the end of each time period. In a way you’re creating a playlist for your desktop background.

Here are some of the features of SSDream:

  • Shows screensavers, videos, and images as your wallpaper. Desktop icons remain visible!
  • All Versions of Vista supported.
  • Shuffle option to mix up your collection, or have a set order.
  • Set the number of minutes between changes to your wallpaper. Old item transitions away reviling new item instead of having the new item just pop up.
  • Preview window so you know what to expect from your screen saver, video or image.
  • Configuration button to configure a screen saver, video, or image.
  • CPU priority slider to set how much CPU to give to your screen saver or video.
  • Sleep mode that stops SSDream when your computer is locked or your monitors enter power save mode. No need to waste CPU if you can’t see your desktop.
  • Pause mode that pauses videos and lowers CPU priority of screen savers. SSDream will auto-pause if it detects a maximized window, but can be manually paused by pressing WIN-P.
  • Multi-monitor support allows a different screen saver, video and image on each monitor.

I really like the fact that you can use screensavers since some are pretty cool, such as those that rotate through pictures from your Flickr account. What I really look forward to is some of the features the developer would like to add to SSDream, such as XP support and transition effects. From the looks of it this is a project to keep your eye on!

Here’s a video of SSDream in action:

SSDream Homepage