How to: get Bing's daily photo as a Windows 7 wallpaper

No matter what you think of Bing as a search engine, you have to admit that the daily homepage photos are pretty cool. They range from amazing nature photos to holiday sensitive events. Those images now have a new use, being wallpapers for your Windows 7 PC. One of Windows 7's lesser know features is the ability to download new wallpapers via a RSS feed.

Thanks to the efforts of Long Zheng from www.istartedsomething.com & makeuseof.com you can now do just that.

By using the code below, you can create a live daily updating bing theme.
To create the theme, 1st copy and paste the code below in notepad and save it as "Bing.theme"

[Theme]
DisplayName=Bing
[Slideshow]
Interval=1800000
Shuffle=1
RssFeed=http://feeds.feedburner.com/bingimages
[Control Panel\Desktop]
TileWallpaper=0
WallpaperStyle=0
Pattern=
[Control Panel\Cursors]
AppStarting=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_working.ani
Arrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_arrow.cur
Crosshair=
Hand=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_link.cur
Help=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_helpsel.cur
IBeam=
No=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_unavail.cur
NWPen=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_pen.cur
SizeAll=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_move.cur
SizeNESW=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nesw.cur
SizeNS=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ns.cur
SizeNWSE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nwse.cur
SizeWE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ew.cur
UpArrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_up.cur
Wait=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_busy.ani
DefaultValue=Windows Aero
Link=
[VisualStyles]
Path=%SystemRoot%\resources\themes\Aero\Aero.msstyles
ColorStyle=NormalColor
Size=NormalSize
ColorizationColor=0X6B74B8FC
Transparency=1
[MasterThemeSelector]
MTSM=DABJDKT

After you save it, just double click on the theme. file and make sure you select "download attachments" in the pop-up window.
That's it, your bing theme should be good to go. To make sure the photos look their best, select the "Fit" option in the desktop background settings

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63 Comments

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There are almost twice as many photos when you look at the items loaded in the background than are displayed. I used Ad Block Plus to find the addresses of the non-displayed items. Just copy the addresses from ABP and voila - twice as many legit Bing photos. These are, I assume, Bing pics from different countries.

For example, there are 76 unique images in July 2009.

You can also include multiple tags:

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=TAG1,TAG2,TAG3,TAG4& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

So for example:

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=hdr,widescreen,wallpaper& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

Some other Flickr feeds I have come up with (remove the space between & and lang in each URL):

Flickr Full HD Wallpapers

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=659436@N24& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

Flickr Wallpapers

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=40961104@N00& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

Flickr HDR

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=89888984@N00& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

Notice you need to append "_enc" onto the end of the standard Flickr RSS feed URLs.

You can also create tag specific feeds, just change TAG1 to whatever you want:

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?tags=TAG1& lang=en-us&format=rss_200_esc

Why did the author feel it necessary to include settings to overwrite things like the user's cursor in the sample file? This can be left out.

Very cool idea but a shame they are such low quality images.

I just use Display Fusion which allows you to have images from a folder or from Flickr etc - works well with multiple monitors too.

Because they are low res: 958px x 512px, shame they don't do high res versions too.

PS, lose is not spelt with two OO's

I couldn't get it to fill both displays since one is 16x10 (laptop) and the other is 4x3. It does the fit for the primary display and then uses that fit for the second display which then results in black bands :(.

Perhaps we could suggest somewhere to Bing that they provide RSS streams for their displays in higher resolution...

Nexx295 said,
How big are the wallpapers? I'd need at least 1920x1080.



By using *fit*, the wallpapers are scaled to fit the screen (I also have 1920x1080 for my desktop).

PGHammer said,
By using *fit*, the wallpapers are scaled to fit the screen (I also have 1920x1080 for my desktop).

While simultaneously making them look like crap.

True, Bing's had some really nice photography on their site, but I think I'd need more pixels to use them effectively for a wallpaper. Background's gotta be sharp!

volvoshine said,
it downloading in the background.. give it sometime. the photos are pretty high res, so it could take a while

Pfffft.

TCLN Ryster said,
What res are they then?

958px x 512px, 69.99 kB (71665 bytes) in the example shown.
I call that low res unless you're talking to a dial-up user.

It's cool. I'd like to see some wallpaper sites make rss feeds w/ high quality wallpapers to be a slide show.

that is AWESOME... would love to page through old images, and I bet it's easy to do exactly that, too... I'm going to bet there's some nifty themes out fairly quickly, especially with RSS support.