Help/Frequently Asked Questions


Picture Source Widget
Picture Source determines where PhotoStacker will obtain digital pictures to use in its calculations. The options currently include: local digital pictures, iTunes, Picasa, and Flickr - each having options that differ slightly.

What is the current limit of pictures available for use in PhotoStacker? [Digital Pictures, iTunes, Picasa, Flickr]

A maximum of 500 pictures can be displayed at any one time.

How do I get prevent seeing particular photos in the PhotoStacker display? [iTunes, Flickr, Picasa]

'Manage Pictures' located to the right of the Search button will bring up a dialog that allows you to select/deselect pictures for display - in this way you can tailor which pictures are excluded, in case you find photos or album covers that you don't like.

I would like to use iTunes album art but there are no pictures available - what is the problem? [iTunes]

The first time you select iTunes in PhotoStacker, it will launch iTunes and extract any album art that it can find. After that first time, PhotoStacker will only extract new artwork if iTunes is already running, in order to minimize disruption to your computer use. If PhotoStacker was not able to extract your album art automatically, you may have to start it manually. After selecting iTunes as the Picture Source, click on 'Manage Album Art' and then 'Update Artwork Now' - this will initially open iTunes and then copy the album art currently contained in your iTunes collection so it is availble to PhotoStacker. It is possible that many of your music files do not initially contain album art in iTunes - you can tell iTunes to look up album artwork for you by going to Advanced-Get Album Artwork (from within iTunes) and then following the previous steps again in PhotoStacker.

How do I select pictures only from a specific PhotoSet within Flickr? [Flickr]

You can use the % symbol to indicate an album - for instance the "Art" album for the user "Lostadventurer" would be accessed using the People pull-down and "lostadventurer%art" as the search term.

I really like the photographs of _____ user - I can't seem to type their name with my keyboard though - what can I do? [Flickr]

This can be a common problem with non-English or special characters. The easiest method of resolving this is to go to that user's Flickr PhotoStream and then select and copy their name - then paste it directly into the People search term box. We first encountered this problem with our friend Lali, and we are currently working on making PhotoStacker more internationally friendly to resolve this.


Arrangement Widget
Determines the arrangement method (Scattered or Tiled), the size of the individual pictures, and the number of pictures to be displayed.

Why is the maximum picture size 320 pixels?

We tried to find a good balance between image quality, download speed, and file size. Using larger images would require either downloading larger photos from online sources, or scaling them up from smaller versions - which would degrade the quality.

I want to use PhotoStacker to generate a background that is both tiled and scattered - how can I do both?

First generate a background that you would like to appear as the bottom layer, then use the save button (small floppy disk in the lower right, that only appears after you generate) to save the wallpaper as a jpg file. Then, load this picture as the background image (Background Widget) and change your arrangement method to the other type - this will result in just what you have in mind.


Background Widget
Determines the type of background image used in the PhotoStacker wallpaper generation, offering options such as a custom solid color, many different tiles/patterns, or a digital picture of your own.


No-Zones Widget
Clicking on particular areas of the rectangle turns them a cross-hatched red indicating that images will not be placed in this region - of course, at least one region must always be left open so images can be displayed.


Auto-Changer Widget
Allows PhotoStacker to automatically generate desktop wallpaper based on a time-step that you specify. It uses the Picture Source, Arrangement and other settings you last used, or random settings (don't you like surprises?).


User-Settings Widget
Allows you to enter the license key provided from the Purchase Page, which removes the 14-day trial limit on some of the provided features. Also allows you to turn automatic updates checking on or off (PhotoStacker will check for an update approximately every 2 weeks).

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