A feature introduced with Windows Vista Ultimate Edition back in the day that I really enjoyed was the live wallpaper (DreamScene) function. I would often have the stream playing in the background and I honestly thought it took the Windows desktop to the next level. Well in Windows 7 the feature was hidden and since Windows 8 the feature was removed altogether.
Recently I stumbled upon a Steam Early Access software called Wallpaper Engine. Now we’ve seen things like this before on the internet. Programs that will change your wallpaper every so often to keep things interesting. The problem with many of those programs is that they often contain computer crippling performance bugs or are literally a skin on a virus itself. Wallpaper Engine is none of those things.
Wallpaper Engine sets out to make your desktop active like the live wallpaper in that was contained in Windows Vista but with higher resolution video and even some interactive wallpapers that can be quite interesting as well.
Looking at the application, it is relatively well thought out. The main portion of the app is dedicated to a grid section of pre-installed live and static wallpapers. Most are live thankfully. The biggest deal here is that there are nearly 800 different wallpapers live and not live (again most have a live component to them and some even have music which can be turned down in the settings) which is huge. There are wallpapers for your AMD and nVidia fanboys, Mass Effect fans, and a ton of anime stuff I have never seen before.
If I had one thing I would like to see improved is a category system so we can filter out say, the anime stuff as while I enjoy anime I am not up on all the latest stuff out there.
My favourite wallpapers so far include the standard Matrix wallpaper, a neat futuristic computer UI wallpaper and a sweet Mass Effect wallpaper from the beginning of Mass Effect 2.
I am really enjoying this program. One thing to note, it’s default setting is to run at 15FPS. This is smart as it requires some real computer resources to up it to 25 or all the way to 60 as I have on my machine. In the initial setup it will only allow you to go up to 25FPS but you can change this later in the setting of the application.
If you are interested in using a unique background and have a decent enough PC pick up Wallpaper Engine on Steam. It does cost 4.49 CAD but it’s totally worth it.