John’s Background Switcher 4.8 Release Notes

New to Version 4.8 of John’s Background Switcher is a new photo source – Dropbox. If, like me, you store all the photos you take there, you’ll love it. Next up is a new photo montage option, which I’ve called a photo collage. Try it out, it’s pretty cool! Thanks to some awesome JBS users there are now translations for Dutch, Russian, Finnish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese! Finally, you can put a direct image URL into the RSS feeds dialog – this means you can now use webcams as photo sources. Oh, there are also a slew of bug fixes to boot. Enjoy! You can also read a more pictorial blog post with the details here.

Features and Changes

8425: Add a photo collage option because collages are awesome

FEATURE: There’s a new montage option in town – photo collages. I could talk about how cool it is but your best bet is to select it from the ‘Picture mode’ drop down list on the settings dialog and prepare to be impressed! Then again, if you’re not, there are plenty of other options instead!

5254: Add support for using Dropbox photos

FEATURE: If, like me, you store all your photos on Dropbox, then you’ll be pleased you can now authorise JBS to select photos from your Dropbox account. Yay!

8422: Add Dutch, Russian, Finnish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese translations to JBS

FEATURE: JBS has now been translated into Dutch, Russian, Finnish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Thanks to everyone who helped do the translations! 🙂

8970: Add the option to exclude adult photos from 500px

FEATURE: When choosing a 500px picture set you can now choose to enforce strict adult filtering, or not. Be advised that if you enable strict filtering and choose an obviously adult search like “naked”, then the pool of photos JBS can choose from will be somewhat more limited.

8394: Add support for Pixdaus RSS feeds

FEATURE: You can now add the RSS feed to John’s Background Switcher and choose from its awesome photos!

8383: Add support for ‘The Paper Wall’ RSS feeds

FEATURE: You can now use RSS photo feeds from ‘The Paper Wall’ in John’s Background Switcher – just copy the URL in and you’re all good!

3818: Support direct image URLs for background sources

FEATURE: If you want JBS to choose from specific images out on the internet but don’t have an RSS feed for them, you can now add the URLs directly into JBS. Select ‘Add’ > ‘RSS photo feed’ and paste the image URL into the dialog. JBS will treat the image as though it was an RSS feed consisting of that single image.

8661: The version of the smugmug API JBS was using has been deprecated, change JBS to use a supported version

CHANGED: smugmug have deprecated the version of the API JBS used to get albums and photos so I’ve modified JBS to use a newer, supported version. You shouldn’t notice any differences however.

6265: Cut down on the number of API calls to Flickr to both speed up JBS and reduce the load on Flickr’s servers

CHANGED: JBS now makes a lot less calls to Flickr which should result in better performance and a lower impact on Flickr’s servers. Both of which are all good!

9097: When using a picture on one monitor only, use the auto-selected colour for the other monitors

CHANGED: If you have the ‘Use an automatically chosen colour for picture borders’ option selected on the ‘Picture Handling’ section of ‘More Settings’ and were only displaying pictures on a single monitor, then JBS wouldn’t use that colour for the other monitors, it would use the colour you picked when the auto background colour option is disabled. Now it will respect the setting and use the same colour on all monitors.

9165: Make the colour picker stay visible, even when the auto option is set

CHANGED: When you select ‘Use an automatically chosen colour for picture borders’ in the ‘Picture handling’ section of ‘More Settings’ it would do exactly what it says – select the colour for a picture border based on the current picture being shown. Only trouble is, there are other places where a colour is used that’s not based on a picture – such as when you clear the screen – and in that situation it would use the colour you’d have picked if you’d selected ‘Use a custom colour for picture borders’. The trouble is, the colour picker button only appeared if the auto-chosen option was selected.

Now, to make things easier to understand, the button is always visible.

Bug Fixes

8416: The tray icon looks pixellated on high DPI systems

FIXED: If you ran Windows 7 or 8 with a high DPI then the JBS tray icons looked blocky and pixellated. This has now been corrected and higher resolution tray icons are shown instead.

8468: On Chinese versions of Windows some labels on JBS dialogs would be shown in a monospace font

FIXED: As per the description, this would result in a pretty inconsistent user interface, plus could cause problems when the default font (that was being selected) was corrupt. This has now all been corrected.

8399: “Invalid API Key (Key has invalid format)” error from Flickr

FIXED: If you used some searches on Flickr JBS would actually receive a time out from Flickr. However it would incorrectly report an API key error to you, the user. This has now been corrected and to try and avoid timeouts JBS requests 300 pictures at a time instead of 500 as it previously did.

8398: “An error has occurred in the script on this page” error when authenticating with

FIXED: A problem with the authentication dialog was showing a popup window in JBS. This will no longer happen and authentication should continue as before.

8423: “Object reference not set to an instance of an object.” error when using some RSS feeds and some Picasa / Google+ albums

FIXED: When using some RSS feeds and links to private albums on Picasa web albums (or Google+) you could hit this error due to a change in the data coming back from Google. This has now been corrected.

8493: When authenticating with in a language other than English, you wouldn’t be able to proceed

FIXED: This problem has now been corrected and you can authenticate with without having to change to the English page.

9057: JBS hanging when using Pixabay and searches with limited results

FIXED: When Pixabay searches with limited result sets were used JBS would hammer Pixabay with unnecessary calls to the API. This has now been corrected.

8438: Any errors while using are reported as being when using Pixabay

FIXED: When switching, if an error occurred while interacting with, you’d see a popup error saying the problem was with Pixabay. This has now been corrected.

8441: Crash when JBS is running on a multiple monitor system and Windows says there are no monitors

FIXED: As per the description. This bug has plagued me over several versions but a change I made to the previous version of JBS finally nailed it and now I’ve fixed it once and for all. Today is a good day.

8504: Unable to authorise JBS with Flickr via Facebook (rather than using a Yahoo login)

FIXED: If you normally logged into Flickr via Facebook then you wouldn’t be able to authenticate JBS with your Flickr account to access your private photos. Now you can. Instead of a hosted window letting you authenticate with Flickr a separate browser window opens. Once you’ve agreed to authenticate JBS with Flickr you’ll be redirected to a page with a keycode you need to copy and paste back into JBS. Don’t worry, the page explains what to do, it’ll take 2 seconds!