Ways to use Pic-a-POD on a Mac

I have my own way of using the Pic-a-POD app for Mac, but it has been brought to my attention that there are multiple possibilities. This post will discuss some of them and suggest ways to make them easier.

My method is to leave Pic-a-POD running all the time. It downloads pics whenever they become available (checking once per hour) and sets my desktop to a new pic every 5 minutes. It includes iPhoto pics in the random selection and I use the “Fit to Screen” size option, which I think works best on my 27″ iMac screen.

The advantage of this method is that I can always get some information about the current desktop. The disadvantage is that there is another app always running.

Another method, which I heard about from a Reddit thread, is to have Pic-a-POD open once a day, on startup, give it time to download a pic from a single selected source and set the desktop, then quit.

The Reddit commenter used the following AppleScript to do this:

tell application "Pic-a-POD"
   activate
   delay 30
   close
end tell
quit

Enter this in the AppleScript Editor and save it as an app which you can add to your login items. The 30 second delay needs to be adjusted to match your expected download speed.

This is a good method if you only want PODs from a single source, and like the same desktop pic for the whole day. But it will not work properly if (like me) you only put your computer to sleep and do not actually shut it off. In that case, you could always set up a cron job to run the AppleScript app at a certain time every day. Unless you are a Unix expert, I recommend using Cronnix to edit any cron jobs.

Another possible method is to run Pic-a-POD once per day to have it download all the pics you want. Then quit the app and use System Preferences to change the desktop to a selected pic from your Pic-a-POD folder. This has the advantage of being a very low impact process, but it means that you don’t have any info about the current desktop.

If anyone has any other methods they use, please add a comment below. I plan to add some features that will make it easier to use Pic-a-POD in various ways, so all feedback would be useful.

2 thoughts on “Ways to use Pic-a-POD on a Mac

  1. How to place the pica pod folder somewhere else than /Pictures folder:
    I use a MacBook Pro with SSD of 160G but have a HD of 1T to save images,etc.
    Cannot be done from the UI, maybe there is a pref file where one can change this?

    1. Pic-a-POD uses your Pictures folder as the container for its download images.
      There is no support in Pic-a-POD for changing this location.

      However from searching the problem, it does appear that it is possible to move your entire Pictures folder to another drive and make a symbolic link so that iPhoto, Pic-a-POD etc know where to find the new folder.
      The last post in this thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3742815 shows how to do this.

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