Eye-Fi Slideshow

Like thousands of people before me, I just received my new Eye-Fi card and wanted to see my latest pictures up on the screen.

I first attempted to use AppleScript within Automator and make it a Folder Action. Unfortunately, I could not tell what the current state was, whether QuickLook was open or full screen. Since each key press (command-option-y) enabled as well as disabled full-screen, as each picture was added, the first would enter full screen, the next picture would disable it.

So, desperate, tired, beaten, I turned to Quartz Composer.

8 Hours in a Different Paradigm

"What the hell is that?", I hear you say. Well, I am clearly the last person on Earth that wrote something for it, as it is nearly a dead language.

I have many programming and scripting languages under my belt. I am by no means an expert in some of them, but most of them I can hack it to something useful given some time and a desire. This skill would help me immensely in the next eight hours.

I was LOST. My programming mindset is much like the advice from King of Wonderland, "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop", but when I opened up Quartz, there was beginning, no start, and no end! Where are the loops, the conditionals, the functions, oh my?!

The Good

Boom! The program does what it is supposed to. It will display the last x pictures in any subdirectory, and loop the slide show based on a custom duration. As you add new pictures, the older ones play faster, the newer ones stay up longer.

The Bad

There are a number of problems with this, mostly due to my limited experience (a total of 8 hours, in one day) with Quartz Composer.

  1. It requires a minimum number of two (2) pictures in the directory. The way I check and set the "Scan Signal", if you have less than two (2) pictures in the directory, it never properly toggles, and thus never re-scans.
  2. It requires a minimum of two (2) pictures to rotate. The way I check and set the "Scan Signal", if you have less than two (2) pictures set in the options for "Show Last X Pictures", it never properly toggles, and thus never re-scans.
  3. The last x pictures are counted by NAME. This is made for cameras dumping images in the directory, therefore, it is expecting new files to be added to the end of the sequence (e.g. IMG_0001.jpg is added, then IMG_0002.jpg is added, etc). If you add new files out of sequence, (e.g. adding in IMG_0000.jpg after IMG_0002.jpg), the count becomes incorrect.

The Ugly

Your mom.




  1. Copy Slideshow to ~/Library/Screen Savers/
  2. Enter System Preferences
  3. Select the Slideshow
  4. Update the Screen Saver Options
  5. Run your screensaver.


  • Display Name: Do you want to show the image name in the bottom right corner?
  • Directory: Set your pictures directory, defaulted to ~/Pictures/
  • Duration: In seconds, of the slideshow. The more pictures you are showing, I recommend a longer rotation time.
  • Show Last x Pictures: How many pictures do you rotate? (minimum two (2))


The easier, simpler solution is just to make the following Applescript a Folder Action via Automator. Then, initiate fullscreen quicklook mode on the first file in the directory. Upon subsequent downloads of files, the Applescript will automatically select them. The process is akin to pressing "up" or "down" on your keyboard while already in quicklook.

However, this will ONLY display the last picture at all times, this does not rotate. Not to say this is pointless, as it does have its uses. If I am trying to constantly perfect a shot, I will use this to be able to view it on a larger screen.

on run {input, parameters}

  tell application "Finder"
    set the_folder to container of (item 1 of input) as alias

    if window 1 exists then
        set the target of window 1 to the_folder
        reveal the_folder
    end if

    select input as alias
    activate window 1

  end tell

  return input
end run


  1. http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/24961/an-app-or-script-to-watch-folder-and-display-new-images-in-full-screen
  2. http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/2012/5/17/creating-an-auto-refreshing-slideshow-from-eye-fi-upload.html
  3. http://vimeo.com/8804233


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