Want automatic download of images representing album covers and artists/performers in your database ? Try AmpJuke's "Scan metadata" feature. Read more.


How do I configure the screensaver ?

There's a built-in screensaver in AmpJuke that can be activated.

Unlike the usual type of screensaver that comes with the operating system on your computer, this screensaver obviously only works within the browser (where AmpJuke is running).


Turning the screensaver on or off is not a matter of a personal setting in AmpJuke.


You can use it "as it is" or perhaps -even better - run your browser in full-screen (press F11) and, after configuration of the screensaver, see something like this when it gets activated after a certain amount of time:

AmpJuke screensaver

...would be a great "frontend" to the jukebox mode, right ?



Before explaining how to setup/configure the AmpJuke screensaver, I think it's fair to explain why there's a screensaver available in the first place.


You may want to skip that and just scroll down to the "Configuration" section below.


Still with me ? Here we go:

During a summer holiday in 2012 the weather was not exactly in the "beach weather" category one day.


So my son and I drove from the summer house we were staying in (near the Danish westcoast - great nature/fine beaches/friendly local people, you might try it sometime) to a larger city nearby. We went to the cinema, had lunch at a nice restaurant and afterwards walked around the shopping centre to find a few things we needed to bring back, - the most important was a new pair of headphones for the young man (my son - not me..). 


It's been a couple of years (several, in fact), since I've bought any "small" type of electronics (like headphones) at a brick-and-mortar shop - for some reson that's easier to accomplish on the Internet...


I remember one shop we walked into: We were the only potential customers in the shop.

The guy behind the counter didn't move an inch (or centimeter - it's Europe) and didn't even bother to ask if he could help with something. He only managed a low-energy "hi" when we entered, so we left him minding his own business (or whatever it was he was doing) and headed over to the headphones available for sale. 

I left my son examining+investigating+trying the headphones himself and walked around looking at TV-sets, amplifiers, cables and so on. Just looking.


That's when it happened: My attention was caught by a 24" computerscreen obviously displaying some kind of screensaver almost like the image shown above.

I quickly realized the pictures on the screen was small images of all kinds of albums - many of them I knew already from my own collection.

Each individual album-picture "blinked" (actually faded out/in, somehow, but "blink" sounds better) every now and then.


It's strange but I can still remember the very first album that "blinked" on the screen.

It was the self-titled album from Tracy Chapman (from 1988 - her first, I believe):

Tracy Chapman

THIS album "blinked" first! 



I stood there looking at the "blinking" albums for a minute or two. Paralyzed. Surprised. Petrified.

And very impressed.


After I "woke up" again we left the shop, went to another HIFI-shop nearby where they had more headphones available, lower prices and even a salesrep saying we should just let one from the staff know if we needed any help. The place was also crowded with potential customers.

My kid found a pair of headphones with good specs, fair pricing (my concern!) and apparently great to wear during a straight 12-hour marathon-session while playing Minecraft/Team Fortress/Civilization V/something else with 7-8 buddies talking on Skype.


We had a great trip, but for some strange reason I simply couldn't get the damned screensaver I saw that day out of my head. It just wouldn't go away. 


After a few days I realized I just HAD to code something similar in AmpJuke that looked like that "famous" screensaver I saw in the first shop (the one with the lazy salesrep).

So - after a week or so - when the weather was mostly like rain the entire day, I booted my laptop and coded the screensaver feature in AmpJuke. 


This explains why there's a screensaver option available in AmpJuke: basically as a result of some kind of obsession...

Let's look at the features/configuration next.




You configure the screensaver feature in AmpJuke by logging in as a user with admin rights and select "Configuration..." on the "welcome" page.

On the configuration page there's a section labeled "Screensaver". It can be expanded by clicking on the small +-sign next to the "Screensaver" label.



Enable screensaver: Can be on (checked) or off (unchecked).

If you leave this setting off (unchecked) the rest of the parameters will not have any effect.


Number of seconds to wait before activating: This setting controls how long to wait before activating the screensaver. The screensaver will be activated if there are no page-reloads/-navigation (you don't click on  anything). If you navigate away to another page (f.ex. an album), the "counter" will be reset to 0.

Mouse-movement will not be detected, so if you just move the mouse around on the screen then the counter will continue to increase, eventually triggering the screensaver.


Number of seconds between loading new images: Controls how long it will take (in seconds) before loading a new set of images for the screensaver. The images will be picked by random - what actually gets picked depends on the next setting.


Pick screensaver images from: Three options exists, - they should be self-explaining.

"Albums" will pick album images by random from your album-images.

"Performers" will pick performer/artist images by random from your artist/performer-images.

"Random" will either pick album or artist/performer images.... yes - you guessed it: By random!

Every time the screensaver is activated - or a reload occurs (see above) - this setting will be inspected in order to find out what should be displayed.


Preferred size: The default size when downloading album images automatically using the last.fm API is the "medium" size. It is typically around 130 pixels.

Unless you have a big monitor, you might want to let the screensaver display more images (a screen resolution of - say 1280x1024 - will make room for  less than 10 images on the x-axis, unless you alter the "preferred size").

I normally go for something around 70-90 for "preferred size" - it allows for more images to be displayed on the screensaver and on the other hand each image will also be visible enough so it's possible to see what it actually is.

It all comes down to the size and resolution of your screen.


Number of iterations: Refers to how many "blinks" (see above) should be made.

Default is 2000.


Delay factor: In order to avoid all "blinks" to happen at once (or at least attempt to happen at once), you should delay the "blink" within each iteration.

Note that the variable i can be used for that. Let's say you go for the default: i*1000.

This means that the first "blink" on the first iteration will be dealyed 1*1000ms = 1sec.

On the next iteration, the second "blink" will be delayed 2*1000ms = 2sec and so on.


This might seem like a very long time when you reach iteration number 2000...

However, the nature of jQuery-animation allows events to happen simultaneously, so in real life iteration number 2000 will be reached relatively quickly.


"Fade" factor: ...or the "blink" factor.  This setting controls how long time (in milliseconds) a "blink" should take.

The default is 1000.

Note that it is also possible to extend/delay the fading for each iteration by using the variable i in this setting (see "Delay factor" above for further information about using a variable).




Bottom line: Feel free to experiment with the settings for the AmpJuke screensaver!

A little curiosity can never hurt anyone now, can it ? (Yes - I watch Dark Matters on Discovery Science...LOL).

The default values mentioned above is just to get you started.

If you'll be using the default values, the screensaver will load a set of images and fade them "in" and "out" (ie. altering the brightness of each image individually). until a reload occurs or the user navigates away from the screensaver.


If you're looking for trouble by getting your hands dirty in some javascript code, you should open "screensaver.php" in your favorite editor and examine/alter stuff yourself around line 200 and forward.

If you code something cool you'd like all other users of AmpJuke to know about, please let me know.



Related documents:

Setup AmpJuke to retrieve album images automatically.

Fetch artist/performer images automatically.