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Customize .Mac Slides Publisher's settings Internet
I was messing around with .Mac Slides Publisher (one of the lesser known features of .Mac), and I found some interesting hidden treasures. I had previously messed with Slides Publisher when it first came out, but I was disappointed at the lack of options for image compression (combined with the default setting of 'too much', in my opinion). I have recently found a way to replace the images uploaded via Slides Publisher with your own (arbitrarily compressed) images.

Use Slides Publisher to create a basic slide show of an image or two. This will create the directories and files needed to provide slideshows via .Mac. Now connect to your iDisk and look in the Pictures folder - you'll see a new folder called "Slide Shows," inside of which is a "Public" folder, inside of which are the images you uploaded with Slides Publisher. You'll also see an xml file called config.plist. The config.plist file looks a little something like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN"
  "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
  <dict>
    <key>BaseURL</key>
    <string>http://homepage.mac.com/dre/.Pictures/Slide Shows/Public/</string>
    <key>Images</key>
    <array>
      <string>Image-001.jpg</string>
      <string>Image-002.jpg</string>
      <string>Image-003.jpg</string>
    </array>
    <key>SizeOfSlideshowInBytes</key>
    <integer>727771</integer>
  </dict>
</plist>
You can upload your own images into the Pictures -> Slide Shows -> Public directory, and then either rename them to match the names in the Images array (that is, Image-001.jpg, etc), or else alter the array contents to match the names of your images. Also, update the SizeOfSlideshowInBytes to match the sum of the file sizes of your images (the numbers in parenthesis of each image file's Get Info window, or the 5th field of ls -l Terminal output). I'm not sure where or how this value is used, but it's there for a reason, I do declare!

There's more! You can even change the base URL to be anything you want it to be. In my testing, it works without a hitch, and I'm pulling images from my server via the .Mac Screen Effects screensaver. Combine this with some scripting elsewhere to update the images, and you've got yourself a pretty handy way to roll out updatable images to the masses (I seem to remember that .Mac Screen Effects will refresh with the .Mac servers every so often, but I'm not sure).

Also, you'll note that in the example, the BaseURL points to a .Pictures folder (with a period in front of the name, as if it were hidden), which as far as I can tell does not exist. In any case, it works as if there were no period. As far as which image file formats are supported, and any upper-limit on size ... I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader (just remember to keep things modest if you want to share with your non-broadband-enabled bretheren!
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Customize .Mac Slides Publisher's settings
Authored by: CraigStanton on Apr 10, '03 01:45:43AM
All the above is true, and more. I've documented a way to publish multiple slideshows at one time (e.g. a set of your family, a set of your hobby and a set of flowers) rather than just one set that contains everything,

This is the tutorial for creating multiple slideshows

and this is the Preference Pane your friends will need to subscribe to your different sets

I am working on a better publisher so that you won't need to edit any XML to create the shows, just drag and from. If you want to hep me test it, email me at craigstanton (Mac.com)

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