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An Automator workflow to download wallpapers Apps
It amazes me that there are no apps out there that do this for you (at least I coulnd't find any). The closest thing I could find was an app called ShuffleDesktop, but in order for it to download wallpapers, they must be in a special RSS feed called a "wallcast."

The following Automator workflow will:
  1. Archive your old "Wallpapers" folder
  2. Download the xml of an rss feed (Only tested with deviantart rss feeds)
  3. Get all the links from that xml file
  4. Download any linked-to images from those links
  5. Place them in the wallpapers folder
The Desktop & Screen Savers panel of System Preferences can take care of the rest, with its option to select a folder and change wallpaper at specified intervals. Read on for the details on the Automator workflow.

In the following guide, each step is shown as Library » Action; drag each specified item to the work are on the right, in the order shown, and apply any changes as noted.
  1. Finder » Get Specified Finder Items: Specify your Wallpapers folder, which must exist prior to creating this workflow.
  2. Finder » Get Folder Contents.
  3. Finder » Move Finder Items: Specify your Archives folder, which must also exist prior to creating this workflow.
  4. TextEdit » Get Specified Text: Enter this text in the text box for the action:
  5. Safari » Download URLs: Set the Where pop-up to your user's home folder.
  6. Automator » Run Shell Script. The contents of the script (Shell = /bin/bash, Pass input = as arguments):
    cat $1|grep link|awk -F '<' '{print$2}'|awk -F '>' '{print$2}'|grep -v search
    rm $1
  7. Safari » Get Image URLs from Webpage: Set the pop-up to 'linked from these webpages'
  8. Safari » Download URLs: Set the folder to your same Wallpapers folder.
You can now save this workflow as an application, or an iCal plug-in which runs every day.

[robg adds: I tested this one, at it works as described.]
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An Automator workflow to download wallpapers
Authored by: lancermit on Oct 30, '07 08:48:20AM

Wallpaper goes on a WALL.

Macs have a desktop.

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An Automator workflow to download wallpapers
Authored by: Phosphor on Oct 30, '07 11:32:24AM

Heh @ Lancermit. :o)

That was basically the only comment I had as well.

Similarly, I could never abide the clumsily backformed word "Uninstall." It came from the Windows world, and didn't really apply to Macs, where we generally were able to drag an app to the trash to get rid of it. For the youngsters, we used to call this process "Removing" an application. ;o)

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your perspective) apps now often spew files all over the OS X file system, so the word and concept of "Uninstall" is now rather relevant.

My Wish: That EVERY app that spewed files all over the place would come with a script that would keep track of where everything went, and which could be called up to remove every bit of that app to the trash if the user so desires.

Apologies for side-tracking!

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An Automator workflow to download wallpapers
Authored by: harperska on Oct 30, '07 05:32:12PM
Some RSS feeds like an Astronomy Picture of the Day feed I found actually include the pictures in the feed itself. For these, Leopard's automator has an action called "Get image urls from articles", which extracts - you guessed it - the image urls directly from the RSS feed. So if your feed indeed does display the images, the automator workflow becomes the following:
[Text] Get Specified Text {feed://}
[Internet] Get Image URLs from Articles
[Internet] Download URLs {where: ~/Pictures/Desktop Pictures}
Of course with the cleanup and backup actions mentioned in the OP before the download actions. This variant avoids the shell hackery and is much cleaner.

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