9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 17, 2013 9:18 PM by diannefromrancho santa margarita
rich47 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm having a problem using my iPhoto library as the screensaver on my Apple TV.  It works, except that it cycles through a very small number of photos over and over.  I'd like it to randomly select photos and not repeat the same ones.  How can I set things up for this to happen?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,510 points)

    The device has an 8GB flash drive used for caching streamed content, a small portion of this will be used for the screensaver, which are temporarily stored until you select a new screensaver.

  • rich47 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, but this doesn't answer my question.  My screensaver is my iPhoto library (one of the choices available on Apple TV), but only some of the photos from my library show up on the screensaver.  How can I get it to use more than a small handful of photos?

  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,510 points)

    You mentioned that in your original post, as I said the photos are temporarily stored on the drive (in order to be available for the screensaver) and only a small portion is used for this purpose. It will typically take around 100 photos.


    If you want to view your full library it will need to be via home-sharing (Computers Icon).

  • Linkage Level 1 (0 points)

    @vazandrew - Thanks for outlining the technical restrictions, but you're not really offering a solution to the problem.


    This thread isn't about viewing your photo library (which is easily done via the photos option, as you point out); the poster is asking about increasing the number of photos that the screensaver uses, and there is no good solution to that short of a firmware update that changes the screensaver's functionality.


    Note that the limited variety of photos in the screensaver is a problem for what seems to be a heck of a lot of people (most Apple TV users I know have mentioned this as an issue - not a statistically valid sample, I know).  It's not a show stopper, but it's disappointing. What's more disappointing is that fixing the problem is conceptually simple (unless someone else already owns the patent to the various obvious solutions).


    Streaming would be easy (the code used for the menu option already does it).  Just check whether you can reach the host, and if yes, use the streaming code.  If not, pull photos from the cache. For that matter, just refresh the cache more regularly (e.g. every 10 minutes?) than is currently the case (when you select your photo set for the screen saver) and Apple will have happier clients.

  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,510 points)

    The point was there is no solution as it stands.  I am aware of what the OP is asking but having your full library as the screensaver is not possible neither is increasing the capacity of what is cached. As this is a user forum we can only go by what is available and advise accordingly. If you want there to be a change you will have to provide Apple feedback directly

  • Apple Forever Level 1 (80 points)

    This was one of the sacrifices in going from a 1st Gen Apple TV to a 2nd or 3rd Gen. So, until Apple comes up with a workaround, if seeing ALL of your iPhoto library in the screensaver is so important to you that you can't stand it, another solution is getting a 1st Gen Apple TV, which has a hard drive. This will allow you to see your whole iPhoto Library in the screensaver...in fact, since there is no streaming necessary, you will have access to all of your media library since it will all be on the 1st Gen Apple TV hard drive. Apple should at least put in a setting on the 2nd and 3rd Gen that allows for the Apple TV to regularly replace the pictures in the cache every week or so when your computer streaming is connected. I guess you could, when you are sick of the cached photos, say every month, manually select a diffent album for a screensaver and then immediately re-select the iPhoto Library and hope that it selects a new set of pictures from your iPhoto Library. It would be great if Apple released a 4th gen Apple TV that has both a hard drive and streaming for all media, but then again, the rumored iTV should be released in the next year.

  • Habu14 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had iPhoto as my screen saver for months and the shuffle mode worked great. I've also had Mt. Lion installed for months since it first came out. Suddenly last week, something happened and ....boom.....iPhoto screen saver is gone and my only choices are Apple's preinstalled ones......selecting "other", iPhoto is dull shaded and I can't select it again. I'm giving up.....HELP!

  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,510 points)

    You will need to re-cache the photos. Your computer needs to be on and running iTunes in order to access your library and select your photos again for the screensaver if they've been flushed from the system.

  • diannefromrancho santa margarita Level 1 (0 points)

    Are you getting ads in the middle of your photo stream too?  I used to be able to select any album in my iphoto library to use as a screensaver and now that option is gone AND and it's defaulting to the last album I used, and I'm now getting ADS showing up randomly in the middle of my photos!  I hate it.