Are you bored with your desktop background? Let's add some life to it.
AutoWall is a simple program that allows you to use animated GIFs and videos as your wallpaper.
Extract the archive, run the Autowall executable and you'll see a compact GUI appear. Click on the browse button to select the file that you want to use as your wallpaper. Select an animated GIF from your computer. I used these wallpapers.
The text field in Autowall should display the path of the selected file. Hit the apply button and watch the magic. Your desktop should now have the animated wallpaper as the background. AutoWall does not scale the wallpaper to fit your screen size. Most GIFs are not full screen, so unless you have one that matches your desktop's resolution, it will look a bit odd.
If you have a Full HD display, look up "1920 x 1080 GIFs" or "free stock videos" and you'll find plenty to choose from. AutoWall has a sample Full HD GIF in its "VideosHere" folder.
In addition to Animated GIFs, AutoWall also supports the following video formats: AVI, MP4 and MOV. So you can have your favorite scene from a movie, sports, or even a game's video as your desktop background. The program does not support audio, so even if your videos have some sound, it will not be played. That is a good thing, otherwise it would get pretty distracting.
How does it work?
AutoWall is a portable software and comes in a 23.5MB archive. When extracted, the folder measures about 64MB in size. There is a reason why it is so big, the program ships with the MPV executable which is around 60MB and has a couple of DLLs required for the player.
Most of the GIFs I recorded were pretty huge in size, so here's a short sample of the Mario wallpaper.
What is the performance impact of AutoWall?
MPV's performance was at 3-5% CPU, the memory usage was at around 50. That's fairly low for a modern computer. IF your wallpaper is larger, the resource usage will naturally be higher, e.g. a 2MB GIF used about 70MB, while a 170MB video used around 100MB of RAM. It is advisable to use images and videos which are smaller in size, so it doesn't impact your system or uses up your laptop's battery.
The AutoWall.exe used about 10MB in the background. But the good news is you don't need to keep it running in the background. To close AutoWall, right click on its tray icon, and select Exit. So, you may run the program, change the wallpaper, and exit it. MPV will continue running in the background to display the animated background, regardless of whether AutoWall is running or not.
To revert to your normal desktop background, click the reset button in AutoWall's interface. The program can be set to start automatically with Windows.
Note: The tray menu's "Script Paused" option doesn't seem to work. AutoWall is an open source application. The program is written in AutoIt.