Play full length videos in your desktop background, with DesktopMovie

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This is not a ‘video wallpaper’ type software, like Windows Dreamscenes or Okozo; rather, DesktopMovie is a free program designed to play full-length videos with sound inside your desktop background and under your icons. The reason you would do that is up to you!

First off I will admit that the reason I am excited about this program is largely because of the concept, which I think is unusual.

The practical applications of something like this, though, may not be plentiful or obvious, but read on; we’ve thought of a few below.

How it works:

It couldn’t be simpler, run DesktopMovie (portable app) and it will ask you for a video file, and will then play it in the background. You can access the controls via the icon in the system tray. The controls are easy and sparse, but interestingly, DesktopMovie will let you create playlists of videos to display. Once you shut the program your old wallpaper image will miraculously re-appear.

Note that DesktopMovie will play any video file using the directshow filters that exist on your system. If it does not play the video or audio stream or both, you might want to find the correct filters/codecs or install them by way of a codec pack. If you just want to test it, try a WMV file it will probably work off the bat.

DesktopMovie Screenshot

Potential applications:

This application was conceived, according to the author, in order display moving scenes on a projector background while one of his colleagues performed a presentation in front of it. So here’s a few suggested applications

  • For hands-on presentationsas mentioned above
  • For playing promotional videos in the backgroundin trade show booths, etc, while allowing attendees to use the demonstration computer in a normal way
  • For watching videos at work, of course, although this would be an option if you could relegate the video to a certain small corner of the background rather than the whole thing (a good software that does this sort of thing, if you’re interested is OnTopReplica.
  • To add video wallpaper as background(it will keep looping your video by default), although at 9% CPU usage on my machine, you should probably see if Windows Dreamscene or Okozo might be better to do this. It will play and loop Dreamscene WMV’s.
  • As a curiosity to show to friends or write about on your blog 😉

Wish list (or how this software can be even better)

This software is a few years old, and is probably not likely to be developed further, but I’ll throw in my two cents anyway:

  • The ability to relegate to a certain corner or placement on the screen. Would be great
  • The ability to give it a URL for streaming video off the internet. So that we can watch the Olympics or World Cup while working (not that you should do this, mind you, we are not as good multitaskers as we think or wish that we are!)

The verdict

A nice little program that I feature here because of it’s originality. May not have too many real world practical applications

It’s portable, it will auto-loop your video, it will let you add multiple videos to playlists, and it will revert back to your wallpaper images when you’re done. Go ahead, try it!

Go to the program page to get the latest version (Windows, approx ~300K). Also heck out some of the other really cool freeware on the author’s page.