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Show HN: Artful for Mac (artfulmac.com)
229 points by tomkinstinch 841 days ago | hide | past | web | 145 comments | favorite



This is my first app on the Mac App store, and my first Swift app. It was something to scratch my own itch. I wanted to be exposed to more art and knew that the best way was to have it right in front of me on the computer, so I collected public domain art and made an app to periodically display a random work as the wallpaper. So far my favorite artist discovered this way is Giovanni Battista Piranesi, for his etchings of Rome. My girlfriend describes the app as "Pandora for art." Once there are enough users, I have plans to roll out a collaborative filtering system. (Slope one-based? Tips there would be great)

I'm interested in hearing about the experience others have had with the Mac app store. I've been giving away promo codes, and that seems to have helped sales by word-of-mouth. Although the app appeared on the daily "Top Paid" and "Top Grossing" chart for its category, that happened with only low double-digit purchase counts. It seems there are fewer people using Mac app store than the iOS store.

Feedback is welcome, and I still have a few free codes left if anyone would like to try it without buying. I set the price point at $5 because it covers my costs (AWS mostly), it's less than an art museum admission, and it is about the same as a Starbucks coffee (hopefully within impulse range for many).


Also, a "Safe for Work" mode would be great.

I know it's art but everyone else just sees nudity.


Fair enough. There are a lot of nudes in art history though (and depictions of Jesus), especially among public domain works. To be comprehensive, I'd have to go through and manually tag as nude/non-nude, which I have not yet done. Something for the future, perhaps when collaborative filtering gets rolled in. For now, you can try selecting everything but "nude painting" from the Genres list. That may help. Alternatively, maybe select an artist known to be "safer".


This might be a good use of Amazon Mechanical Turk. It will need to be manually done by humans but you can do it at a very cheap rate by crowd sourcing it.


Here is a library you can use that might make for a good first pass:

http://www.patrick-wied.at/static/nudejs/

It is Javascript but it should be pretty easy to run it under node.js


It looks pretty cool, if you still have any promotional codes I'd love one.

As a random suggestion I feel like if your 'WHY' is something like to "effortlessly inspire with great art during normal computer use" rather than just focussing on an app that changes your desktop background. I like your collaborative filtering idea, and if you're taking feature requests a screensaver/multiplatform port would be nice (e.g. if every time I open my phone the lockscreen background is a different work of art its a pretty effortless way to get more exposure) ;)


Thanks for the suggestion on copy. Please email me for a code (info is in my HN profile).

I'll have to learn more about what it would take to make a screensaver. Unfortunately the iOS APIs do not seem to expose any programmatic way to change the background or lock screen (I'd love it on my phone too!).


I was about to ask the same feature.

I did something similar as a screensaver for the Mac, but it's some hack based on Webkit, it's stored locally and the range of artists is more limited.

I'd love if Apple allowed this in iOS, but I'm not holding my breath

Great job, btw


Nice app—congrats! FWIW, we mentioned it in Macworld's app roundup[0] last week.

[0]: http://www.macworld.com/article/2854235/the-week-in-mac-apps...


Update: All promo codes have now been given away. Thank you for the interest!

Also, MANY THANKS to those who have reported bugs! In my small test group things were working fine, but as with any manufactured good, once you have enough instances of something problems appear at so many sigma. I am investigating the bugs and working to fix them. Thank you for your support and patience. As a solo dev it really means a lot. I am also working to improve filter selection and am tidying up the UI a bit.


I've been thinking about whipping up a Swift App, but I haven't found many online resources on how to do one for OS X. I tried following an ObjC guide and translating it all to Swift, but my lack of experience really slowed me down.

Did you come across any good guides for making Swift Apps in OS X?


I came to it as a mostly Python/embedded C/C++ developer, and learned by translating ObjC examples to Swift. The Apple docs are pretty good, and for anything I couldn't find in the docs I searched for an ObjC example, often on StackOverflow. The most difficult part for me was working around the sandboxing restrictions, particularly for starting an app on login (after trying different approaches I learned that it requires a secondary helper app and a simple call to SMLoginItemSetEnabled() ).


Just downloaded it. I have 3 monitors and having different art on each would be a great feature.


Or the same piece split across them, for large horizontal pieces.


Support for triptychs?


I had never heard that term before, but yes, that's exactly what I mean.


That would be impressive.


Love the app and gladly paid the full price. Only downside for me so far is the image quality -- most look ok, but many look bad with really low resolutions, even on my non-retina MBA.


Do you cache art locally once you've used it, for cases when I might not want to download new backgrounds (such as when tethered)?

If not, might I make it a feature request?


It is not currently caching, because the collection is so large (30+GB) that it would be difficult to distribute in its entirety, and since items are unlikely to repeat if all filters are off. I'll have to think about adding local caching for the case when filters are selected. For now, I'd suggest pausing it while tethering (Anyone have suggestions for detecting tethering from the Mac side?).


Best Practices for Developing Cellular Apps:

https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Perfor...

Each of the network interfaces have different identifiers and you can get info about them.

Also maybe helpful, many of the apple BSD utilities have a `-C` and `-E` options to prevent binding to a cellular or "expensive" interfaces. For example, `netcat` has this, and is open sourced (part of Darwin), so you can poke around and see how they do it.

http://www.opensource.apple.com/source/netcat/netcat-22/netc...

(By the way, just bought the app - happy to pay $5 for this.. Good luck!)


Thanks!


In case you do decide you want to provide the option of downloading the whole thing, I would suggest bittorrent as the right tool for the job (basically it would avoid you having to pay most of the bandwidth cost).


Once you have tether detection you could create a favoriting feature, and locally cache those.


Really a nice, educational idea.

Just bought it and stumbled over a minor thing: UTF8 support for the artists name would be great (e.g. Albrecht Durer -> Albrecht Dürer).


Yeah, unicode with NSTableViews is tricky. To be fixed!


I would love a code.

Where are you pulling the art work from? Are you hosting the art on your own AWS account or pulling from some sort of art project guetenburg?


Congrats dude! I don't exactly have a use case myself (I'm a photographer), but I like it conceptually!


I'd like to try the App. If you have codes left, please consider sending one to schmooser _at_ gmail.com


Sent!


If you have anymore promo codes I'd like to try the app! xivusr[at]gmail[dot]com


I'd love a promo code if they're still going (fareeddudhia@gmail.com)! The app looks great.


Sent! (to others: please email me so I can keep track of the code requests and so that the comment section stays on-topic; email address in profile)


Oh yes, please send a code to alandarev _at_ gmail.com :)

Once for having no other option, I glued together RSS feeds + deviant arts + rotate background from a folder... It worked quite well, but some unfiltered deviant art publications were upsetting me, plus a painful maintenance...


Looks cool, I'd love a code as well :) assink [ at ] gmail


I would love to try it if possible. It looks awesome!


you know whats cool.. if you can order the art from within the wallpaper.. that is a million dollar idea i think...


This is great! Purchased. :)


This may get downvoted but... I really don't know what to make of these "why itsn't this free" or "won't pay to try" comments.

It's $5. For what is essentially an infinite supply of high resolution photos of art. $5.

Yes, I know that you are special and you can replicate this with Perl + LWP to crawl and fetch these images and a cron job to blahblahblah [snore]

Stop that. $5. Artwork. And it exists and works right now! You can buy it with 1 click and have virtually unlimited art.

I honestly cannot relate to people who would so undervalue their time. For a Mac app. Honestly I wish I could pay the OP twice.


Amazed as well at how little value people place on digital goods. I've built a few apps & while 95% of people love them, we always get someone who decides for some reason that they want a $1 refund.

How many things out there do you blow $1 on and never think about it? Is it worth your time to claw back that type of money?


With most other things, you know what you are getting. With software, you are not sure.

For this one, specifically, I'm not sure if I want my wallpapers to change all the time. Maybe it would have network issues. Maybe it would show ads. Maybe it has something malicious in the code. Or maybe changing wallpapers would sometimes make it hard for you to see the icons on your desktop.

Do you really want to pay for something with all of these uncertainties? Besides, writing a python script that would do the same might take half an hour, but it would be fun and you would know exactly what it's doing. This is in contrast to making coffee, which - at least for me - is anything but.


I'll donate $5 to the EFF in honor of the first person to spend that half hour to put something together on GitHub.


It's a nice idea, and seems well executed. To be honest, and I hope this isn't too much of a downer:

a) I probably won't pay to evaluate it. It seems like the kind of app that would be perfect for a cut-down trial version.

b) I wonder how many people - especially this audience - really care about what's on their desktop. I know I barely ever see mine, because I run all windows maximised (or tiled). It's nice to have a good looking image for the brief period of startup/shutdown time during which I can actually see it, and I plump for the Mountain Lion-era space image because I think it's a lot more attractive than the recent mavericks/yosemite equivalents. But anything more, in my book, is overkill.


A trial version is a great idea. I didn't want to split my time too much, but maybe I'll release a free version with a limited range of artists (the all van Gogh, all the time app?).

How many people care about art on their desktop? I don't know either! Seeing more art can only be a good thing. It's a discovery tool for me. I've chanced my Mission Control preferences so I can quickly show the desktop by moving my mouse cursor to the lower left hot corner of my screen.


I kind of take some time to time to see online arts, just for curiosity. Definitely would like to give a go with the free app with van Gogh. Not sure I would like to pay though, for financial reasons. Great idea though.


"wonder how many people - especially this audience - really care about what's on their desktop."

I do. The duller, the better. Uniform gray is my preferred background (not too bright red on production systems or when logged in as administrator).

Pictures I liked had 'dull' parts in regions where icons tend to show up. An option to reduce (color) contrast would be a nice feature, especially if it were to have some smarts depending on the picture and what icons are on the desktop.


There actually is an option to "dim" the image; it applies a black overlay over the image of selectable opacity.


Have you seen the Android wallpaper app Muzei [0] ? It dims and blurs the image, and launching the app or double tapping the wallpaper itself brightens and focuses the picture momentarily. No idea if that is possible on OS X though.

[0] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.nurik.roma...


Difficult to implement something like that on OSX without a resource-intensive overlay. As it is, Artful takes advantage of the built-in NSWorkspace API to change the wallpaper, which only causes activity on download and change of the image.


Perhaps you could pre-render a blurred version to a new image, and switch to the focusing animation just when needed? Granted, that may have flicker.


This was done on Android for free (Muzei):

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.nurik.roma...

Must say, Muzei is far more in the spirit of open art than Artful. There's a big community supporting the project with additional plugins, sources, etc.


Out of curiosity, and by no means feel you have to share if it compromises your product, how did you source the pieces? Did you have an idea of what genres and artists you wanted already or did a somewhat comprehensive library already exist someplace and you filled in some gaps?


Pfffff don't listen to old grumpy HN. Awesome app, just bought it. I like art and can't bother finding nice wallpapers for my desktop.


Sorry, I was aware my comment might come across as too negative, but still thought it might offer useful feedback and a kicking-off point for conversation. I agree that a whole slew of "this is crap" posts is the last thing anyone wants, and I would never post something consisting solely of that, but a series of "this is great" posts is almost as worthless.


Usually I bemoan grumpy old HN as well. However, this app is buggy, unstable, and in fact doesn't work. And it is being sold for $5.


This is awesome. I'm always looking for ways to discover high quality images for wallpaper use. I actually wrote this thing that auto-grabs the latest Shorpy.com image and sets it as your wallpaper: https://github.com/nicksergeant/shorpypaper.


This is great!

Couple minor, opinionated suggestions:

A) Can we get just a little more information about the piece without having to click? Something like a little badge in the corner with artist, style and year.

B) A settings window without an X is slightly disconcerting. Looking for the red X was my first instinct when trying to back out without committing changes.

Edit: I saw your comment about no iOS API's for setting background and lock screen. That doesn't mean there isn't a benefit in letting the user choose their own from your curated collection. Also look into taking advantage of second screen devices. An app could make a gallery out of an Apple TV or Chromecast.

Example: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.artkick.ar...


Side question - how often do you guys see your desktop? My answer is 'almost never'. I can't see why I ever would. If I'm using my computer then I'm looking at an application window or several. The times I close or hide all applications to start at my desktop is, erm, never.


OSX user. I usually have 5-10 different desktops open, each with a random background that changes every half an hour. So whenever I go into Mission Control or create a new desktop, I get to enjoy a new picture. Also, if I catch a glimpse of something cool in my current background on the edge of the screen, I'll take a quick peek via the 4-finger pinch gesture.


Love the concept. Purchased. But I fear the settings are going to undo a lot of people.

Bug: on the initial state it looks like everything is included (as it should be). However when I select Styles > Kinetic art, press 'change art now', I get the error message 'No high resolution art found for these filters!'.

Okay, so I'll just select every 'Style' with cmd+A. Same error. Okay, maybe I need to select every item in every filter type so I cmd+A them all. Same error.

Now how do I return the app back to its default state of no filters set? And how do I properly set a single filter?

It seems like checkboxes would be much better for usability. It's certainly a challenge though as you have 100s of artists all available to filter by.


Filters can be deselected by clicking them again. If you have many selected, pressing the keyboard letter of one of the options will narrow the selection to only that item. After that it can be deselected or changed. I'm working on improving deselection in an upcoming version.


Got it. Filtering by artists and genres works fine but every style I try to filter by gives the 'no results, change filters' message.


Should be fixed in the next update, pending approval by Apple.


Great app! Please add the option to add the artist and title of the work to the desktop somewhere in the corner, perhaps even with a link, so that we may learn a little about the work itself also.

Edit : I see you already do this in the menubar. :)


Thanks for the feedback--added to my feature ToDos. I didn't include artist text already because I did not want to overlay anything that would get in the way of the art, but enough people have requested it that it is something I'm planning to add as an option. For now, the artist name is available in the menu bar drop down, and it opens the wikipedia page for the artist (and clicking the name of the work opens the URL to the image file). Optionally, turning on notifications will also show the artist name.


I know its random and not cheap enough with current tech, but wall hanging tablets/digital photo-frames that present an ever changing (and possibly sync'd) set of art in the same style as a museum would be seriously awesome. Needs a lot of screen estate to have title underneath. E.g. a bit like http://www.artofwildlife.com/Miniature_Paintings_Exhibition3...


I also do embedded systems, so that's something to think about. :)


hum.. imagine if you develop apps for the Apple tv.. that would be seriously awesome.



Some of my favorites: http://imgur.com/a/d3brY


This is great! Thanks for the resource.


Would buy but I'm still on Mavericks :(


Have you thought about adding other public domain images that are not necessarily related to art? I'd love something like this that pulls from NASA's image galleries instead.


That's a great idea. A sister app perhaps?


Definitely needs option too offline cache and not use the net connection, I do not want to have my cable trickle saturated by downloading hi-res images indefinitely in the background!


How much art would you be comfortable caching locally? The full collection is over 30GB.


Make it configurable? But I'd probably suggest a default somewhere around the 1GB mark - Apple are still selling machines with as little as ~120GB storage.


Assuming someone changes the image every 5 minutes, you'd cover 12/hour or 288/day. Would maintaining a FIFO queue of one day's worth of images be crazy big? I think it's reasonable to expect a person's computer to have internet access once a day to refill the queue.


I would be happy to cache around 5GB.


Looks nice!

I'm on Windows though, and currently very happy about Amazing Lock Screen[0], which takes the daily photo from Bing.com and puts it on your lock screen. If anyone knows a similar app but for public domain art, I'd be very interested.

[0] http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/amazing-lock-scr...


Great app! On a related note -- do people really get to see their desktop wallpaper often on OS X? I occasionally go hunting online for a cool wallpaper but then realize that I don't look at it for weeks. The only time I look at it is when I restart my computer (which is once every 3-4 weeks). All other times, I have my browsers, terminals, and other applications taking up more than 90% of the screen and I see no reason to minimize them.


My windows always fill the screen entirely, but I often use the trackpad gesture to reveal the desktop. It's where my downloads go, where I do all my drag-and-dropping, where I sort files into folder aliases that go somewhere on my file system.

But then I've bought a 21:9 display and my collection of National Geographics HD wallpapers stopped looking good (I assume Artful would be the same) - now I just stare at Apple's Aqua Blue background from 10.4 again.


I usually only see my desktop whenever I view all my open apps. Other than that, I pretty much never see the desktop


cool. Out of curiosity, where do you get the art from?


If you mean where the image files come from, they're hosted at https://s3.amazonaws.com/artful-collection. Using Chrome will just give the xml structure of the bucket, but you could parse and browse yourself with that much.


no, I meant where did you take the images in the first place. I had a thought in the past of making an app that used classic art in some way, and IIRC I found that http://www.artchive.com/ lets you use their art collection for commercial purposes, while the Google Art project https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/project/art-project doesn't.

I think that even if the original art has no copyright restrictions, the reproductions of it can have some.


Nope, nope, nope. Reproductions can never have their own copyright. Really: No matter how much work someone does in tracking down and scanning public domain art, the "work" in question is still in the public domain. Only authors get copyrights, not "sweat of the brow" labor.

You can get a copyright in any creative changes or additions you make to a public domain artwork--the things that you are the author of.

It is sometimes a violation of Internet norms to fail to give credit to someone who has originally scanned something, but this is not copyright.


Nice. Have you considered making a version for the browser to show art in the new tab? I never see my desktop but do see new tabs all day long.

I currently use and love Momentum - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/momentum/laookkfkn...


Great idea for an app, however: it doesn't work

-Click 'Next artwork' cycles through 2-3 of the same painting

-Selecting every single 'Technique' throws a 'No high resolution artwork found in those filters'.

For a $5 app this is not good. I've contacted Apple Support for a refund. Sorry to be harsh, but shame on you for selling software that was clearly not tested.


Not the OP, but as a dev I can not thank you enough for your post/feedback. Highlighting areas where the project can be improved is infinitely more useful than getting told the project is "awesome" or even worse "somebody else, who is not me, would buy this" - neither of which improve my project or give me cashflow.


- This appears to be a OSX/Yosemite bug. If you examine the thumbnail in display preferences, the artwork is changed by artful, but the OS fails to update for a few people, for some reason. Reports are that a reboot fixes it.

-I just tested it and selecting all techniques does work. Perhaps you had other filters selected that narrowed the return set too much? Try making your filter selections more broad.

What is your specific configuration?


Ok I think I have an idea for this. It was happening for me (only alternating between the same two pieces, even after multiple reboot). The "fix" was to toggle the "Resize small art to fill screen" which completely removes this repeated image effect, while re-enabling it brings back the problem.

Edit: nevermind, problem came back after a few "Change art now" button presses, even after toggling all the checkboxes in the top-left.


Rebooting does not solve the problem. Artwork doesn't change every hour. I can get it to choose new Artwork sometimes by killing and restarting the App.

"This appears to be a OSX/Yosemite bug"... I have to wonder. If you didn't test your OSX app on the latest version of OSX... Did you even test it at all?


I'm sorry you have been having problems. It was developed on Yosemite, and I did test. Unfortunately the bug was difficult for me to reproduce until just recently. This is a bug only some have been seeing related to how the OS caches images. I have submitted a fix, and the update is currently waiting for approval by Apple. Hopefully it will be available on the App Store soon.


I have a '13 MBA with Yosemite.

I had no other filters selected, only 100% of the techniques...


I really liked the idea, and installed it; happy to pay the price of a latte for it. But...it crashes! The menu bar icon goes away. Also, Little Snitch is reporting that it wants to phone home on every art change, which I'm not happy with. I'm also not happy that it wants to connect to pimage.timespeople.nytimes.com for some reason.


The art is stored online, hence the http requests to fetch new art...

And it is certainly not connecting to any nytimes url. All art is stored on S3, and the only server it talks to should be artfulmac.com Maybe your computer is compromised?


Cool app.

Where did the photos come from? Who owns them? The art is public domain but the photos themselves may be copyrighted.

I would buy it after learning this.


It's an interesting question. Generally speaking (if one can really do that in legal areas) if the photograph features another work but is not transformative (loosely: doesn't add any new artistic content) then the photo doesn't have a separate copyright [or at least not one that's useful for anything].

In short, slavish reproduction is copying, not creation of original works.

Exceptions have been made under "sweat of the brow" arguments when museums, for example, make extremely high quality reproductions (or UV images or similar where there is a lot of technical effort involved). I don't really buy the argument, but it doesn't stand here as we're talking relatively low grade copies for small screens.

* For the USA case: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/museum-paintings...

* This museums copyright group tries to down-play Bridgeman somewhat, http://museumscopyright.org.uk/resources/articles/bridgeman/.

* A UK article circa 1996, http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/photographing-artwo....


Thank you


I think its at a higher price point for me to try. Regarding the recommendation engine I did suggest to start collecting some information about your users and their likes/dislikes with artist. Till then I believe item based recommender might do better for you. I am a data engineer, pm me for any help with rec sys. ATB


I wanted something like this. It would be great if it could work as a screen saver too. I rarely see my desktop.


Agree with dingdingdang to have some caching, or some core set of wallpapers or something.

Also seems to be bugged when clicking the "Next artwork" menu item - keeps on showing the same image every other time, although the title does change to something random.


The repeat seems to be a OSX/Yosemite bug that some have seen, and is often fixed by a reboot. If you open the display preferences does the thumbnail change correctly?


Firstly, nice job!

Second, I'm seeing this bug and yes, in the Desktop & Screen Saver settings, the thumbnail is correct (you can see what it should be by opening the menu bar dropdown and clicking the title of the piece which will open it in the browser straight from s3).

Edit: tried reboot, the app tried to autostart but crashed. Started it manually, it kept crashing a few times. It is now running but still showing a particular image on every other change, even automatic.


I have submitted an update to Apple, currently pending approval. Hopefully it will be available on the App Store soon and fix the issues you're seeing.

It's interesting that no matter how much one tests, bugs invariably appear for some percentage of users, given the configuration of the software and the environment of the machine. I liken it to manufacturing defects that present at so many sigma. It's because of feedback from users like you that things get better, so thanks for taking the time to comment!


Like the concept here. Would love a trial version, though.

Slightly off-topic, but this reminds me of what Electric Objects are trying to achieve: essentially, this same app, but hanging on your wall. The future of art consumption for the masses.


So, just purchased this. Very nice. Would like an option to change the art once every 12 or 24 hours, if possible?


Changing the update frequency options is planned for a future update.


Great app, great work. I like anything that can automate beauty into my workspace.


My 2 cents would be:

Insure that the art is not being resized out of it's original proportions. Just like how nobody want's to see a pan and scan movie anymore, make sure you aren't robbing the art of it's compositional power by changing it's dimensions.

Also as a visual artist myself, I have actually noticed in the past that having a piece of art as my wallpaper has helped me build a better understanding of a master's work through repeated exposure. I'm just brain storming here, but it would be cool if say over the course of a month I was shown 4 or 5 different pieces (I prefer a long exposure in order to allow my interpretation time to evolve and grow) and each of these pieces were related somehow. It could become a bit of a puzzle to figure out what the last work had in common with this weeks.


Artful does not change the aspect ratio. As for whether or not the edges are truncated, that is an option left to the user--each piece can be displayed in full, letterboxed or pillarboxed (with bars of arbitrary color), or it can be cropped to fill the screen.


I'm going to try it now. Who cares if it's 5 bucks if I get some value out of it.

Will you be looking into tying this in with a screensaver? It would awesome for the office if it can pull up art into a screensaver.


Great app. Thank you.

Can we get a feature to favourite an artwork. And playback only favourites later. Found a bug, sometime the artwork doesn't change, but a notification pops up. Could actually be a network delay!


Collaborative filtering is planned. :)

First is nailing down subtle bugs that are appearing for a minority of people.


OH SNAP! I've been looking for a way to do this for years, for the same reasons as you, but have never had much luck in actually finding high resolution art. What are your sources?


This made my day. Happy to pay 5 bones for it.

I'd love to see intelligent support for multiple monitors, and perhaps a nice way to avoid such black bars around the portrait-dimension pieces.


Thanks for the purchase! Better multi-monitor support is on the agenda. You can eliminate the pillarboxed art/black bars by selecting "Zoom in to art to fill screen" at some sacrifice of resolution. There's also an option to prefer landscape-orientation artwork, which is really a filter to only select art with a width:height ratio of >1.3.


Would be nice to have an option for different art pieces on different spaces as well. For example, I use 4 spaces on my primary display and 1 space on the external one and I'd be delighted if I had 5 different art pieces shown.


I bought it too (and congrats, it's a great start!), but probably won't use it until you add multiple-images-on-multiple-monitors.


I purchases as well, and then I found out it doesn't support multi-screens very well. I want different art on each monitor:) Good job!


Nice app, would be great if it worked better with multiple monitors in different orientations though!

Landscape images resized to fit screens in portrait orientation look really bad.


That's a great point! My test monitors don't rotate, but I used to have a config like that. I'll add orientation preferences to a future version!

If you have a mixed set of monitor orientations, would you prefer to have a different art piece on each one, suited to the respective orientation, or a piece that tries to fit both (restricting the art to near-square works)?


Different pictures on each monitor should be the default. The premise is you want to expose users to more art!


Fair enough! I'll have to think about how that would change the interaction with the main menu.


Off-topic, but the site gets all wonky when trying to zoom in/out/reset with ff34.. looks like it's the backstretch jquery plugin causing it.


Very neat idea! It's reliably crashing for me every time ~30 seconds after opening on 10.10.1.

Not too sure where to start troubleshooting. Any ideas?


Are you running the app from within the Applications directory? This is a new issue. If you open up the debug Console (Applications->Utilities->Console) and search for Artful, what comes up? (Please email me.)


Yep, I am. I'll do that.


I've long been a fan of having artwork as my wallpaper, and finding nice ones has always been a hassle. Just bought it. Thanks!


I'm using this app Kuvva and it works pretty well. What is the difference from yours? Your app does look much better though.


I'm not super familiar with Kuvva, but looking at it the difference appears to be that Kuvva displays modern illustration (of unknown copyright?), while Artful displays 68,000 classic works of fine art.


Kuvva indeed showcases contemporary art by featured artists changing every week. I've been a happy user for years and would definitely recommend checking it out.



I get "The item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. store." when I try to buy it.

edit: Resolved!


Nice app - saves the hassle looking for hi-res art.

Would love the ability to add a folder of my own images, to mix it up a bit.


A local folder in the mix would be an interesting addition. I've included it in the development ToDos/wishlist.


I know it's art, but I'm having trouble explaining "Torso of Venus" to my coworkers... :)


Congratulations, nice app. Just the UX's from the 90's ;)


Any suggestion on how to improve filtering for 68,000 items beyond an NSTableView?


Its not about NSTableView. It's things like:

- Gray boxes around some controls, not around others

- Control layout. What's up with that sea of nothingness in the top right?

- No titles/labels for each odd grouping of controls

- I'm seeing horizontal scroll bars something in the tables, but the text isn't wide enough to need a scroll bar (Yosemite)

- OK button just kind of sitting in the middle?

- No cancel/revert function

- No standard window "close" button, just minimize or that weird "OK"

This is just a bad setting screen layout with really unpolished design. It looks like controls were just dragging and dropped in interface builder. I would suggest that you go and look at the settings dialogs other Mac apps like Mail, etc.


@billyhoffman is right, avoid UI pollution as much as you can.

I think you already reuse as much UI cell as you can (wild guess)? By using this method: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Cocoa/...

If nothing works, a bad solution but an efficient one could be to setup a "load more" or a "paging" UX.


Is it legal to make people pay for public domain art?


You're not paying for the art, you're paying for the convenience.

You can go download all those images, and put them in a folder and have OSX rotate on the folder randomly.


Indeed! Having the art in a directory that the OS drew from was the prototype for Artful! :) I wanted the ability to filter things though, thus Artful was born.




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