Look at your Mac’s Desktop wallpaper. For most of us, the Desktop wallpaper is comprised of either a photo or an image of something (and, perhaps a colored background). Most of the time we don’t even see the photo it’s covered up by a bunch of open app windows.
Therein lies the single problem with Backgrounds, a clever Mac Desktop wallpaper utility which turns a static background into a dynamic image using one of six different components.
First, there’s iTunes. Backgrounds displays the album artwork for the current music track as wallpaper. Or, as a music video. It’s handled automatically, and even works in fullscreen mode.
Second, there’s Parallax mode. As you move the Mac’s screen pointer (the cursor, or the mouse pointer; not all Macs have a mouse these days), the background photo adjusts accordingly, using a parallax effect.
Third, plain vanilla video. Play any video as your Mac’s Desktop wallpaper. The video can loop, or play multiple video files as you would with a playlist.
Fourth, there’s the System Monitor mode which displays your Mac’s system details in a multi-mode speedometer-like graphic, which is cool looking depending upon the Desktop wallpaper photo or image you’ve chosen. It doesn’t do much, but it looks great.
Fifth is Time mode. Think clock time with seconds, plus an option for day and month. Everything is customizable, too, including font, size, screen position, color, and shadow. It even works on Macs with multiple displays, and you get the option of different preferences with each.
Finally, and somewhat more geeky and esoteric, is the Quartz mode which will run any Quartz Composition as a Desktop wallpaper background, including iTunes track information.
The only real issue I have with apps like Backgrounds is that all the visual dynamics goes on behind the Mac’s app windows. I seldom see the nice Yosemite image Apple supplied with OS X 10.10 because it’s covered up by windows from Finder, Safari, Mail, Calendar, and whatever apps you’re using at the time.