Set the Desktop Picture to NASA Image of the Day


This workflow will download an image from the NASA Image of the Day feed and make it the current desktop picture. To accomplish this, the workflow will access an RSS feed from the NASA RSS Feeds webpage.

To construct the workflow, launch Safari, go the NASA RSS Feeds webpage, and click on the link for the Image of the Day in the General Interest Feeds section. Next, launch Automator and position a new workflow window in front of and below the Safari window displaying the Image of the Day feed. Drag the webpage proxy (the icon to the left of the website URL in the browser window) into the workflow area of the Automator document and release (see illustration below).

A new Get Specified URLs action containing the RSS feed URL will be added to the Automator workflow. This URL will be passed as input to the next action when the workflow is run.

Next, add the Get Image URLs from Articles action, found in the Internet library category, to the end of the workflow. This action will parse the passed RSS feeds and extract any image links from their text. The resulting collection of image URLs will be passed to the next action.

Next, add the Download URLs action, found in the Internet library category, to the end of the workflow. Choose a destination folder for the downloaded image from the popup menu in the action view. This action will download images files linked from the passed URLs and place them in the destination folder. The result of this action will be a list of file references that are passed to the next action in the workflow.

The final action in the workflow wil be one for setting the desktop picture to the downloaded image file. Locate and add the Set Desktop Picture action (in the Files & Folders library) to the end of the workflow.

Run the workflow and the NSASA Image of the Day will be downloaded to your computer and used as the current desktop picture. The image will use the current settings in the Desktop & ScreenSaver System preference pane.

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