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Old 24. Jun 2014, 01:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question autoplay slideshow of CD/DVD of pictures/images/jpegs

Ok maybe i'm missing something. I thought this would be very easy, but i've googled (well, DuckDuckGo'ed) for 2 hrs and barely have a solution.

All i want to do is insert a CD/DVD and have Windows 7 auto-play a slideshow of pictures. It can even be windows photo viewer in slide show mode.

What i can get out of the box is:
  • insert cd/dvd
  • autoplay opens folder on drive with windows explorer
  • double click a picture (assuming "Preview" (aka windows picture viewer) is default application), then
  • click on the slide show button

Way too many steps for Grandma. Grandma needs 1 step: insert CD/DVD.

So i thought i would just check either Gizmo article Best Free Photo Slideshow Software or Best Free Digital Image Viewer and download ANY of those programs and as part of their install process they would register as an autoplay entry for picture CD/DVD's.

But alas, they did not. I tried XnView, InfranView, ACDSee Free, and (while holding my nose) Picasa. Picasa did add an entry, but not a "view pictures as slide show" but rather "import pictures into Picasa" (but what else should i expect from the 'we want all your data' company

After more searching i found "Default Programs Editor" at http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/de...s-7-and-vista/. Download at author's site: http://defaultprogramseditor.com/. This program sounds useful, and i suspect i can use that 3rd party(!) program to add something to the AutoPlay menu to automatically view the images as a slide show--if i can figure out the cmdline options for windows photo viewer or one of these others.

But, this seems way too hard. Also, if someone else were to help Grandma re-install her OS and programs, they would probably not duplicate this step.

I'm really looking for something push-button and i am very surprised i have not found anything.

Last edited by johnvk; 24. Jun 2014 at 01:53 AM. Reason: added download site for Default Programs Editor
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Old 24. Jun 2014, 01:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default similar thread...

this thread asks a similar question : http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...ideshower.html

Suggests along with Default Programs Editor InfranView might work (but it did not install itself as an AutoPlay option).
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Old 24. Jun 2014, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am afraid it requires a bit more work than setting a default programs editor. Even if you set the default program to work on one computer, and the DVD does autoplay somehow, the same DVD won't work on another computer, because the default program might be something else on it.

What you need is a autorun program on the CD/DVD, which will run when the disc runs on autoplay, which in turn will run the desired program that you want to execute automatically.

Here are a few freeware for the purpose:

Daboo Autorun: http://www.dienhart.com/software/Bor...oAutoRun.shtml

Compact Autorunner: http://www.hamradiousa.net/compactautorunner.html

Autorun.inf Editor: http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptautorun.asp

You may need to learn how to use them first.

My advice would be to make a test CD/DVD, and then see how it works. Use a RW optical media for that, so you do not waste many discs.
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Old 24. Jun 2014, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default It's Grandma i'm worried about, not the disk

Thanks for your reply and i understand your point about putting the autoplay (autorun) on the cd/dvd itself.

I found several programs that will do that.

But i'm concerned about Grandma's experience. She receives a disk of picture files from a friend, and she puts the disk in the optical drive and it should start a slideshow automatically.

It doesnt matter (to me for this particular issue) what the disk does in other people's PCs. And I can't count on or influence people making CD/DVDs for her them to make autoplay (autorun) CD/DVD's every single time.

And note "Default Programs Editor" also lets you edit the AutoPlay entries, not just default programs (despite its limited sounding name).

Last edited by johnvk; 24. Jun 2014 at 05:27 PM. Reason: 1 word of clarification
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Old 25. Jun 2014, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi John, I've been having fun playing around your question this afternoon and after much searching and experimentation with different software I think I've found a workable solution, albeit perhaps not a perfect one.

It's true that for the most attractive slideshows you need something like FSViewer or IrfanView etc, which can generate a slideshow and export it as a single exec but this approach does have drawbacks. Firstly, as you point out, it depends on people being willing/able to create such CDs for your Grandma in the first place and secondly, slideshows created in this way are somewhat limited as regards user-control... I don't know about all of them but with FSViewer and IrfanView at least, the only in-play options are start/pause and next/previous, I don't think you can even exit the fullscreen view. Also, this solution is no good for USB drives as since Windows 7, Microsoft have removed support for auto-running execs directly from such drives for security reasons (http://www.samlogic.net/articles/aut...lash-drive.htm).

So I think your idea is the best approach, to find a viewer that will launch directly into slideshow mode and set it as the default handler for CDs/flash drives that contain images. I've tried all the main freeware viewers and quite a few obscure ones to see if I could do that by way of command lines or whatever but had no luck at all in that direction. I agree with you, it's quite surprising really that a function like this should apparently be so hard to find.

Anyway, I eventually came across this brilliant little program called MycView, which I think will do more or less what you're after... it's a non-install program (my favourite kind ) so you can just unzip the download (a tiny exe plus an explanatory text file) to some location on Grandma's PC and set it up from there.

Essentially the program will run a slideshow of pictures in any directory that it's pointed to. It responds to command line arguments (they're described on the website and in the text file) but also on first run it creates an ini file within which you can achieve pretty much all the same settings.

It's rather minimal - no fancy transition effects or music etc - but it will autorun a slideshow of any pictures it finds on a CD or USB drive once you've set it as the default handler. Within limits, which I'll describe in a moment.



The options (ini file or command line) cover factors like UI/NoUI (NoUI disables all menus and mouse/keyboard input which was a little disconcerting when I tried it but you can quit the prog with Alt-F4), fullscreen/windowed, time delay between pics, no slideshow at all (i.e. navigate the pics manually with mouse or keyboard), slideshow loop on/off, display picture info, auto-resize, close program after the last picture and so on. Most of these options can also be changed while the program is running, via hotkeys or right-click.

It also has a neat little thumbnail view when you hover your mouse over the lower part of the display -



After some trial and error I found that a couple of important ini settings are -

Change "SearchPath" to "=0". This will stop MycView using the "LastPath" and "User" directory paths and instead display the pics in whatever directory it is triggered in relation to, e.g. the CD whose autoplay triggered it. With "SearchPath=1" it will display the last used directory unless it can't find it, in which case it will open the Windows file dialogue. (It also opens the file dialogue if it can't find any pics in a directory, or if you run it directly from the exe with SearchPath set to "=0".)

Set "Timer" to "=1". This is actually an On/Off setting (1 or 0) and "1" will cause the slideshow to start automatically. The actual timer setting is a few lines further down ("SecImage=") in which you can set whatever transition delay you want in seconds.

Below those basic settings, you can also change the default hotkeys for pause/start and so on.

Lastly (and this is important), once you have the ini file how you want it, you need to set it to "Read Only". This is necessary I found because otherwise, any changes made while the slideshow is running will change the ini file. For instance "Timer=" seems to always reset to "0" (i.e. manual navigation rather than auto-slideshow) when quitting the program. (If you get in a mess with the ini file, you can just delete it and the program will regenerate a default one on next run.)

So to make a slideshow run automatically when a CD or flash drive is inserted, you're right that Default Programs Manager will do that. (An excellent program, I use it quite a lot along with Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customiser). It's pretty straightforward (I think you'll need to run it as admin), just select "Pictures" in DPM and then click through the "Next" buttons choosing MycView as the default handler and finally "Save to Registry" at the end. That done, you will next need to open the Windows Autoplay manager from Control Panel where you will see (I hope ) that MycView is now available to select in the dropdown menu for "Pictures". Must admit I'm still experimenting with getting to work consistently with flash drives but adding MycView to "Unknown" in Default Programs Manager seems to be one point, as does "Mixed Content" in the autoplay manager of Control Panel, for some reason that entirely escapes me.

Default Programs Manager should automatically add a "%1" argument to the end of the program path ... this is necessary to make MycView use the correct directory. If you decide to add MycView to the context menu of Windows folders (right-click for an instant slideshow of a folder's contents, great stuff) you might have to add that manually.

The only real limitation that I've found with MycView is that it seems unable to read folders recursively, i.e. it can't read sub-directories and will only find picture files that are in the root directory of a CD or flash drive or folder, so you will still be dependent on people co-operating with that factor when making CDs for your Grandma. It's possible though that I've missed some edit which would allow that. Also I'm not entirely sure yet of the results of setting MycView as a default handler for "Mixed Content", perhaps someone else can help out there.

Also, your Grandma will be stuck with whatever settings you've put in the ini file unless you show her how to use the mouse/keyboard for pause/start, next/previous, change time delay and so on. The other potential drawback of course is the security implications of allowing autoplay in Windows.

Anyway I've tested this out quite thoroughly with ISOs in Windows and VirtualBox and with a flash drive too and it seems to work well. I've not actually burnt a real CD as I don't have any to hand but I don't see any reason why it would work differently.

I think that's all, apologies for a rambling post and for anything I've forgotten to mention. Also I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that there's some much easier way to achieve all this, even using built-in Windows functions.

Last edited by sicknero; 25. Jun 2014 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Afterthoughts/grammar.
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 12:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default absolutely great response!

Um, WOW!

That's easily the best forum response i've ever gotten, maybe the best i've ever seen (not that the competition is all that stiff )

So, thanks, really. Where can i donate to your well being

Also, you practically have written a first-rate Gizmo's article here. Dunno if you're an author here, but you could almost cut-n-paste. I'm SURE others would be interested. It's like any "Tech Treat" or "Top Selections" i've seen. I would assume vic.laurie and/or rhiannon would be interested.

Also, thanks for the tip on "Ultimate Windows Context Menu Customiser". I'll check it out.

I will try this soln myself and let y'all know how it works.
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 03:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default my step-by-step experience

It worked. What i did:

1. Download "Default Programs Editor" from http://defaultprogramseditor.com (it would be better to link to a techsupportalert.com download page that was kept up to date, but i did not find one.)

2. Extract all to C:\Program Files\DefaultProgramsEditor\

3. Download MycView from http://myc01.free.fr/mycview/. (it would be better to link to a techsupportalert.com download page that was kept up to date, but i did not find one.)

4. Extract all to C:\Program Files\MycView\

5. Run Default Programs Editor

6. Select "Autoplay Settings"

7. Select "Pictures"

8. Click "Next"

It's important to note that you need 2 things:
  1. a handler has to exist, ie have been defined (in the registry)
  2. a handler has to be added to the list for this AutoPlay type. (also in the registry; "Pictures" is an example of an AutoPlay type)

9. Click "Add..."

At this point you could look thru the list and see if any existing handlers could work for you.

If no,

10. Click "Add a new Handler" because there is no MycView handler defined yet.

11. Fill in the form to create a new AutoPlay Handler definition.
  • Action Name: View Slideshow with MycView (or whatever you want to call it)
  • Program Path: "C:\Program Files\MycView\mycview.exe" "%1"
    • Note: the trailing "%1" is added automatically by Default Programs Editor if you browse to find mycview.exe
    • Note: "%1" is numeral one, not lowercase "L"
  • Leave CHECKED: Infer program name from path
  • Leave CHECKED: Infer icon name from program

12. Click "Next" to complete.

Default Programs Editor automatically adds it to the list of handlers to be displayed.

13. Click "Save Autoplay Settings"

You may be asked to confirm UAC.

14. I saw a "Settings Successfully Saved" screen with an option to Donate (which i'll consider).

Click "OK".

15. Click "Close".

We're done with the 3rd party program "Default Programs Editor".

Back to plain old windows (7).

16. Now click the Windows 7 start orb and in the search box type "autoplay" and click on "AutoPlay".

17. Under "Pictures" you should see your new entry, "View Slideshow with MycView" (or whatever you called it)

18. Click the drop down menu and select your new entry to set it to be the default.

19. Click "Save".

20. Pop in an all-pictures CD/DVD/USB Drive and see if it works. (I did not try Mixed Content.)

I tried an all-pictures CD and it worked for me. (Altho a few times nothing happened. Didnt explore this.)


.INI Notes

With this configuration, even tho SearchPath=1 and LastPath= was set to some random path, it opened the files on the CD, not the "last path". I assume this is because of the "%1" cmd line argument specified in the AutoPlay handler above.

I liked ViewText=1 which puts the filename small in the upper left corner (by default) and the zoom and N/M slide count in the upper right.

I did see Timer= get set back to 0, but not all the time. I saw it stay 1 several times in a row, too.
  • I did confirm this: Key 'S' switches between autoplay slideshow mode, and manual advance mode. Whatever mode you're in when you exit is what's saved to the INI.
  • I also confirmed that 'Space' gets you OUT of auto-slideshow mode and IN manual-advance mode, AND manually advances one slide. So 'Space' is unlike the other manually advance keys (left-click, PageUp/Down, Left/Right Arrow) because those do not turn off (and save) your auto-slideshow. I suspect this is a bug.

I assume that if you set the INI to read-only, then when you make changes in the UI they will not be saved. I'm not sure if that matters. To Grandma. Or me.

Drawbacks:

There is no icons / menu to tell Grandma how to go Next / Previous slide. She will likely just watch, or use arrow keys, or PageUp / PageDown by habit anyway, and i think we'd be ok.

But she might also use Space habitually. In which case, the next invocation would not auto-advance. Unless we set the INI read-only. Which might have other negative effects...not sure.

The command-line help invocation:
Code:
mycview /?
appeared to not work. Did not print help, just started program.
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 03:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Registry

WARNING: DO NOT EDIT THE REGISTRY UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. YOU CAN RENDER YOUR PC UNBOOTABLE.

I used RegShot from http://sourceforge.net/projects/regshot/ (it would be better to link to a techsupportalert.com download page that was kept up to date, but i did not find one) to record the changes made to the Registry by Default Programs Editor as it updated AutoPlay entries.

The relevant changes appear to be (i'm not sure if this is a complete list):

New value added:
Code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\EventHandlers\ShowPicturesOnArrival] 
"View Slideshow with MycView_using_MycView"=""
New keys added:
Code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\View Slideshow with MycView_using_MycView] 
"Action"="View Slideshow with MycView" 
"DefaultIcon"="C:\\a_no_backup\\dl\\M_M\\usb_drive_copy\\tech\\MycView\\mycview.exe" 
"InvokeProgID"="MycView_autoplay_handler" 
"InvokeVerb"="View Slideshow with MycView_verb" 
"Provider"="MycView"
Code:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\MycView_autoplay_handler\shell\View Slideshow with MycView_verb\command] 
@="\"C:\\a_no_backup\\dl\\M_M\\usb_drive_copy\\tech\\MycView\\mycview.exe\" \"%1\""
"@" means "(Default)" value.

WARNING: DO NOT EDIT THE REGISTRY UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. YOU CAN RENDER YOUR PC UNBOOTABLE.
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 05:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks johnvk for sharing your experience. Gizmo's Freeware doesn't host downloading of files so external links to reputable download sites will be good enough.

To know more about this site and how you can help, please go this page if you've not come across: http://www.techsupportalert.com/about-this-site#help
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 05:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I understand your point. But Gizmo's DOES host the links to downloads. And, when they do, they are kept up to date. So the links in this post may go stale, but Gizmo's pages for programs get updated.

And if a program adds OpenCandy, eg, the download page will also alert users, which these links here will not.

So i just think everything's better when Gizmo has a page for a program. But i realize there's finite time and A LOT of programs out there...
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