Can I disable my screensaver based on what program is running?

Here’s the deal: When I want to run iTunes on my computer (Windows PC, Firefox) and do other things around the house, sometimes a song will come on and, due to my somewhat obsessive-compulsive personality, I’ll want to see the artwork displayed, which iTunes does nicely. However, if it’s been more than 7 minutes or whatever, the screensaver will be on instead, which is all well and good except in this one instance I don’t want my screen to be saved.

So is there any way to tell my computer that when iTunes is running, I don’t want my screensaver to run?

This is an interesting question. I don’t think there’s a super-simple way to accomplish what you’re asking, but it could be done with an intermediate level of tinkering.

You could do use a variation of this vbscript. Change your normal iTunes shortcut to run the script. Have the script launch iTunes and then check periodically to see if it’s running. If it is, make a registry change to turn off the screensaver (using a variation of this script). If not, make a registry change to turn on the screensaver and then terminate the script.

The greater question is why you have a screensaver at all. They don’t actually save anything and are mainly for entertainment purposes only. The obvious solution seems to be to set the screensaver to start after a much greater interval or disable it altogether. You can manually change the setting in a few seconds when you want as well if you want a compromise solution and want it for some reason.

Dunno if this is the exact thing you’re looking for, but I’ve found it very useful for quickly disabling (and re-enabling) my screensaver on an ad hoc basis…

NoSleep! (Second one down the page).

Hmm… I always thought screensavers existed because your desktop image can be burned onto your monitor if it’s left on too long. Is this possibility exaggerated? Surely they exist for reasons other than entertainment?

Thanks, I’ll look into that!

Not anymore, screen burn in has not been a serious problem for monitors for years. The monitor I am using right now is 10 years old and only has a screen saver for entertainment (Strat Wars Rocks!) even then I rarely turn it on.

That is correct. You have to go back to the old green screens to see a serious burn-in problem. It is a non-issue today for all types of screen although you might find a small problem if your screen was left as is for a year or more. Screensavers are for entertainment and maybe for a small degree of privacy. I don’t have one at home or work.

I’ve always wondered about that. The idea is supposedly that it turns on when the computer is idle to prevent a static image from staying up for too long. The thing is, I use a Mac which always has the menubar at the top. If it was a problem one would expect the menubar to be burned into the screen sooner or later, but this doesn’t seem to happen. The same goes for the taskbar in Windows.

For the Mac users out there, one thing you can do is set the Expose preferences so that the screensaver is disabled if you put the mouse in some corner. You can also use the corners for Expose functions.

I use the defalt screensaver which does slow zooms on jpgs in my Pictures folder. All my interesting photos go there. They might make for conversation pieces of te computer was in a place where other people see it.

I have my screen saver turn off the output so that the monitor shuts down saving power. I have not seen a monitor for a long long time that would not go into a power saving mode when the signal from the computer went away.