17
Feb
12

Developers are really into Roman Nurik's new live wallpaper app, Muzei. A ton of extensions are already available in Google Play, some of which have neat tricks up their sleeves (see part 1 here). Here's the best stuff we've found so far in no particular order.

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Muzei Music Extension

This extension plugs into your music player and changes the background to match the album art of the current track. It comes from the developer of the popular Shuttle music player. The music extension includes settings to restrict data usage to WiFi only and to control the artwork resolution (which comes from Last.fm). It should work with almost all music apps – I tested it with Google Play Music and it worked great. Some apps might require you fiddle with the AVRCP/Bluetooth settings for the app to send the required song information.

Muzei Hash

The power of hashtags in your live wallpaper – just fill in some Google+ hashtags in the settings and this app pulls in the images associated with it. It comes with #photography and #longexposure selected, but you can pick anything you want. It's more of a hit or miss selection of content, but you get a good variety. Muzei Hash also includes refresh rate and connection settings.

Unsplash for Muzei

Unsplash is a photoblog with a ton of lovely images. They look great as backgrounds, but the app doesn't have any settings. It just updates whenever a new photo is added to Unsplash, which happens 10 times per day.

Cast for Muzei

The Chromecast sure has some pretty backgrounds these days, and now you can get them in Muzei. This extension pulls from the same feed Google uses for the Chromecast's backgrounds. There are no settings in this app, though. It just updates when the feed does.

Dropzei for Muzei

This extension plugs right into your Dropbox account to pull in wallpaper images. You can add multiple folders and control the refresh interval. There are no settings for data usage as far as I can see.

Muzei – deviantART

If you're a fan of deviantART, this is the extension for you. It lets you specify the update interval, NSFW preference, mobile data usage, and the feed it pulls from. Selecting the feed might be a little weird as it uses the same syntax as deviantART itself. For example, in:photography/nature loads images from Photography > Animals, Plants & Nature.

Just a few days and already we have a bunch of cool stuff in the Muzei ecosystem. Like last time, Muzei and all of the extensions featured here are completely free.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • solbin

    Missing APOD Muzei (NASA photo of the day)

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.richapps.apod

    EDIT: N/M didn't see this was Part 2.

    • Patrick Beliveau

      that was covered in part 1 already

    • MarkG54321

      Also missing the National Geographic one.

  • mayzei

    Time to tweet some pictures with #photography (evil smirk)

  • Paul Grant

    Unsplash updates 10 new photos every 10 days.

    • Rammstein

      Was just about to say the same thing

  • Bluewall

    And this is why Muzei is awesome

  • nat

    Have been wanting a album art wallpaper like this forever.... Anyone know if there is a similar app for daydream that works this way with album art?

  • Dipayan

    After using Muzei I know how much polished an android app can be,how much development power the current sdk has and how much shitty the current gen rest of the top apps are, in terms of ux and ui they are nearly thousand millennium behind from a top android dev from Google.

    • WORPspeed

      This is basically what my review of Muzei said.
      I gave it 5 stars for being so elegant, functional and basically everything you could ask of it. It has 5 stars, but it is MILES ahead of any other app I gave 5 stars too. This deserves 6 stars given my starring trackrecord

    • didibus

      Ok but Muzei has almost zero user interaction. I mean, you pick an extension, you can see an about page, and that's mostly it...

      • Joris Griffioen

        And it just works beautifully, better than any wallpaper app I've ever tried before.

        I think he will be able to add a lot and still keep it simple and elegant. It's a matter of attention. Most app devs seem to go for features first instead of quality first (logical, it probably sells better).

        One thing we can take away from it: this is now another app that has upped the overal quality of the Android app system. That will influence other devs to make better apps.

        This is why in my opinion Google needs to do better curating in the Play Store. If the discoverability of good apps is better, devs will use better apps and subsequently create better apps.

        • Dipayan

          Actually If I say Google as a Android SDK developer cannot do much, they have provided the SDK, the sheer power, now it depends on how the actual developers embrace it, use it.
          The application is far more beautiful than some original Google apps, look at the Google play music, the horrible orange and frequent lags even in a nexus 4 give me shudder.

  • Bradley Ruiz
  • Ben Said

    So you can't have two extensions running at the same time right? Would be cool if the music extension would turn on when I'm listening to music.

    • Roberto Ingrosso

      Even just custom fixed image when not listening would be nice. Anyway this is my favourite Muzei exstension by far!

    • Bradley Ruiz

      There is a pull request in Muzei's github to implement this, so its probably coming in the future :)

      • Joris Griffioen

        That's great. I feel like this will become an extremely powerfull app.

        He's got the basics down rock solid and people are loving it. Now it's a matter of working out those kind of enhancements that make it really awesome.

        I call *first* on saying this should be stock in Android. ;)

    • Justin

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getgoodcode.taskei

      I set up Tasker to change to Music Muzei when I've got headphones plugged in, and back to APOD when I remove them. :D

  • Paul_Werner

    Only thing I wish the Muzei had as an option was to disable the notification that gives more info on the artwork. It's nice for people that want that info but I'd like the option to turn that off.

    It'd be sweet if someone makes an extension where I can select my own Google+/Picasa albums for backgrounds. The the hashtag is fine but I'd like my own shots without having to save them on my phone

    • Taco Monster

      You can do that under Advanced in the spinner up top.

    • Ken Hunter

      There is an option to disable notifications. Same screen where you control the blurriness and brightness.

      • Paul_Werner

        Thanks, I missed it at first

    • http://farukahmet.blogspot.com/ Faruk Ahmet

      Even if an app doesn't specifically present you with the option to disable its notifications, you can always manually shut it off. Just long press the notification, select "App info", then untick "Show notifications".

      • Paul_Werner

        Yep, I know about this but was looking for the setting in the app itself. I just overlooked it originally but thanks

  • Proioxix

    All these extensions are very nice. Gotta love Android for the level of customization and control it gives you. I prefer to use my own wallpapers though. Got about 32 wallpapers set to change every hour. Love this app.

    • ddpacino

      Same here, but I love the ease of being able to switch sources at any given time and really mix things up. Sweet app.

  • Raven

    Missing "500px for Muzei" as another great photo source.

    • RyanWhitwam

      It was in the last one. See the link up top.

  • Edward Smith

    Still need Folder support.

    • mrjayviper

      Can't believe this is missing but living it so far

      • Joris Griffioen

        The app is *brand new*, give the guy a second. ;)

        • mrjayviper

          it's been out for days :P

  • Vitaly Streltsov

    Muzei force-closes on my Nexus10 running cm11 M3 snapshot. :(

  • didibus

    There should be a global setting in Muzei for restricting to only use WiFi.

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I used Muzei for 2 two days. But it was occupying upwards of 130 MB of RAM. So, I had to uninstall it. :(

    • mrjayviper

      i believe it copies the actual image to it's local "database". surprised it does this. :/

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Whatever the cause is, I'm not wasting that much RAM for a wallpaper, which I won't be seeing most of the time anyway.

  • Cameron Fenno

    How do you add a hashtag on the Hashtag extension? I see how to enter one, but don't understand how to add it to the list. There's no submit button.