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‘Aerial’ brings beautiful Apple TV video screensavers to your Mac


Apple has created a new screensaver for the fourth-gen Apple TV that consists of a collection of videos taken all over the world. While it’s possible to locate these screensaver videos online and download them from Apple’s website, there hasn’t been a way to set them as your Mac’s screensaver.

Thanks to developer John Coates, that’s not the case anymore. Coates published a Mac screensaver this week that lets you choose to run any of these videos when your Mac has been idle.

The screensaver is called Aerial, and it’s available for free from Coates’ Github repo. Once you’ve installed it, you can open up the settings in System Preferences and choose any (or all) of the available video streams from Apple. The videos are separated by location (34 videos from China, Hawaii, New York, and San Francisco are available) and are split up into day and night shots. You can check or uncheck any videos that you want to use or skip.

The screensaver also supports the ability to play a different video on each connected display.

It appears Aerial streams the videos from Apple’s site instead of bundling them (likely for copyright reasons and to keep the screensaver size reasonable) so you will see some network traffic if you choose to use this.

As mentioned above, you can grab Aerial from Github now. It requires OS X Mavericks or newer.

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  1. BongBong (@BongBong) - 7 years ago

    I’ve always wanted a Mac background that evolves very slowly to reflect the passage of time throughout the day. Not a lot of motion, just subtle changes in lighting direction and color.

  2. Quinn (@quinn_drummer) - 7 years ago

    “there hasn’t been a way to set them as your Mac’s screensaver.”

    well that simply isn’t true, SaveHollywood has been around for a while

    • Darla - 7 years ago

      That’s exactly what I’ve been using. Download the videos, add them to Save Hollywood and viola!!

  3. Why don’t we call these resource wasters instead of screen savers? The best screen saver is to dim the screen to black – it also happens to save energy and not use a single byte of data over your internet connection.

    Honestly, streaming video as a screensaver is just the most stupid idea I’ve heard all year.

  4. Mildred Pierce - 7 years ago

    downloaded fine — but no video movement ?? any tips appreciated……………

    • Luis (@helloluiis) - 7 years ago

      try pressing the spacebar if there is no movement. They work like videos. You can also move frame by frame with the arrows

  5. PMZanetti - 7 years ago

    This is really cool, thanks!

  6. Joe A. Schwyter - 7 years ago

    btw. taken from video edit software like Final Cut etc. you can control the fly-over by pressing the J / K / L keys on the keyboard (rewind / pause / forward and ffwd up to 5x.

  7. Hitting J while the screensaver is running makes it rewind (hitting it several times makes it rewind faster). Same goes for hitting L, it speeds it up.

  8. Vic Conrad - 7 years ago

    enjoy the screensaver but my iMac no longer goes to sleep, just continuously plays the screensaver. Any suggestions?

  9. Careful. I had it for 5 days and burned through 100gb of data

  10. Jesse Jones - 7 years ago

    why the hell does this screen saver need internet to operate???? I loaded it and ran it with no problems… then, shut off wi-fi… it won’t load… why the need for internet???????

  11. Andrés Gómez Orea - 7 years ago

    Anyone know if its posible to install this screensaver on a AppleTV 3?

  12. David Gavin - 6 years ago

    I installed Apple’s aerial screensaver on my mac and managed to burn an enormous amount of gb on my broadband account. Removed it and now usage back to normal. Is this normal?