Restore Apple’s RSS Visualizer Screensaver To Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

I really liked the RSS Visualizer screensaver from OS X Lion and earlier, but for some reason, Apple’s taken it out of the install of OS X Mountain Lion. Luckily for all of us who enjoy watching an RSS feed swirl around the screen in a fun 3D style, there’s hope. The screensaver file works just fine in Mountain Lion – you just need to grab it from an earlier OS X install, like OS X Lion, and move it to your current machine. Here’s how.

You’ll need a copy of the actual screensaver file, so head to a Mac with an earlier OS X on it, or grab a backup of a Mac with an earlier OS X on it, and then go to the System Folder, then the Library folder, and then open the Screen Savers folder. You should see a file called RSS Visualizer.qtz. Copy this file to your OS X Mountain Lion Mac in whatever way makes best sense to you.

Next, on the Mountain Lion Mac, open your Home folder, then the Library folder, then the Screen Saver folder. Put the RSS Visualizer.qtz file there. CLose all the folders. Launch System Preferences and click on the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane. Choose Screen Saver from the top two buttons, and you’ll now see RSS Visualizer as an option.

Of course you’ll want to add the Cult of Mac RSS feed to the options, so you can keep track of all the great posts here as they happen!

Are you using OS X Mountain Lion? Got a tip you want to share with us? (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)or leave a comment below.

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  • Mads Teland

    Can you make this file for us to download when they do not have Lion backup? :)

  • technochick

    How about restoring rss feeds in ML mail.

  • technochick

    How about restoring rss feeds in ML mail.

  • Frank Lowney

    Apple seems to be deprecating RSS across the board. Specific examples include:
    1) The iTunes.app still supports RSS subscriptions but Apple has not upgraded this function in iTunes.app to support its own iBooks Author created iBooks (*.ibooks) files as they did with ePub when Pages added ePub export.
    2) The “all new iTunes U” does not support RSS feeds as the old (authenticated) iTunes U courses did. The public facing version of iTunes U for institutions still supports RSS feeds — at least for now — but rejects the feed if it contains an iBooks file (no upgrade).
    3) The new Podcasts.app for iOS has no mechanism for directly subscribing to RSS feeds other than those found in the iTunes Store Podcast Directory. You can still subscribe to a podcast channel in iTunes and this can be synched to Podcasts.app but there are no un-tethered options.
    4) The new iTunes U.app for iOS has no mechanism for directly subscribing to RSS feeds other than those discovered through the iTunes U part of the iTunes Store.

    RSS is definitely on the way out at Apple. I can’t imagine a good reason why unless they see RSS as competing with the iCloud road map that no one outside of Apple knows about.

  • Daniel Anzola

    Followed your instructions but I still can’t see the RSS screensaver in the menu. Copied the RSS Visualizer.qtz file from another computer running Lion to the two library folders I found in the one running Mountain Lion and restarted but still no RSS awesomeness. Any ideas what I may be doing wrong?

  • puterwiz

    Path to install RSS Feed Screensaver .qtz file in Mountain Lion:

    Macintosh HD > System > Library > Frameworks > Screensaver.framework > Versions > A > Resources > Drop RSS Visualizer.qtz file in here

    Open System Preferences and look at the Screensaver selects and you should see RSS Feed as a selection.

    Click on “Screen Saver Options” button to enter your favorite feed.

    Example: http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition.rss

  • MADdelaRosa

    Mmmh…yeah, this didn’t work for me either.

    I also tried puterwiz’s way but my Frameworks folder doesn’t have a Screensaver.framework folder. And I don’t think simply creating it will do it. Is everyone else finding that path?

  • David Markham

    The trick is to rename the ‘RSS Visualizer.qtz’ as ‘Word of the Day.qtz’. Should you wish to retain both, simply add a suffix of some sort to the latter; in my case, I changed the ‘Word of the Day.qtz’ file to ‘Word of the Day2.qtz.
    Then open System Preferences, and click on the ‘word of the Day’ Screensaver… Et voile. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to have your RSS feed back up and running. This is guaranteed to work.

  • LED

    It does work David Markham, thank you.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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