There are so many ways to share photos online these days, but wouldn't it be nice to save a collection of images on a recordable CD, to be able to use the CD on a moment's notice to showcase your latest vacation photos when your friends stop by for a visit? Ideally, you probably want the CD to start a slide show of the photos automatically when you insert it into the computer, because who has time to fiddle with the computer controls while you are discussing your last vacation with the friends, right?
OK, let's try to create such a disc. Open File Explorer, navigate to the folder where the photos are stored, select the ones you want to include in the collection (you want only the best ones, right?), and use the Burn to disc command:
That was easy, wasn't it? Now let's try to insert the freshly created disc in the PC and check the result, will it start displaying the photos on its own? Unfortunately, not. If you have Windows XP and the auto-play of the CDs is not disabled on your computer, you will probably see a prompt asking you to start a slide show, but Microsoft has disabled this function in the later versions of Windows (you can thank the bad guys for making us all paranoid about letting things run automatically on our computers.)
If you have a more recent version of Windows, such as Windows 8, then Windows should offer you to browse the CD with File Explorer, which you can use to start a slide show with a few mouse clicks:
Still, even a few mouse clicks feels like so much trouble when the friends are eager to see your photos right away! Is there a way to automate the process? Let's try to design a file named autorun.inf to burn along with the photos, to make it start the photo show right away. Run Windows Notepad (or if you use AB Commander, open its Quick Editor) and enter the following text:
[autorun] label=My Photos icon=Fish.jpg action=Show Photos open=Fish.jpg shellexecute=Fish.jpg
The label directive lets us specify the text that Windows should use when prompting you what to do with the disc. The action directive lets us provide the text of the action on the Windows prompt. Finally, the open and shellexecute directives specify the file we want to open: Windows will launch the default application to open the file, which most probably display the image on the screen. In this example we decided to start with Fish.jpg, but you can specify another file, of course.
Save the file as autorun.inf somewhere on your hard disk (make sure the actual file name is autorun.inf and not autorun.inf.txt which may happen in some situations if you save the file with Windows Notepad.) Add this file to the set of the image files to burn, and make another disc, this time with the autorun.inf included with the images. Insert the disc into the computer and observe what Windows does with the disc now:
This should work well enough if the default application associated with the JPG files on your computer is the photo viewing application: if you select Show Photos from this menu (it could be another text, depending on the action directive in the autorun.inf file), it should launch the photo viewer and open the Fish.jpg file. However, what if you have another application set up to open the JPG files by default, such as PhotoShop? Or, if your friend is too busy to watch the photos right now, but offers to borrow the CD to watch it at home, who knows what kind of software is set up on your friend's computer to open the JPG files?
Is there a way to make sure that the Photo viewer is launched to view the image on the CD, and not some other graphics application? That's where our freeware utility PhotoLauncher comes in. We've designed it so that when it starts, it launches the built-in Windows photo viewer to display an image file from the CD. Moreover, after launching the photo viewer, it also automatically turns on the slide show mode. Think how many mouse clicks and other trouble this can save!
To use PhotoLauncher, download it using the button below, save the Zip file to your hard drive, unpack it, review the license file included there, and if you agree to the terms of the license, add the file PhotoLauncher.exe to the set of the image files to be burned to the CD. Also, modify the autorun.inf file as follows:
[autorun] label=My Photos icon=PhotoLauncher.exe action=Show My Photos open=PhotoLauncher.exe shellexecute=PhotoLauncher.exe firstimage=Fish.jpg autoplay=on
Let's see what's changed: we've used the open and shellexecute to specify the file PhotoLauncher.exe, because that's the file we want to run by default when the CD is inserted in the computer. We've also added two more directives, firstimage and autoplay. The first one is used to tell PhotoLancher which image file it should display first, and the second one lets you control whether the slide show mode should or should not be enabled automatically. (It's on by default, but if for some reason you don't want the slide show to start on its own, you can specify autoplay=off in the autorun.inf file.)
Burn the image files together with the updated autorun.inf file and the PhotoLauncher.exe file , and see what happens when you insert the CD into the computer:
If you select Show My Photos from this menu, PhotoLauncher will start and it in turn will locate and launch the default Windows Photo Viewer to display the first image you've specified, and also switch the slide show mode on (unless you have disabled it, of course). Exactly what we wanted!
OK, this works with Windows PCs, but what about Macs, Linux, and other computers? Sorry, PhotoLauncher will not work with them. However, you should be able to launch the photo viewer manually and make it display the photos from the CD that way.
If you want to link to this article, you can use this HTML code: <a href="http://www.winability.com/photolauncher/">Enhancing a photo CD collection with PhotoLauncher</a>
- How to hide pictures from the Photos app in Windows 10
- How to save Windows Spotlight photos to your computer
- How to move the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive
- Windows 10 fails to upgrade? Here is how to fix it.
- How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files
- Preventing installations of specific programs with Folder Guard
- Folder Guard licensing explained
- Speed up the updates of the network folders
- Make your Windows laptop work as a Wi-Fi access point
- How to stop automatic updates on Windows 10
- Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.
- Migrating encrypted data from TrueCrypt to USBCrypt
- Enhancing a photo CD collection with PhotoLauncher
- “The Microsoft account service is unavailable right now. Try again later.”
- Using DiffMerge as the external tool of AB Commander
- How to erase the icon and/or thumbnail cache in Windows 8 and 10
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 2
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 1
- Case study: Using SoftDetective to suppress Corel Guide sign-in prompt
- Using junction points to change the iTunes backup folder location
- How to tell if my Windows is 32- or 64-bit?
- How do I stop Windows from rearranging my desktop icons?
- Organize your photo library with the Rename tool of AB Commander
- Windows does not offer the NTFS format option? Here is how to bring it back.
- Encrypt Firefox profile with USBCrypt
- Restarting Windows 10 and Windows 8 in the safe mode
- Integrating AB Commander with Universal Viewer
- How we host our web sites
- How to delete a protected EFI disk partition with Windows 7, 8, or Windows 10
- Using Folder Guard to protect from the “social engineering” attacks
- How to erase Windows login password if you forget it
- How to unhide a folder hidden with Folder Guard
- How to repair Windows desktop icons with AB Commander
- Slow network in Windows 7 Virtual PC? Speed it up!
- How to show drive letters first in AB Commander and Windows Explorer
- What is my IP address?
- Amazon Cloud Drive offers free 5 GB online storage
- Why can’t I copy large files over 4GB to my USB flash drive or SD card?
- Test the strength of your password with USBCrypt
- Setting up the external text editor for AB Commander
- How to restrict Internet Explorer from downloading programs from the Internet
- Personal vs business license for USBCrypt
- Use Folder Guard to restrict access to Control Panel
- Compare MySecretFolder and Folder Guard
- Hide folders with Folder Guard
- Compare ActiveExit to WINEXIT
- Lock folders and drives with passwords
- Locking access to the external drives with Folder Guard
- Protecting Dropbox folder with USBCrypt
- How to set up Folder Guard to stop downloading from the Internet
- Is “Wipe the content” the same as “Secure Delete”?
- Can USBCrypt encrypt the C: drive?
- Make it easier to return your lost encrypted drive
- USBCrypt for users of Microsoft® Office
- Start programs elevated from a batch file
- How to make elevated programs recognize network drives
- How to disable hibernation with AB Commander
- Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives
- How to password-protect a USB flash drive
- Always have a backup of your important files