Support for Magic Window on Mac
If you're having an issue we apologize and are happy to help you solve it. This page include common questions and issues with the app. If you have any questions at all please contact us at email@example.com.
We always strive to have our software compatible with current Apple releases. At this time we are dealing with an Apple bug in macOS Sierra which is causing high CPU and memory usage for all versions of the app. We are working to fix this as quickly as possible and will continue to post updates here.
9/24/2016 - We have found a workaround for the issue causing high CPU and memory usage on macOS Sierra. We have posted updated betas below (Beta 3) which contain the fix. You should see CPU numbers lower than you have ever seen before. We are looking to have this fix in the App Store within 7-10 days. Thanks for your patience.
Magic Window Mac - 2.1 Series Beta
This beta release of Magic Window and Magic Window 4K contains significant performance optimizations for macOS, specifically the new release Sierra 10.12. You should observer lower CPU usage and lower battery usage, especially when the app is set to Slow or Slowest.
We are looking for the following issues:
- Memory use - does the apps memory use go up over time?
- Wallpaper is black at startup (does selecting Next fix it?)
- Wallpaper is white at startup (does selecting Next fix it?)
- How smooth is scene playback?
- How is CPU usage at various playback speeds?
- Is CPU impacted by enabling or disabling "Reduce transparency" in accessibility options?
To install the beta:
(1) Download the appropriate zip file:
(2) Quit your existing version of Magic Window
(3) In your Applications directory, rename your existing version to "Magic Window App Store" or "Magic Window 4K App Store"
(4) Move the unzipped app from step 1 into the Applications directory
(5) Launch Magic Window from the Applications directory
You must put the app in the Applications directory for it to function properly.
Please report all issues and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We greatly appreciate your help testing this release.
Performance, high CPU, and Transparency
Mac OS/X Yosemite added transparency and vibrance to the look of the Mac desktop. While beautiful, this can reduce performance and cause some inconsistencies when using Magic Window. We generally recommend that Magic Window fans disable the Transparency option as described below.
(1) Menu bar transparency - in Yosemite the menu bar transparency sees through to the desktop wallpaper. Unfortunately this is not something we can avoid, however it can be worked around. Enable the "Hide System Wallpaper with Black Color" option in Magic Window preferences to cover up this problem.
(2) WindowServer CPU usage - the beautiful new transparent UI throughout Yosemite requires the operating system to constantly generate a transparent view of the desktop. Doing this causes a reasonable increase in CPU usage that may be noticeable on your Mac. Unfortunately the only way to completely eliminate this CPU usage is by disabling the transparency feature. To do this open System Preferences, select Accessibility, and check "Reduce transparency." This will return CPU usage to OS/X 10.9 levels.
WHY DOES MAGIC WINDOW TAKE LONGER TO OPEN?
You may notice that Magic Window 4K now takes longer to open. We apologize, this is due to a change in OS X that was recently announced. We have historically used a feature of OS X called Resource Rules to exclude the scene files from validation. Because the scenes are large validating them takes a long time, and because they aren't code there aren't many advantages to validating them. However Apple has recently begun requiring that all files be validated regardless of type or purpose. So when you open the app now it will take a moment for OS X to perform this validation before the app launches. There's nothing we can do to prevent this, and unfortunately the user experience around it isn't great (you don't see the icon in the dock until validation is done). We hope Apple will improve this experience in the future.
USING MAGIC WINDOW MAC PRODUCTS TOGETHER
All Magic Window apps on Mac function independently and they can only be run one at a time. We apologize for this it is the result of App Store policies. If you purchased one app such as Tahoe Blue and then purchase the complete Magic Window, you will need to quit the first app before running the second.
If you clicked "More Views" in one app and then purchased Magic Window, you will need to quit the initial app and then launch Magic Window from the Applications folder. We know this is somewhat confusing and apologize for the inconvenience.
You can find instructions for how to get a refund on your purchase here. If you purchased one version of Magic Window and decide you wanted another you can usually get a refund directly from Apple as long as it's within 90 days. We want you to be happy more than we want your money. If you're not satisfied please e-mail us at email@example.com.
SYSTEM SCREEN SAVER BETA
We receive many requests for a system screen saver plugin or a lockable screen saver. Unfortunately Apple will not allow apps in the Mac App Store to ship system screen savers. We are offering a beta version of a system screen saver for download from the link below:
If you have any problems with this please send us e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some technical notes:
- To install download the plug-in from the above link, unzip it, and double click on the Magic Window.saver file from the zip. This will install the plug-in.
- This screen saver is not code signed so you must have Gatekeeper disabled on your Mac to use it. If you do not have Gatekeeper disabled you will receive a prompt saying the code is from an unidentified developer.
- Once installed the screen saver is accessible from the Desktop & Screen Saver section of System Preferences. It is not accessible or configurable through the Magic Window app itself.
- You will need to disable the built-in Magic Window screen saver if you are using it.
- If you have Magic Window 4K installed this will only play scenes from Magic Window 4K. Otherwise it will play scenes from Magic Window, Tahoe Blue, Magic Flowers, and Yosemite National Park (whichever you have installed).
- There is a known bug where the system will not allow you to exit the screen saver for ~6 seconds randomly. We are not sure what the cause of this is; if the screen saver won't unlock just give it a moment.
- This screen saver does not show the scene name. It also does not support scene or playlist selections from the Magic Window app.
setting up the standard screen saver
The standard screen saver can be a bit tricky to setup. You must complete three steps: (1) Enabling the Magic Window Screen Saver, (2) Disabling the System Screen Saver, and (3) Making sure Energy Saver is set to activate at the right time.
Part 1: Enable Magic Window Screen Saver
- Open Magic Window preferences and select the Screen Saver tab.
- Slide the time slider to when you want the screen saver to activate.
- Test the Screen Saver by pressing the "Test Screen Saver" button. This will momentarily activate the Screen Saver.
Part 2: Disable System Screen Saver
(1) Open System Preferences and select Desktop & Screen Saver (you can just press the "Open Screen Saver..." button in Magic Window preferences as seen above)
(2) Select the "Screen Saver" tab
(3) Change "Start After" to "Never" (at the bottom of the window)
Part 3: Reduce Energy Saver
(1) In System Preferences select Energy Saver (you can also press "Open Energy Saver..." in Magic Window preferences as seen above).
(2) Make sure that Energy Saver is set to sleep your display and computer AFTER the Magic Window screen saver is activated. For example if you activate Magic Window at 5 minutes and set Display Sleep to 30, you will get 25 minutes of Magic Window and then your display will go to sleep. Note that there are two different tabs for setting this option for when on Battery and when on the Power Adapter.
MAGIC WINDOW CRASHES / INCOMPATIBLE QUICKTIME COMPONENTS
If you experience a crash when loading Magic Window it is likely due to QuickTime components that are installed on your computer and are not compatible with Mac OS X Lion and above. If you have old versions of Final Cut Pro or Perian installed odds are this is the problem.
If you are running Perian, disable it from the Perian panel in System Preferences. Perian is not compatible with Mac OS X Lion and above.
To remove incompatible components, open the "/Library/QuickTime/" folder on your Mac and remove any of the following files if they exist:
XviD_Codec 1.0 alpha.component
If this does not fix your issue, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Common Issues and Questions
The wallpaper doesn't seem to be moving...
Check the Window Menu and make sure the scene is not "paused." If you have Magic Window set to stop on low battery, the scene may have automatically paused for that reason. Also try changing scenes and playing full screen.
Magic Window wallpaper is intended to move slowly. Many scenes that lack clouds or other moving features may look like they are not moving, but watch and over time you will see it change. If you want to see the wallpaper change faster, try using a faster speed. Or view the scenes full screen or with the screen saver, which play them extra fast.
How do I choose different wallpapers for each monitor?
On the Window menu select "Preferences..." and at the bottom of the Preferences page you will see a setting for multiple monitors. Change that setting to "show a different" and you will be able to choose different scenes for each display with the scene browser. You will also then be able to choose different scenes for each from the Window menu as well.
Can I delete scenes I don't want?
Yes, you can delete scenes by selecting the scene you want to delete in the Scene Browser and pressing the "Delete" button at the bottom of the Scene Browser window. This will delete the download, but the scene will still remain in the list so you can download it again later. If you want to hide scenes that haven't been downloaded, press the gear button at the top of the Scene Browser and select "Show Only Downloaded Scenes."
Where are scenes stored on my computer? Can they be moved?
In Magic Window 1.3 and later the scenes are stored in the following directory:
~/Library/Containers/com.jetson.magicwindowmac/Data/Library/Application Support/Magic Window/Scenes/
(~ is your Home Directory)
You can move the Scenes folder to a different location. To do this you will want to move the entire Scenes folder and then make a symbolic link in the Magic Window folder named "Scenes" that points to the new location. This is not recommended and may result in problems when upgrading to future versions.
How do I prevent Magic Window from slowing down my computer?
Try changing the speed to NORMAL or SLOW. At normal speeds on an average Mac with a single monitor Magic Window uses less than 10% CPU, which is the same as what iTunes uses while playing music. However if you have multiple monitors and use the fastest speed it may use up to 30% CPU, which will slow down older computers.
If speed is set to SLOW or SLOWEST Magic Window will use very little CPU. On the slowest setting it uses less than 1%. If you continue to experience performance issues on normal or fast speeds, try the slower speeds. Either one should have no impact on performance even on the oldest Macintosh computers.
Why doesn't Magic Window work as a system screensaver?
The rules of the Mac App Store do not allow apps to install system screensavers. Because of this we can not offer a system screensaver as part of the app itself. If the rules change we will offer a system screensaver.
Why is the screensaver faster than the fastest wallpaper speed?
The screensaver plays at a super-fast speed that requires almost 20% CPU. Because this amount of CPU can interfere with your usage of other applications, we don't allow this speed to be used for wallpaper. The fastest speed for the wallpaper is about 20% slower than the speed of the screensaver.
Why do I have to download scenes?
Magic Window scenes are very large. The total size of all of the scenes available through the app is 4.1GB. This is a lot of storage, and we'd hate to take up all that space on your computer with scenes you don't want. Using downloads allows you to keep only the scenes you want and minimize the apps use of disk space. It also allows us to bring you more and more scenes over time without taking up more and more space.