Muzei Saver 2.0.0

Muzei is a pretty awesome live wallpaper app for Android created by Google developers Roman Nurik and Ian Lake. It has an API that allows it to be extended and use custom sources that change throughout the day. I’ve been using it (somewhat ironically) to change my Android wallpaper to the Bing Image of the Day for the past several years. Because sometimes I like to download the artwork and because Muzei makes this really easy with its API, I created a simple Android app called Muzei Saver.

A user recently emailed me with a feature request. Apparently some Muzei source plugins always publish their artwork with the same title/byline. Since the app constructs the filename from this metadata, downloading subsequent artwork would overwrite the previous file.

The user requested that I add a timestamp to the filename. “No problemo”, I thought. Then as I pulled the source code down from GitHub, I realized it was over three years old! A lot has changed with Android since then and this incredibly simple app needed to be rewritten to support modern standards.

The first step was to update the target SDK version from 21 (Lollipop) to 28 (Pie), Gradle from 2.2.1 to 4.10.1, and the Android Studio Gradle plugin from 1.0.0 to 3.3.1. I also took the opportunity to migrate from the old Android Support Library to the new AndroidX namespace. Then, because the old app was written in Java and I’ve since decided that Kotlin is amazing for Android development, I took the opportunity to rewrite it. The app is incredibly simple, so this was trivial. When I did so, I remembered to add a timestamp to the filename, per the original request. 🙂

Finally, I had one more unanticipated hurdle. Android introduced runtime permissions back in API 23 (Marshmallow). Because the app requires the
WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission in order to save the artwork to disk, I now had to prompt the user to authorize this permission before saving the file the first time. At this point I was getting slightly irritated, so I pulled in the EasyPermissions library which made this relatively straightforward.

Finally, what I casually assumed would be a one or two line code change resulted in a complete rewrite over the course of an evening. It was a fun exercise, if for no reason than to remind myself how much Android development has changed over the years. And with that, the brand new version 2.0.0 was christened. Check it out for yourself with the links below.

Far Cry 5 on KINGPIN

When running @ 1440p with Ultra graphics settings, on average enabling SLI results in an additional 19 frames-per-second (an increase of 24.7%). Worth it? Even with a 144 Hz G-Sync monitor, probably not.

GPU 0 Temperature82° C
80° C
GPU 1 Temperature37° C67° C
Average Frame Rate77 FPS96 FPS

Here’s the fancy output from the game’s built-in benchmark with SLI enabled.


My newest gaming rig, retiring DARKHELMET.

CPUIntel Core i7 9700K$399.99Micro Center
CaseCorsair Vengeance C70$159.99Corsair
CaseCorsair C70 Custom Window CLEAR$32.99Mnpctech
CoolingArctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound$7.99Micro Center
CoolingCorsair Hydro H115i Pro$144.99Micro Center
CoolingCorsair SP120 Fan (2 pack) [2x]$79.98Micro Center
DiskSamsung 860 Evo 1 TB SATA$127.96Amazon
DiskSamsung 970 Pro 512 GB M.2$169.99Micro Center
DiskWestern Digital WD Red 4 TB SATA$124.99Micro Center
GPUNvida GTX 1080 FE (Refurbished) [2x]$859.96Micro Center
HeadsetCorsair VOID Pro RGB Wireless$101.98Micro Center
Headset StandCorsair ST100 RGB$59.99Micro Center
KeyboardCorsair K70 Lux Red$89.99Micro Center
MonitorAcer Predator XB271HU 27″ WQHD 144Hz$599.99Micro Center
MonitorAcer K272HUL (DBMIDPX) 27″ WQHD [2x]
Monitor StandSIIG Triple Monitor Desk Stand$149.99Micro Center
MotherboardGigabyte Z390 Aorus Ultra ATX$199.99Micro Center
MouseCorsair Dark Core RGB SE
$89.99Micro Center
Mouse PadCorsair MM600 Aluminum Gaming Mat$34.99Micro Center
OSWindows 10 Pro OEM$139.99Micro Center
OpticalLG WH14NS40 BD-RE SATA$59.99Amazon
Power SupplyCorsair RM750x 750W$69.99Newegg
RAMCorsair Vengeance RGB Pro 64GB$499.99Newegg
SLI HB BridgeGigabyte Aorus GC-A2WAYSLI$14.99Newegg
UPSAPC BN650M1 650VA/360W$59.99Micro Center

Hello world!

I guess I have a blog now. This is a place mostly for me to document things I’ve done or think are otherwise interesting.

Actually, I’m just copying my friend Tim. He documents his computer builds on his blog.