Music visualization

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Screenshot of preset included in MilkDrop version 1.04d

Music visualization, a feature found in some media player software, generates animated imagery based on a piece of recorded music. The imagery is usually generated and rendered in real time and synchronized with the music as it is played.

Visualization techniques range from simple ones (e.g., a simulation of an oscilloscope display) to elaborate ones, which often include a plurality of composited effects. The changes in the music's loudness and frequency spectrum are among the properties used as input to the visualization. With respect to loudness and frequency, many visualization programs do not present a discernible correspondence (synchronization) to this aspect of the music.[citation needed]


[edit] History

Music and audio players were available on early home computers, Sound to Light Generator (1985, Infinite Software) used the ZX Spectrum's cassette player for example.[1] They became widespread in the mid to late 1990s as applications such as Winamp, Audion, and SoundJam. An early music visualization software for DOS was Cthugha (1994). By 1999, there were several dozen freeware non-trivial music visualizers in distribution that were very highly regarded by computer, music, and art enthusiasts worldwide.

In particular, MilkDrop by Ryan Geiss, G-Force by Andy O'Meara, and Advanced Visualization Studio (AVS) by Nullsoft became the most popular music visualizations[citation needed] and still remain the most popular today. AVS is part of Winamp and has been recently open-sourced, and G-Force was licensed for use in iTunes[2] and Windows Media Center[citation needed] and is presently the flagship product for Andy O'Meara's software startup company, SoundSpectrum. The real distinction between music visualization programs such as Geiss' MilkDrop and other forms of music visualization such as music videos or a laser lighting display is the visualization programs' ability to create different visualizations for each song every time the program is run.

[edit] List of music visualization software

An early "light synthesizer", Psychedelia (1984, Jeff Minter), did not use audio input but was designed to create visualizations in accompaniment to music.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ "Sound to Light Generator". World of Spectrum. Retrieved on 2009-02-20. 
  2. ^ "About iTunes" - iTunes credits

[edit] External links

  • Description of a way to transform music into a picture through numbers and geometrical proportions
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