iTunes Visuals

FaRuvius

Hardest Flusher
No one really talks about it, so I'm going to say it.

The built-in visualizer for iTunes is <B><I>SICK.</i></b>

When I first saw it, I was like "ho hum, winamp has like 5000 different visualizers that all rock this one"

But the more and more i watch the iTunes viz, the more I love it. There is some intense sh*t going on!

Things that I love:
a) 3 different things the viz is based on: waveform, motion pattern, colors.
b) the ability to change any of the 3 and leave the others.
c) the ability to save those kick-ass combo's, and go back to them by hitting 0-9.
d) the fact that one of the motion pattern settings is named "Tripping hard" :D :D
e) the sound sampling is better than any other viz plug-in for any Mac mp3 player I have seen.
f) the waveform has 64 options, the motion pattern has 88 options, and there are 110 different color sets. <i>totaling <b>619520 possible combinations!!!!!</b></i>

Wow, there are some serious stoners working at Apple now! ;)

Anybody else think this stuff kicks ass?

FaRuvius
====================
"Flush Hard to Stay Strong!"
 

simX

Unofficial Mac Genius
Actually, I think it's pretty bad, from an objective standpoint. (I don't have any experience with any other visualizers, so I don't know how this stands in relation to other ones)

There is one main reason why I think this, that the visual doesn't follow the music.

Think about it, music sounds the same when you play it over and over again, so doesn't it follow that when you play a visual it should be exactly the same if you activate it with the same song? At least it should be pretty much the same every time.

The iTunes visual is arbitrary in when it changes motion, colors, and the like. The radar sweep doesn't go exactly with a certain kind of music, and neither do the big and banded oscilloscope thingies. When does iTunes display shades of blue and when does it display green, blue, and red all at the same time? Whenever it feels like it. Just the fact that you can choose which color or motion is displayed shows that the visual doesn't really reflect the music. :p

I know that I'm probably being really nitpicky in this fact, and that probably NO visual does this at all. So basically I'm going to go out on a limb here (do you see it under me? :D) and say that all visuals suck if they don't exhibit this property, that the visual should look exactly the same every time you play the same music file, and nearly the same when you play the same song but a different version or file of it.

Feel free to flame me, but until visuals reach this point, they are pointless (pardon the pun).
 

FaRuvius

Hardest Flusher
Originally posted by simX
There is one main reason why I think this, that the visual doesn't follow the music.

Think about it, music sounds the same when you play it over and over again, so doesn't it follow that when you play a visual it should be exactly the same if you activate it with the same song? At least it should be pretty much the same every time.
Now what fun would that be if you see the same crap each and everytime? I would be really dissapointed if my favorite tune had a horrible viz. representation, and I was stuck with that. On the flipside, if ONE time, the viz rocked, I would want to be able to get back to it. But I guess thats why we have memories :D

The iTunes visual is arbitrary in when it changes motion, colors, and the like. The radar sweep doesn't go exactly with a certain kind of music, and neither do the big and banded oscilloscope thingies. When does iTunes display shades of blue and when does it display green, blue, and red all at the same time? Whenever it feels like it. Just the fact that you can choose which color or motion is displayed shows that the visual doesn't really reflect the music.

I know that I'm probably being really nitpicky in this fact, and that probably NO visual does this at all. So basically I'm going to go out on a limb here (do you see it under me? ) and say that all visuals suck if they don't exhibit this property, that the visual should look exactly the same every time you play the same music file, and nearly the same when you play the same song but a different version or file of it.
If you want to see that, all you need to do is output the sinewave that represents the sound frequencies. Or watch your equalizer. Ever stared at an equilizer for more than 10 seconds? Didn't quite hold your attention, did it?

Feel free to flame me, but until visuals reach this point, they are pointless (pardon the pun).
I guess we were raised in different generations ;)

I think that one of the most intriguing parts is that the patterns <I>will never repeat.</i> It would take some very serious math algorithms to process entire sections of music, determine what that period of sound represents as a whole, and then calculate the best shapes and colors that represent the sound as a whole. Perhaps in the future. It is much easier to have a large collection of small algorithms that listen for certain peaks (bass hits, individual notes, etc). Run several of them ontop of each other along with some randomness, and you have a pretty sick composition of visual patterns that will never repeat.

FaRuvius
====================
"Flush Hard to Stay Strong!"
 

90X Double Side

Registered
The part of the visual that is linked to the music is the line; it is essentially an EQ graph(if you want to get technical it really isn't, but this is basically how they get it to work), and then the effects transform it into dots, hexagons, etc. or leave it as a line and make it bounce up and down, add lots of noise or whatever. This means it will be more active in louder sections, and the area of it that is active responds to the frequency. The generator type, effect, and colorsets, however, are just randomly cycled through. Perhaps Apple can come up with some algorithm to make them change at certain key points in the song; I have some DJ lasers that do this, but it only works well with techno where they can sense a huge change in the bass. But anyways you can definitely see how iTunes reacts to the music, although Apple could make it be linked better. iTunes is already way ahead of any other free visualizer out there, and I agree with the first poster that we owe them some major props.

P.S.: to cycle the generator, effect, and colorset forward or backwards, use the q and w, a and s, and z and x keys, respectiveley. iTunes 1.1.2 has 270,900 possible combinations:D
 

jove

Member
If I am not mistaken the iTunes visualizer is an implementation of G-Force. G-Force is an amzing peice of work. It is downloadble from version-tracker.
 
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