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Is there a program that will provide a visualizer for any arbitray audio output? Basically, I want to play Pandora at a party and supply some funky visualizations to go with it. Pandora either uses Adobe Air or its own Flash application, so I can't stream it through Winamp or something similar. I'd really prefer not to jerry rig it using an extra audio cable either.

For what it's worth, I'm on Windows 7. I heard Vista+ did funky things with the audio stack, so I figured I might as well get that out there.

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  • I believe this question should be re-opened as it is not looking for a specific product, but rather a solution to the question of visualizing global audio output on Windows. I would reword it or make a new post, but need to search for any matching questions. There has to be something open-source out there that's in this scope, and/or a programmatic way to access the audio stream.
    – mbuc91
    Nov 28, 2023 at 0:12

8 Answers 8

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Check the screensaver application from http://www.plasmavis.com/faq.html or search an alternative visualization based on microphone input, this might allow you to select Stereo Mix or use a microphone with you place behind something. It might have a funny effect that the people will see their voice in the visualization at some quiet point. xD

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  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think the screensaver detected any of the music coming over the speakers.
    – AlexMax
    Jul 19, 2010 at 13:03
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    I don't think you understood my answer 100%. In Windows 7 you can select Stereo Mix as the default recording device, if you do so the screensaver will show the visualization for the music coming out of the speakers. The Stereo Mix is the sound that you hear (the one you denoted with "for any audio output"), they added it as a recording device so it is easier for people to record things that they hear on their computer (used a lot for radio recording), and you could use it to show the visualization. :-) Jul 19, 2010 at 20:06
  • boot13 his screensaver works on the same principle and provides other effects, you can switch between both now and then so you don't get easily bored by the same visualizations over and over again. Jul 19, 2010 at 20:08
  • Ah, I see, I thought you were implying that PlasmaVis did not require setting up Stereo Mix. Both it and geiss work fantastically.
    – AlexMax
    Jul 25, 2010 at 2:37
  • From their website: Windows 7: This software is not yet compatible with Windows 7 Jan 17, 2012 at 10:52
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Try the interactive music visualization program (real-time) on this site.

It works by any displaying of sound file on a Windows (at least) computer. The program is interactive, real time and includes many essentially different variants. As I can judge it provide much greater correlation with music signal that other music visualization programs.

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Open winamp and click on the visualization drop box at the top right side. Left click anywhere in the black area. Hold shift and L and type linein:// in the window that pops up and press enter.

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Winamp makes it easy... the above post about it makes it a bit confusing...

  1. Open the browser to the site and start playing the stream.

  2. Open Winamp

  3. Click Options | Visualizations | Start Plugin (Visualizations is actually listed twice on this drop down menu, click the top on, my version its the 3rd one down).

  4. You will get the visualization window on screen... click it and then press the key combo CTRL+L

  5. An input window will popup, enter "linein://" without quotes into it and click OK.

... visualizations will start reacting to the stream. Right click and choose Fullscreen mode and enjoy!

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  • OP already stated that he can't use Winamp. This is also the same answer as provided by Wayne708. Nov 23, 2014 at 0:05
  • He can't use Winamp for streaming, but he may use it for visualizing. And Wayne708's answer is stating a wrong key combo which doesn't work, so that answer is actually better. But I still miss the audio as the source as I don't have the Stereo Mix device in Windows 10.
    – styu
    Dec 28, 2015 at 21:58
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I've always used Geiss for this kind of thing: http://www.geisswerks.com/about_geiss.html.

There's other visualization software on that site that may also be of interest to you.

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You could try the Morphyre Pro Music Visualisation. It works fine on Windows 7.

Morphyre Pro runs on its own and will record sound from any running application.

Even if you don't want to use it, the ReadMe file on their website contains some information up the top on how to configure your Windows 7/Vista PC to record from Stereo Mix, which might be useful.

You could then run WinAmp, select 'Open Location', type: linein:// (which actually records from the current record source), and can choose from the hundreds of music visualisations on WinAmp.com.

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WeGotVisual.com has music visualization that works with any streaming input, just turn on the stereo mix.

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Many media players have built in visualizations. Its a matter of finding them.

Winamp has a big scene for visualizations. I like MilkDrop the best. there is a platform independent version called projectM. Winamp comes with the Advanced Visualization Studio. With these two you can build your own(AVS is much easier.)

Itunes has a few good ones. They are built in, and there are a few third party ones out there. You should be able to find them with the right keywords. projectM would be one of those third party plugins for itunes.

There are also some screensavers that would suffice. I would look at electricsheep.

Windows Media Player does not seem to have much of community for visualizations, although they are there.

I am currently on the look out for a terminal based visualization.

(If you are inputing you music from another source winamp might be the easiest, you can find the settings under something like settings>Plugins>Input>config)

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