Tuesday, February 01, 2011

projectM visualizer

I've been looking for a decent visualization software for Linux for quite some time. In my search, I stumbled upon this neat gadget, essentially a visualizer in a box:

I didn't really need all that. But further reading and a hop onto the forums of the Milkymist site gave me a lead. One of the folks on the user boards kindly turned me onto projectM, a visualizer modeled off of MilkDrop.

The good news is that I got projectM running and it seems to work very well:

Of course, the install wasn't without its difficulties. I had a few hurdles, the primary one self-imposed because I didn't want to spend time building from source. I was in luck: my current version of Fedora (12, x86-64) had the projectM libs in the updates repo:
[sodo@ogre ~]$ rpm -qa | grep projectM*

The next limitation was that the audio apps that projectM works with that utilize libvisual were limited in my repository: XMMS and Amarok only. And the XMMS in my repo did not have the projectM-xmms build. Thus Amarok was my only choice.

Once I got Amarok installed, I needed to reconfigure it to send its audio through Pulse and not plain ALSA. I already had alsa-plugins-pulseaudio installed, but I had no way to control Pulseaudio, so I had to install pavucontrol. Once that was done, good to go man! Running my favorite tunes with visuals! I have yet to customize it, but some nice features seem to be possible:

And I am impressed with Amarok. Really fast search, easy to create and navigate playlists, search playlists and configurable interface:

Start projectM

Controls for projectM
m - brings up a menu
f - toggles fullscreen on/off
l - "locks" to a particular preset
y - toggles shuffle mode
n - next preset
p - previous preset
r - selects random preset

F1 - Help menu
F2 - Toggles song title on/off (doesn't work in libvisual or pulseaudio as far as I can tell)
F3 - Toggle preset name on/off
F4 - Toggel rendering info on/off
F5 - Shows fps


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