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Music Visualizers: See Music in a Whole New Way

Music visualizers generate imagery that is based on musical pieces. This feature is found in media player software as well as electronic visualizers. The imagery generated by music visualizers is rendered in real time and synchronizes with audio as it is played. Techniques range from the simple to the elaborate, usually including a variety of effects.

The beginning

Atari, Inc. introduced the first electronic music visualizer in 1976. It was designed by Robert Brown, the inventor of the home version of Pong, an arcade video game that featured groundbreaking two-dimensional graphics. Brown's idea was to create a visual examination that incorporated a high fidelity stereo system. In 1985, Infinite Software used this technology to make audio players with the "Sound to Light Generator." Using a cassette player, this company designed images with ZX spectrum to achieve breakthrough visualization.

The development

In 1994, Cthuga created one of the first multi-platform, open source modern programs for audio visualization. During the mid to late 1990s, the use of computer music visualizations became widespread through programs like Winamp in 1997, SoundJam in 2000 and Audion in 1999. By the new millennium, there were numerous freeware visualizers available for distribution.

The present

In recent years, programs like NoiseCradle have made it possible to incorporate live webcam feeds and videos into music visualizers. The real difference between these programs and those that use laser lighting displays is their ability to create a different visualization each time a song is run on the program.

Popular visualizers

Today, there are a plethora of free visualizers available for download online. Some of the most popular of these include G-Force music visuals and VSXu. Additionally, many media players, such as iTunes and Windows Media Player, come standard with these capabilities.

Music visualizers are beautiful tools to see sound. A popular use of audio visualization is found in media players that translate sound frequencies into colors and shapes on the computer screen. These are used primarily for dance parties, relaxation and leisure purposes. A more advanced, similar technology that utilizes the audio spectrum is the spectrogram.