If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably long forgotten about iTunes Visualizers. Right now you’re trying to remember what they are aren’t you? For whatever reason they were something that we thought were great at one point, but they have since lost their luster.
They aren’t directly useful but can be a great addition to a party, or just something cool to look at while listening to some tunes!
There aren’t many folks out there dabbling with Quartz Composer churning out new visualizers so they are a little tough to come by these days. They aren’t the most popular feature of iTunes by any stretch, but it is a pretty fun feature and there are some amazing ones out there. I went searching for some of the best.
Screenshots don’t really do this visualizers justice. The only way to really get the full picture is to download the plug-ins and give them a try. It’s easy, each one listed below even comes with an installer.
This visualizer is fairly basic, but sometimes that can be an endearing quality! The best way to describe it is that there are particle bursts all over the screen. It does match up with the music quite well – at least it throws more bursts out during the loud, more intense portions of songs!
There are a couple versions of this one. One displays the song playing in the corner with the band name and album name floating around, while the other omits the text all together.
Fountain Music has a really interesting interaction with the music. It is essentially a fountain of particles that look like the are bursting out of water. They change colors and burst patterns depending on the music.
It is about the most visually minimal visualization here, but it is pretty great to watch and can be quite relaxing actually. One of my favorites.
This visualizer is very serene and peaceful. It gives you a sense that you’re flying around in the sky – and even into space. This changes depending on the pace of the song. You’ll be soaring through the day sky with the sun in the distance during a quicker paced song.
A slower song will take you on a night time flight with the moon in the distance. Other than that there isn’t a ton of interaction with the music.
The easiest way to describe this one is to say that is is a three-dimensional equalizer bar, floating around in space. It is a really cool one and has as much musical interaction as any of the other visualizers – it really does look like an equalizer.
The bars shift up and down and change colors depending on the song. A nice touch is that you’ll see a block with the cover art of the current album floating in the middle of the equalizer. Pretty basic look to it, but a really fun effect.
Aeon is a bit different in that there are customization options available. You can adjust the scene that is shown and then set the interval that it switches to a new one. There are further options to toggle within each scene as well.
I was only working with the trial version and the range of possible combinations is pretty impressive. The paid versions will unlock more options. You’ll also see notices pop up letting you know that it is a trial version (if you go that route).
With a paid version it would probably be safe to say that you wouldn’t need another visualizer.
Here is another customizable visualizer. The options with Whitecap are even greater than Aeon. There are backgrounds, shapes, and colors to chose from. And even more customizations from within those areas. Again, it is staggering to think about the variety of possible combinations.
Another commercial visualizer, but this time the trial doesn’t come with any customization options. The visuals do interact with the music quite well and produce interesting effects even in the trial version. You can tell that there are an insane amount of different shapes and colors and combinations available.
The trial version basically just cycles through all of the different possible shapes and views. The paid version of G-Force even comes with its own toolbar. I’ve seen this one dubbed as “the only visualizer you’ll ever need”.
Download G-Force (all versions) here.
This visualizer is noticeably different from the others discussed here. This one will display the album cover and song information floating around the screen in a three-dimensional grid arrangement. It is pretty visually interesting to watch and it’s great having that album and song information available in such an interesting way.
The movement does have some connection to the music, but it isn’t too noticeable. The normally white background will fade to black in-between tracks.
Download Figure here.
There are more exiting visualizers available, but AquaFlow is certainly one of the most mesmerizing ones available. As the name would suggest, there is a definite “flow” to it. Lines move fluidly across the screen which gives you the feeling that it is moving.
The “flow” action is slow and smooth, and even though it doesn’t seem to have much connection to the music playing it is still very interesting to watch.
I’ve saved the most interesting one for last. You might also call it the creepiest one as well… Dragon will show what looks like a dragon slithering around. You never see the full dragon. You just see a close up view sliding and twisting around in front of you.
This one is very different from any visualizer that I’ve seen. I’m not sure it would last on my display for too long, but definitely worth checking it out. It is pretty darn cool!