Saturday, May 24, 2008

projectM - Finally audio visualizations for Amarok

The one area where my trusty WinAmp had Amarok licked was visualizations (although Amarok outshines it and nearly everything else I've tried in most every audio library category.)

Enter projectM :

projectM is an LGPL'ed reimplementation of Milkdrop under OpenGL. All projectM requires is a video card with 3D acceleration and your favorite music.

FINALLY I could get trippy fullscreen milkdrop visualizations. I talked about how I pulled libvisual-projectm from Debian lenny here. The two gotchas I had with getting the libvisual-projectm plugin to work with Amarok are:

  1. The config.inp file projectM drops in your home points to fonts from ttf-bitstream-vera - Vera.ttf and VeraMono.ttf. If you don't have these fonts installed then all you will see when enabling the plugin under Amarok is a brief projectM window flash and then disappear. You can get these fonts in debian by installing the ttf-bitstream-vera package. In theory you should be able to modify config.inp to point to whatever fonts you want but this runs into the second issue:
  2. Currently libvisual-projectm appears to ignore some parts of config.inp I got it to set directives for Preset Duration but it ignores other directives like Window Width and Fullscreen and FPS.
No biggie, but it is kind of irritating to have to resize the vis window to 640x480 and then right click in, whenever I want fullscreen visualizations. But milkdrop is so worth it. Maybe these issues will be resolved with the 1.1 release of projectM which I'm soon to build and install.

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