The best music visualizer, online!
September 15, 2019 4:00 PM   Subscribe

ButterChurn is a version of Winamp's famous Milkdrop 2 visualizer that runs directly in your browser. Play a song or set from Soundcloud or upload your own!
posted by joedan (29 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow...Winamp. That's a name I haven't heard in many years.
posted by captain afab at 4:01 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Winamp
posted by evilDoug at 4:15 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by evilDoug at 4:16 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think I asked this in a related Ask, but why haven't there been any crazy music visualizers recently? PCs and graphic cards are so bonkers powerful that all sorts of procedural nuttiness should be doable. Maybe I've missed them? A winamp generative visualization plugin was my university final year project literally 20 years ago, I imagine the state of the art has moved on a bit since then.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 4:36 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


> I think I asked this in a related Ask, but why haven't there been any crazy music visualizers recently?

I think it's because visualizers were a pre-YouTube era thing, when everybody had to buy or fileshare the music they wanted to listen to, which meant rolling their own eye candy to go with it. Today, YouTube has both needs covered. Or maybe there's a general preferential shift towards using music as background for other activities, so visual distractions aren't necessary or welcome.
posted by ardgedee at 4:47 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's nostalgia speaking, but I would love to have a (modern) crazy music visualizer right now.

(...Alright, let's see what Foobar has to offer...)
posted by bigendian at 5:12 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm a big fan of Plane 9.
posted by MrVisible at 5:24 PM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Update: and of course there's a way to integrate MilkDrop in Foobar. <3
posted by bigendian at 5:48 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Foobar does everything. Everything.

Want winamp but don't trust whoever owns it today? WACUP.
posted by ashbury at 5:49 PM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I've been working on a host for the original milkdrop 2 plugin, using WASAPI for low latency audio input from what the card plays. Unfortunately it's a bit tricky to get the audio buffered and fed to the plugin like you would expect, but I'd love the time to finish it up. Using winamp with "what you hear" or whatever the audio output device is called as the input is effectively the same thing. That way it can work with YouTube and whatever else is playing.
posted by adzm at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Wow...Winamp. That's a name I haven't heard in many years.

Let me raise you one Sonique.
posted by srboisvert at 5:53 PM on September 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


random colors and shapes? maybe it's better if you're high?
posted by yinchiao at 6:00 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


I think it's because visualizers were a pre-YouTube era thing, when everybody had to buy or fileshare the music they wanted to listen to

I think this is largely a situation where lack of good APIs is the limiting factor: it's just a lot easier to work with audio data when it's in a local .mp3 than when it's coming through one of a dozen different streaming services.
posted by Pyry at 6:21 PM on September 15, 2019


I asked recently and didn't get much, but let just me tell you: MilkDrop 2 with several thousand presets looks good as hell on my 4K 55" TV being driven by my GTX 1080 at 60 FPS.
posted by glonous keming at 6:31 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Can confirm, better when high
posted by captain afab at 6:33 PM on September 15, 2019 [8 favorites]


Well, this sent me on an trip down memory lane. Sonique's visualization Corr's Spec n Hop is my favorite music visualization and there is next to no trace of it on the internet. Just a couple of tiny images found on google search. Like this one on reddit.
posted by srboisvert at 6:43 PM on September 15, 2019


I still use Winamp 2.93 with AVS for DJ gigs and shows and it still blows minds. I might have to bring Milkdrop out to play, but I have a handful of really nice AVS scripts I like because of how artistic and reactive they are and not just random swirly eye candy.

It makes me happy that there is work being done to preserve and update these early visualization plugins because stuff like WinAMP + AVS is getting left behind by Windows 10, and it's getting increasingly more difficult to find a functional yet portable computer that can run XP or older versions of Windows, that can handle WinAMP and AVS at high frame rates and also do legacy VGA video to make it all go.

Yeah, HDMI has plenty of bandwidth and frame rates for excellent quality high def video but there's a bunch of old VGA video tricks and magic that you can't really do without direct access VGA hardware, video memory and modes. At least not at the nearly zero latency to audio reactions you can get out of WinAMP and a pure VGA computer and display solution.

And projectors with VGA instead of HDMI or, ugh, USB inputs are also getting harder and harder to find. I have an old high end business class 3M VGA projector a friend found at a thrift store sitting on my desk right now awaiting repair. Thrift store price? $5 Original retail price? Over $5k!

FYI some of the folks who were WinAMP are now working on REAPER, a digital audio workstation. REAPER is fast becoming known for being pretty wizardly. The installer for the entire program is smaller than the save files of most DAWs and the full license costs about 70 bucks. Comparable DAW packages go for $500-1500 depending on the license.

And apparently WinAMP 6.0 is due to be released soon. I don't know who is developing it or how much I trust the current ownership of WinAMP.com, but it's supposed to be a significant upgrade as well as a user friendly throwback.
posted by loquacious at 7:18 PM on September 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


I know people who still use Winamp because they want to protect their music collection from the insecurities of sociopathic billionaires or the grasping banality of ASCAP.
posted by lon_star at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Wow...Winamp. That's a name I haven't heard in many years.
Let me raise you one Sonique.
I'll see your Sonique and raise you one NAD - the .mp3 player that couldn't play .mp3s properly, but had a rabid following amongst fans of certain genres.
posted by Pinback at 9:54 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I just tried to upload an mp3 to try it out. Apparently I selected the wrong file, because now I see Melvyn Bragg blurting out random facts about Queen Zenobia from some sort of womb from outer space. It's fantastic really.
posted by ouke at 12:39 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


Thanks, just cast this to my 4k tv with my favorite Acid Pauli set.It'll be fun to chill out to later tonight with some chocolate :)
posted by newpotato at 3:49 AM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


I still have winamp. Works fine.
posted by agregoli at 5:16 AM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


Here's what I want: A way to play a visualizer on my TV when using the AppleTV to run AppleMusic in my living room.
posted by uberchet at 8:52 AM on September 16, 2019


Is there a way to make it work with Pandora or Spotify?

Years ago, I wanted Spotify->Milkdrop so badly that I actually made it happen, albeit through the most ridiculous, roundabout method. At the time, my home theater system was basically a Windows 7 box plugged into a big TV set. Winamp allows for a "linein" input, allowing it to take sound input from sources outside of Winamp. So far, so good. My immediate instinct was "Oh, I can just pipe the sound output from one device to another, right? There's got to be an easy way to do that, right?" Well, not so right. You see, Microsoft was so concerned that you would pirate streaming music, they intentionally did not let you do this. I actually think in some cases they do let you do it, but you expressly COULD NOT do it if you were outputting your sound via optical cable, which I most certainly was doing. And so, to make this work, I had to get a splitter for my optical cable, run one line to my stereo, and another line to a digital/analog converter. From the digital/analog converter, I ran a line into my PC's 1/8th inch line-in port. And then I popped into Winamp, told it to take input from the line-in, and VIOLA! Milkdrop on my TV set, in beautiful, 55-inch high definition plasma mindfuckery! And best of all, it took its input from Spotify, obviating the need to dig through my old 1TB+ collection of MP3s to find music I still liked from the era before streaming. (I was an early adopter)

And, it was great! Well, sorta. In certain states of mind, It was absolutely glorious, mezmerizing. It would suck you in -- like all the way in -- and you'd be lucky to find your way out before your next birthday. You'd discover new things about yourself, your music, and the reality in which you live. However, having it on during house parties -- my initial goal -- turned out to be ... counterproductive. People would be hanging around, chatting it up, and inevitably people would start staring at the screen and get sucked in, even if they were completely sober. It was, quite unintentionally, a conversation killer. Anyway, the D/A converters and splitters and all the other nonsense was flaky as hell and kept breaking, and I eventually stopped fixing it, since it didn't turn out to be the party-enhancing set piece I hoped it would be.

Still, it would be super nice if, when I'm in a certain mood, I had the ability to jack my laptop into my TV via HDMI and stream my Spotify playlists through Milkdrop. I mean, that's basically the dream, right?
posted by panama joe at 9:03 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


panama joe: "Still, it would be super nice if, when I'm in a certain mood, I had the ability to jack my laptop into my TV via HDMI and stream my Spotify playlists through Milkdrop. I mean, that's basically the dream, right?"

You used to be able to do this via Spotiamp, a semi-official winamp clone made by the spotify folks (mefi post by me previously) which you can still find download links for with a google search (no clue whether it still works though).
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:59 AM on September 16, 2019 [2 favorites]


Oh if there could also be a browser-encapsulated Cthugha.
posted by meehawl at 12:15 PM on September 16, 2019 [3 favorites]


Oh if there could also be a browser-encapsulated Cthugha.

Or even better, LSDino!
posted by panama joe at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


panama joe, I went through the exact same rigamarole to get Milkdrop to work with Spotify! Effective, but clunky. Looking forward to trying the app namewithoutwords suggested.
posted by joedan at 7:40 PM on September 16, 2019 [1 favorite]


Oh if there could also be a browser-encapsulated Cthugha.

Ugh, nostalgia TW. On New Years Eve going into 1998, I played my first ever live gig, in downtown York PA, and it involved playing original Impulse Tracker electro-industrial music on my oldish desktop, plugged into Cthugha on my newish Thinkpad, which was plugged into one of those transparent VGA screens you could use with an overhead projector, which I projected onto a bedsheet I strung across the stage.
posted by Leviathant at 2:16 PM on September 17, 2019


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