Old 12th January 2012, 16:05   #1
jheriko
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Are people still using AVS, Milkdrop etc.?

Just curious as I am planning to start work on new visualisation software (I can't disclose too many details, sorry) soon and just wondering if this stuff is still as popular as it used to be.

Surprised this place still exists.

Also, check out my blog and its vaguely AVS related stuff:
http://jheriko-rtw.blogspot.com/2009...istory-of.html

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Old 12th January 2012, 18:56   #2
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i think the download numbers on winamp.com, the submission rate on deviantart and the amount of comments in this forum speak a clear language. yes, there are people using those plugins, but there aren't many of them. i guess the real question is, who still uses winamp these days?

anyway, that visualization software. is that the kind that never sees the days of light or the one with the source code you will "lose" after the first release? seriously, every couple of years someone pops up (usually people that haven't been around for ages) and promise to 1) revive the avs scene or 2) that they're working on an alternative visualization plugin. it's always a bunch of bullshit, nothing ever gets released, there aren't even any following annoucements. the only serious effort i recall was fragmer's avsx, which in the end was sacked.

plus, nobody needs a plugin for just one player, least of all winamp. nullsoft seems only interested in the development of winamp for android, which has nothing in common with winamp except for the name. if you want to build a visualization software these days you first got to look around what's available and evaluate if it's necessary to start something new or if it wouldn't do better if you put your efforts into an existing project (there are PLENTY). okay, you made your decision, you want something new. why limit yourself to a platform? think big, bigger than a plugin for software x and bigger than for just one operating system. that jscript version unconed showed off recently made me think about how web technologies can be used to build music visualization. it maybe too soon, too slow, but it's the future. all major browser manufacturers are putting most their effort in improving jscript performance, but then there are alternatives such as nativeclient... etc etc etc

back to the issue. i can accept a serious call for support, tell us what you want to do, tell us where you need help, at least have a project page on github/google code/sourceforge. if you develop on your own, shut your mouth until you got something to show! (sorry if that sounds rude, i don't mean to insult you personally)

there are people that could join your cause, but as the fridge disaster showed that doesn't mean anything. if i were you, i'd talk to people like fragmer, grandchild and micro.d! fragmer got quite far and is quite knowledgeable when it comes to CUDA, grandchild showed some interested in developing something himself, and i'm sure micro.d can contribute in some form as he's quite active in the vvvv scene and as a person who's bringing visualizations to the club as a "vj".
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Old 15th January 2012, 19:57   #3
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I can't speak for the rest (avs, milkdrop) but I can backup my own Plane9 visualizer with some real numbers. Since the release that included the stats gathering, about 1 year ago, the winamp visualizer has been running for 51 years totally. I would guess avs and specially milkdrop has magnitudes more usage than that.

But from what I can see so does it look like user generated content even for those famous programs are released less and less. So if your working on a new visualizer where users can create their own content, keep in mind that it's difficult to get people to contribute to it these days.
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Old 16th January 2012, 10:59   #4
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Cool, I'd play with some new vis stuff if it showed up. I did a few nifty experiments with html canvas and the experimental firefox audio buffer API recently and felt a bit of that old excitement.

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Old 19th January 2012, 15:29   #5
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oh btw -> http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=335388
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Old 19th January 2012, 21:19   #6
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Cool, I'd play with some new vis stuff if it showed up. I did a few nifty experiments with html canvas and the experimental firefox audio buffer API recently and felt a bit of that old excitement.
If you haven't tried it you could always give Plane9 a spin on a rainy day. It comes with quite a few scenes from the start and all can be shown and edited in the included editor.
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Old 21st January 2012, 10:52   #7
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Originally Posted by Yathosho View Post
i think the download numbers on winamp.com, the submission rate on deviantart and the amount of comments in this forum speak a clear language. yes, there are people using those plugins, but there aren't many of them. i guess the real question is, who still uses winamp these days?
no one i think, but lots of people have smart devices these days...

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anyway, that visualization software. is that the kind that never sees the days of light or the one with the source code you will "lose" after the first release? seriously, every couple of years someone pops up (usually people that haven't been around for ages) and promise to 1) revive the avs scene or 2) that they're working on an alternative visualization plugin. it's always a bunch of bullshit, nothing ever gets released, there aren't even any following annoucements. the only serious effort i recall was fragmer's avsx, which in the end was sacked.
i assume you refer to the gvm source code i lost?

fridge stagnated because it wasn't going where i wanted and nobody really contributed except pak-9 who i think tried reviving it recently.

this is the kind i do at work, where if a prototype is successful, it might happen. no promises

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plus, nobody needs a plugin for just one player, least of all winamp. nullsoft seems only interested in the development of winamp for android, which has nothing in common with winamp except for the name. if you want to build a visualization software these days you first got to look around what's available and evaluate if it's necessary to start something new or if it wouldn't do better if you put your efforts into an existing project (there are PLENTY). okay, you made your decision, you want something new. why limit yourself to a platform? think big, bigger than a plugin for software x and bigger than for just one operating system.
thanks, but i do sort of get the big picture. the cross platform techniques of my game engine (which works and is mostly publicly available) have taught me everything i need to know about how to not be restricted to one platform or specific os etc.

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there are people that could join your cause, but as the fridge disaster showed that doesn't mean anything. if i were you, i'd talk to people like fragmer, grandchild and micro.d! fragmer got quite far and is quite knowledgeable when it comes to CUDA, grandchild showed some interested in developing something himself, and i'm sure micro.d can contribute in some form as he's quite active in the vvvv scene and as a person who's bringing visualizations to the club as a "vj".
well, like i said, it would be through work, and might not happen at all. i was just curious if anyone had a good handle on how popular this stuff is, because the available software is mediocre at best.

p.s. you might not have seen in the news how little spare time i had to devote to any kind of home programming etc. over the last year. that really didn't help p9s attempt on fridge. which btw, is on google code, but is an overengineered pile of complicated ui made to satisfy fringe users instead of ship a product.

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Old 24th January 2012, 00:14   #8
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I am using AVS. In fact we are, Hurricane and I. See http://vimeo.com/effekthasch for our VJing efforts.
micro.D is using AVS in a very similar way, regularly VJing in clubs.
micro.D even made a neat AVS Mixer in VVVV, which I rewrote and extended and which we are using for our Effekthasch-gigs. It can be found at https://github.com/grandchild/AVS-Mixer. On that website you can also find the detailed description of our setup, if anyone is interested.

As for rewriting AVS - I, like so many others, started a project, and I have a lot of ideas that I want to incorporate. I am constantly - although very slowly - working on that. A snapshot can be found also on my github page. Technical details: A GUI in Qt and a backend using SDL, planned to run on Win/Lin/Mac... As with all the others, I have no clue if I'll ever finish that, but right now I have every intention to do so.

So long,
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Old 24th January 2012, 13:07   #9
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i'm currently trying to get a hold of fragmer, because i think you guys should definitely exchange your experiences, even if you want to keep developing your own projects. from what i remember (and this was at least 2 years ago), fragmer was working on a cuda-based avs-clone. eventually he ran into some problems, and i don't remember if these were only related to keeping backwards compatibility. however, the problem was marrying gpu-based tasks with cpu-based task. apparantly, certain things still performed better on the cpu.

as i said before, to avoid going through common mistakes and to exchange some good practices, you guys should communicate if you want to bring your project anywhere.

i think it's good to think outside of winamp and even outside of windows. which is why recruiting people (and looking for advice) on this site only will not be enough. i'm not sure if vjforums is the optimal platform, but it's certainly one step ahead from here.
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Old 24th January 2012, 13:12   #10
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btw, here's a video of avsx in action

http://vimeo.com/9784539 (show me)
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Old 8th February 2012, 21:31   #11
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Things prohibiting a lot of the new people to truly enjoy AVS and consequently a lot of AVS-Artist to make new stuff is that the software is outdate, it doesn't even work properly with new winamp versions (you have to downgrade your winamp to get best results) and all that just leads to a niche community still stuck in the past sort of said.

And before you go off flaming, Im one of those people who still use AVS as it should be used :P

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Old 9th February 2012, 08:04   #12
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The way to get a visualiser going again is to make it first of all accessible, then you need an accessible community platform, then you need flexibility. In that order. AVS grew up being the accessible visualiser and it died being an obscure hidden thing buried down here in winamp with a bunch of cryptic inaccessible math-heavy guides that newbies got roughly directed to. The software being outdated is a side effect of nobody giving a crap anymore, you could pack it full of flexible complicated fast and efficient new features and it still wouldn't get used because it's not accessible or visible.

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Old 14th February 2012, 05:24   #13
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Raz, what do you mean by accessibility? Do you mean a simple, easy-to-use interface? Open development? ...?
Also I don't know about the math-heavy guides - those were bound to happen from the start, because a lot of the stuff in AVS could only be done "on foot" - like 3D and scripted animations and that kind of thing, where you would expect some helper functions or utilities from a software nowadays, to help you with tedious standard tasks - like 3D rotation. New people being "roughly directed" to those guides, that's another question. But Pak-9's guide was math-heavy to most people perhaps, but it was not inaccessible - in fact I found it to be rather well-written.

But yeah, I am really interested in what you would like a "new AVS" to be like, to be "accessible".


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If you ever do get a hold of Fragmer, that would be great - would like to hear how that avsx stuff went...
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Old 14th February 2012, 06:56   #14
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Hello; Yathosho got hold of me. "avsx" was a little proof-of-concept project, which used OpenGL and revolved around EXT_framebuffer_object.

Presets were made up of "nodes", which could be connected into a directed graph. There were three types of nodes: producers, filters, and consumers.
  • Producer nodes only had output(s), and included: previous frame's buffer, saved user-defined buffers (similar to Misc->Buffer Save), bitmaps, render modules.
  • Filter nodes had both inputs and outputs, and included transforms (done by mapping textures onto a polygon rendering it back to itself), convolution (shader), blenders (merged two inputs into one output using a function), and color filters.
  • Consumer nodes only had inputs, and included "Display" and buffer-saving.
Each input accepted exactly one link/connection to an output. Each output could be connected to zero or more inputs. Original plan was to have a WYSIWYG editor, like this: http://fragmer.net/temp/uiconcept.png

Call stack was constructed at runtime by iterating over the graph, figuring out a call order that satisfied all input/output dependencies, then allocating and assigning buffers. Circular node connections were not allowed. A stack function pointers was created. I wasn't well-versed with shaders at the time, so it was mostly immediate-mode OpenGL, not very efficient.

EDIT: If I were to redo avsx today, I'd go with OpenCL/OpenGL combination code. This will allow keeping all buffer data on the GPU, and still doing general-purpose computations. I am familiar with the basics of this setup, but doing advanced things (like recreating Winamp's scripting language for use with OpenCL) is way beyond me.
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Old 15th February 2012, 09:23   #15
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But yeah, I am really interested in what you would like a "new AVS" to be like, to be "accessible".
.
What I mean by accessible is how easy it is to find out about and see, and how easy it is to start using it. Right now with AVS, to even SEE presets you either have to look at a recording on youtube, or you have to go and find and download a huge program, Winamp. Then you have to go into the plugin settings, switch the default visualiser to AVS from milkdrop, you have to know that the visualiser exists also and how to get to it. Then you can open it up and see a few presets that cycle automatically. Etc etc etc. It's a nightmare of unexplained hidden features and it's a miracle anybody found it to begin with.

edited: Relevant point, I don't even look at AVS anymore, and not because I don't want to, it's just that whenever it strikes me, I think about the bother of installing it all and going around my existing music library direct to the files and migrating it into winamp, and forget about using spotify or one of those. Then I just don't bother, can't be fussed with all the hassle.

By accesible I mean you can click a thing and see visualisers to music that people are already playing to start with. Not through an arbitrary player. New presets would be browsable and viewable from the visualiser itself, use new or popular presets buttons, see more from this artist buttons, etc. A usable interface for playlists. And that's for viewing. For building it needs to encourage people to tweak what already exists. Off the top of my head, have a "remix this preset" butto and have remixes show up like video responses on youtube. Spend more time developing tools and options with a usable GUI to customise and tweak so that it doesn't need as much coding to make anything new. Presets would be tied to a central location integrated with the program with a proper rating and comments and remixing system. From there you can tie into social media using the facebook api and etc etc etc.

I'm just pulling ideas out of my ass here, if I sat down and put some thought into it we could really get a plan going. I'm not the man to code a visualiser though, the hardcore coding was never my strong suit, much as I tried.

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Old 15th February 2012, 12:59   #16
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EDIT: If I were to redo avsx today, I'd go with OpenCL/OpenGL combination code. This will allow keeping all buffer data on the GPU, and still doing general-purpose computations.
So you would stay completely GPU-based? That's interesting, I will have to read more about OpenCL/GL to really understand how general-purpose computations fare on the GPU. Especially a simple compiler/script interpreter, because without coding/scripting capabilities such a new Visualizer would be dead from the start, just not flexible enough.


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[...] see visualisers to music that people are already playing
new presets would be browsable and viewable from the visualiser itself
encourage people to tweak what already exists
have remixes show up like video responses on youtube
a usable GUI to customise and tweak so that it doesn't need as much coding
a central location integrated with the program with a proper rating and comments and remixing system
tie into social media using the facebook api
These are all valid points, and interesting ones, some of them I also see as a must (use any audio source to begin with) some would make the sugar on the cake
I would add Open Source to my requirements list...

And as I said, I am currently writing on such a thing and have every intention to finish it. So I am very happy about ideas and pointers as to what to think about, what to incorporate, and which direction to take this. Some others on here have done or are doing the same, so we'll see what comes out of all this.
Right now I am not actively inviting you to join me in my efforts, because I think the project is not really mature enough yet. You can still have a look at its github page. Maybe there will be anther project that will be more worth it. We'll see...
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Old 15th February 2012, 13:05   #17
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About compilers/interpreters on the GPU:
I have toyed with flex/bison a bit (the lexer/parser thing that AVS uses) and it's very easy to use, but it spits out a parser in C. AVS then (and that's the impressive part) compiles the code by hand and makes binaries for each code section which it then executes accordingly.
I am not sure how easy it would be to translate that bison parser into OpenGL or similar (I think it would be really hard and also awkward), or make an (optional) compiler state result in GPU-assembler (perhaps the simpler way, if one would want to build a compiler step anyway). Just some food for thought...
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Old 15th February 2012, 14:25   #18
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For myself I still like to sit down and create a preset now and then.. Like I always have. It's great to see so many people who are still actively trying to AVS or (more likely) come up with a good alternative. I'm not a programmer at all (as my presets will undoubtedly show) but I hope this doesn't lead to more dead ends.

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Old 15th February 2012, 20:34   #19
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EDIT: If I were to redo avsx today, I'd go with OpenCL/OpenGL combination code.
Would you go that way even when you take into account that only about 10% (from my own visualizer stats) of all users would meet those requirements? Assuming cards with OpenGL 4.0 support also has OpenCL support. Unsure if that assumption is correct or not. Even though as I have figured out lately, you can do a lot of nice things just with normal shaders.

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By accesible I mean you can....
Good ideas! They are deferentially going on the todo list. If you have more ideas I for one would be happy to hear them. My visualizer already has some of your suggestions but a tighter integration between the visualizer and a scene repository is on the list of things to do.

One place where the forking concept is shown rather well is at GLSL Sandbox. The problem there however is that the noise to gems ratio is high. They have some very nice shaders but finding them among the 1600 permutations is very difficult.
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Old 16th February 2012, 08:28   #20
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These are all valid points, and interesting ones, some of them I also see as a must (use any audio source to begin with) some would make the sugar on the cake
I would add Open Source to my requirements list...

And as I said, I am currently writing on such a thing and have every intention to finish it. So I am very happy about ideas and pointers as to what to think about, what to incorporate, and which direction to take this. Some others on here have done or are doing the same, so we'll see what comes out of all this.
Right now I am not actively inviting you to join me in my efforts, because I think the project is not really mature enough yet. You can still have a look at its github page. Maybe there will be anther project that will be more worth it. We'll see...
Yeah I'm too busy to start getting involved at early levels right now, but I'd love to see something start happening and cheer it on.
Another thing I'd like to see is an open API to build additional GUI based tools. Bad example, but like coding the old oscilloscope star by building it like a superscope and having gui elements adjust the values. Open it up so you can modify the direct source or use the ontop gui. I can't speak for everybody but I and most of the people I ever saw using AVS got into it by using the gui bits and bobs. There was never enough variation though.

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Good ideas! They are deferentially going on the todo list. If you have more ideas I for one would be happy to hear them. My visualizer already has some of your suggestions but a tighter integration between the visualizer and a scene repository is on the list of things to do.
I've had a bit of a play with this, it's pretty damn powerful and cool.
I think to really get people on board you've gotta go specifically with a music visualisation.

I'd love to see everybody willing to work on this come together on a project, everyone seems to be sort of well wishing everybody else then squirreling away to work on their own little bits. There's potential for something awesome to be built out of the AVS ruins, it'd be a shame if it wasn't.

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Old 19th May 2012, 22:01   #21
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i'm still very much here. But i have my career as a professional 3D Graphics artist to thank for my recently long absence from AVS. I still tinker with it but something weird is going on. since i switched to windows 7 AVS will not render anything but the most simple effects..... I can't even get it to play any of my old presets and it really bugs me.

As far as idiots go i'm not sure.
But as far as genius goes again i'm not sure. Now when it comes to imagination now thats another story.
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Old 19th May 2012, 22:50   #22
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i'm still very much here. But i have my career as a professional 3D Graphics artist to thank for my recently long absence from AVS. I still tinker with it but something weird is going on. since i switched to windows 7 AVS will not render anything but the most simple effects..... I can't even get it to play any of my old presets and it really bugs me.
are you sure it's not your version of winamp/avs?

read this!
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Old 20th May 2012, 00:37   #23
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well now i feel like lord of the derps!!! I never would have thought winamp would change so drastically that it would cause problems. I'll downgrade below 5.58 and see if that helps. I really want to play with avs again. Mostly cause i just miss my old visualizations and i truly want to make a comeback. I've seen lots of things lately that might spark my creativity. Lol I wonder if i should try and revamp D.N.A from WFC7 hahaha. Nah don't fix what isn't broken no?

As far as idiots go i'm not sure.
But as far as genius goes again i'm not sure. Now when it comes to imagination now thats another story.
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Old 20th May 2012, 19:52   #24
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for fucks sake, it's just vis_avs at fault, downgrading the whole of Winamp for a bloody vis plug-in is some of the stupidest suggestions i keep seeing people make when it's not needed!!!
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Old 20th May 2012, 20:56   #25
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its not that big of a downgrade really so i'm happy with it. God so many ideas pouring in my head for what to do hahaha

As far as idiots go i'm not sure.
But as far as genius goes again i'm not sure. Now when it comes to imagination now thats another story.
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Old 21st May 2012, 07:54   #26
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just migrated from milkdrop to this one and am really satisfied with it!!!,
but still collecting milkdrop presets

http://www.morphyre.com
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Old 21st May 2012, 09:48   #27
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for fucks sake, it's just vis_avs at fault, downgrading the whole of Winamp for a bloody vis plug-in is some of the stupidest suggestions i keep seeing people make when it's not needed!!!
well, i'm only using winamp to watch avs. for music listening i've been using another player for years now.

also, i don't think there were any recommendations made, just workarounds to let people use avs. if i was to recommend anything, it'd be using foobar2000 or any other third party player that supports avs!
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Old 17th July 2012, 22:13   #28
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for fucks sake, it's just vis_avs at fault, downgrading the whole of Winamp for a bloody vis plug-in is some of the stupidest suggestions i keep seeing people make when it's not needed!!!
I have downgraded my winamp and using an older version of AVS for getting the results I used to get 7 years ago (my last preset is dated at 2005). The only thing bad about this is if you enable/allow winamp to connect to the internet in anyway shape or form. It might be a security risk. I prohibit this on my computer. Personally I don't see the harm of it.

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Old 19th August 2012, 02:08   #29
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Was using Milkdrop a fair bit but recently switched to Aeon from Sound Spectrum. Would really like to see Milkdrop modernised a bit (if that the right term) as some of the MD presets ported to the latest D3D, Open GL (I have no idea really ) would look really good.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 02:40   #30
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as for the fact of anyone using winamp now :/
im using youtube to choose playlists these day and some saved music
don't know if visualizations on youtube as a plugin or something would be viable/worthwhile.....

i am not normal, no really.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 15:41   #31
QOAL
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Well how about:

- HTML5 videos on youtube
- Canvas / WebGL
- Audio Data API

Without doing any tinkering, it sounds plausible. And it could be GreaseMonkey script, probably.

count!last.fmdastylishplanner
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Old 3rd October 2012, 19:30   #32
Warrior of the Light
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without writing a shitload of code: You could link the lineout to your linein with a male-male mini-jack cable and add linein to your winamp playlist.

Jesus loves you [yes, you] so much, he even died for you so that you will not need to die, but live forever
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Old 10th October 2012, 01:32   #33
Pixelcraft
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Oh wow, hi. I don't know how or why I wandered back here but it's been years. It seems that some of the die hards are still around... heh As for me, life has changed tenfold. AVS was such an odd experience for me in that it doesn't really seem to relate to anything else I've done in my life. But I feel it was a learning experience nonetheless, and a great experience at that.

Anyways, I thought I'd pop in for nostalgia's sake, see what's up.

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"It's like saying give a man a Les Paul guitar and he becomes Eric Clapton, and of course that's not true, give a man an amplifier and a synthesizer and he doesn't become...whoever; he doesn't become us." - Roger Waters
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Old 17th January 2018, 19:42   #34
ezmeat
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still kicking.....

as of Jan 2017 still kicking. I recently downloaded winamp + a whole slew of vis @ https://winampheritage.com/

WinampAVS, G-Force and Milkdrop are the best and have yet to be beaten anywhere else.....so surprised I haven't been able to find really good vis apps for my iphone/android...

As for why WimAmp vis are needed? January 2017, California, you figure it out......
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Old 20th February 2018, 13:31   #35
hatecubed
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I have been using Winamp/Milkdrop for as long as I can remember, and I've only *really* started exploring milkdrop's potential quite recently. Unfortunately actual "adult life"(TM) has been getting in the way. I've got plenty of ideas to explore, unfortunately, I can't code to save my life..
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Old 13th April 2018, 05:03   #36
jillyager
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I would surely play with some new vis stuff if it showed up
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Old 18th June 2018, 17:41   #37
xeikon
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I found some unreleased AVS presets from half-a-lifetime ago... https://xeikon.deviantart.com/art/XE...vol2-750363096
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