I got an iChat message from Paul yesterday, asking about a way to use music visualizations as a desktop ‘wallpaper’. My initial suggestion was to play with Quartz Composer and see about coming up with something there. I’ve come up with a couple more suggestions – which I’ll write about in a moment – but would love to hear from you. Do you have your iTunes Visuals embedded in your desktop? Or anything else cool along those lines? If you’ve got anything different from the things I’ve come up with, please share!
I began playing with Quartz Composer, but didn’t get very far on my initial session. Then it dawned on me – SoundStream is a killer screensaver for OS X that was built with Quartz Composer. (Soundstream responds to audible input by the internal mic.)
So now I’ve got two options:
1 – I can play with Sound Stream and see exactly how that stuff works on a complex level.
2 – I can find that Terminal hack I read about forever ago, to set your screensaver as your desktop background. (And then play iTunes and Sound Stream on the Desktop will react to the iTunes. Voila!)
But before I started with this, I went back to the Soundstream site to see what was there. Wouldn’t you know, he’s beaten me to it! There’s a bunch of links for alternate uses of Sound Stream. Among them are 2 items that save me from having to locate that Terminal hack. QCDesktop and Quartz Desktop both do essentially the same thing, which is to display your screensaver as a Desktop Background.
While another use for Sound Stream is to use it as an iTunes Visualization through the help of iVisualize, That’s still not quite the solution that Paul asked for. (But check out the iVisualize page anyway, because there’s lots of cool information there.) Although, by coupling Sound Stream and either QCDesktop or Quartz Desktop, and playing itunes through your speakers, you could get almost the desired affect…
My Internet travels continued when I got to the Quartz Desktop page. You see, they’ve linked to Quartz Compositions. Basically it’s a repository for peoples’ well, Quartz Compositions. And there’s a lot of cool stuff there – including help with getting up and running with your own Quartz projects.
So now I’ve got plenty of reading and playing ahead of me. Great, because I had the time for that! Should be a fun diversion though. If you’ve got some great Quartz projects, post them in the comments, I’d sure love to see ‘em.
And as I said before – if you’ve got a solution to Paul’s question, and know just how he can put his iTunes visualizations on the desktop, please share! (Or anything cool like that, I like the pretty colors and shiny things.)