If you’re like me and love being able to hear AND see your favorite music in all its glory, then MilkDrop is the perfect visualization tool for you. Originally a plug-in for the Winamp music player, and now available as OSS. The key thing about MilkDrop isn’t just that it’s free and user friendly, it’s the beautiful art that it creates. It gives your music the ability to dance and become astounding visual forms that create masterpieces of psychedelic moving colors and shapes that bend and curve in time and across frequencies.
If the huge array of stock pre-sets don’t cut it for you, then create your own visualizations using the built-in language, which you can download as a zip from Source Forge. It builds using C++ 2008 and there are free downloads available from Microsoft. Modify the visuals using the amplitude and frequencies that resonate with you. There’s a whole pre-set authoring community that is dedicated to making the visuals bend and turn in ways that allow the programme to continue to evolve and develop utilising the power of the pixel shaders, why not join them? Each pre-set has a certain look and feel, created by a dozen or so short pieces of computer and/or shader code, as well as several dozen variables that can be tuned. You can follow the tutorials and join the forums to ask questions and get guidance on how to create your own masterpieces. The 2007 update MilkDrop 2 works with any graphics processor, but to enable the complete range of creative effects available, you will need a GPU that can run Shader Model 3 or greater and can also be run as a stand alone.
MilkDrop is a 3D accelerated plugin that uses 3D graphics hardware to create a visual effects through sound unlike any you have seen before.
Winamp may seem to have been pushed aside by the likes of Spotify and Pandora but it is simple to use for downloading, and you can store everything you need locally. There is still a hardcore geek following that appreciates its user-friendly features and the fact that you maintain control over your downloads. Both MilkDrop 1 and MilkDrop 2, source code (as well as AVS) is freely available so it can also be used as basis for other projects as well. There’s still a consensus that no other visualizer created recently looks as good or can sync to the music as well as MilkDrop. It plays FLAC, MP3, OGG, and online radio streams whilst only using 16 meg of RAM and “zero percent CPU”. It loads instantly and supports global hotkeys and has an equalizer which is totally fit for purpose alongside being super reliable. There are modern skins available to keep the front end relevant with its visual display and its flexible GPU driven visualization engine, in conjunction with the pixel shaders, make it truly stand out.
This customizable Winamp media player plays mp3 and other audio files, syncs to your iPod, subscribes to Podcasts and more. If you are not already using MilkDrop head to the net and grab the latest version of Winamp, you won’t be disappointed. The visualization community is waiting.
Version – 2.24
Author – Ryan Geiss
Year – 2003
Web site – www.milkdrop.co.uk