Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Apple TV Music Visualizer

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Audiogasm offers a variety of settings. Users can tweak visualizer parameters such as speed and shape selection. Although it isn’t the best visualizer, it’s aesthetically pleasing and dynamically interacts with music. It’s quite good for a free app.

Apple TV Visualizer Hack Isn’t Perfect

Needless to say, this Apple TV visualizer hack isn’t ideal. It’s a bit of a chore to get it up and running. Apple TV really needs something integrated into tvOS, for the sake of simplicity. That said, a music visualizer simply isn’t a top priority. Its absence reflects Apple’s commitment to putting fundamentals first.

Audiogasm isn’t the most sophisticated visualizer. It offers smooth animations and synchronizes with music quite well, but it doesn’t always fit the screen properly. Sometimes I don’t see much at all. Apple TV definitely has the processing power to run a much more sophisticated native visualizer. I’d love to see the iTunes visualizer ported to tvOS. But one shouldn’t look this gift horse in the mouth. I’m grateful that a developer has put effort into making a free visualizer. There are other visualizers available in the iOS App Store. Some of them may be better than Audiogasm. I tried another free one, and it didn’t work at all. It simply wasn’t prudent to purchase an app that might not work.

Stability is a problem with this configuration. I was able to get it to work for 45 minutes before it went haywire. There were strange, stuttering noises and the display went berserk. I’m not sure if this was caused by the app or AirPlay Mirroring, but it happened at the worst possible time. I was in the middle of cooking dinner and couldn’t get away to fiddle with my iPad. I haven’t used this visualizer solution since that happened. I’m quite happy with the aerial Screensaver.

Another problem is that AirPlay Mirroring may have inferior audio quality to standard AirPlay. I couldn’t find any specs on AirPlay Mirroring audio quality. There are claims that audio bandwidth is constrained so that video and audio can be beamed with low latency. This makes sense to me. I do perceive some difference in audio quality. The high-end seems a bit wobbly, which is the telltale sign of audio data compression. It doesn’t sound bad, but, to my ears, standard AirPlay sounds better.

Overall, this Apple TV music visualizer hack is adequate for those who enjoy tripping out on visuals. It could also work well for live applications, such as providing visuals for a band or DJ. Ideally, tvOS should provide a visualizer that works with any audio source. I think Apple TV will eventually get a visualizer, but it will probably only work with Apple Music, as it will likely be bundled into the Music app. They could possibly offer it as an interactive screensaver, but I think they may want to drive adoption of Apple Music. For Spotify, Google Play Music and other services, they would need to provide similar functionality in a tvOS app. As it stands, both services have yet to offer a tvOS app, let alone one with a visualizer.

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