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Visualizations are available
25th Dec, 2015, 11:39 AM
Post: #1
Visualizations are available
One of the things I loved with XBMC when I ran it "back in the day" on my Xbox were the included Milkdrop visualizations. Years go by and I'm now using RPis for media players around the house. I've really enjoyed the simplicity that goes into setting up a new XBian install but was disappointed that there were only two visualizations to choose from. The question of "why?" has come up and the answers one would find tended to be lacking CPU/GPU/memory or no X server. Maybe that was true for the original RPi series, but now that I've got a collection of three RPi2s around the house I thought I'd investigate again.

And I've found some!

Over in the OSMC forums, user popcornmix has created a collection of Shadertoy based screensaver and audio visualizations. Haven't tried the screensaver(s) yet but I did play around with the audio visualizations and am happy to have more variety available. Now, these are not without problems...
  • Some visualizations seem to have a tear in the center of the waveform
  • some presets don't work, or at least I haven't been able to get them to work
  • the lone "randomize" setting doesn't seem to work (may be related to next item)
  • changing presets has a problem and is thus more complicated than it needs to be (see steps later in this post)
Performance is by my standards acceptable for this humble little board, in my tests generally showing 20-30fps @ 1080p with CPU-KODI reporting 35-40% while streaming 32kbps over WiFi. I would suspect that these would choke a prior gen RPi. The selection of visualizations isn't as extensive as the Milkdrop/projectM collections but it is a welcome addition to have in XBian.

So, installation. These are the steps I used but depending on how your install is set up you may be able to go about the first few steps differently.
  1. Download the repository zip file -
  2. Either transfer the zip to your XBian system or place it somewhere that your system can reach it (I used the SMB share where I keep my media)
  3. In Kodi go to System/Settings/Add-ons and select "Install from zip file"
  4. Browse to and select the zip file downloaded earlier to have that repository added
  5. Browse into "Install from repository", then into the new "Popcornmix Add-ons", "visualisation", and install the Shadertoy visualization (optionally, install the screensaver)
  6. Shadertoy is now available for selection in the visualizations, and since it is installed from a repository it should (by my understanding) also be eligible for automated updating!

Now, the trick about changing your preset once you have Shadertoy running...
  1. Bring up the preset selection and select your desired preset
  2. Back out of the preset menu
  3. Stop the audio playback
  4. Restart the audio playback

I'm not sure why this is necessary but through experimentation I found these to be reliable steps to change the preset. Now of the list of available presets there are three that do not work. Or maybe I couldn't get them going, I haven't really pushed the issue. The three "broken" presets are conveniently together near the top of the list:
  • LED spectrum by simesgreen
  • 2D LED Spectrum by uNiversal
  • Audio Eclipse by airtight
All the other presets worked for me. Tested using an RPi2 with Shadertoy add-on version 1.0.8 on XBian 1.0 (knockout) (kernel: Linux 4.1.13+), Kodi 15.2 Git:2015-12-04-858ee60 (Compiled: Dec 5 2015). Those presets in presented order are:
  • Input Sound by iq
  • AudioVisual by Passion
  • Beating Circles by Phoenix72
  • Dancing Metalights by Danguafare
  • The Disco Tunnel by poljere
  • Gameboy by iq
  • Polar Beats by sauj123
  • Simplicity Galaxy by CBS
  • Sound Flower by iq
  • Sound sinus wave by Eitraz
  • symmetrical sound visualiser by thelinked
  • Twisted Rings by poljere
  • Undulant Spectre by mafik
  • Waves Remix by ADOB
  • Circle Wave by TekF
  • Metaballs by the23
  • Explosive by epal
  • Circular by Mx7f
  • AudioSurf by 4rknova
  • AudioSurf3 by 4rknova
  • Flag by 4rknova
  • Audio Fl0wer by daek
  • Sine Waves by popcornmix
  • Alhambra on LSD by mfagerlund
  • Colorspace by bloxard
Hope this is useful to the community!
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26th Jan, 2016, 04:08 PM
Post: #2
RE: Visualizations are available
Thanks for sharing.

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