Magnetosphere: The Best Way to Watch Music


Boston’s Barbarian Group has released their first piece of software, a music visualizer for iTunes. Magnetosphere‘s one of the most responsive and beautiful visualizers that I’ve seen. It is available for iTunes on Mac and Windows.

The Barbarians, best-known for creating the Subservient Chicken, developed Magnetosphere in Processing and then ported it line-by-line to C++. Processing, first mentioned on Radar in 2005, is a Java-based language that is designed to create animations. The Open Source language is released under the GNU GPL. The early prototypes for the Trulia Hindsight Map (Radar post) were done in Processing. Some of the other things that we’ve blogged about previously that have processing include: Mobzombies and the Open Street Map visuals.

You can see more Processing experimentation on Flight404, the Magnetosphere creator’s blog.

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  • am

    neat. it’s the first visualizer that actually looks like the music.

  • very impressive indeed. one of my all time favorites is still this one here for the winamp though:

  • BTW, I wanted to mention that the first book on the Processing language, Processing: Creative Coding and Computational Art by Ira Greenberg, just came out a few weeks ago. I wonder if that will kick off a brush-fire of people playing with the Processing language? Also, this fall MIT Press is releasing a Processing book by the two heavyweights of the language, John Maeda and Ben Fry.

    Can an O’Reilly book on Processing be far behind?

  • I’ve been wondering the same thing about processing books for a while now. I hope to see alot more activity soon.

  • Ira Greenberg

    Thanks very much for the book plug! I do need to correct one thing though: The other Processing book, being released this fall, by MIT press (Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists), is by Casey Reas and Ben Fry; John Maeda wrote the book’s forward.

    YES, “…a brush-fire of people playing with the Processing language” would be awesome.

    Thanks again.