Music VU Visualizer Widgets

 

Music VU gives you beautiful and dynamic level, wave, and spectrum displays for your music. Works with any music player on your phone or tablet. You can choose from a variety of meters and music visualizers and place them anywhere on your home screen. Change colors, mix them up, resize/enlarge, or use more than one side-by-side for greater impact. To find the spectrum, waveform, and VU level widgets long-press an empty part of your home screen and choose “Widgets”, then scroll to find Music VU. You can also get directly there by long-press on the Music VU Settings app icon.

 

All segmented meters feature classic digital styling and a high-resolution first meter segment. In addition, specialty spectrum analyzer and waveform displays give you unique new ways to visualize your music. VU level meters are always free. Premium spectrum and waveform displays are free for a 7 day trial period, after which they must be unlocked through a Google Play purchase. Music VU shows accurate stereo levels when used with GeorgieLabs’ SoundWire audio streaming app.

 

To resize a visualizer widget, long-press then release. Adjust any of the four resize handles which appear. To enlarge there must be empty space on that side of the widget. To make visualizers big, resize in both directions – widgets maintain their shape (aspect ratio).

 

This is an advanced widget app which uses special techniques to update quickly. Due to limitations in the way Android widgets work you should have a relatively fast phone or tablet to get the full benefit of Music VU’s dynamic updating visualizers. To minimize CPU and battery usage Music VU is not active unless your screen is on and music is playing, and can be turned off in settings.

 

Available Visualizers

Music VU Visualizer widgets are shown below in the default color scheme, which may be changed through settings. Avoid using too many widgets at the same time if you notice performance problems.

 

 

Circular Sweep 1 x 1: A beautiful and unique circular concentric level meter with 51 segments that sweep continuously between colors. The outer ring is the left channel and the inner ring is the right channel.

 

Circular Wave 1 x 1: Shows your music as pulsating circular audio waveforms with dynamically changing colors representing VU levels. The outer ring is the left channel and the inner ring is the right channel. (Premium visualizer)

Spectrum Bars 2 x 1: A segmented spectrum analyzer with 7, 10, or 20 channels (bars), configurable in settings. Shows the realtime frequency content of your music. Frequencies range from 150 Hz on the far left to 5000 Hz on the far right. (Premium visualizer)

Spectrum Graph 2 x 1: A colored spectrogram display similar to those in professional audio applications. Shows the detailed frequency content of your music over time. Conveys a lot of information in a small space. (Premium visualizer)

Spiral Wave 1 x 1: Shows your music as colorful rotating spiral waveforms. Over time “old” waves spin into the center and disappear. The rotation speed is configurable in settings. (Premium visualizer)

Tape Classic 4 x 1: A VU meter with classic styling based on 1980s cassette tape decks. Due to the specialized graphics this meter’s colours are not configurable, just like the original.

Circular 1 x 1: A circular concentric level meter with 12 segments and three discrete colors. Due to the relatively small number of segments this meter does not have a peak indicator.

Vertical 1 x 2: A classic vertical double-height level meter with 18 segments and three discrete colors. Large and easy to read.

Waveform 2 x 1: Inspired by SoundCloud, this meter shows waveforms as rectangular blocks with the block size (width) configurable in settings. The white/grey blocks indicate peak levels and the smaller orange blocks show RMS levels. The upper half is the left channel and the lower half the right channel. (Premium visualizer)

Vertical Sweep 1 x 1: A compact vertical level meter with 30 segments that sweep continuously between colors. Looks great resized (enlarged).

 

Horizontal Sweep 2 x 1: A horizontal level meter with 27 segments that sweep continuously between colors.

 

 

Music VU Settings

Touch any visualizer to open the Music VU settings screen, where you can set the following appearance and visualizer behaviour options. (In some cases you may need to double-click, or you can open settings through the Music VU Settings app icon.)

 

Unlock: Select this to unlock the premium spectrum and waveform visualizers through a Google Play purchase.

 

Meter on switch: Uncheck to turn all meters and visualizers off when not needed. May be used to save power, e.g. your battery is low. Keep this switch on (checked) for normal use. Note that Music VU automatically turns off all meters and visualizers when the screen is off or when no music is playing.

 

Use microphone: Select to make Music VU use your phone or tablet’s microphone input if no audio is available from other sources (music players). Can be used to visualize your voice, music playing in the room, or sounds in nature. Can also be used as a workaround if Music VU meters don’t otherwise work on your device. No audio is saved or transmitted. Automatically turns off after about 3 hours to save battery, or you may turn it off manually. May not respond if the audio level is too low, or if the sound is very short.

 

Color preferences: This collection of menus lets you individually customize the colors of individual meter or visualizer types (except spectrum graph, tape classic, and waveform). Color settings can be exported to files on your SD card to save them for later use or copy to other meters. Six preset color schemes are available to quickly update all meter and visualizer colors.

 

Meter background transparency: Select the transparency amount for the meter background from 0% to 100%. To make the background invisible use 100%. Meters look best against a dark background, if your home screen uses light colors and you have trouble seeing the meters/visualizers then try values under 50%.

 

Grey segment transparency: Select the transparency amount for grey (unlit) meter segments from 0% to 100%. Values over 80% can make the grey segments invisible, which means the entire meter may become invisible if the background is also transparent and music is not playing.

 

Peak indicator: Show or hide the peak indicator line.

Spectrum meter channels: Choose 7, 10, or 20 channels (vertical bars) for segmented spectrum analyzers.

 

Waveform meter block size: Select the block width to use for the waveform 2 x 1 visualizer (see more information under Available Visualizers, above).

 

Meter update rate: This option lets you change the update rate of all meters/visualizers (high, normal, low, very low). Reduce the update rate by one step if you experience performance problems with your phone/tablet.

 

Spiral waveform rotation speed: Select the rotation speed of spiral waveform visualizers from 1 to 4, where 1 is slowest and 4 is fastest.

 

Simulate stereo: Select this option to simulate stereo when only mono audio data is available (data provided by Android to visualizer apps is normally mono). Samples from different parts of the waveform are used for left and right channels, which means the data used is real but true stereo metering is not possible except when using the SoundWire streaming app.

 

Use Decibel scale: Controls whether Music VU level meters respond logarithmically, like a real VU meter (dB), or linearly. Unselecting this option can make the meters appear to have more movement. When this option is on the top middle-color segment of three-color level meters indicates -6 dB. Does not affect spectrum displays.

 

Enable volume scaling: If spectrum, waveform, or level meters read too low when your media volume is not at maximum turn this option on to normalize levels and increase meter readings (on by default). Turn this option off (and turn your volume up) for best meter accuracy. This option has no effect on level meters when using stereo data from SoundWire – turn off “Apply volume” instead.

 

Apply volume: Select this option to reduce meter levels based on your current media volume setting when using SoundWire. Unselect to show the actual music level ignoring volume. Volume is always applied to meter levels when not using SoundWire, as if this option is always on (Android limitation). Does not affect spectrum displays.

 

Meter touch action: This option lets you choose what happens on a single tap (click) of any meter. The default action is to open the Music VU setting screen. You can also toggle meters on/off, open or switch to SoundWire (if installed), or do nothing. When this option is not set to the default, double-tap (double-click) to open the settings screen.

 

Possible Issues

Finding Widgets: To find the Music VU widgets long-press an empty part of your home screen and select “Widgets” from the menu, then scroll to find Music VU. On some Android versions you may need to go into your apps list “Widgets” section and look for widgets named “Music VU”. If you can't find the widgets right after installing the app try restarting your phone.

Performance: If you notice performance problems with your home screen like slow or incomplete icon draws, long reaction times, or irregular widget updates then you should reduce the number of Music VU widgets. On slower devices you should use fewer widgets, or reduce the meter update rate in settings. You may still notice occasional irregular or slow updates since performance depends largely on the responsiveness of your Android device and launcher (home) app. If you have problems related to your launcher try a different launcher app. If you regularly switch between different launchers then try removing Music VU widgets from the unused launcher before switching.

 

Can’t resize widgets: If you’re unable to resize Music VU widgets and your Android version is 3.1 or later, your launcher (home) app may not support widget resizing. In this case try another launcher app.

 

Stuck or unresponsive meters: Try rebooting your phone. If you’ve just upgraded Music VU try removing unresponsive widgets and add them again from the widget list. If this doesn’t work then uninstall and reinstall the app – save (export) your colors first if needed. On some newer phones the meters may not respond properly. These phones have mistakes in their audio firmware which prevent all third-party visualizers like Music VU from capturing audio information. The problem sometimes affects only certain music players because there are different ways to access the audio firmware. You may find that Music VU works with the Google Play Music app, or when listening over Bluetooth.

 

Music VU Integration Info for Developers

If you’re an Android music app developer and would like to have your app send stereo meter data to Music VU only a few lines of code are needed. Please email GeorgieLabs at the address below to receive implementation details.

 

User Feedback

Please rate the app and submit comments on Google Play to let us know what you think of Music VU. If you have a question or bug report send email to musicvu@georgielabs.net

If reporting a problem please include your phone model and Android version.

Go to the GeorgieLabs main page.

 

© 2013-2021 Georg Feil and GeorgieLabs ver 3.1.1