Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Dasein's picture

Hi, I'm wanting to make a visualizer for iTunes.

I've used the standard template and now want full access to the info in the Track Info (Optional) patch that feeds into the Track Info (HUD).

I.e. I want to play with strings like track names, artist names etc and images like the album artwork.

I can see that these are feeding into the Track Info input on the Track Info (HUD) patch, but how do I get them to feed into something else to play with them (such as album art image to the face of a cube)?

Thanks.

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cybero's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Use Structure Tools to select suitable items, images, values , names, etc to either use as parameters or as graphical input from the Track Info structure.

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Thanks so much for the quick reply, but I'm still a little stuck. I've installed Structure Tools, but don't know what patches it contains.

I've attached my file, if you're inclined to take a look that would be much appreciated.

In it you can see the standard template input patches to the HUD. Next to the HUD is a patch I've taken from an example online (called Flow, used in iVisualise). It's this patch I'd like to get working. It used to work in another composition (in the iVisualise non-standard folder), but now I'm saving my compositions to /Library/Compositions so iTunes will pick them up it doesn't : (

I feel like I'm missing something, because I've been stuck on this for days and it seems like it would be a very common thing to do.

PreviewAttachmentSize
VisualiserBasic02.qtz606.97 KB

dust's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Have you loaded the sample visualize template up yet. File new from template then click visualize and save that project to your comps folder. Load iTunes up and make sure Track info is getting forwarded to the comp. If yes you your songs name just go and copy the HUD track info from the tamale and put it i to your comp. It should show you how to parse data from structures. Always remember to conform to visualized protocol if your are wanting to get track info into your comp. In the past you used to be able to just con form to protocol and launch iTunes turn on the visualizer then iTunes would send that data to your qc project to test with while building. It's a shame that I can not get this feature working anymore. You could certainly try it this way, for what ever reason it just doesn't work on my. Machine but your supposed to be able to grab protocol data right in your comp without saving to the compositions folder.

cybero's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

The attached example shows how you construct a structure tools chain to get the item at the index number stated . All other structure entries , numbers, text, whatever, will be accessible by using a similar method. If you hover the Track Info splitter you'll get to see the list of structure items and their index number. By their index number can you call them. Then either utilise the information in your time lining, operational flow or rendering parameters or even render to screen.

PreviewAttachmentSize
TrackInfo-AlbumArt.qtz518.48 KB

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

I can reconfirm this... I guess apple has broken this awesome feature. Now, when one tries to make a new visualizer template composition, one gets this exception.

argghghghgghghghghghgh

That said, their actual startup.qtz is receiving the audio successfully.

arghghghghgghghghghghhghhghhghg

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exception_2.jpg
exception_2.jpg46.2 KB

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Wow, thanks everybody, finally got this working.

Cybero - that example was exactly what I needed, you filled in the missing link.

Dust - I've been using the standard template, but weird stuff has been happening. Fixed now and details are below.

gtoledo3 - thanks for confirming I'm not crazy and that what I thought would've been easy is actually tricky for somer reason now.

I've now made the attached file which should be useful for anyone else wanting to do this.

I've got nearly everything working, including having a live preview show in the viewer while I make the composition. I'm using Snow Leopard and do the following to have it work:

  • start iTunes and get a visualiser going
  • use /Library/Compositions as the repository for the composition

Doing this feeds the data into the composition while I work on it and has the composition available for selection as a visualiser within iTunes.

However, for some reason it doesn't render in iTunes like it does in the QC viewer : (

Thanks everybody, this is a great start, nearly there I think.

PreviewAttachmentSize
VisualiserTemplateVC01.qtz307.03 KB

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

oops - I jumped the gun. Things are still weird.

the composition still doesn't look right in iTunes, and for some reason iTunes no longer picks up files I save in /Library/Compositions as being visualisers.

I'm getting the attached error message when I start Quartz Composer, could this be part of the problem?

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screen-capture-3.png
screen-capture-3.png39.74 KB

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

The weirdness continues ....

My composition is looking great in QC viewer, until I change albums!

For some reason only the album I used originally when making the composition displays the track info (even though I can see the new info is getting pulled into the composition by the Track Info patch).

Why is this so hard to do? I would've thought this would be one of the most common things to do as a newbie to QC.

cybero's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Having looked at your composition, I see that you have not applied the correct index numbers to raise the items you want, for instance , on 10.6.7, artwork image is on index 7, not 6, which was reported from a different installation, so not as universally applicable as I might have led you to believe. My bad •~ . Just hover your mouse pointer over the track info output to see what the indexed items are and what order they hold in the structure list , if o set index to zero in the attached stucture index member patch, if 7 , etc, etc.....

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Thanks cybero.

Looks like the issue arises because the structure of the track metadata changes between albums.

e.g. for one album, the artwork is the third type in the structure (#2) and in another it is the eighth (#7).

Looks like I'll need to select data types from the structure based on their name rather than their order. Would you agree and can you tell me how to do this?

cybero's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Structure Key Member

Key : "artwork"

[without the " " marks]

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Thanks, I reckon this will solve the issue.

I don't have access to all the patches in my Library and am not inclined to do a diagnosis/reinstall to get them at this time (though I guess I'll have to at some stage : ( ).

Could you please post a composition with this patch in it so I can copy and paste it into mine?

cybero's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

I will post, but this is meant to be a stock patch, Structure Key Member. If it doesn't show up from a search in the Patch Library, then you need to reinstall your xCode Tools.

PreviewAttachmentSize
TrackInfo-AlbumArt-KeyMember.qtz518.79 KB

Dasein's picture
Re: Track metadata for iTunes visualisation

Thanks so much, everything appears to be working right at last.

I can now preview visualisations while I compose them (of course iTunes visualiser must be running), and have them turn up in iTunes (once I restart iTunes), so long as I save them in the right place (/Library/Compositions).

I've attached what I reckon should be handy for other newbs like me looking to start playing with QC - it's a visualiser template that shows some of the available track metadata and lets you start playing straight away.

I'm definitely missing standard patches from my Library. Have been reading around the forum and see this is a thread of it's own so will go investigate more elsewhere.

PreviewAttachmentSize
VisualiserTrackInfoTemplate.qtz306.74 KB