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Better full screen visualizations in iTunes Apps
This mostly probably only applies to people who have a Mac connected to an HDTV in their living room, or otherwise would be using iTunes visualizations as a nice effect at a social gathering; this is a different application of a similar hint. So, in light of that, here is the short version: iTunes full screen visualizer won't let you use the full width of a widescreen TV, or use high resolution. However,you can get the same effect by making the windowed visualizer huge, and then using Zoom from the Universal Access Panel.

Read the rest of the hint for more details, and some setup tips to make this process easier...

If you have ever tried putting the iTunes visualizer in full screen mode on a wide format display, you may have noticed that it either does not use the full width of the display (like watching standard programing on an HDTV). Even if it does, it is actually stretching a non wide-format image to fill the screen (most noticeable when the apple logo or track info are showing). You may have also noticed that the resolution itself switches to something fairly poor, 640x480 in most cases. Well, when you have a widescreen display, you generally prefer to use the whole display. But you probably do not want to just show the Mac desktop with a big window in it.

In this particular case, here is how you have your cake and eat it too: Make the iTunes window fill the screen, and run the visualizer in non-full screen mode. Then go to the Universal Access Panel, and turn on Zoom. Zoom the screen just enough so you only see the contents of the iTunes window. Presto, 100% visualizer effect.

Here are a couple of additional fine-tuning tips;
  • Make the iTunes window full hight, but about 1/4 less than full width; you want to make the iTunes window's content area the same aspect ratio as your display. This way, visualizations will be centered, and the track info won't be cut off.
  • Move the iTunes window so that one of its lower corners is exactly at the screen corner. This will make it easer to center the Zoom to the window; you just bury the mouse in that corner
  • Hide the dock
  • Move the sliders in the Zoom Options window so that zoom jumps to exactly the right zoom level, instead of you having to "find" the right level every time.
  • Also set the zoom to "only move when the mouse gets to the edge of the screen" so minor bumps of the mouse won't bring the window boarders into the visible region.
It may sound like a lot of work for minimal gain, but it really does look awesome on a big screen TV, and it's not much work after you've got it set up the first time.
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Better full screen visualizations in iTunes | 3 comments | Create New Account
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Great idea, but...
Authored by: fritztoch on Mar 07, '05 04:12:49PM

I find that the frame rate is much slower with the "windowed" visualizations versus the full screen (probably related to the lower resolution). Which Mac are you doing this on, and what frame rates are you getting?

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I have a 1.25 GHz mini
Authored by: avramd on Mar 07, '05 08:55:09PM

I haven't specifically monitored the frame rate, but as long as the mini is doing little else besides playing the song, it's smooth.

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Better full screen visualizations in iTunes
Authored by: jzdziarski on Mar 07, '05 08:38:31PM

I use the Gas Light visualizer, which allows you to set the full screen resolution. It also looks a lot nicer than the "stock" visualizers, uses fewer resources, and is fairly configurable. Problem solved!

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