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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display Apps
One of the more-common requests for iTunes is to be able to use the visualizer in full-screen mode on a second display, while leaving the first display alone. People seem to want this for home disco/party use, where they have the iTunes library on the main screen, while the visualizer is displayed in full-screen mode on the second monitor.

Now, it actually is possible to get this using only, more or less, the functionality that's available in iTunes itself. My assumption is the following: You have two screens where one has a higher pixel resolution than the other one -- 1920x1200 and 1024x768, for instance. Set them up in the Displays panel side-by-side, with the smaller screen on the right of the larger.

What has apparently eluded people is that it's possible to open all items in iTunes' left-hand column (except for the music library itself) in separate windows. The visualizer, however, can only be displayed in the main window, of which there can only be one. The difference between the main window and the secondary window is that the left column is missing from the secondary windows.

The first step in this process is to open a new window showing the music you'd like to use with the full-screen visualizer. If that music is in a playlist, just double-click it (or Control-click on it and select Open in New Window from the pop-up menu). If you want the entire library available for use with the visualizer, create a Smart Playlist in which the terms have been set up such that your whole music library is included. In my case, I created a Smart Playlist with the terms set to 'Type' 'contains' 'AAC-sound,' as all of my music has either been ripped to AAC, or bought in that format.

You should now have two windows on the screen: the main iTunes window, and your Smart Playlist window. The idea is now to re-size the main iTunes window to be just a little bit bigger than the secondary display. The trouble is that there is no easy way to see when your resize has reached that point, without a lot of trial-and-error experimentation. So we are going to enlist the help of iShowU.

iShowU is a screen movie capture program, but in this case, we'll use the fact that it can display a rectangle of customizable size and position in front of every window on the screen. Launch iShowU and create a (in this example) 1024x768 box on the screen, positioned on the main (larger) monitor.

Next, position and resize the main iTunes window to fit in the 1024x768 box on the screen, and then create a bit of an overhang on the left -- we need the overhang to move the visualizer around. Finally, drag the resized iTunes main window to the smaller monitor, and then enable the visualizer. The end result is a usable main (larger) display with a full-screen visualizer on the second (smaller) display, and it will look something like this:
Now you've got a full-screen visualizer on one screen, along with a fully usable iTunes controller interface on the other.
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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display | 4 comments | Create New Account
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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display
Authored by: u2mr2os2 on Apr 12, '09 12:51:10AM

Not sure I understand the need for the window overhang. I always had just opened separate windows for a playlist of the bulk of my music and party shuffle (iTunes DJ now), put them on the main (laptop) display, and moved the main iTunes window over to the secondary display (hooked to the TV) and maximized it.



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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display
Authored by: BjarneDM on Apr 12, '09 03:24:49AM

If you just maximize the window, you'll have the window chrome surrounding the visualizer. In this case, the window chrome is beyond the borders of the second screen, so you'll need something to hold on to on the main display.



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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display
Authored by: u2mr2os2 on Apr 12, '09 06:10:08PM

I see. I guess I wanted the window "chrome" because it would always show the song info.



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Run a full-screen iTunes visualizer on a second display
Authored by: Mac Berry on Apr 13, '09 02:44:41AM

It sounds like this would be more difficult to set up if you wanted the visualizer on the larger display, which seems like a more likely requirement to me, but maybe not impossible?

I'm not suggesting this is a better solution, just a different one, but the alternative I use is Remote on my iPhone. I can run iTunes on my laptop hooked up to the TV/second display, and enable the full screen visualizer, then control the music from my iPhone. No messing about with extra windows or re-sizing, AND I have control of the music in my pocket, so no guests fiddling with my laptop!

What I'd REALLY like to see is the iTunes visualizer on the Apple TV. That'd be so much better than the current option of "flipping" album art!



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