Link to MuseOn web page
MuseOn Information

Contents

This page contains information about the MuseOn visualization for Windows Media Player running on the Microsoft Windows XP product family.
Select a topic from the list below.

Notice: MuseOn is a copyrighted software product and is made available subject to an end-user license.  It is currently free for all users.

Copyright 2004-2006 by David Hovel.  All Rights Reserved.

What is MuseOn?

MuseOn is a combination plug-in and visualization for the Microsoft Windows Media Player.  The plug-in analyzes the music being played and communicates with its visualizer.   The visualizer then displays the "best guess" as to the chords being played and the key of the music.  Since it cannot be certain about its analysis, the names of the several most-probable chords are displayed in order by likelihood (left to right).  The most likely chord is displayed in a large font; less likely chords are indicated by smaller size and darker text colors.


MuseOn Visualization Image 1

The MuseOn visualization has two "presets".  The default "preset" for MuseOn only displays the chords.   The second preset adds two additional lines of information as shown above. 

The top-most and largest line is the list of most probable chords.  Moving from left to right, chord names appear smaller and dimmer in proportion to their likelihood.

The second line, labeled "Notes", shows the signal strengths of the cumulative notes across the even-tempered musical scale.   The characters representing the twelve notes change from dark grey to bright yellow depending upon their signal strengths.  At the end of this line is an estimate of the tuning of the music in "cents" with respect to standard tuning (A = 440 hz).  (MuseOn attempts to track tuning variations to compensate for songs which are not standardly tuned.)

The third line, labeled "Keys", shows the estimated likelihood of the current key.   The twelve notes will change from dark blue to bright blue depending upon the program's estimate of the probability of its corresponding key.  The note that is considered most likely is displayed in cyan.  At the far right of the line is the name of the key, which may be shown in its minor mode (e.g., "C" might be shown as "Am") if the root notes indicate a minor mode.

The names of the notes change to reflect the current key setting.  The name "G#", for example, would be used if the current key was thought to be "E" major; it would appear as "Ab" if the current key were "Eb".   

To summarize, the left-most chord displayed is considered to be the most likely candidate for the chord that best represents the predominant tones currently played in the music.


Considerations for Using MuseOn

Before installing MuseOn, here are some things you should consider.

  • MuseOn runs on the Windows XP family of operating systems only (including Windows Server 2003).  It will not run on Windows 2000 or Windows 98.
  • Installing MuseOn on a computer gives you (and that computer) a trial period of two weeks, after which time you'll have to get a product activation code.  Instructions for obtaining an activation code will be displayed when you install MuseOn.
  • Copy-protection methods used by MuseOn require an active Internet connection during installation as well as during the trial period.  After registration/activation (see below) no such connection is required.
  • Obviously, MuseOn cannot guarantee any of its results.  Music that is very monotonal, highly noisy or which changes chords quickly will produce essentially meaningless results.
  • MuseOn does not work with "licensed" music files.  It appears that Window Media Player disables plug-ins for licensed music due to the possibility of copy-protection violations.
  • Once you've installed MuseOn on a computer once you will not be able to reinstall it even if you uninstall it.   This hopefully prevents people from abusing the trial period.
  • MuseOn may consume a significant portion of system resources on slower machines and should only be used on processors that run at 1 gHz or faster.   Depending on your video driver, making the WMP window smaller may significantly reduce the processing load of MuseOn in particular and WMP in general.

MuseOn is intended as an educational tool for music students, musicians and those interested in music analysis.  Its results are far from perfect, but it works quite well on many songs.    I'm hoping to improve it significantly in the future.


Downloading MuseOn

To download MuseOn, click on this download link.  It will store a file called MuseOn.zip onto your computer wherever you choose to place it. 


How to Install MuseOn

To install MuseOn, download the installation program (see above) and run it on your computer.  Since the downloaded file, MuseOn.zip, is a WinZip file, you'll need to use either WinZip or the Windows Explorer ("My Computer") to extract the program MuseOnInstall.exe from the ZIP file.

When you run MuseOnInstall, you'll see a window like that shown below (below left).  After accepting the license agreement, you will be given a choice of actions to take (below right).

MuseOn Installer Image 1 MuseOn Installer Image 2

There are two action choices:

  1. Install the product. This will install the necessary software on your machine to run MuseOn.
  2. Uninstall MuseOn.  This will remove the MuseOn product from your computer.

How to Use MuseOn

Two steps are required to enable MuseOn in Windows Media Player.   First, you must install the plug-in, which is a combination digital signal processor and visualization.  Then you must activate one of the presets of the MuseOn DSP and visualizer in the Media Player.

Here's how to activate the visualization part of MuseOn:

MuseOn Visualization Image 2

Here's how to activate the signal analysis part of MuseOn:

MuseOn Visualization Image 3



Advanced Information

Soon, this section will allow download of a document describing how to adjust MuseOn's parameters to better fit specific types of music. 

If  you need to contact me,  my username is "davidhov" and my email provider is "exmsft.com".

Extras