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
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.
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
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.
Before installing MuseOn, here are some things you should
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.
cannot guarantee any of its results. Music that is very monotonal, highly
noisy or which changes chords quickly will produce essentially meaningless
does not work with "licensed" music files. It appears that Window Media
Player disables plug-ins for licensed music due to the possibility of
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
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.
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.
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
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).
There are two action choices:
Install the product. This will
install the necessary software on your machine to run MuseOn.
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:
Here's how to activate the signal analysis part of MuseOn:
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".