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Few questions, related to mp3 player with visualization.

As title of topic says i have idea for side project that would be simple mp3 player with nice effects for visualization.
for eg. VAOcean that reacts to music and has time of day updated by real clock
Idea is to make framework and have different visual effects loaded as levels.

First one question: Is there a way to play mp3 by using windows media player? This should be easy with some small plugin.
But having that plugin to play, can UE4 (or another plugin) still get spectrum data out of it?

And last/worst problem (or only one real here), is it possible to make ue4 render to desktop, or make full screen border less window that always stays in background?
Without this last problem solved, this whole idea is not that great anymore.

Hi, I’m a newbie and I’m interested in creating something similar to this.

I don’t know about Windows media player but it is surely possible using VLC.
You can find a dedicated page on the official website http://www.videolan.org/developers/vlc.html

A more interesting approach is having a custom music player in game.
I still don’t know if this is actually possible and I’m looking for a way to implement this (I downloaded UE4 just a few days ago).
Here I see 2 issues:

  • decoding mp3 (royalty problems) - can be solved using other file formats, such as OggVorbis
  • importing decoded audio stream in game

Once you’ve decoded your file you can easily have spectrum data by applying FFT function.
If UE4 does not have this function Google will surely find for you C++ code to perform Fast Fourier Transform.
If you need evolution over time of spectrum data you can apply FFT to a subset of the decoded stream or check out a ready-to-use implementation of the STFT (Short Time Fourier Transform) algorithm.

If I got your point, by integrating your music player in game you’ll bypass this problem.

I don’t want player in game, all i want is nice desktop for windows that can be mp3 player, maybe some alerts about emails and such.
Would be also great if it worked for linux, so yes VLC is best choice here. There is also UE4 plugin for sound spectrum.
The real problem is how to render it all to desktop.

If you want to develop a desktop widget maybe a game engine is not the best choice. The same thing if you are planning to develop a generic app that interacts with your desktop.
Also you should consider that Win 8 does not allow desktop widgets anymore.

Depending on what kind of desktop interaction you want for your application and which platform is your target you should look for a proper developing tool.
Editing Unreal Engine source code in order to interact with various kind of desktop might be … not the best option.