It is always nice to sit back to listen to an album of your favourite band, with a bit of moving visual stimulation added to set the mood. The visualisations that come with Windows Media Player which have not been updated in years, just don’t cut it. There has been one visualisation program which has stood out over the years.
Introducing R4 from Rabidhamster. The effects and colours of R4 are stunning and there are enough transition effects to always use this program as you will always see new combinations, to keep it interesting. The music detection is really solid, you can notice how R4 responds to a drum beats. It is highly configurable and works really well over multiple monitors as you can see from the screenshots. The package runs really smoothly and you don’t need a really fancy video card.
R4 was originally released as a Winamp plug-in, with the addition of a stand alone program to work with other media players. With other players becoming more and more popular over Winamp, this allows it to remain relevant as it will detect sound and music from any media player we have on our computer. There is a minor scroller on visualisations saying that this version is not for commercial use. It is subtle. The good thing about this scroller is that it shows R4 was designed for commercial endeavours such as night clubs.
I installed this in Vista and a few things worked differently to how they did in XP. I was able to run programs over the top of R4 and always have the Start Bar visible. It was working very much as a screen background apart from hidden desktop icons. R4 would be a reasonable Dreamscene replacement if you are not an Ultimate user.
Available for free from rabidhamster.org.