Welcome to PowerPulsar's place !

[zikmu] + [monitor] = [rocket] !

presenting PowerPulsar, by R'alf

[PowerPulsar Logo]
Download BeOS 5 Free

PowerPulsar, the '97 BeOS Master Award winner,
is back for BeOS R5 Personal Edition.

What is PowerPulsar? | Where is the Source? | Why stop it?
Credits | Documentation | Download Latest

What is PowerPulsar anyway ?

PowerPulsar est une application BeOS qui affiche en temps réel des effets vidéo synchronisés par la musique.

Les effets sont programmables via des add-ons. Plusieurs types d'addons existeront mais pour l'instant seuls les filtres sont disponibles. Dans la terminologie PowerPulsar, un filtre est un add-on qui analyse le son entrant et produit des effets vidéos sympas.
Pour arriver à ce résultat, PowerPulsar est capable d'utiliser le son provenant du CD Audio aussi bien que du micro, d'un module ou d'un player de mp3 -- en fait tout ce que sait gérer le Media Kit de BeOS. PowerPulsar calcule la FFT (Transformée de Fourrier Rapide) du son entrant et appelle les filtres afin qu'ils génèrent des effets graphiques qui sont ensuite affiché dans une fenêtre de prévisualisation ou en plein-écran.
Une interface graphique relativement élaborée permet à l'utilisateur de paramètrer ses effets.

Des exemples de code sont fournis et permettent à n'importe qui de se programmer son effet favori. Pas besoin de connaissances particulières en C ou C++ pour cela !

PowerPulsar a été présenté officiellement pour la première fois aux Be Master Awards de la BeDC le 4 et 5 Août 1997 à Boston et à remporté un prix.

Le reste de cette page est en anglais. Désolé. Je la traduirais peut-être plus tard, qui sait ! :-)

PowerPulsar is a BeOS application that ouputs real time video effects by monitoring input music.

The effects can be freely programed via external add-ons. Several kind of add-ons will exist but currently only filter add-ons are available. A filter, in the PowerPulsar's terminology, is a piece of software that filters the incoming sound input and draws neat video effects on screen.
To achieve this goal, PowerPulsar let's you use music from the Audio CD, or from any other audio source supported by the BeOS's Media Kit (modules, mp3 players or microphone).
Basically PowerPulsar computes a couple of FFTs (Fast Fourrier Transform) on the music to get its frequency composition and then call the filter add-ons to build up nice video effects and blit them on a preview window or in fullscreen.
A sophisticated graphical interface lets the user adapts the effects to its own needs.

Some sample code helps you write your favourite effects. No need for extended knowledge in C or C++ for doing this !

PowerPulsar was officially presented for the first time at Be Master Awards, at the Boston BeDC, 4 and 5 August 1997 and won an award.


There are two important points:


Where is the source?

Powerpulsar is freeware, but freeware does not mean open-source and there isn't any reason for this to change.
Let's be obvious: the source code is not available. Non. Niet. Nada.

I've been requested the source many times. I fell for it once but that won't happen again:

There was once a fellow BeOS lover who managed to convince me to give him a source archive so he could recompile it. I warned him it would be terribly difficult to use, being one of my first "big" project with a design (or lack thereof) which doesn't make it easy to understand the source. The build process is not documented and far from trivial too. And the BeOS R5 support is just so-so, especially the lack of add-ons. It ain't pretty and sure ain't easy. But the BeOS lover still wanted it -- he was tech-savvy enough to make something out of it, and sure he would love to toy with that. So I finally agreed on making a nice archive and giving it to him.

Never heard anything back since.

So now the answer is an even more firmly no.

PowerPulsar for BeOS Stopped - June 2000

PowerPulsar for BeOS has been officially stopped in June 2000.
That means the PowerPulsar 0.x and the PowerPulsar 2.x that I started working on.

The reason is simple: BeOS as a desktop OS is history. The adventure was fun but it ended. Be Inc. switched to BeIA, a good move I believe since it was at least an appealing business plan (understand: one that may generate revenue a some points). Unfortunately, history has we know it decided this would never happen and eventually Be should be acquired by Palm (which didn't officially happen at the time I write this, 10/31/2001).

This is life.

I think there are two main reasons I stopped PowerPulsar: first I got a life, you know... dating, being outdoors, stuff like that. And second the whole experience was discouraging. PowerPulsar was supposed to be an add-on engine, but I received very little support for add-ons writing (yet I am very thankful for the few who tried at the beginning).

Oh yeah I forgot: if you really want to see cool graphic animations on your screen whilst listenning to music, run WinAmp and use the two most incredibly add-ons I ever found: WhiteCap and G-Force, by 55ware. Your mileage may vary.

After thinking about it, the project is not dead, only frozen for an eternity. I believe I'll probably keep the name for one of my other toy ideas: having WhiteCap and G-Force plug'ins run under a console machine, beit the Dreamcast, PS2, X-Box or GameCube (although I don't have any development system for the 3 latests... too bad.)


There are some obsolete pages here:

More to come soon... Sorry for the lack of a real documentation.
Useful keys include:

"config0.pp" is a special config mode. It's the one loaded at startup. See the File->Preferences, "Misc" tab to prevent from loading the default config.

PowerPulsar 0.8.1 - 11 May 2000

More add-ons and a couple of interesting fixes.
This archive is for BeOS 5 Personal Edition, but it should work also on BeOS R4.5+.
Please read the text file in the archive for more information.

Here is the archive:


There are a few minor bugs to fix later:

PowerPulsar 0.8.0 - 03 May 2000

No kidding, I started working again on this project !
This archive is for BeOS 5 Personal Edition, but it should work also on BeOS R4.5+.
Please read the text file in the archive for more information.

Here is the archive:


PowerPulsar Snapshot 22 March 1999

This is the first crude recompilation on R4 Intel.
Please read all the stuff below before downloading the archive.

Here are the archives :


Known Limitations

There are quite a lot of them :-) :

I really appreciate to get feedback. I know there are bugs but you can anyway send me bug reports. I'd like to hear from you. You can mail me or find me on IRC :

If you want to create add-ons, please download the addon source archive and have a look at the FFT addon. It's a good point to start with. The thing you want to check is the CFilter.h file that really really is fully commented. I hope you'll find it no too much obscure or obfuscated. Note that you must not try to use anything else that the 8-bpp API. I'll add the support for 32-bpp soon.


The Be and freebe icons used herein are the property of Be, Incorporated and are used by permission.
All archives created using ZipMe.

Alfray | Powerpulsar | R'alf Home Page
Last Updated: July 31, 2004
Created: March, 1999