SoundSpectrum music visualization software
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  Frequently Asked Questions  
  If you are having a problem, please see the troubleshooting section.  
  About

What is Aeon?
What are the system requirements?
Is Aeon compatible with my version of OS X?
What are Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum?
How can I upgrade to Aeon Gold or Aeon Platinum?
Does the Aeon free trial ever expire?
What is used to make SoundSpectrum visualization products?
Can I use Aeon to provide visuals for a concert or performance?
How do I contact SoundSpectrum if I have a question or feedback?
I represent a software company. Is it possible to use the Aeon engine in our software products?

Installing/Updating/Uninstalling

How do I install Aeon?
How do I install the Aeon Screen Saver?
How do I enter my Aeon license code?
How do I update Aeon?
How do I uninstall Aeon?
Why does Aeon display an error message saying it can't run on my computer?
Aeon is having problems running on my computer! What do I do?
Does Aeon Gold/Platinum ever expire?
Is Aeon Gold/Platinum a subscription?
Will Aeon Gold/Platinum stop working if I do not renew my license code?

License Code Validation

What is license code validation?
What is the difference between license code validation and checking for updates?
Is license code validation mandatory?
Where do I find my license code?
How does product validation affect customers?
What happens if a SoundSpectrum product is discontinued?
Will I be able to use the software in perpetuity? What happens if SoundSpectrum shuts down?
What happens when SoundSpectrum releases new versions of a software product? Will I be able to install an older version?
May I use a SoundSpectrum product on more than one computer at a time?

General

How can I display Aeon on a TV/projector?
Can Aeon visualize "line-in" audio?
Can I visualize a live audio feed from my microphone?
For Standalone, how do I turn on the "stereo mix" audio source in Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8?
How do I change the fullscreen resolution settings?
How do I specify which display device Aeon uses for full screen?
Can the full screen Aeon window span multiple monitors?
Can Aeon run in full screen mode on my second monitor while I work on the first monitor?
How do I save Aeon screen shots to a specific folder?
How do I make album art visible to Aeon within Windows Media Player?
How do I adjust the V-Bar audio input settings?

Performance

How can I increase Aeon's frame rate?
Can I control how much of my CPU goes to Aeon?
Why doesn't my audio player respond to my frame rate settings?

Customizing

What do I use to write and edit configs?
Where is the Aeon engine folder?
Where does Aeon store user data?
How do I rename, clone, or otherwise edit Categories and Themes?
How do I create my own scenes?
Is there a way to automatically store certain combinations of effects for recall?

What if I'm having a problem with Aeon that's not listed here?


 
 
About

What is Aeon?
Aeon is a music visualization plug-in for media players, rich with content variety, color, and artistic depth. Aeon is filled with a diverse range of visual imagery, imagination and possibility. As well as providing a wide range of visual content, Aeon uses SoundSpectrum's high-performance drawing engine, allowing rapid professional-caliber content development.

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What are the system requirements?
Aeon requires at least Windows XP or Mac OS 10.6 or later and at least an Intel Core series processor. In general, any computer made within the last 3-4 years will run Aeon.

Since Aeon requires certain graphics hardware features, you should install and try the free trial version of Aeon before you consider purchasing it. If the free trial version of Aeon runs on your system, then the paid version will also.

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Is Aeon compatible with my version of OS X?
In addition to being available for Windows, Aeon can be run on any Mac running Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later. Note that some older Macs may lack the graphics hardware needed in order to run Aeon, but you can use the trial version of Aeon to ensure that it runs to your satisfaction.

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What are Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum?
Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum are enhanced versions of Aeon that offer many special features and functions not available in the free trial version of Aeon. Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum have dozens of exclusive visual configurations, half a million more visual combinations, and additional functionality and complexity. You can visit our upgrade page to learn more about Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum. Users of Aeon Gold and Aeon Platinum also have access to technical support and free updates for a full year.

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How can I upgrade to Aeon Gold or Aeon Platinum?
It's easy to upgrade to Aeon Gold or Aeon Platinum. Simply go to the Aeon Gold upgrade page and follow the instructions. We currently offer secure credit card payment backed by VeriSign and also accept PayPal. If you do not want to purchase online, you can contact us for alternate payment instructions.

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Does the Aeon free trial ever expire?
Our Aeon free trial does not expire for use. You may feel free to install it without giving us any of your personal information and use it for as long as you like. Though, please note that, along with reduced functionality and disabled features that are fully available in our paid versions, the in-program advertising does increase over time.

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What is used to make SoundSpectrum visualization products?
Our products are written in C++ and compiled using Microsoft Visual Studio and Xcode/gcc. All of our products are under continuous development and have undergone many iterations since the first code written in 1998.

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Can I use Aeon to provide visuals for a concert or performance?
Aeon Free Trial, Aeon Gold, and Aeon Platinum are licensed only for non-commercial, personal use on a personal computer. Any public display, performance, or commercial use of Aeon is strictly prohibited unless written permission is granted by SoundSpectrum. We are happy to offer licenses for commercial use to users who want to use Aeon commercially, upon request. You can request a license for commercial use from the Contact Us page.

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How do I contact SoundSpectrum if I have a question or feedback?
Customer Support has extensive documentation that includes a troubleshooting section, so we ask that you look for an answer there before e-mailing us. For general feedback, sales and licensing inquiries, software installation questions, and technical support, please use the Contact Us page. If you receive no response from us, your email provider may be forwarding our responses to your spam folder. Please search your spam folder, mark our emails as not spam or add "soundspectrum.com" to your spam whitelist. You can also find useful (but unofficial) information in the user forums, which we check regularly.

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I represent a software company. Is it possible to use the Aeon engine in our software products?
The Aeon engine offers a powerful C-style API that allows third party developers to drop in the Aeon engine into their own applications with less than a page of code. If your company is interested in using Aeon to enhance your application's user experience, then we can get you our SDK for engineering evaluation.

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Installing/Updating/Uninstalling

How do I install Aeon?
After you download the free trial of Aeon Free Trial, Aeon Gold, or Aeon Platinum, please follow the installation instructions.

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How do I install the Aeon Screen Saver?
The Aeon Screen Saver is automatically included in your Aeon Platinum download (or your Aeon Gold download, if you also purchased the Screen Saver). On Windows, please follow the on-screen instructions listed in the last step of the installer (select Start > Control Panel > Display > Screen Saver). On OS X, select Aeon as the current Screen Saver in your System Preferences (note, please close and then restart your System Preferences if the Aeon Screen Saver does not become visible subsequent to install).

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How do I enter my Aeon license code?
When you run the Aeon Gold or Aeon Platinum installer, you will be asked to enter your Aeon License Code. We recommend that you use your computer's "copy and paste" functions, but if you enter your license code by hand, please double check your entry and please do not use spaces within your entry.

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How do I update Aeon?
To update Aeon Gold or Aeon Platinum, visit the Downloads & Updates page and enter your license code to download the latest version. Install this new version of Aeon (when prompted, enter your license code)!

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How do I uninstall Aeon?
On Windows XP, go to Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs | Aeon. On Windows Vista, 7 and 8, go to Control Panel | Programs and Features | Remove Program. On Mac OS, use the Finder to search for and delete folders named "Aeon" (the default location of Aeon on Mac OS, is home/Library/Application Support/SoundSpectrum/). Please note that Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8 now hide the appropriate "Library" folder. To access it, go to Finder, click on "Go" in the menu at the top of your screen, and press and hold the "Option" key. Click "Library" to access this folder.

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Why does Aeon display an error message saying it can't run on my computer?
Unfortunately, some computers just don't have the graphics hardware required to run Aeon. In the way that modern computer games like Call of Duty, Fallout, and World of Warcraft can't run on older computers, Aeon also requires relatively modern graphics hardware.

If you're using a computer that's more than a few years old or has low-grade graphics hardware, then Aeon will probably not run on your system. If the free trial version of Aeon runs well on your system, then the paid version will also run well on your system, so download and try the free trial of Aeon in order to make sure it runs to your satisfaction.

In general, almost every Mac and PC manufactured within the last 3-4 years contains the graphics hardware that Aeon requires. On Windows, Aeon requires at least Direct3D pixel shader model 3 (which is determined by what graphics hardware is present). On OS X, all Intel-based Macs can run Aeon (although performance may be limited on older Macs).

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Aeon is having problems running on my computer! What do I do?
If Aeon is having a problem running on your computer, the first step to resolve it is getting SoundSpectrum engineers technical information about your computer. Our software contains functionality to automatically write out your system's hardware profile to a text file, but it must be manually activated. This allows you to simply copy and paste this information into a SoundSpectrum support ticket, making it possible for SoundSpectrum to troubleshoot your problem.

Please follow the below steps to ensure that your support ticket gets the best analysis possible:
  1. If you haven't already, open a new SoundSpectrum support ticket and thoroughly describe the problem you're having. Be detailed. The more details and information you provide, the more likely SoundSpectrum will be able to assess your problem.
  2. Start Aeon in your media player (or Aeon Standalone).
  3. Press SHIFT+i. You should see several lines of small white text appear within Aeon. If you don't see this text, ensure that Aeon has keyboard focus. If you're using Windows Media Player, enter full screen mode while Aeon is running in order for your key presses to be effective.
  4. On your desktop, you should now see a file named "SoundSpectrum Log.txt". Open this text file, select all (CTRL+A on Windows and Command+A on OS X), and copy its contents to the system clipboard (CTRL+C on Windows and Command+C on OS X).
  5. Paste the text to your support ticket (CTRL+V on Windows and Command+V on OS X) and submit it.

Note that if you are unable to generate the "SoundSpectrum Log.txt" file as described above, it can also be generated an alternative way:
  1. Exit/Quit all running instances of Aeon.
  2. While holding the SHIFT+ALT (or SHIFT+OPTION) keys, start Aeon Standalone (or start your media player and then Aeon).
  3. When Aeon starts while the above keys are pressed, you will see several lines of small white text printed to the screen and "SoundSpectrum Log.txt" will be saved to your desktop.


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Does Aeon Gold/Platinum ever expire?
No, your ability to use the version of Aeon you have purchased and installed never expires, and you may use Aeon on your personal computer in perpetuity. Your license code also provides you with the ability to download all new updates to Aeon free of charge for one full year after the purchase date, directly from our website. It is this download access that expires one year after the purchase date and not your ability to install and run what you have already downloaded. If you wish to continue to have download access for new versions of Aeon after the first year, you may renew your license code for another year of download access. You will always be able to reinstall the version of Aeon you have already downloaded, using your license code.

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Is Aeon Gold/Platinum a subscription?
No, you will always be able to use the version of Aeon you have installed for as long as you operate your computer, provided that your operating system and media player software are compatible. Renewing your license code for continued download access to new releases is up to you. We update our software many times throughout the year with new features, additional visual content, technical enhancements, and bug fixes. Many of our users wish to have continued access to the latest versions of Aeon (see the enthusiastic comments about subsequent product updates throughout our testimonial pages), so they renew their license codes at the end of the initial year to get all new Aeon updates for another year.

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Will Aeon Gold/Platinum stop working if I do not renew my license code?
No, your version of Aeon will always work, provided you have not updated or changed your operating system or media player software to a different version that is not compatible. If you choose not to renew your download access when it expires a year after the purchase date, then you must make a backup copy of Aeon to use for reinstallation in the event of a system crash or to install it onto a new computer (it is standard procedure to back up files in case of a system crash). It is particularly important to back up your downloaded Aeon files prior to your free download access expiring one year after purchase. We do not provide older versions for download and we will not be able to provide a replacement if your system crashes and your download access has expired. If you renew your license code, however, then you do not need to back up Aeon because you will be able to download the latest version from our website.

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License Code Validation

What is license code validation?
When a SoundSpectrum software product is installed, you will be prompted to enter the license code that was issued with the product. After you enter it, the installer will transmit what you entered to SoundSpectrum in order to check that it's a valid license code. SoundSpectrum's validation system does not collect, transmit, or retain any identifying information, and its sole purpose is to prevent software piracy.

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What is the difference between license code validation and checking for updates?
License code validation strictly only occurs during the installation process and exists solely to reduce software piracy. Checking for updates is a separate and unrelated process where a SoundSpectrum product anonymously connects (only while it is running) to soundspectrum-updates.com to see if a new version of that product is available for download, informing you accordingly. Although the automatic checking for updates is completely anonymous, you can disable it in the product's settings at any time.

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Is license code validation mandatory?
Since the purpose of SoundSpectrum's validation system is to prevent software piracy, license code validation is mandatory. When you install a SoundSpectrum product, you will be required to enter the license code that was issued with the product. You will be unable to install the product without this license code or if your computer cannot access the Internet during the installation process.

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Where do I find my license code?
After purchasing your product you were sent an email containing your new license code and download instructions. If you need to have your license code resent to you, feel free to use the self-service utilities on our Customer Support page.

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How does product validation affect customers?
The only requirement associated with SoundSpectrum's validation process is that your computer must be connected to the Internet when you install a SoundSpectrum product. If your computer is not connected to the Internet (or is blocked by security or firewall software), the installer will report an error and you will be unable to proceed with the installation until an Internet connection can be established.

Once you install a SoundSpectrum product, it will never make any subsequent attempts to access the SoundSpectrum validation server under any circumstances. As always, SoundSpectrum Customer Support is available in the event that you have any questions or problems.

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What happens if a SoundSpectrum product is discontinued?
In the event that a SoundSpectrum product is discontinued, SoundSpectrum will enable automatic approval of all license code validation requests for that product or provide a means to remove validation outright. In either case, the customer will not experience any change in software capabilities.

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Will I be able to use the software in perpetuity? What happens if SoundSpectrum shuts down?
SoundSpectrum's product license agreements typically grant the user the right to use it in perpetuity, and SoundSpectrum intends to honor those agreements. In the unlikely event of a company shutdown, SoundSpectrum will enable automatic approval of all validation requests or provide other technical means allowing users to continue using our products.

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What happens when SoundSpectrum releases new versions of a software product? Will I be able to install an older version?
Yes. Even after an older version of the product stops shipping, you will always be able to install your copy of the older product. The sole purpose of SoundSpectrum's validation system is to prevent software piracy and the only reason a license code won't be accepted during the validation process is if the license code has been flagged as being illegitimate.

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May I use a SoundSpectrum product on more than one computer at a time?
SoundSpectrum acknowledges that you may own multiple computers and may want to use your purchased product on each one, so SoundSpectrum has gone to great lengths to ensure that this is fully supported and hassle-free.

Separately, please note that SoundSpectrum software products are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any commercial use or public display requires obtaining a separate commercial license from SoundSpectrum.

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General

How can I display Aeon on a TV/projector?
In order to display Aeon (running on your computer) on an external display such as a television, plasma display, or projector, you'll need a special cable. Some examples of cables are a S-Video cable, a DVI cable, or a HDMI cable(in order for a particular cable to be acceptable, it must be supported by both your computer and your external display). In order from highest to lowest video quality, you should choose HDMI or DVI, and then S-Video (S-Video and HDMI are available much more widely on televisions than DVI). There are also several ways to wirelessly stream content to your TV. SoundSpectrum does not provide these cables or wireless peripherals, but many computer and electronics stores sell these computer accessories.

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Can Aeon visualize "line-in" audio?
Yes, Aeon Standalone (included with your Aeon Platinum purchase) is specifically designed to visualize any of your computer's audio input sources. See the Aeon as an Application section for more.

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Can I visualize a live audio feed from my microphone?
Absolutely—it's really cool! Start the Aeon Standalone application, and follow the instructions above to select your microphone as the audio input source. Clap your hands and see what happens!

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For Standalone, how do I turn on the "stereo mix" audio source in Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8?
The "stereo mix" audio source is hidden by default in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Please follow the steps below in order to enable this audio channel within Windows Vista:
  1. Select "Sound" from the Control Panel.
  2. Select the "Recording" tab.
  3. Right click on the background of the tab and choose "show disabled devices".
  4. Select the "Stereo Mix" or similar recording device and click "Properties".
  5. Within the "General Properties" tab, select "Use this device (enable)".
After completing the above steps, you should be able to use your "stereo mix" audio source within Aeon Standalone and V-Bar applications (same as within Windows XP). Please note that you may also need to increase the "Sound Preamp Scale" and/or "Sound Response Scale" within Aeon prior to seeing noticeable reactivity.

Note also that Windows 7 and Windows 8 ship with generic audio drivers which may restrict access to the "stereo mix" audio source. If you encounter this restriction, please try downloading and installing the specific proprietary audio drivers for your soundcard from your soundcard manufacturer's website.

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How do I change the fullscreen resolution settings?
If Aeon enters fullscreen mode, it will maintain whatever display resolution mode the system's display devices are already using. If you wish to change the resolution mode, exit Aeon, modify your display device resolution settings in Windows or OS X, and restart Aeon.

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How do I specify which display device Aeon uses for full screen?
Whichever display device the Aeon window currently resides in is the device Aeon will attempt to use for full screen mode. For example, if you have a LCD projector and want Aeon to use it as the full screen device (ie, not the monitor), drag the Aeon window so it's in the projector display rect, and then start full screen mode.

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Can the full screen Aeon window span multiple monitors?
Aeon is built to support, by default, a single monitor and Aeon consequently does not have controls for multiple monitors. The reason for this is that there are thousands of different combinations of video cards, video drivers, and operating system controls (more than we can currently support). However, most multiple monitor configurations have driver/system controls for managing multiple screens, so please review your existing system controls (or your graphics card driver features).

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Can Aeon run in full screen mode on my second monitor while I work on the first monitor?
You can run Aeon Standalone (bundled with Aeon Platinum), drag it to your secondary display, and resize Aeon Standalone to fill your screen (click on the lower right screen corner to resize). Some graphics cards will also allow you to go into full screen mode (again, run and drag Aeon Standalone to your secondary display and then enter full screen mode).

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How do I save Aeon screen shots to a specific folder?
You can modify your screen shot location by following the directions below:
  1. Open the Global Preferences.txt file (for Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\ Application Data\SoundSpectrum\Aeon\, for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8: C:\Users\USER_NAME\ AppData\Roaming\SoundSpectrum\Aeon\, and for OS X: home/Library/Preferences/ SoundSpectrum/Aeon/).
  2. Change the Screenshot.Dir preference to specify a different screen shot folder. For example, on Windows XP, you can change:
    Screenshot.Dir = "C:\\Documents and Settings\\USER_NAME\\Desktop"
    to, for example:
    Screenshot.Dir = "C:\\Documents and Settings\\USER_NAME\\My Documents"


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How do I make album art visible to Aeon within Windows Media Player?
To make the album cover art accessible to 3rd party software from within Windows Media Player (WMP), you must use WMP's advanced tag editor (by right-clicking on a track) to add/associate your album art. To tag a full album at once, you can go to the library main page and select "Album" to get a list of all your albums. Then choose an album and press CTRL A to highlight all the tracks. Then, when you right-click the advanced tag editor, it adds the same album image to all the selected tracks.

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How do I adjust the V-Bar audio input settings?
You can select the V-Bar audio source and sensitivity by right-clicking on the V-Bar and then selecting from the appropriate selections (On Mac OS, use the V-Bar settings window). The audio input sources listed are several "Sound Generator" modes (which simulate a sound source) followed by sources supplied by your hardware. On Windows, there typically is a "stereo mix" audio source that allows the V-Bar to react to the sound produced by other applications on your computer. Please note that you may need to increase the audio source's output volume level in order to see a visual response in the V-Bar (you can also increase the V-Bar's "Audio Sensitivity" settings to boost the V-Bar's audio reactivity).

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Performance

How can I increase Aeon's frame rate?
Also see "Is Aeon hardware accelerated?" below for more. Besides getting a faster computer, there are other ways to increase your frame rate:
  1. Disable background tasks (ex, virus scanners, file sharing apps, system monitoring)
  2. Disable audio extensions and add-ons — Most media players (and some third parties) offer audio post-processing which can alter the sound of your music. Unfortunately, this can have a negative performance impact on your system, causing Aeon to run slowly or stutter. Try disabling sound equalizers, audio filters, DSPs, etc.
  3. Disable CPU power-saving features — For example, on Mac OS X, setting "Processor Performance" to "Reduced" in the Energy Saver system preference panel slows down the CPU (in an attempt to reduce power consumption).
  4. Try using Aeon Standalone — Aeon Standalone (bundled with Aeon Platinum) doesn't have the overhead associated with running through a media player so it runs significantly smoother than running Aeon in a media player.
  5. Experiment with advanced CPU settings — Some users have reported that performance or smoothness of frame rate improves when hyperthreading (HT) is disabled (on Intel-based machines) or when process affinity is set to a specific CPU (on multiprocessor machines).


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Can I control how much of my CPU goes to Aeon?
Aeon allows you to change the desired video frame rate. Aeon monitors the current frame rate and adjusts its system priority until the target frame rate is achieved. Because Aeon uses feedback to change its system priority, it can take a couple seconds for it to arrive at the target frame rate. If Aeon raises its system priority to the highest possible value, the actual frame rate will fall below the target frame rate (this occurs when the Aeon load per frame makes it impossible to achieve the desired frame rate). In other words, your hardware is only so fast. See the customizing section for more.

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Why doesn't my audio player respond to my frame rate settings?
Some audio players such as Winamp do not allow visual plugins to regulate their frame rate. As a result, any attempt to set a target frame rate has no effect.

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Customizing

What do I use to write and edit configs?
To write and edit configs, all you need is a text editor designed for coding. There are many available online, but the ones used at SoundSpectrum are Notepad++ for Windows and Sublime for Windows and OSX. They are both free, stable, and safe.

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Where is the Aeon engine folder?
Aeon is installed to the standard OS location by default. Only advanced users should edit files in this directory and should understand that changes to files in this directory could be overwritten by a future installation (so make backups).

On OS X:
~/Library/Application Support/SoundSpectrum/

On Windows:
X:\Windows\Program Files\SoundSpectrum\

On 64-bit Windows:
X:\Windows\Program Files (x86)\SoundSpectrum\


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Where does Aeon store user data?
Aeon stores user preferences, Categories, Themes, and other user-specific data in its user data folder. No user data is stored in the Aeon engine directory because this directory is generally write-protected by the OS for security reasons.

On OS X:
~/Library/Preferences/SoundSpectrum/

On Windows XP:
X:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\SoundSpectrum\

On Windows Vista, 7 and 8:
X:\Windows\Users\USER\AppData\Roaming\SoundSpectrum\


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How do I rename, clone, or otherwise edit Categories and Themes?
You should edit Categories and Theme using the Aeon user interface whenever possible. However, although the Aeon user interface unfortunately can't offer the richness of a typical OS-based interface, advanced users can clone or edit Themes and Categories outside of Aeon using the following steps.

If you're unfamiliar with the location of the Aeon user data directory, see the FAQ item describing where it's located.

To edit a Category or Theme manually:

1) Close and exit Aeon and the host player (iTunes, etc).

2) Using a text editor, open the Theme or Category file for editing. Theme files are located in the Theme directory of the Aeon user data directory and Category files are located in the Categories directory.

3) WARNING: Be conscious of punctuation, spacing, and, quotation marks in Theme and Category files or else Aeon can crash!

To clone a Theme or Category:

1) Close and exit Aeon and the host player (iTunes, etc).

2) Use the OS to duplicate the Category or Theme file. The newly cloned filename can be anything since the Category or Theme title is stored inside the file, but you should rename the file appropriately.

3) Using a text editor, open the newly cloned file and edit CategoryTitle/ThemeName field to the desired name. WARNING: Be conscious of punctuation, spacing, and, quotation marks in Theme and Category files or else Aeon can crash!

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How do I create my own scenes?
If you want to make your own scenes, it is helpful to have experience in programming or Python. See the Documentation section for more info.

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Is there a way to automatically store certain combinations of effects for recall?
When you're using Aeon and see a visual combination that you want to see again at a later time, do the following to write the current visual configuration to a script. First, press SHIFT+W to tell Aeon that you'd like to write out a script, and then press a key that you'd like to write the script as. For example, if you press SHIFT+W and then press 'X', you'll see a message saying that a script named "Key X" has been written. To recall that script at a later time, press SHIFT+R and then 'X'. Aeon will look for a script named "Key X" and will attempt to run it. Note that this means that you can author your own custom scripts, save them as "Key X" and then start them easily from within Aeon.

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What if I'm having a problem with Aeon that's not listed here?
Please check the troubleshooting section.

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