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What Is It?

This is a music player similar to iTunes and Windows Media Player. It's a music player with functionality to organise your collection in an easily accessible way.

What's Different?

Colour Player is the result of a study into how we associate music with different colours. It turns out that most of us are able to create, with explanation, a strong link between a piece of music we are listening to and a specific colour. For example, some of us associate folk music with the colour brown (like the color of a backgammon board), possibly because they think of the brown colour of most acoustic guitars used to play folk music. Others may pick the the same colour for a different reason - possibly because the theory of colour says that brown is commonly associated with maturity, which is something the somewhat younger people may associate with folk music.

Folk Music is Not Brown!

It doesn't matter. What matters is that you can create patterns in your mind mapping similar ranges of colours to similar pieces of music. Try it out yourself. It isn't that hard!


The program has been developed and written by me, Michael Voong, an Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science undergraduate student at The University of Birmingham as a final year project. My email address is [email protected] and [email protected]. Contact me if you have any problems, queries, criticisms and suggestions, or anything that you think may help me.




Note: Colour Player is still in beta, so it's still a bit rough around the edges. Please report any bugs and suggestions that you may have to me. You need Java 1.5 or above to run the program.

Download Beta 4.1 Full for Windows (4.28MB) - 26th Feb 2006
IMPORTANT: If you have used ColourMusic before, back up your music.script file in "C:\Program Files\ColourMusic\database\" or wherever you installed the program. Overwrite the equivalent file in "C:\Program Files\Colour Player\database\" after you have installed the program.

Download Beta 4.1 Update (476KB) - 26th Feb 2006
Update from Beta 3.x ONLY. Leaves your database intact.

Download Beta 4.1 Source (190KB) - 8th Feb 2006

A linux version is in the works. Note: beta 3 contains code to unobtrusively submit colour associations to a database in order to aid in my research.


Usage Guide

Adding Tracks

Add tracks to the music library by going to file > scan for music. Select the directory containing your music and click OK. The program will proceed to add tracks from your collection. It is normal if this takes several minutes. Once your tracks have been added, you are ready to go!

Controlling Playback

Double click a track in the song list (6) or an artist or album in (5) to start playing a track. Use the playback controllers (1) to go back a track, pause, play, stop or skip the track. Drag the slider below the playback control buttons (10) to change the volume.

Assigning Colours to Tracks

Colours can be assigned to tracks by clicking and dragging the colour picker (8). When you let go of the mouse button, the tracks which you have selected will have been assigned that colour. You may apply colours to many tracks at once by selecting more than one track.

Once you've assigned enough colours to tracks, the Topological Overview (4) will update to reflect the changes.

Finding Tracks

Find tracks easily by filtering your collection by artist and album (5) or typing in a keyword into the search box (3).

Filtering Tracks by Colour

Show only tracks associated with certain colour ranges by clicking and dragging a box in the topological overview (4). Make your selections as specific or as general as you want them to be! You can make multiple selections by holding down the ctrl or shift key before clicking and dragging the mouse.


Q: What is Colour Player written in?
A: Java 1.5 (yes, we can write pretty programs in Java)

Q: What libraries does Colour Player use?
A: The use of NativeFMODEx, a Java interface to the excellent music playback library Fmod is used for music decoding. HSQLDB is used for the database backend. SWT is used for the user interface. GlazedLists is used for live filtering.

Q: I've found a bug!
A: Please email me: [email protected] or [email protected] if you have time describing how you found the bug.

Future Developments

Colour Player is still in its early stages. Features planned include: