Several releases from independent developers utilizing Apple's iTunes Visual plug-ins software development kit (SDK) are shipping.

David H Goeb (DHG Software) has released four freeware visualizations for Apple's digital-audio solution. All his visualizations are freeware, requiring OpenGL 1.2 and iTunes in order to function. Limited support for MP3 application Audion is built in.

The BlueStarWarp 1.0.4 visualization offers a simple diorama of stars and a space warp that moves to the music - it supports up to 128 user-created presets. Also available, FlowerPowerFlow offers flowery iMac-inspired sequences of dancing flowers, while FreeFireBird 1.0.6 offers sequences built on an avian theme.

Static view Finally from DHG, DarkSosiaBay offers a static viewpoint as the soundwaves sweep by - it contains 30 built in presets and supports 128 user-defined presets.

G-Force 2.1.2 is another freeware collection of iTunes visualizations from independent developer Andy O'Meara. This operates as a stand-alone screensaver that can also accept audio from an external source using the Mac's audio input. It features thousands of effects and is expandable. It's free, works with iTunes, Winamp, Sonique, Audion, SoundJam and Echo and is available for download now.

Also from Andy O'Meara, WhiteCap 4.1.2 is described as a "wire-frame based" visualization. Like G-Force it operates as a stand-alone screensaver and features over 130 special effects in both window and full-screen modes. O'Meara's work is reputed to form the core of some of Apple's own iTunes visualizations.

Also of interest for digital-music buffs, VersionTracker reports the release of the Analogue Ripper 1.0, a $19.95 shareware application. This will record analogue sounds to the Mac, as long as the sound source is connected to the computer. This means Mac users can convert vinyl and cassettes to CD or MP3. Features include editing and playback tools to break large sound-files up into tracks, these can then be saved to disc or sent directly to an MP3 encoder.