Some time ago I noted the availability of installable audio metering for Windows. Today I stumbled upon a similar free application called “VUMeter” that provides old school stereo VU meters.
The meters can be resized from 50%, 100% or 200% of normal size, where normal size is 1500 x 300 pixels.
They can be set to stay on top of all windows. They can also be set to display the signal from any available sound recording or playback device.
Here’s a short screencast of the VU meters fed by our local NPR stream.
As tools for measuring audio these meters are perhaps not as useful as the peak LED style meters that I noted in February, but they are nonetheless quite attractive. I could see designing them into a Hangout lower third that would be a nice, active representation of my microphone output.
I might get that done by using Sparkocam to capture the VU meter, layering it with a banner, over my webcam. The most recent Sparkocam beta has that sort of layering capability for a modest $30 price.
Ultimately, the kind of in-browser compositing that The Mozilla Foundation is working on would allow this to be done without any additional software. Perhaps some day, this soft of thing will be done entirely in the browser using HTML5 & WebRTC.