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Hack #75 from Swing Hacks book
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Hack #75 from Swing Hacks book

This is a significant reworking of the example code for Hack #75, Build an Audio Waveform Display from the book Swing Hacks: Tips & Tools for Building Killer GUIs by Joshua Marinacci & Chris Adamson, ISBN 978-0-596-00907-6.

This particular hack appears to have been originally authored by Jonathan Simon, who also contributed to the book.

The original example code is available from O'Reilly's git repo:

What's different?

  • Making use of Java 7 features
  • More narrow exception handling
  • Using a JFileChooser dialog instead of command line args to select a file to view.
  • More intuitive naming of variables, methods, and classes throughout
  • Reworked the convoluted technique for reading audio files
  • The method to draw the waveform is largely different, both eliminating code that served no purpose and scaling the y axis in a more meaningful way.


Run mvn package to compile and produce the artifact.


Run java -jar target/swing-hacks-75-0.1.0.jar to start the program.

Sample output

This is the waveform for the classic Windows 3.1 chimes.wav, in a narrow window:

narrow waveform

and the same window after being stretched wider:

wide waveform

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