I'd like to make something like this in Adobe Photoshop:
But I have no idea how to do that. Is there any tool within Adobe Photshop CS5+ that will allow for this kind of design? I know how to handle the color and glow and whatnot; it's just those bars that make this a challenge.
If not, perhaps there's a different design tool that I should try?
Okay ill offer an alternative to a script offered by @Joonas, easy or not. The benefit of this method is that you can easily just dump a real sound spectrum or any other graph into your setup.
Image 1: A sound waveform, courtesy of this post. Especially useful if say a band wants their own audioforms on the cover.
Or alternatively to using the waveform you can generate your own data source in Photoshop. With following procedure:
Image 2: Generated data source
In any case be aware that the more you have data in width the smaller your bars will be. Shorter snippets may work better.
Image 3: What you should have now. the lower the bars are located the bigger your sphere is going to be the higher the bars the higher they will be.
Image 4: Thats it... Just add glows and stuff. Make any variations.
You may want to do this at slight over resolution for best results.
Image 5: Variation of a theme. By adjusting a mask you can make it look like a gradient scope. Use curves to limit levels for example. Lots of possibilities for generated art.
PS: it took me longer to write these docs than to test the procedure 7 times. You can anlso save the procedure as a action and do thsi over and over again till your satisfied with the result. Or paint in modifications.