you’re right. Animation Nodes had some changes in the last time.
The documentation mostly refers to V2.0. I’m using 2.1.5 with Extra nodes now.
If you connect the 3d Viewer node to some vector data you’ll get the appearance you described above. (color and size selectable). (Don’t know why this isn’t always the same.)
The sound nodes had some streamlined changes too. I recommend to check out some tutorials from Chis.P. He made a series of videos that refer to sound nodes in blender 2.8.1 and I find them very instructive and helpful.
This part is about the AN basics:
This part and the next one is about An sound nodes:
Hope this will help you along.