iPods for Bird Calls - portable speakers, editing software & the Ornitho

Subject: iPods for Bird Calls - portable speakers, editing software & the Ornithology of Rock Music ...
From: "Peter Fullagar" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2007 13:07:23 +1100

You have generated some very interesting discussion!

I thought it might be sensible to mention an 'iPod' like device called
'RememBird' which might serve to do all the things you want to do and more.
It is probably too late for those who already have iPods but for those that
might be thinking about such devices for field use, then this one should be

RememBird is a tiny digital audio recorder that has only recently come on
the market. I have spotted a couple of reviews but I suspect it is not yet
well known.

It is manufactured in the UK by a bird-watcher for bird-watchers as I
understand it. It is intended to be fixed underneath roof-prism type
binoculars to act as a field note-taking recorder while at the same time
being capable of recording wildlife sounds using another directional
microphone mounted at the front of the device. However, it can be used
hand-held and I have recently seen it perform in this way in Panama and I
was impressed with its capabilities. I now have one and am evaluating it's
capabilities for myself. It is not primarily a bird-sound recorder and is
not intended to substitute for any of the wide range of high quality digital
field recording set ups now available, but it makes very acceptable
recordings if used with care AND it is compact and tiny! At least you can
have it ready at all times! There are numerous features to this
recorder/playback machine and I would recommend to anyone interested that
they have a browse of the website:

Some essential details:

It comes with some neat software (Mac and PC) for downloading and editing
your sound recordings and field notes and custom setting the device.

It runs on a single AAA battery. I have no idea on battery life but these
little batteries are easy to carry in the field as backup.

It uses a conventional USB interface - as used on most digital cameras.

Removable memory is an MMC card.

It has a headphone socket - 2.5mm and an earphone is supplied but an adaptor
is easily fitted to convert up to the normal 3.5 mm standard of most

Default audio files are MP3 64Kbps for songs and calls and 16Kbps for notes.
It records mono and at 44.1kHz sampling rate (CD standard). However, this
default setting for the level of MP3 compression can be varied considerably
using the supplied software. Choice to some extent depends on the size of
the memory card used. I have installed a 1GB Kingston MMC mobile.This gives
me 96 hours of notes and 8 hours of song recording capability at the default
setting! A lot of capacity.

I have seen it used to store pre-recorded calls for replay as a sound guide
in the field (and replay for call up using a small powered loudspeaker!).

I should point out that I have absolutely no commercial interests in this

I have the feeling that it, or some similar device, will become an essential
tool for many bird watchers - much as the digital camera has done in recent
years. I certainly shall be carrying mine all time when birding, especially
when overseas and confronted with calls I do not know!


I have seen this
On 1/14/07, Robert Gosford <> wrote:


Thanks for the tips - I had a browse around and have dowloaded Audacity
(as a live sound engineer in a past life it doesn't seem too daunting,
though access to the manual [when in doubt, RTFM!] via the link at the
Help page doesn't work) as it seemed to be the best and most popular of
the free downloads.

From your note I image that the procedure might be as follows:
1 - download tracks from CD to Windows Media Player to compress to MP3;
2 - download the MP3 file to audacity to edit;
3 - Post edit download to IPod, or whatever;
4 - Play edited track ...

I'll try some today and advise if any problems - of course I can't
download to my IPod yet because its still in Alice ... hopefully by
Tuesday I'll have and can then start having some real fun ...

Further to Peter Marsh (Fumiyama FSP-505) & Alan McBride's $18 DSE)
comments re cheap speakers the Fumiyama is still available in Singapore
and looks small enough for the field
a bargain at $S26) and next time I'm through Changi I'll have a look (or
if the Logitech I've ordered is too big, has crappy sound etc) or get it
over the net.

In terms of convenience I think the idea of having all of my local
calls, in regional/language/State folders, on a device smaller and
lighter than a pack of cards is very attractive - I doubt I'll use the
full capacity of the 4gb iPod on bird calls so I'll use it for its
original purpose and fill the rest up with my favourite music ... which
turns me to Nick Cave & the bad Seeds - their last album (Abattoir
Blues/the Lyre of Orpheus) is replete with bird references - anyone for
a paper on "The ornithology of Rock Music"?.

Cheers and best,

Bob Gosford
Bruce Cox wrote:

>From: "Robert Gosford" <>
>To: "Bruce Cox" <>; "Birding-Aus"
>Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 10:24 AM
>Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus](was pocketPCs)iPods for Bird Calls - portable
>speakers & audio editing software
>As previouly stated I use "Audacity" as an editing tool, it is a  free
>download, another is "Dexter" which is again free but I find not as user
>friendly as "Audacity".
>The main problem is that the bird CDs (and in most cases music CDs) are
>format which both "Audacity" and "Dexter" will not open, From  memory
>"Audacity" will open .WAV, .AIFF (uncompressed Mac format), .MP3 and Ogg
>Vorbis. You need to get to one of these to audit in "Audacity", I use
>"Windows Media Player" to compress to .MP3 before editing.
>Bruce Cox.
>>Dear all,
>>Further to this post I've ordered, but yet to receive, an iPod nano for
>>field playback - to resolve the playback issue I'm trying the Logitech
>>mm28 speaker, runs off AC & AA batteries - by all accounts and reviews
>>it might be a bit big but it may have the grunt to provide a decent
>>sound in the scrub.
>>I'd be interested in the views of anyone who has tried iPods for this
>>purpose - I'm also interested in any audio editing software that is (a)
>>easy to use and (b) free or cheap that will allow me to edit the
>>announcements and also record repeats of the calls ...
>>Cheers and best from n-w of Alice Springs, where it is raining and cool.
>>Bob Gosford


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