To: "" <>
Subject: xeno-canto
From: "Planque, R." <>
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 08:31:42 +0000
Hi all,

I noticed quite a few mentions of xeno-canto these last few days, and thought 
it would be good to clarify some points. 

Xeno-canto is a place where people share recordings of birds from all over the 
world, and this is done in mp3 format. For many
research purposes, mp3 is fine. E.g., to substantiate an observation of a rare 
bird, as voucher specimens for biodiversity surveys, and indeed 
many people use them for more detailed vocal analyses as well. We do get 
requests for raw WAVs, and many recordists keep these at home, so
we forward these requests to the recordists. 

Xeno-canto does not put any restrictions on recording quality. You should see 
XC as a place to organise and share your own recordings, and we just provide a 
platform to do that. There are plenty of poor recordings (and even more very 
good ones) on XC, and they all have their purpose. For automatic 
identification, for instance, it is more relevant to try to match a template 
with a poor recording than with a good one, since the template (unknown ID) 
will probably be poor too. Recordings don't have to be special or of rare 
birds. Even the most mundane birds will hold vocal surprises once you really 
start paying attention. This at least is my own experience with the (very well 
known, supposedly) European avifauna. 

Australia has not been covered well up till now, and these collecitons become 
useful only when a certain critical mass has been reached. We invite you all to 
contribute some material. We are always happy to help out where possible, 
though we cannot do any digitization ourselves. But we are experienced to 
handle with larger datasets, and have uploaded large batches for some 
recordists in the past. 

I hope to see some heightened interest in XC Australia soon!
Feel free to ask any other questions.


Bob Planque

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