Sound alone Michael Morcombe

To: Aidan Sudbury <>
Subject: Sound alone Michael Morcombe
From: Russ <>
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:47:18 +1100
Hi Aidan

Yes, and no. The simple answer is that you can't - when all the bits of an
app are compiled they become a single file (well, a package of files) and
even if you use an unarchive utlity to open the package, things like audio
files can't be opened or played - or even seen individually. The compile
process basically encrypts everything, including the developer's code.

A longer answer:

Technically, it is possible to reverse engineer some programs, but it is
generally considered illegal because you are meddling with the developer's
intellectual property. Every time you install software, and agree to
conditions of use, there is likely to be a condition that you don't reverse
engineer the software. You'd need highly sophisticated tools and a high
level of programming knowledge to do this, and as I mentioned already, it's
almost certainly illegal.

Other than extracting the audio files, there is a way to get the audio out
of an app - and that's to record it on another device. There is no question
with this method, it IS illegal because (a) you'd be breaching copyright by
making an unauthorised copy. You'd also be breaching copyright in another
way - format shifting. That's the term for copying something into a
different format. When copyright owners sue for breaches - and they do -
it's seldom one simple claim because copying one item may breach a whole
long list of laws.

There are a number of digital archives of birdsong online now, and many of
them allow you to copy files to a portable device for personal use in the
field. You'd need to check the conditions of each site, of course, but if
you find a couple then that might give you a lot of the bird calls you
need. You could copy them to an iPod without a touch screen and listen to
the calls.

I love the Morcombe app, and I probably use the calls about 10 times as
much as I use anything else on it. I'm looking forward to other field
guides taking the same step. It's also one of the apps you can use without
an internet connection. Just like Pizzey's 1980 guide opened a new era of
field guides in this country, I think the Morcombe app will be remembered
as the ground-breaker that started a trend to digital guides for Australia.
It's happened elsewhere so I can't see any reason it won't happen here. For
anyone who uses a field guide, this is just about enough reason by itself
to get an iphone or an android phone.


Russell Woodford
Birding-Aus List Owner

On 12 January 2013 10:20, Aidan Sudbury <> wrote:

> Does anyone know how to (or if it's possible) to put just the sounds from
> the Michale Morcombe guide onto an older Ipod without a touch screen?
> Aidan Sudbury
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