Adding More Sound Files
to your Thayer Birding Software Program
It is easy to add a lot more songs, calls and chip notes to your birding program. You can add bird sounds you record yourself, sounds of birds from other birding web sites or even sounds of birds you already have on an audio CD you own.
The Gold edition is FAR more robust and has an easy-to-use import feature. The version 4 DVD will also let you add new sounds.
After showing you how to import sounds into your birding software, we will point you towards some great resources on the Internet for new bird sounds.
Version 4 and 4.5:
Open the program and go to the eViewer page for any bird. Scroll down and click on My Comments (Add/Edit). Click the Editor tab. From here you can type comments and format your typed comments. You can also add sounds by clicking anywhere in the large area below and then clicking on the "Hyperlink" icon - the one that looks like the earth with a chain link.
This will open the Hyperlink Editor screen. Using this, you can link to sound files on your local hard drive. You can also enter the text that will appear. The view below shows how to add a new sound file for Thayer's Gull.
Notice that we clicked the Local File radio button and then browsed until we found the sound file we wanted. Either .mp3 or .wav files will work well. You can find a sound file on the Internet as well, but it works better if you transfer these sound files to your local hard drive. (Internet files have a nasty habit of moving around a lot.)
For those with version 4 installed on Mac computers, it is not this easy. We were unable to locate a commercially available editing tool for the Mac similar to this Windows tool. But you can still use HTML code to add a new sound file. Use this syntax:
<A HREF="myfile.mp3">Song Description Here</A>
So on a Mac computer, if we wanted to insert the sound of the Thayer's Gull that we used in the example above, we would enter
<A HREF="C:\Users\setup account\Desktop\Larus thayeri.mp3"> Thayer's Gull call</A>
To make a line break between sound descriptions you would enter: <p>
Gold Edition version 5 and 5.5:
Adding a new sound file to the Gold edition is much easier. Simply go to the eViewer page of the bird you want. Here we selected Thayer's Gull. Then click the My Media Add/Edit link. A screen appears that lets you add photos, sounds or videos. If you click New Sound..., the New Sound box appears.
Click Browse to find the sound file you want on your computer's hard drive. If you find a sound file on the Internet, download it to your computer first. Add a caption if you like and then click OK.
All media added in this way is actually stored in a separate database on your hard drive, so be sure to copy that file if you ever change computers! You may add as many sound files as you like. These sounds will then appear on the eField Guide page in the Sound recordings section. You will see more than one sound available. That is why it is so important to give your new sound files a distinct and descriptive name.
Since the Gold edition lets you import photos, songs and video, you do not need to restrict yourself to birds. There are plenty of frog & toad calls and mammal sounds you can find as well.
The best resource on the Internet for bird sounds is www.Xeno-canto.org. You can enter a bird's common or scientific name in the search box. A list of recordings will appear in a few seconds. Click the play button (circle with a black triangle inside) to hear the recording. If you want to copy the recording to your computer, click on the Catalog numer on the far right. Then, under the sonogram image, right-click on link to sound file. Click "Save Target As.." Then put the file on your desktop or in a special folder you created. Change the file name, if necessary so you will remember what it is!
Other good web sites for sound recordings are http://ibc.lynxeds.com/ and macaulaylibrary.org/browse/scientific/ and www.naturesongs.com/birds.html and www.mangoverde.com/wbg/
You might want to try your hand at recording your own songs, if for no other reason than to gain a much greater appreciation for the folks who do it well!!!! The best place to learn more about this is at the Macaulay Library web site. Macaulay is part of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. You might also want to visit the Stith Recording web site.
Finally, you can copy sounds from bird audio CDs you own and move them into your Thayer Birding Software program. The easiest way to do this is to first import the entire audio CD into iTunes. If you do not have this program on your desktop, you can get it for free at www.apple.com/itunes/download/
While in iTunes you can find your bird songs in the Library - Music section. Highlight the sound file you want, click Edit in the upper left and then click Copy. Now Paste the file to your desktop or a folder on your desktop. If the file extension is mp3, you are all set to go.
If the file extension is something else, such as m4a, then you will need to find a converter program. Typicaly you can just type "convert m4a to mp3" into a Google search engine to find free programs. I like the one from www.ManiacTools.com
[Any sound files you use in this manner should be files you have permission to use or that you have on an audio CD that you purchased. Sure you can go to the library or borrow a friend's CD, but would it kill you to spend a few dollars for your own audio CD and support the professionals working for years in the field who made these amazing recordings?]