The following sections cover the general requirements for using the Acoustic Pipeline and the technical specification of the hardware, software and audio file format.
BTO user accounts
To use the BTO Acoustic Pipeline, you will need a free MyBTO account. This allows the Acoustic Pipeline system to keep all your recordings together in one place, and to keep track of any credits required for processing them.
If you do not already have a MyBTO account, the Acoustic Pipeline Portal will automatically create one for you when you register.Register today
We treat all personal data with respect and in accordance with our organisation’s policies:
Hardware and software spec for the Desktop App
To use the Acoustic Pipeline, you’ll need to install a small desktop application to process audible-range sound files, and to upload ultrasonic audio files.
This application requires:
- A computer running at least Windows 7 (or above) or Apple OS X 10.10 (or later) operating systems with a reliable internet connection.
- 12 MB space on a hard drive for installing the Desktop App.
- Space on a hard drive for the temporary saving of wav files for upload.
How to name your audio files correctly
Audio file names need to contain each recording’s date and time, and all the files in a batch need to have a unique name.
The Acoustic Pipeline can automatically extract date and time information from standard filename formats used by most AudioMoth, Batlogger, Peersonic, Petersson, Titley and Wildlife Acoustics recorders.
Users of other recorders must ensure audio files match one of the following formats, where prefixes and suffixes are optional:
The Pipeline can also read GUANO metadata embedded in wav files, including the automatic detection of location information.
For more detail, see the relevant recorders on our guidelines for commonly used equipment page.
Ultrasonic audio file specification
In addition to the file name requirements, the following requirements apply to ultrasonic recordings, such as bat recordings:
- The Pipeline only supports full-spectrum wav files recorded in real-time.
- Zero-crossing (zc) recordings are not supported.
- Time expansion recordings need to be converted to real-time before uploading.
- Dual channel/stereo recordings need to be converted to single channel before uploading.
- Audio files must be no longer than 5 seconds. If attempting to process audio files longer than 5 seconds these will be split automatically to 5 seconds chunks by the Desktop App and renamed with the new time before being uploaded and results will be reported for these 5 second chunks. Therefore for ease of downstream processing (e.g. manual verification), we strongly recommend users set bat detectors to have a maximum wav file length of 5 seconds.
- Audio file names must follow one of the supported name formats. We support all the main makes of detector (Audiomoth, Batlogger, Peersonic, Petersson, Titley and Wildlife Acoustics), but please check the file naming requirements before beginning your Acoustic Pipeline Project.
Audible file specification
In addition to the file name requirements, the following requirements apply to audible sound recordings, such as bird recordings:
- Mono or stereo wav files. MP3 files must be converted to wav files before uploading e.g. via Audacity.
- Wav files can be 16-bit or 32-bit PCM format. We cannot currently accept 32-bit float files.
- Audio sample rates must be at least 22050 Hz for the majority of classifiers. If in doubt, check the details of the specific classifier you wish to use. Higher sample rate audio will be downsampled during processing.
- We recommend audio files should be no longer than 15 minutes in duration. The Desktop app will work for longer files by splitting them into chunks, but this will take longer. If possible, pre-configure your recorder to save shorter files.
- If using a recording schedule that produces very short files (n seconds), processing will be most efficient if these are in multiples of 3 or 4 seconds (depending on the classifier you intend to use).
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If the information you’re looking for isn’t on this page, please return to the Support Hub to browse our other guides.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Support Hub, please email us at
acoustic.pipeline [at] bto.org
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