ISpot is very much based on pictures but for birds songs and calls are often key identification features. Is there scope for adding a feature that would allow uploading of sound recordings?
You can add sounds (and video), I've been doing this since the beginning of ispot. However at the moment its a bit clunky - you put the video on another website and put the link to that on ispot. for example:
Ok I was going to suggest a new feature for uploading short (small) video files; and see that you have done it via linking to youtube.
Our company blocks youtube so I would not be able to view it at work. I am sure one can create an independent video upload option here. One can set the size and length limits so as not to clog the website.
I have about a five second video of insects foraging wildly inside a sugarbush and would love to show it!
Scientist Land Use Advisor for Eden and Central Karoo District Municipal Areas
Garden Route Botanical Gardens Trustee
Whilst the solution of uploading to youtube and providing a link from iSpot is a work around for this, it is a bit clunky and I agree that it would be a nice feature if it was possible to upload such clips to iSPot. As you suggest, some upper limit on file size might be necessary but beyond that it seems to me (by no means an IT expert!) that it should be, technically, reasonably straightforward to do. For birds, song is a very important character for identification so this would be a really useful feature I think for people wanting to improve their bird id skills. For other animal groups sound and video could also be helpful in determining id.
I have mentioned in other similar threads that this was discussed early on in the development of iSpot but there were always issues as to why it could not be implemented, usually other features took precedence with limited programmer time.
If it could ever be implemented then having these other types of media would be useful from numerous points of view not just the simple ID.
Unfortunately there is no prospect of this at the moment so the workarounds via video or sound sharing sites are the things to use. I have linked quite a number of sound recordings and a few videos but none of them have had many views/listens, nothing like as many as my 'normal' ispot observations. This is rather disappointing but in reality very few people seem to be bothered to do even one click more to listen.
I agree that they are of value for more than just ID. The reluctance to do even one more click to listen to a recording is probably matched by a reluctance to do all the extra clicking involved in uploading a recording or a video to Youtube so a feature on iSpot itself to upload recordings would be doubly beneficial.
I acknowledge that limited programmer time may have meant it has not been possible to add this feature before now but i hope that this and the other similar threads you mention will serve to keep this on the wish list for the future. I would argue that it would be of greater value to the iSpot community than another interface redesign.
Is it a reluctance, or a "where on earth do I begin".
For pics you can do a search and then scan through lots of images and easily match (mismatch) your goggo to something.
But how do you do that for a clickng noise you heard (and recorded on your cell phone) in the bush without finding the purpetrator? Where do you begin if you come to iSpot (new, revamped, purring to our satisfaction - bear with me for illustrative purposes) to match that clicking with the thousands of animals, plants and fungi sound-recordings on iSpot? You cannot just select 2 second outbursts of 1000 animals at random and hope to narrow it down?
So adding sounds to iSpot is not just a simple issue of allowing sound files to be uploaded (although it would be a start!). Some thought needs to go into easily retrieving and cataloging and classifying the sounds. While almost anyone has no problem with navigating to a rough ID using images, the same is not so true for sounds.
I would argue that sounds need to be treated differently from images. For starters, they should not show up as observations alongside images. They should have their own area within iSpot. And I would go so far as to suggest they should not be visible. For instance, if you go to the collection for bees (e.g. www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/apoidea), then you should see exactly what you see at present (other than an icon for (1) maps and (2) sounds), but that the sounds should immediately start playing for that group (just like the pictures, from most recent to oldest for the dictionary, but from most-agreed-to to least for the species surfer).
that one could sneak in sound in the *.gif format but alas not.
We were promised sound from the start: in southern Africa we want it for our frogs and crickets and other insects, rather than just birds. But alas it remains just a promise.
A very clear suggestion Tony thanks!