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Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: SoundChaser Software From Acounect

Review: SoundChaser Software From Acounect (France)

SoundChaser is a (Windows-based) software application; which has been developed by Acounect, to enable users to record wildlife sounds, with a great deal of accuracy. The application is very versatile, featuring modules which may be easily loaded/unloaded:

SoundChaser Software
The SoundChaser software from Acounect has gone through many changes over the past couple of years. This latest version (1.1), is by far the most competent and capable. One of the most important additions, has been the ability to trigger recordings. I was very happy to see this feature implemented. Having an auto-trigger feature available allows you to set-up SoundChaser for unattended (overnight) recording. This ability makes it easy to utilize an UltraMic for passive monitoring/recording of bats. Something that wasn't possible until now.

SoundChaser is currently available in two, distinctive versions:
Since my Readers and I are most interested in recording bats, this review will focus on The SoundChaser Expert software. Which is the version best suited to bat recording.

An important factor, which I'd like to point out straight away - Is that SoundChaser software is free to download and use; for 15 days. I encourage you to visit the Site, and have a look!

Whenever I review software, which happens to be freely available for downloading -
Whether it's completely free or free-to-try (like SoundChaser): I feel, that there simply isn't a need to write such a lengthy/detailed review; since anyone who is interested, can simply download and try the software themselves - For free. 
This is still currently the case with several excellent software applications. 

Below, is an excellent demonstration video (made by Acounect):

SoundChaser Demo video on a Tablet PC

The hardware (and software) requirements are quite simple; you will need:
  • An UltraMic, from Dodotronic any version will work (including the very first ones released). The two versions currently available, are: The 200kHz sample rate unit, and the 250kHz sample rate unit.
  • A laptop, sub-notebook, or tablet PC - Running a late version of Windows software as it's operating system.
  • SoundChaser Expert software.
As per Acounect's Web Site:
"Recommended requirements: Windows Vista, 7 or 8, Intel iCore (or equivalent),  ATI or nVidia GPU graphics card, screen resolution of 720p or 1080p HD, touch screen."

The Folks at Acounect have also provided a neat, and useful list of compatible/recommended Tablet PC's in PDF format Here. Each for under 400 Euros.

Installation is easy, and is outlined in their Installation Guide. 
If you are using a small notebook computer (small screen), you should select 'Full Screen' from the opening dialog box (when you first launch the application). I find it to look a lot better than the other option ('Windowed'). Again, this is something you may try-out yourself; it may be considered a matter of personal preference.

By default, the software will choose the following (syntax) Windows directory to store your recordings in: C:\Users\*Your Username*\SoundChaser Sessions - Of course, this may be easily changed to whichever location (path) you would like.

Pros:
  • Free to download and use for 15 days.
  • Only hardware purchase needed (for owners of Windows-based machines) is an Ultramic from Dodotronic
  • Fairly easy to start using.
Cons: 
  • Technical Support slow to respond.
  • Fairly high Start-up cost (for SoundChaser Expert).
Good luck! Have fun, and...

Happy bat detecting! 

*Next Post - will be the full review of the brand-new 'micro trio' from Ciel.

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