Saturday, February 2, 2013

First Look At The Latest BCID Software! Part 1 Of 2

Review: BCID software (from Bat Call Identification, Inc.) Part 1 Of 2

I finally had an opportunity, to install and try BCID software - And, I'm happy to report that it was a success. Everything went very smoothly. The software installation and program execution proceeded flawlessly; and fairly quickly.

A temporary license for the software, was graciously provided to me by Bat Call Identification, Inc. As you may notice, from some of the screen captures; the license will expire on April 1st 2013. Plenty of time for me to test and review it. I have no affiliation with  Bat Call Identification, Inc. I obtained the (temporary) copy of this software, for the sole purpose of sharing my findings with fellow bat detecting enthusiasts.

So, I installed the latest version, 2.4n, from the BCID Website

You may download a Trial Version of BCID software, on this Page (Link is found in the small brown box, at the center of the page).

The software application itself is neither large, nor complicated. It installs via a single executable file, right after download. After installation completes, you have the option of automatically launching BCID.

Here is a screen shot showing the 'Species' Tab - (New York is selected, in my case):

Some key points, that became evident right away, were:

* Affordability - At just under $1000 US, the price of this software is lower than it's main competitor (SonoBat). A factor that will be attractive to both hobbyists and Professionals.
* How small the software file itself is - Very fast download and install process.
* The application is robust: It's able to handle many files, very quickly.
* The software is easy to use - I was able to use it, before even reading the Manual - Although I don't recommend this! It's always best to read the manual first!
* A bat call identifying software, to use with files from zero-crossing bat detectors (AnaBat, SM2Bat, etc.) is very useful.
* The ability to identify bats down to Species, using recorded calls would be a valuable asset to all those doing bat surveys, research, etc.

Alas, nothing is perfect...

- BCID currently doesn't have the ability to ID bats using (raw) .wav files. The .wav files must be converted first. It does have this ability, through a built-in feature.

By default - BCID analyzes all of the (zero cross) files in the specified Folder, and automatically produces a MS Excel file. Here is a small sample of the data produced by BCID - It is just a partial image that I took from the resulting Excel file (Excel lines/cells are not shown in this example):

It was very exciting, to be able to finally ID the bats frequenting the airspace above my back garden :)

Check back, for Part 2 Of 2 of this Review; when I will cover how the software works.
Of course, the next thing that comes to mind is: I wonder just how accurate this IDing software is? The fact is, that at the time of this writing: There isn't any software available that can be depended on, for completely accurate bat call identification. None of them are 100% accurate.
This topic will also be covered in the second part of this review.

Part 2 Of 2

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