I'm writing software for our type of people and I would love some input as to how you would like it to work. I'm getting closer to finishing (still a long way though), but I'm at a stage where I have to decide how it organizes the media. That's where you come in :-)


The basics of it is that after a day of recording, taking pictures and having your GPS location logged, the software will combine automatically the media that goes together. In other words, if you recorded a dog barking, and took a picture of it while you had a GPS logger tracking you, it will be able to find them and put them together. You don't need a GPS logger though, it will work just as well combining only photos, sounds, etc.

devices needed

Any content digitally created will work (camera, recorders, notes, etc.).

Any GPS logging device that can export a GPX file will work, which is most GPS loggers. If not, then there is a ton of software out there to export them. Even the iPhone has apps that log your location and gives you a GPX file.

The main question is how do you want your files to be combined?

option 1:

It creates a folder per associated media. So if you took three photos of a dog and recorded two sounds, it will create a folder and put them in there, keeping the file name intact.

option 2:

it keeps the files where they are but renames them so that the pics, sounds and gps location stick together.

I personally prefer option 1.

would you like the originals untouched?

Regardless of how they end up being organized, would you like the original files to be untouched, and just make copies? Or would you like the option to keep or copy?

google earth integration

Would you like an option to export your day's recording path to Google Earth? Would you also like your photos and sounds to be combined and inserted into balloons automatically?

Thanks for any insight! It's gonna be free by the way...

  • As far as how complex you go, perhaps it's better if the software only goes as far as keeping the .GPX, photographic, and audio data together, thus leaving it up to the user how they want to further organize their data.
    – Miles B.
    Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 18:41

5 Answers 5


Hi Andrew,

I think which option you choose will depend on how a user 1) likes to keep their sound library organised and 2) intends to use your software.

One user may already have a complex system which they apply to their sound library, and may only use your software for its basic functions. However, the next user may want your software to completely organise everything for them.

So, I think giving the user as many options as possible is the best way for this to work.

The google earth idea is a good one. You could almost make a share information between on the map to create a sound map. Then people can request information and recordings made at particular locations.

Good luck with the software.

  • Thanks so much for your answer. I think I could have explained what I'm trying to do a little better. I don't want to create software to manage sounds, but rather to create the first pass after importing sounds. Then people can do what they want with them, but at least all sounds from a location or related to a specific image can be brought together. This is more for people interested in taking photos of sounds they record. It just makes life easier than manually looking through all and trying to find the relating media and GPS locations. Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 13:10
  • Ah, I think I just made the assumption that is was kind of a database piece of software. Personally, I like the idea of option 1. But I still think that you'll find some users would find use for the other option. Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 13:51

Sounds very interesting! In terms of file combination, personally I'd prefer option 1...all bundled into one folder. I guess it's just how I operate but knowing that all my files from one location are in one folder would help. The only downside to this would be if you recorded hundreds of takes in the same place. How would that work? Perhaps in that case a re-naming system might be better.

In terms of the original file, I'd like the output of the software to create a copy and leave my original files intact. Again that's a personal choice and giving the option to keep or copy leaves the software more versatile and therefore more user friendly.

As for google earth, I wouldn't use that but again that's just me...

  • Thanks so much for your input @Colin. To answer your 100 file question, it's not just combining based on location (maybe that could be a user option), but rather the sound and the picture taken at close time proximity. So I doubt folders would have more than one or two of each type of file (2 pics, 1 sound, 1 location). That's why I was considering option two, to avoid creating a lot of folders. Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 17:20
  • @Andrew, on reflection I think files would be easier to organise if they were re-named. However, I would say it's better if they were copies rather than re-naming the originals. Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 19:25

Would there be any significant disadvantage to combining both Option 1 and Option 2? Copy the files to a new folder (keeping the originals untouched) and rename the new files and folder they're contained in? I would rather see a folder where it's obvious that everything inside is related rather than a group of random file names that are created by whatever device the files came from.

As for Google Earth, I think it would be a great option. I personally don't use it, but I could see how advantageous it would be.


originals untouched. definitely.

i'm thinking would it be impossible to embed a copy of the image in the file? or put it straight into the database and associate it with the file so even if the image is deleted, it's still preserved? re possible corruption to db, you can have backups of that.

also when there's no image to associate with a file, especially for files of shorter duration, you could visualise the waveform and use that as a thumbnail?

as for gps coords, maybe it would be nice to be able to select multiple files and pop up a maps window to select a location (or select from a list of recent locations).

  • I agree, was checking just in case :-) Thanks Commented Sep 22, 2010 at 17:20

My 2 cents:

Keep the originals untouched! The GPS logging thing sounds great but I don't know of any standards regarding it, so I guess google earth would be good enough?

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