At time or writing, of the 36M observations in iNat, only 61K have audio. That is only .1%.
I would like some help tracing audio observation workflows to their simplest and most accessible. Recent updates have streamlined initiating or attaching audio natively within the app (THANK YOU INAT STAFF!) which has decreased a lot of resistance that kept me from using it, but I think there is more work to do here, and a lot of good reasons to do it.
Some of the technical obstacles are:
- Necessity of third party recording app.
- Relatively poor audio quality of phones.
- Clipping extended recordings for succinct observation data.
- Protocols for good data collection that are not as culturally familiar as visual media.
- Limited audio file formats accepted for use.
- Attaching audio may require users to navigate their phone’s confusing folder structure.
My idea workflow for audio observations would be:
- Be in nature.
- Open iNaturalist app.
- Start audio observation.
- See layout very similar to BirdNet while it records to cache. (Spectrogram wipe, record/pause button, selection tool.)
- In field or at home, pause recording and use selection tool to generate new observations from clips, or approve entire clip for a single observation.
- At end of recording, move to observation page(s) in the same manner as a photo. Add identification or notes, etc. (Eventually, identification suggestions from audio.)
- Return to home screen.
This is not a feature request, per se. I would like each of you to fill in what I’m missing to get the easiest method available to the most people. Feature requests, helpful advice, personal anecdotes and philosophizing on the relative merits of audio observations should spin off from this to other awesome audio-related threads.
What other factors create resistance when you want to make an audio observation? How would you improve or amend this workflow to get audio to the masses?