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Version 2:  October 23, 2002

(download 5.77 megabyte compressed program)

GlassOFire is PC software developed by Old Bird that allows viewing, playing, and sorting of short wav file spectrograms. This program is useful for classifying wav files acquired with automatic bird call detection software such as Tseep or Thush.


To install: If you used an earlier version of GlassOFire on your computer make sure to uninstall it before attempting to install the new version. Download the compressed GlassOFire setup zip file from the link above. You will need Winzip to unzip the compressed program. If the GlassOFire installation procedure does not start automatically, double click on the GlassOFire setup zip file once you have downloaded it. Follow the installation instructions. 


To operate: Once you have installed the program, start the program by using the Start menu in the lower left. In the Start menu select Programs, then select Oldbird, then select GlassOFire. You can also create a shortcut for opening GlassOFire on your desktop by going to the Program files folder on your hard drive.  Open the Old Bird folder within the Program files folder, then open the GlassOFire folder. Right click on the GlassOFire icon and then select "create shortcut". Drag the newly created shortcut icon to your desktop.


Once you have started GlassOFire, maximize the program's window so that it fills your computer monitor. In the upper left you will see a menu:


File Edit Spectrogram Help


First, go to the Spectrogram menu and select Options. An Options window will come up with two choices - size and parameters.  The size variables determine the size, shape, and number of spectrograms that appear on your monitor.  The default is width:2000 and height:1500. Making these numbers larger increases the size and reduces the number of spectrograms on your screen.  Making these numbers smaller decreases the size and increases the number of viewable spectrograms.  Changing the ratio of the width and height variables changes the shape of the spectrograms.  The parameters variables determine the resolution and appearance of the spectrograms.  The default values should read:


FFT size:  256

Frame length: 128

Window Function: Hamming

Hop Size: 64

Power Min: 20

Power Max: 120


These parameters provide good resolution for classifying night flight calls of migrant songbirds in the Americas.  For increased resolution reduce the Hop Size. A Hop Size of 20 is recommended if you have a fast computer. To darken the spectrograms, decrease the Power Max.


Once you have parameters set for a batch of wav files you wish to view, GlassOFire allows you to quickly move the wav files you are viewing to prelabeled folders.  For example, one use of GlassOFire is to quickly sort through a batch of sound files that have been detected with automatic call detection software such as Tseep or Dick and separate bird calls from extraneous noise detections.  To set up this process, select the Spectrogram from the GlassOFire menu and in the pull down menu select Set keystroke directory.  A "Save in" box will appear and in the "Save in" window you select the folder that contains the wav files you want to sort. Three icons over to the right of the "save in" window there is an icon that allows you to create a new folder inside of the folder you are classifying.  Click this icon twice and create two new folders.  Rename one folder "calls" and the other folder "noise".  Now you will set up the keystrokes that will move files into one or the other of these folders.  First, you will set up the keystroke to move files that the spectrogram indicates contain bird calls to the "calls" folder. Double click on the "calls" folder.  The file name in the Save As box should say "any".  Now click on the "Save" button.  A new window comes up called Type a keystroke. It has two options: one is titled "Apply classification to selected spectrograms" and the second "Apply classification to all visible spectrograms." Initially, select the first option, "Apply classification to selected spectrograms." Then type c on your keyboard.  This action will be indicated in the Type a keystroke window. Click OK and you have now set up a keystroke for classifying sound files that contain bird calls.  Now set up another keystroke for classifying nonbird calls.  Open GlassOFire's Spectrogram menu and select Set a Keystroke. Use the icon to the right of the small "save in" window to navigate up to the folder you are classifying.  Here, double click on the noise folder and click the "save" button.  Type the letter n and make sure "Apply classification to selected spectrograms" is selected and then click OK.  You have now set up your initial classifier keys and are ready to test them out.


To try out your classifier keys, go to GlassOFire's File menu and select Open Many. A new window called Open will appear.  The small "Look in" window should read  "noise", indicating the title of the last folder you were in.  Click the up folder icon to the right of the "Look in" window so that you are now in the folder where your calls to be classified are located.  Double click on the first call in the folder and spectrograms should open up in all the open slots of the viewer.  To begin classifying calls, select the first window in the upper left of your array of spectrograms - the edges of the spectrogram will be highlighted in red. If the spectrogram appears to be of a bird call, type the c key.  The file should now be moved from the folder in which you are classifying calls to the "calls" folder with that folder.  To verify this, move the cursor a bit over the selected spectrogram and the file name and its location should be revealed in text on the spectrogram.  If you now click the n key on the same spectrogram and move the cursor, you will find that the same file has now been moved to the noise folder.  When classifying a page of spectrograms, go to GlassOFire's Spectrogram menu and select Tab after Classify. This moves the selected spectrogram to the next spectrogram after you have classified it.  This allows for rapid classification of files into 


Often times when sorting noise and call files there will be periods when most of  the visible files will be either noise or calls.  In this case it is useful to set up special key strokes that move all the visible files into the "calls" or "noise" folder. To do this, follow the same procedure outlined above for setting up keystrokes.  When creating the key stroke that will move all the files into the calls folder, type the Control & c keys simultaneously, and this time select "Apply classification to all visible spectrograms."  Similarly, for moving all the files into the noise folder, type the Control & n keys simultaneously and again select "Apply classification to all visible spectrograms."  The nice thing about these key strokes is that not all files have to be either calls or noise to use them.  Say you have a case where you have 30 visible spectrograms and only two are calls; the rest noise.  You can type the Control & n keys and initially classify all the files as noise.  Then, using the cursor, you can select the specific call spectrograms and using the original c key you created to move those files into the "calls" folder.


Once you have created a keyset, it is specific to the folder names that existed when the keyset was developed.  Also, if you wish to use the keyset in the future (after you exit the GlassOFire program), you will need to save it.  To save a keystroke directory, go to GlassOFire's File menu and select Export classifier keys. A Save As window will come up. Here you have the option of naming the keyset and choosing where you save it.  Generally it is best to store it in the file where you classify calls.  You might call this folder "Sort".  Move the sound files to be classified into this folder each time you have a fresh batch to sort.  Inside this folder put an empty "calls" and "noise" folder.  Before beginning classification you would select Import classifier keys from GlassOFire's File menu and direct the ensuing Open window to the folder where you have saved the keyset, select it, and then click on the "open" button.


Once you have sorted calls from noise, calls can be classified into different species categories.  For this, more elaborate folder/keyset combinations can be created as above.  Once calls are fully classified then the folder containing them can be labeled with the pertinent location and date information.


A few other options are listed in the GlassOFire Spectrogram menu.  The Clear All option clears all spectrograms from the viewer window.  The Erase keystroke directories option deletes the keyset that is currently loaded into the GlassOFire program. Selecting the Play option allows you to hear the selected spectrograms wav file.


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