Monday, July 6, 2020

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Tech-Birds Software Review

A thorough, up-to-date and on-going review of the major software products in the Birding and Nature Listing space. Click here. Birder's Diary WINS in side-by-side data entry tests! Software Review

A thorough review of all listing software was completed by Cliff Robbins and Dr. Gerco Hoogeweg and updated on July 12, 2016. See this nice comparison grid here.


"Birding" Magazine, American Birding Association, August 2016

Recently, Birding magazine by the American Birding Assoc. (ABA) released an article in the August 2016 edition entitled Tools of the Trade, by Diana Doyle.

We want to thank Diana for her time spent on this valuable task and what can be an overwhelming effort. She skillfully whittled down the list to the top 6 listing programs that run on your PC or MAC. And then gave a balanced and brief overview of each products' strengths. A few of us Birder's Diary users undertook the same task a year ago and can tell you from experience, it is very time-consuming. It took us about 6 months to complete the review to a level that we felt was good enough.

If you get a chance you should read this article in Birding. It starts on page 62.

Here, I want to give my own review and point out where I believe that Birder's Diary didn't get its full due. While we feel that Diana did do a very good job with the space and time she was probably given, still there are a few points that the reader might not gather from this article.

Here is my list in no particular order other than as I came across them when reading the article.

  • When reviewing Birder's Diary, it was mentioned that “the older-style format makes for more intensive data entry, involving the typing of species names, mouse-clicking on checkboxes, and scrolling through hierarchies of locations.” This, fortunately is not true. We believe after our thorough analysis that Birder's Diary is by-far the fastest data entry in the industry. Birder's Diary has features that outperform the competition in side-by-side tests, sometimes by 2X or more! I have always made speed of data entry a primary focus with Birder's Diary from its inception. In this video on Sightings Entry, you will see that Birder's Diary offers very many methods for entering sightings. It also has a feature that no one else has and has never had – a SmartSearch entry method. Many try to duplicate, but they fall short. It is most like the feature that is described for Scythebill; e.g. “type ‘bwwa’ for blue-winged warbler”. We tested Sightings Entry between Birder's Diary and all others, and Birder's Diary won in every case! At 12:00 minutes into the above video, one will see a test of how fast it can be – 2.30 seconds per sighting; that's 13 sightings in 30 seconds! No one else came close. This SmartSearch feature also applies to entering location names; e.g. no scrolling through hierarchies of locations.
  • In reviewing SWIFT, it was mentioned “…an innovative idea is the custom species list…”, and it goes on to mention how time-saving it is. Birder's Diary has had this exact same functionality since 2000.
  • In reviewing Wildlife Recorder, it mentions speech-recognition as a feature that sets it apart. Again, Birder's Diary has had this since 2000.
  • It also mentions that Wildlife Recorder links video and sound. Birder's Diary does that also, in fact, not limited to just photos, video and sound; but any file one cares to link.
  • Actually, the rest of this list concerns features that are mentioned for the other products in the review but are not mentioned for Birder's Diary, but that Birder's Diary has. It leaves the reader believing that these are differentiating features that Birder's Diary does NOT have. For example,
    • Geographically restricted checklist entry;
    • Quick-start guide;
    • Customization ability to create your own fields;
    • Detailed and customized searching.
Birder's Diary's features go on and on. And we feel (in fact we know) that if a proper accounting of the sheer magnitude of features were compared to those of other competitors, Birder's Diary would come out way ahead. Look for yourself!