Jeff’s note about BirdJam: This post was written back in 2009. While BirdJam was a great product it is no longer available. I would recommend you switch to the free Merlin app by the Cornell Lab.
Birders Need A Quick And Convenient Guide
When you’re in the field, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling through printed guides to identify that new bird you’ve spotted. It takes too long, makes too much noise and you may lose a bird to catalog before you find what you’re looking for. Plus, who isn’t looking for a way to lighten their pack out weight?
Thankfully, now there’s BirdJam which solves all of these problems.
I’ve been using this software for the last couple months and want to share with you my experience. Believe me, this is one five star product review you don’t want to miss!
BirdJam Maker Solves Birders Problems
When I set out looking for birding software, I had specific criteria I was looking for. Among these were:
- Available for Macs and PCs
- Easy installation and upgrades
- Visual and audible data
- Tailored product offerings-not one size must fit all
- Great customer service
How BirdJam Maker Stacked Up
The instructions that came with my BirdJam Maker were clear and straightforward. Whether you’re using a Mac or PC, the only things you need to start are iTunes installed on the computer and an iPod. You first install the BirdJam software, import your birding CDs into iTunes and then use BirdJam to arrange your iTunes birding library into a grouping that makes it ideal for use on an iPod. Then, you just plug in your iPod and load it up with your new software.
The base BirdJam Maker Eastern and Western software install already has support for the Stokes Field Guide To Birdsongs Eastern and Western regions. You only need to purchase those two CD sets which are available on the BirdJam site. Support for other guides can be purchased as modules. See the BirdJam site for the current list of available modules. This allows you to only pay for the additional modules you need instead of overpaying for capability you don’t need.
In short, the BirdJam software will group your field guide CD tracks that it’s easy to locate and work with on an iPod from the playlist, album, artist or song level. They also have other playlists you can download for free that group the birds by bird types and settings they are found in.
My Final Thoughts
The BirdJam software delivers on its promise and more. The Stokes guides have beautiful photography as well as impeccably recorded bird songs. Having the ability to quickly and easily get this onto your iPod will save you time, frustration and pack weight. Using the iPod’s built-in search function will help speed up your bird identification even more. The software and hardware pairing were well thought out and implemented. Any questions I’ve had were quickly answered by the support team.
What if you don’t have an iPod or the CD guides and don’t feel like fooling with any of it? BirdJam has got you covered. You can purchase an iPod with your choice of software loaded on it starting at $280.00.
All in all, BirdJam is one of those products you get and then wonder how you ever got by without it. I use it and fully endorse it. It has saved me time, lightened my pack weight and raised my birding enjoyment to a new level.
BirdJam Maker software earns 5 out of 5 stars from BirdOculars.
The Stokes CDs contain birdsongs only. BirdJam Maker adds the photos from their own collection to each track of birdsong. Each of these are stunning images making the BirdJam Maker software an even more incredible value.