NOTICE: BIRDTUNES HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED
As of February 8, 2017, we have decided to retire BirdTunes from Apple’s App Store. For the time being, BirdTunes will continue to run for those who have purchased it, but it will not be possible for new users to acquire it.
It has been difficult for us to decide to stop selling BirdTunes, since we know that it has been of value to many people, and that many people continue to use it regularly and like it. In that sense BirdTunes has been a great success. However, sales have dwindled over the last few years, to the point that it is no longer practical for us to maintain BirdTunes.
Without ongoing maintenance, BirdTunes will eventually fail to run on some future version of Apple’s iOS. Unfortunately, we cannot predict exactly when that will occur. It might be as early as the fall of 2017, when the next major iOS version is likely be released, or it might not be for years to come. We have decided to stop selling BirdTunes before that happens, however, rather than after.
We thank those who have used BirdTunes and shared feedback with us, and wish you all the best for your future birding endeavors.
UPDATE: BIRDTUNES WILL NOT RUN ON IOS 11
On September 12, 2017, Apple announced iOS 11, to be released on September 19. Unfortunately, it appears that BirdTunes will not run under iOS 11, so it will cease to function for users as soon as they upgrade from iOS 10 to iOS 11, or when they acquire a new device that runs iOS 11. As BirdTunes users ourselves, we share your disappointment.
We hope it may be of some consolation that the same sound collection that was available in BirdTunes is also available in several other iOS apps. Of those apps, the one that is most similar to BirdTunes is Birdsongs USA & Canada. This app, like BirdTunes, focuses on bird sounds in particular, and is not a more general field guide app. It adds many species and tracks to the original BirdTunes sound collection, and also includes updated taxonomic information.
Other iOS apps that include the BirdTunes sound collection are the Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America) and the Audubon Bird Guide: North America. Both of these apps are field guides, so they provide more information about the included bird species than BirdTunes did (range maps and a larger number of photos, for example), but they do not provide as rapid access to the sounds.
The BirdTunes family of applications provides bird enthusiasts with rapid, uncluttered access to a superb collection of North American bird songs and calls. All of the applications run on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices, and share exactly the same user interface. They differ only in the number of bird species covered:
- BirdTunes Lite (free) is a great introduction to the BirdTunes family. It includes 185 tracks for 24 species.
- BirdTunes Basic ($1.99) is perfect for beginning bird song enthusiasts. It includes 830 tracks for 135 species of Eastern and Central North America.
- BirdTunes ($9.99) is the full, comprehensive application, featuring 2432 tracks for 674 species of all of North America: in all, more than ten hours of sound!
To see exactly which species are included in each of the applications, consult the BirdTunes species lists.
The recordings included in the BirdTunes applications emphasize the sound repertoire of each species, including not just the primary song or call for many species, but also lesser-known songs and calls. The recordings are drawn from the collections of prominent field recordists including Lang Elliott, Kevin Colver, Martyn Stewart, Bob McGuire, Ted Mack, and Wil Hershberger.
All of the BirdTunes applications offer:
- An attractive waveform display that shows progress as the current track plays.
- Four playback modes, including modes for playing or repeating either a single track or all of the tracks for a species.
- A gorgeous photo of each species, from the collections of well-known bird photographers including Brian Small, Lang Elliott, Mike Danzenbaker, and Marie Read.
- A search facility that lets you rapidly find a species by any part of its name.
- A customizable list of favorite species for quick access.
- A list of the twenty most recently accessed species.
If you use any of the BirdTunes applications in the field, please do so responsibly. We recommend the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics, particularly section 1(b), for guidance.
The BirdTunes applications were created by Harold Mills and Lang Elliott.