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GUANO, the "Grand Unified" bat acoustics metadata format

Project description


This is the Python reference implementation for GUANO, the “Grand Unified Acoustic Notation Ontology”, a metadata format for bat acoustics recordings. It includes a production-ready Python module with full support for reading and writing GUANO metadata, as well as several helpful commandline utilities.

For more information about GUANO metadata itself, including the format specification, see the GUANO project homepage:

Documentation for guano-py can be found at:


  • Python 2.7 or Python 3.3+


Download and install magically from the Python Package Index:

$> pip install -U guano

In addition to having the guano Python module available for use in your own software, you’ll also have a small collection of useful scripts to use.

Alternately, you can check out the project from GitHub and install locally in developer mode to hack on it yourself:

$> git clone
$> cd guano-py
$> python develop

Build Status Documentation Status

API Usage

from guano import GuanoFile

# load a .WAV file with (or without) GUANO metadata
g = GuanoFile('test.wav')

# get and set metadata values like a Python dict
print g['GUANO|Version']
>>> 1.0

print g['Make'], g['Model']
>>> 'Pettersson', 'D500X'

g['Species Manual ID'] = 'Myso'

g['Note'] = 'I love GUANO!'

# namespaced fields can be specified separately or pipe-delimited
print g['PET', 'Gain'], g['PET|Gain']
>>> 80, 80

g['SB|Consensus'] = 'Epfu'
g['SB', 'Consensus'] = 'Epfu'

# print all the metadata values
for key, value in g.items():
    print '%s: %s' % (key, value)

# write the updated .WAV file back to disk

# have some GUANO metadata from some other source? load it from a string
g = GuanoFile.from_string('GUANO|Version:1.0\nTags:voucher,hand-release')

# write GUANO metadata somewhere else, say an Anabat file or text file
with open('sidecar_file.guano', 'wb') as outfile:
    outfile.write( g.serialize() )

# teach the parser to recognize custom metadata fields
GuanoFile.register('Anabat', ['Humidity', 'Temperature'], float)
GuanoFile.register('SB', 'Thumbnail Image', guano.base64decode)

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