We are currently exploring new methods of analysing the breeding behaviour of Nicrophorus beetles using video tracking and audio processing techniques. We have a created a set of software scripts in Python 2.7 and Matlab to facilitate this.
We record beetle audio using a pair of Sennheiser ME 66 condenser microphones channeled through a two channel USB audio interface plugged into a laptop. In order to record 100+ hours of audio, we wrote a python script (store_audio_2channels.py) to record the audio and store it on disk in one hour time-stamped WAV file chunks. For convenient analysis, we then split the recording into two separate streams (one for each channel) using a Matlab script (SplitAudioChannels.m) and store the output as compressed FLAC files.
The video is recorded using a pair of Venus 2.0 infrared USB cameras and the commercially available software VideoVelocity. We store 1 frame a second and split the recordings into one hour chunks once again. Each recording is stored as a compressed WMV file and we store five of our single frames into each second. You can see some examples of the recordings we made in the crypt.