∼ User manual ∼
Ave has two main windows: the app Initial Window, and the
Species Window with its menu. The Initial Window is
used to search for species in the databases, while the Species Window displays the
individual species data when a specific species is selected in the Initial Window.
TIP: Use the Volume keys on the Initial Window to change font sizes
to your liking.
◊ At the top-left corner initials
indicate the current species list in use. Click on this field to open a grid
with all species lists in databases; select one of them to change the list.
Long clicking this field pops-up the List descriptions, if available:
the current list is highlighted, and you can also click on a row
to switch to the corresponding list.
◊ About the Search Pattern:
A space indicates 'any character sequence', while a dot means 'any character'.
There is no need to use accents, apostrophes or cedillas. Therefore, searching
for 'saira' will return all saíras in current species list, while 'saira cores'
will only return the 'saíra-sete-cores' (if present in current list).
You can search for Taxon, English or Common names.
Usability TIP: By long-pressing the Search
Ave looks for the Search Pattern in all lists, not just in the current one.
◊ The Families
button shows all families in current list; select one of them to get the
corresponding family members in the current list. Press again the
Families button to search by species.
◊ The History
button shows the species selected so far, in reversed chronological order.
To erase the history, either long-press History,
or select Tools > Delete History.
small button at the left of Families
is used to switch the output between
◊◊ When GPS is enabled in the device
before Ave is launched, the GPS button
at the top indicates that Ave is ready to begin tracking and saving your position
through GPS. This button toggles GPS tracking when long-clicked. After enabling tracking,
a green button
indicates that the track is being recorded; if the button turns red
it means that there is some problem writing the track file, or that GPS was disabled
in the device. A yellow button
indicates that the device GPS is looking for a fix.
◊◊ Tracks are saved in a track file in the
MYTracks folder inside the Main Folder in CSV format, with names of the form:
You can see your tracks and records (even multiple ones) in a satellite map using
the corresponding Tool options (Internet connection or previous cache required).
In addition, in the shortcut/widget section of the device it is installed a
stand alone activity called Ave Map that provides the same track saving
and viewing features as Ave, but without the need to run the whole
application, being then much faster to load and a bit less resource intensive.
Moreover, you can also view tracks and records with a web browser loading
them in this link:
TIP: As long as Ave keeps running, the tracks are all saved and appended to the
same file, even after stopping the device GPS or pressing Ave's GPS button.
To save a track to a fresh new file, just close Ave, open it again, and activate the
GPS feature as explained above. If you want to save all tracks (and records) to
a single file for each day of use, activate Tools the
option One TRACK & REC per day.
TIP: If you observe blank squares in the map with the inscription
"Sorry, we have no imagery here" while using a working internet
connection, try clicking in "Delete map cache" in Tools
Notice that this tool is enabled only when an internet connection is active.
TIP: Use Tools > View track/Share to view old tracks,
or to share files by long pressing the name.
◊◊ Ave map can also open and save
files containing landmarks that are shown as yellow stars
Landmark files are CSV files with the format
(this has to be the first line of the file). To add a landmark,
just double click on the map and set its title as place/remarks
(the altitude or elevation will be shown if the device has an active internet connection),
while a double click on a landmark removes it. New landmarks are automatically
saved in files named marks_YYMMDD_HHMMSS.csv when
the map is closed. New landmarks can also be added to old landmarks files,
and old landmarks can be moved in the map, but only if a double click has
been performed over the map. In this case, a confirmation dialog to rewrite
the landmarks file will be shown at exit time. Long click
to clean all landmarks from the map, short click it to save landmarks to a file.
◊◊ The MIC button
opens a dialog to save audio in the MySongs folder (m4a AAC high quality, proper
for edition: beware of filling the disk!). This dialog is also accessible from the
REC button in the Species Window.
◊◊ Some tools and
configuration options are available under the Tools
In particular, the location of the Main Folder (this allows to have different
guides for, say, different classes of animals); your Photo Folder
(to integrate Ave with your own pictures, see below);
Special lists (separated by commas: to show the species in those lists with a different color);
two buttons to update independently Ave and its main database (for convenience, these update
buttons become enabled only when an Internet connection is active and new updates are available).
The track viewer is also under tools; see below.
Android 11 brings additional restrictions for apps to read and write storage.
On the other hand, for Android 11+, in Tools there
is an option to Access to all files. By enabling this Ave
will be able modify files in storage as it were a file manager. This is
necessary to integrate Ave with user's photos, unless the
photos are included in Ave's own folder. In addition, it allows to set the Main
Folder outside Ave's app folder preventing media loss if Ave is uninstalled.
It is recommended to enable this for Android 11+.
There is an option to change the default main database web address folder, if
you want to use an alternative custom main database, or if there is no
desire to update it. To use an alternative custom main database, write the web
address of the folder where the alternative files aves_database,
family-descriptions.txt, list-descriptions.txt and
To disable main database updates enter "none" or "-".
IMPORTANT: You may experience problems updating or even running Ave at certain point,
due to some Android incompatibility between versions. In this case, download
Ave installation file ave.apk from the
Ave official Home Page, and install it manually (you can do this using Ave itself
through Tools > Downloads folder, or with a file
manager like My Files). DO NOT UNINSTALL Ave, or you will
loose all your media files! As always, remember to backup your media files in your computer.
This window opens when a species is selected in the Initial Window, or when the
search returns only one species.
◊ The Song Controls are located at the top,
together with length indication, song number, and total number of songs.
Usability TIP: Turning off/on the screen while a song is playing
pauses/stats it, unless the Species Window is not being shown.
◊ The Distribution Map is
located at the bottom, together with a button to open species images and/or
thumbnails. Click on the map to switch to additional user added maps.
◊ The information displayed for a species
includes an optional Obs field. This field
appears when the Information folder contains a non-empty text file
obs.txt, and in that case it displays its content. You can create or
modify this file as you please to show additional informations.
◊ The REC
button pops up a dialog to add a record of the species: several data is stored in
CSV format alongside the track file, in the MyTracks folder, and with names
If GPS is enabled and tracking the GPS data is also stored, but GPS is not required
to use the record feature. Below the dialog the MIC
function to save audio is also accessible.
◊ Inside the Species Window's menu
there is a menu
item to list all the Family members of the species in
the Initial Window, as well as a pop-up with More
info, that displays the content of a text file info.txt contained in the
Information directory. This menu can also be activated with a longclick anywhere in
◊ While a song is being played, three more
menu items will appear: one to delete the song, a second one to display its ID3
tag, and a third to make it first to play. In order for the latter to work
properly, it is strongly recommended that the songs are named with a
leading two digit number.
Usability TIP: Long-pressing the Play
button also shows the ID3 tags of the current song.
◊ If the species is not a member of the current
list, an additional menu item appears to add it to the current list by
adding the SPECIES;LIST combination to the
mylists.txt file (see below).
◊◊ When Internet connection is available,
one more menu item will appear, for internet related stuff, in particular, to
download additional songs and record maps (for birds guide only). Please,
do not use Ave to "download everything", because that overloads servers.
Ave only downloads up to 8 files for each species (ask me for a hack
if you really need more than this).
They are located in the root of the main directory, together with Songs,
Maps, Thumbs and Information directories:
∼ aves_database: This is the main
database file. You can modify it as you please, but take into account that it
is overwritten if you update databases from the Initial Window's
To store your own data, better use the mylists.txt file as follows.
This text file is created and modified exclusively by you, and contains one
species per line with the additional lists it belongs to. That is, each line
has the form
where SPECIES is either the first Common name,
or the Taxon name, or English name, exactly as they appear in the database
files. If this name is not found in any database file, Ave will complain
while loading, showing a list of the wrong names for you to fix, and that
species will be ignored.
This text file contains the descriptions of your lists defined in the
mylists.txt file. Its format is the same as the provided
lists-descriptions.txt file, i.e., one description per line of the form
The process of importing and updating your own lists is done through the
corresponding Tools > Import or update list option.
You will be prompted for the list name, its description, and the list file.
Your mylists.txt file will be updated, and the old one will be
moved to the ImportedLists folder, together with the list file.
The file mylists-descriptions.txt will also be updated automatically.
The list file, which has to be contained in the Main Folder,
must have the simple format of one species per line, with
the same rules as the ones for the mylists.txt file for the species names.
If a species in the list file or in the mylists.txt file is not
found in the databases, the process will be interrupted and you must
fix the wrong names in the files to try again.
∼ Additional Database files can be added,
for species not present in the aves_database file. They have to be named
aves_database_1, aves_database_2, etc. Each line should refer to
one species, and has to have the form
Family;Taxon Name;English Name;Common Name1,Common Name2,...;Status;LIST1,LIST2,...;SSP1,SSP2,...
(one line per species, no spaces except inside species names).
Remarks: 1. Observe how commas and semicolons are used: semicolons
separate fields, while commas set multiple Common names and lists. Take a look
at the main aves_database file for reference.
2. Beware of duplicate species when creating additional aves_database_...
files, as they will appear twice when searching and may contain different and/or
duplicate information. Use the mylists.txt file as described
above for species already in databases.
3. If accented characters are needed in the common names, use Latin1 (ISO8859-1)
Integrating user's photos [TOP]
For Android 11+, please read about this option first.
To integrate Ave with your photos in order for them to appear together with the
thumbnails in the Species Window, each one has to be named
cleanname_....jpg, or it has to be located in a directory named
cleanname inside the Photo Folder
(path configurable through Tools > Photo Folder...).
Here, cleanname stands for any of the species names as
they appear in the databases, but without any accents, apostrophes or cedillas.
In addition, you need to build an index of your photos using
Tools > Rebuild photo index.
Remember: Rebuild the photo index each time you add new pictures, or
if you modify the name of any of the old ones, as the search and index are filename
◊ When the Photo Folder is properly set, a
new Info button
will appear at the top of the Initial Window. Clicking this button will then
list all the places of the file names that match the Search Pattern, together
with the dates YYMMDD. This assumes you named your pictures as
If you don't follow this file naming convention the Info
button will not return anything meaningful.
You can add Songs, Maps, Thumbs and Information
at will, just by adding them to the corresponding subdirectory named
cleanname (see above).
Ave is provided without any of these files, and the author does not
assume any responsibility on how or where the user obtains or uses them.