Many thanks to Jason Bacon

Daniel Patón d.paton.d at
Sun Nov 24 19:01:14 UTC 2013

> I'm genuinely curious why it works better for you on FreeBSD than
> Debian. Can you elaborate? I have no idea what this software does.

OK. This software analyze mathematically the sound files. For example: spectrum, harmonics, formants, pitch, similitude between sounds, periodicity, etc... Sound files have a high quantity of information. Animal sounds can have frequencies between 20 and 20000 Hz or even more if you are studying species that emit ultrasounds such as cetaceans. A simple file of 5 minutes of a dolphin that a range between 20 and 150000 Hz that vary continuously. A simple spectra of this file in a normal computer can require 15 minutes in the calculus. The first problem for me is determining the software that I need. Audacity is quite good editing but is limited in the mathematical information that analyze. R have sound libraries that are very useful but curiously can not with long sound files. Even I had tested by SSH a computer in the Physics Department with R under a Debian system, with 32 processors, 64 GB and the cost in computing time is very high. Probably this is due to the design in the construction of the software that can not use the parallel processing of information. Praat is the best election for the mathematical analysis of very long audio files, almost in my case. The secondary question is the operating system. As I only can use Praat in my laptop I need the maximum performance. I had observed that FreeBSD respond very good to high consume rates. Linux is slower. Probably this difference is minor for normal work but empirically I observe important differences. With Debian in many occasions my laptop is completely blocked. When I use FreeBSD I can prepare the analysis of a sound file and continue with the rest of activities (mail, web, text processor, etc...). My laptop never is blocked with FreeBSD and the time of analysis is minor. This is my experience but I have not benchmarks or detailed explanations.

 Daniel Patón Domínguez
 Numerical Ecology. Ecology Unit
 Department of Plant Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences
 Faculty of Sciences. University of Extremadura
 Avda. Elvas s/n 06071 Badajoz (Spain)

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