Raven Lite (free) and Raven Pro (expensive!) have been developed specifically for reviewing wildlife sound recordings. Raven Lite is good for looking at short clips and producing fancy spectrograms. It doesn’t seem to be so good for opening long clips – on the same computer Audacity can open and display a 2hr WAV file quickly but Raven Lite will struggle. Where Raven Lite does beat Audacity is in its facilities for live recording if you’re using a USB mic.
Using Raven to record incoming audio
After plugging in your USB mic, open Raven Lite and click the New recorder button (microphone icon) top left. You can now configure what to record and if/how/what to save. For live listening you can record to memory, in which case a live spectrogram is shown on screen. If something interesting flies past while you’re listening you can stop the audio and save an extract from memory. But more likely you’ll want to save a File Sequence. In the Device dropdown select your USB mic.
You must chose what format of files to save. Best to select WAV and 60 minute files are nicely manageable. Select where to save and you’re good to go.