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ViXeN: View eXtract and aNnotate media

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ViXeN logo

ViXeN is a simple tool to facilitate easily viewing, adding, and annotating metadata associated with media. ViXeN has been designed primarily to assist field biologists with managing the large amount of media they collect in a minimally intrusive manner.

One may think of ViXeN as a special, customizable file browser with which one may view and edit metadata associated with media files like videos, images, and audio.

The ViXeN documentation is at


  • Works with different types of media, videos, images, audio, text, and PDF.
  • Supports any number of user-defined metadata fields per project.
  • Does not modify the original media but keeps its metadata separately.
  • Powerful searching through metadata.
  • Lightweight and easy to install. No server setup required.
  • Cross-platform: works on Linux, OS X, and Windows.
  • Simple browser-based UI.
  • Support to export metadata to a CSV file and import tags from a CSV file.
  • Ability to add metadata for media through an external program or a Python script.
  • Support to allow user-defined conversions of media to supported versions.
  • Open source.

ViXeN has currently been tested with about 350k files in a single project. It will work fine for larger projects but will be progressively slower the larger the number of files. The speed does not however depend on the nature of the media. ViXeN does not currently support multiple people working on the same project at the same time.


If you are not familiar with Python you can install ViXeN using a very simple binary installer on all the major platforms. To try out ViXeN please download a binary installer from here:

These are very easy to install, basically just download, unzip, and run.

If you are familiar with Python packages, you can install ViXeN using the standard Python mechanisms of either running python install or with pip using pip install vixen. Once installed, simply run vixen to start the application.


ViXeN was envisaged as a 'no-fuss' means to manage videos from 32 camera traps that were set up in the Banni grasslands in north-west India to survey species occurrence and interaction patterns, with a focus on carnivores. The research project began in 2013 and as of 2015 has resulted in 6000+ videos. When confronted with the daunting task of viewing and managing such volumes of media files, we realized that there was a dearth for tools to aid in the processing of such data. There were data managers for images but nothing suitable for video (and to a certain extent, audio) files.


If you have any questions or are having any problems with ViXeN, please email or post your questions on the vixen-users mailing list here:

If you should have specific problems with ViXeN, you may eitiher email us on the list mentioned above or file an issue on github here:

If you do not mind, you can consider sending along the vixen log file.

We welcome any contributions to this project. Please submit a pull-request on github and we will be happy to consider any suggestions and improvements.

One useful, and perhaps underutilized feature of github is that if you want to make a change to the software or documentation, you may do so directly on github and submit that as a pull-request for us to consider without having to learn git, forking the project, and manually submitting a pull-request.


Designed and Developed by Prabhu Ramachandran and Kadambari Devarajan