ViXeN: View eXtract aNnotate media data

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.

ViXeN is open source and distributed under the liberal BSD license.


  • Works with different types of media, videos, images, audio, text, and PDF.
  • Supports any number of used-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 a quarter of a million files in a single project. It is designed to work well with around 100k files. It will still work 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. This restriction with the number of files may be changed later depending on the feedback received by users. ViXeN does not currently support multiple people working on the same project at the same time.


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:

The ViXeN issue tracker and source code are available at:


Designed and developed by Prabhu Ramachandran and Kadambari Devarajan.