[FieldTrip] A Fieldtrip data format?

Schmiedt, Joscha joscha.schmiedt at esi-frankfurt.de
Tue Mar 31 15:09:43 CEST 2015


When working with Fieldtrip it is very convenient to store the data and analyses using MATLAB’s save and load functions. However, for large and/or complex data with many channels (>2GB) MATLAB enforces compression, which is pretty useless for electrophysiology data and slows down the load and save performance by a factor of up to 8 (see e.g. http://undocumentedmatlab.com/blog/improving-save-performance). The MATLAB file format is based on HDF5, which is generally an open and future-proof data format, but unfortunately MATLAB doesn’t allow you to disable the compression.

An option to overcome this could be to develop a simple data format for Fieldtrip data that is also based on HDF5. Is or has there been any development going into that direction? Would there be any interest? Of course, creating yet another data format is almost never a good idea (https://xkcd.com/927/), but since HDF5 is well-documented and readable with almost any software, it might be worth thinking about it.

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.


Joscha Schmiedt
PhD Student

Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience
in Cooperation with Max Planck Society
Deutschordenstraße 46
60528 Frankfurt am Main

Tel.: +49 (0)69 96769 241

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Frankfurt am Main
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Frankfurt - HRB 84266
Geschäftsführer: Prof. Dr. Pascal Fries

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