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I have started to do some research on EEG analysis. One of the challenging things I have found is the variability on the formats for the EEG files.
What do you do when you receive data your software does not support? Is it reasonable to ask the collaborators to convert the data to another format? Do you modify your software to incorporate the details of the new format?
Is there any EEG format out there that is considered standard? Do the EEG manufacturers provide converters to that format in their software?
As far as I know, short answer is no - there is no gold standard for EEG files. But EEG is a time series (amplitude) from several channels. So the most common way to represent it is columns as electrodes and rows as points of time. I think almost all software is possible to read such structure as txt file. But EEG is not only time series. Usually it is important to have additional channel with event markers. It make the situation a little bit tricky. But usually popular software is able to read most of EEG data formats and it's not difficult to write a custom function for reading your data.
You talk about the challenge of the variability in EEG data formats --- While I am (unfortunately) not aware of a standard EEG data format, there are attempts to standardize the way that EEG data could be shared:
The Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) tries to clarifying the structure of directories and meta data necessary when sharing neuro-imaging data. BIDS started out for MRI data (with the NIfTI format as a standard data format) and so far it is not completely specified for EEG data (partly, because there is no standard data format yet).