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In this work we propose a general approach to acoustic scene analysis based on a novel data structure (ray-space image) that encodes the directional plenacoustic function over a line segment (Observation Window, OW). We define and describe a system for acquiring a ray-space image using a microphone array and refer to it as ray-space (or “soundfield”) camera. The method consists of acquiring the pseudo-spectra corresponding to a grid of sampling points over the OW, and remapping them onto the ray space, which parameterizes acoustic paths crossing the OW. The resulting ray-space image displays the information gathered by the sensors in such a way that the elements of the acoustic scene (sources and reflectors) will be easy to discern, recognize and extract. The key advantage of this method is that ray-space images, irrespective of the application, are generated by a common (and highly parallelizable) processing layer, and can be processed using methods coming from the extensive literature of pattern analysis. After defining the ideal ray-space image in terms of the directional plenacoustic function, we show how to acquire it using a microphone array. We also discuss resolution and aliasing issues and show two simple examples of applications of ray-space imaging.