Record and playback audio and video from multiple web cams simultaneously.
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README.md

logFarmDMS

Record and playback audio and video from multiple web cams simultaneously.

CLONE THIS PROJECT

If you see an error message:
HIGHGUI ERROR: V4L: index 1 is not correct!

Then configuation.json has assumed two cameras are connected to your computer.

"number_of_cameras": "2"

The error is not critical and the application will run normally. Setting number_of_cameras to 1 will stop this error message.

"number_of_cameras": "1" 

CONTACT
DESCRIPTION
  • Record and playback, audio and video, from multiple webcams simultaneously.

  • Video can be played back at any time, for any time period, for any camera and it's never necessary to stop recording.

  • A single JSON configuration file for the application and all cameras.


DEPENDENCIES
  • SQLlite: bundled.
  • JSON Java package: bundled.
  • OpenCV: bundled.

PROJECT FORMAT

NetBeans 8.2

  • Select properties from top project node: logFarmDMS
  • Right click > Properties
  • Select Run.
  • Add the following line to: VM Options ( including: - )
  -Djava.library.path="opencv_for_logfarmDMS/"

This assumes opencv_for_logfarmDMS is in the root of your logFarmDMS NetBeans project.

v0.9 of OpenCV is currently being used, Later versions will not work.


HOW TO RECORD

As soon as logFarm DMS starts, it will start recording from your computer's webcam and microphone. If a webcam is not present then only audio will be recorded.

'recording'

status will be shown at the bottom of the application.

logFarm DMS will search for two cameras connected to the computer by default and only record from those it finds. '2' is a configuration value in the configuration.json file:

"number_of_cameras": "2"

To stop recording either press the top left record button or close logFarm DMS.

logFarm DMS will continually record even when the database size has reached its maximum-allowed size, which is set in configuration.json. The default maximum database size for each camera's database is 10 gigabytes. When the maximum is reached logFarm DMS deletes a few of the oldest video frames to make way for new ones, allowing recording to continue without increasing the size of the database.

FYI, the theoretical maximum size of each database is 140 terabytes !!

10 gigabytes is the default value and allows recording of approximately two days of video before old video frames are deleted to make way for new.

configuration.json can set a camera's startup behavior, including whether or not to automatically start recording:

"start_recording_at_startup": "yes"

LIVE FEED

Top right, live-feed from a camera.

  • Click the image to show a larger live-feed window.

    This window can be re-sized.

    The window's title states that you are viewing 'live' video.

Live-feed is always active, even when not recording.


PLAY BACK
  • Click the play button, button left, to show a separate window.

    The floating live-feed and play back windows are the same window. Sorry if that confuses. Tap the small live-feed window and:

    • playback will stop automatically
    • live-feed will be displayed in the floating window

    tap the playback button:

    • the floating window will display playback video

    The floating window's title states whether or not it is displaying 'playback' or live video.

    Video and audio will start to play from the position of the slider; the date and time for which is stated above the slider. Moving the slider plays video from that point.

    There is no need to stop recording while watching recorded video footage.

    HOWEVER, I recommend that you use headphones to listen to recorded video so that play back audio does not interfere with what is being recorded live.


EXPORTING TO VIDEO FILE

Requires:

To install sox and mencoder:

  • Linux
sudo apt-get install sox mencoder

The export feature copies a selection of video and audio data to a directory inside the logFarmDMS directory or a user defined location:

  • a pile of single images

  • a pile of audio files

  • createVideo.sh :: for Linux and MacOS createVideo.bat :: for Windows

    the user must run one of these files to create: output.avi output.avi is the final video file


DATABASE FILES

Each camera has its own database file as does the computer's default microphone so if you have two cameras attached to your computer, for example: one built in and another plugged into a USB socket, then you will have three database files:

logFarmDMS_0.db logFarmDMS_1.db logFarmDMSaudio.db

Initially these files will appear in the logFarmDMS directory but you can instruct logFarm DMS to put them anywhere by editing configuration.json.

Please see: CONFIGURATION FILE :: configuration.json

for details of how to edit this file. configuration.json is just a text file with KEY:VALUE entries which logFarm DMS reads before starting. Initially it's not very readable so you will have to reformat it to make it comprehensible.

To change the location of any camera's or microphone's database database file, change their value like this:

"db_location" : "/aPath/somewhere"

and save configuration.json

A camera's database maximum size is configurable with this:

"maximum_db_size" : "10"

"10" means the database for that camera will not grow any larger than 10 gigabytes. A value of "5" would mean the database will not grow any larger than 5 gigabytes.

When the maximum database size is reached, the oldest video image is deleted to make room for a new one to be added. This gives us continuous recording even though the database size is constrained.

You will have to experiment with this a bit but I have found capturing video at 640x480, with a 10 gigabyte maximum, stores approximately two days of video before old video frames are deleted to make way for new ones.


CAMERAS

logFarm DMS will record and playback from multiple cameras simultaneously.

logFarm DMS automatically finds webcams built into your computer and those attached via USB sockets.

As soon as logFarm DMS is launched, recording starts from:

  • all webcams
  • and the computer's default microphone

This behaviour can be configured by editing: configuration.json


MICROPHONES

logFarm DMS will record from a single microphone, whichever microphone is set as your computer's default. This can be a microphone embedded inside a USB webcam, the microphone built into your computer or one plugged in to a jack on your computer. It is up to the user to set the desired microphone as the computer's default.

One way to configure your computer's default microphone on linux:

  • pavucontrol
sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
  • Input Devices tab will list you microphones.

    mute microphones that you don't want to use as your default microphone

On windows:

  • control panel > sound > Recording tab

    select a microphone and click the 'Set Default' button


CONFIGURATION FILE :: configuration.json

NOTE: KEY:VALUEs will change with future releases and have a GUI to make editing easier

configuration.json can be edited in an ordinary text editor.

configuration.json is automatically generated if it does not already exist in the logFarm DMS directory. This is the case when logFarm DMS is run for the first time.

configuration.json is a JSON file but it is not formatted in a way that is comprehensible. Here are some examples to make it more readable:

  • Open with an editor that can format JSON files. For example open configuration.json with Netbeans then press the key-chord:
shift, alt, f

configuration.json will be displayed in a more user freindly and readable way. It can then be edited and saved.

  • jsonlint

    To install python-demjson

      sudo apt-get install python-demjson
  	  cat configuration.json | jsonlint -f > ~/temp/configuration.json.too
	creates a new file called: ~/temp/configuration.json.too

  you would edit this file and save it to the logFarmDMS
  directory as: configuration.json

If you want to reset configuration.json to factory default simply delete it. A new one will be created the next time you run logFarm DMS.


THANK YOU

I appreciate you taking the time to read this README. If you have any questions you can e-mail me at either:

Best regards
Paul Butterfield