20 Feb

The SecuritySpy That Doesn’t Love Me

Almost immediately after I posted my last entry on the trials and tribulations of an EvoCam on life support, the software crashed again.  Fresh start, minimal other applications running, and poof. I cleaned up the mess, and then instructed my iMac to restart itself every Sunday at 1am.

If all goes as planned (stop laughing!), this will be enough to help keep EvoCam running between restarts.  If not? Then the next step is increase the frequency of the reboots until I can set up the Mac Mini, and start all over on that machine.

Because, I am all out of options as far as out-of-the-box software after giving SecuritySpy a close look this weekend. The results, as always, were mixed.

Let me start off by saying SecuritySpy is a very sweet piece of software. It especially has great documentation and a responsive developer and forum community. Designed for monitoring property, it has many features that are appealing such as motion detection, a remote streaming service, and even an iOS app. However, when I tried to recreate all the actions I use for this website, I wasn’t able to accomplish everything.

I didn’t start off planning to give SecuritySpy (another) trial when I downloaded it on Saturday. I am doing some research for another camera-related project, and saw that the Ben Software product was listed as the only known Mac software that worked with the device I was investigating. The last thing I want is another project that I spend too much time fixing!

The pluses were that I was easily able to add my Hikvision camera, and that it was intuitive to have it upload a still image every 30 seconds. The minuses were that while it can save stills locally it doesn’t have a built-in method for stitching them together, and saving them as a video. Meaning that it can’t do time-lapse.  It does have the ability to change the playback rate of any continuous video it captures, which simulates time-lapse, but the resulting files are humongous by comparison to the current file sizes.

The other drawbacks SecuritySpy posed for me when it comes to recreating the FarmCam, is the scheduling feature. SecuritySpy doesn’t appear to have a way to schedule starting and stopping processes based on light sensors or location services to determine sunrise or sunset. Not to mention the inability to use any font I want as the overlay for the timestamp.

In other words, instead of dealing with a few crashes, I would have to write Automator applications with multiple steps and run cronjobs again.

I am very intrigued at the future use of SecuritySpy for my possible next project, but for now the search continues for macOS software that can do all the things EvoCam can.

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