Security cam recordings in mjpg file format; how to convert to avi/wmv

Hi Experts.  After doing an audit on our security cameras, it was discovered that no video was being saved (the former IS Director handled this and when he left, well, it didn't work anymore).  I have the video being saved but the files are in mjpg format.  What software can I use to view that?

Thanks for your help.
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samiam41Asked:
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qbpunkCommented:
Samiam,

The best option out there would be to use VLC, a free open souce media player.  It's lightweight and will play almost any file.  The link is: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.  If you really want to convert to avi (and I stongly recommend that you do not) the most stable product is one from Brothersoft (http://www.brothersoft.com/mpeg-to-avi-46926.html).  It's about $30 USD but it retains the image quality.  I install large camera systems and mpeg/mpeg4 is the standard just shy of mjpeg.  I hope this helps.
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samiam41Author Commented:
@qbpunk, thanks for the quick reply and info.  I am getting closer to recommending they trash these three axis 2100 camera's and software as I can't seem to configure the system very easily.  I will post a follow up question regarding recommendations for a new system but for now, I will try the software you recommended (VLC) and go from there.  Thanks again.
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qbpunkCommented:
Axis makes a good product but the 2100 series was not the best.  How are you recording the cameras?  The best Network Video Recorder is from Milestone, but Axis and others also sell NVR solutions.  What in particular on the 2100's are you having problems with?
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samiam41Author Commented:
The problems I am having are 1) getting the camera to record a steady stream of video and 2) getting the video to be in a format that we can review at a later time.  Right now, it seems like the video is just a string of snapshots taken a few seconds apart, a new video file is started every hour and even when the video is viewed with the VLC player, it just flies by (probably because the video is just a string of snapshots instead of real video).  

I modified the settings to be Full Motion and record every frame.  The files are being dumped to a NAS and that's working but I suppose I might have my expectations too high for what this system can do.
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qbpunkCommented:
Are you sure it's MPEG not MJPEG?  MJPEG is typically used to create video required as evidence and just like the name says, it's just a bunch of still photographs which can be converted into a video later.  What application is creating the recordings?  The application may be set to record on motion with a few seconds before and after motion is detected (just a guess).  This is typically desirable however you may need to adjust the motion detection within the application or camera interface.
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samiam41Author Commented:
The file extension is mjpg.  I am using Netcam Watcher Pro Edition v2.5.  
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qbpunkCommented:
OK, so that's mjpeg a.k.a. motion jpeg and you are correct that it's just a bunch of still pictures.  I'm not very familiar with the Netcam Watcher Pro but it looks fairly limited in quality and functionality.  Milestone and OnSSI are much better but they are really expensive!  As an alternate, you could look at Axis Camera station.  (http://www.axis.com/products/cam_station_software/index.htm).  Alot less dough that the others and has a lot of functionality.

Now to make a long story, incredibly longer, you can play those files on VLC or Windows Media Player with a free codec installed (http://www.movavi.com/codec/MJPG.html).  If is still doesn't look right on WMP, you will need to check the configuration of the Netcam software.

Good luck and I hope this helps!
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samiam41Author Commented:
You're a great help and I appreciate your time with this question!  Thank you!  I am going to try and figure out the madness of this camera system.  Once I get it running, I will close this out and award you the points.  Take care and talk to you soon!
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qbpunkCommented:
Not a problem.  Glad I could lend a hand!
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samiam41Author Commented:
Great work!  The software is at least recording the cameras and now I will need to begin the task of reviewing new cameras and software to replace what we have in production now.

I will make sure to post a link to that new question here so you can offer your insight as well.  Thanks again and I look forward to working with you again.

Regards,
Aaron
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