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Free Video Recording Solution

Posted on 2012-03-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-03-27
Goal:  Retain 24hrs of Coverage

I need a free video recording software that will just continuously record anyone sitting at my computer. I want to be able to set it to stay out of the way and completely non-intrusive, and only retain a set # of hours of coverage.

The important thing here is that I don't want to have to mess with managing data. I want the new stuff file to replace the old one and that's it.

Assistance is greatly appreciated.
Question by:rtod2
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 37744889

Are you talking video recording, as in a webcam or something taking a picture of whomever is at the computer, or a key/data logger, that tracks the activity on the computer, or both?


Author Comment

ID: 37744968
Just of the actual person.  I'm not concerned with the PC at all, just what is in front of the camera
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 37745528
hmm this kind of defeats the purpose of a 24 hour video monitoring> I want the new stuff file to replace the old one and that's it.<< and free??
not likely sorry unless you already own a web cam?
Laptop or PC as laptops have a built in cam at the top of the display that's kind of free
Including infra red for night recording?
Is it legal? Please be aware of this.
Usually when a nanny cam is deployed to capture people secretly without any prior notice  such as a warning signage stating this room is under surveillance ie monitored by a security cam you could be held liable for invasion of privacy.

Using a security camera ie Nanny cam that way it can be placed in high position taking in the room and the PC and the people coming and going to the PC
They come in so many different delivery methods I'll just offer you some for ideas
DIY home surveillance with a webcam

micro ball uses a  SD memory stick inbuilt to store your video, buy several sd sticks to swap around so you can view the previous then delete that and swap easy to transfer to the PC.

Wireless 2.4GHz Mini Spy Camera
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Author Comment

ID: 37745646
ah, thank you for the hardware solutions.

I'm looking for software only.

Potential Scenario...
1. Plug in existing logitech cam
2. Software product sees it and starts recording in the background immediately.
3. Folder containing last xx hours of footage in one or several high compression format files (swf, mp4, etc) is maintained by the software without the folder growing too large.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 37745713
Web cams provide it's own capturing software? well most do, any hardware of this nature also provides the software suitable for that particular hardware.
It is just not that simple rtod2 when you want free.
It depends on what you have there and what is on your computer/PC laptop?
Which windows?

However to do a live capture of the outside of your desktop ie the room or specific area from a web cam you'd need to use a 3rd party capture software if your computer does not have a capture card  TV card etc and then connect your web cam to the computer via the input to this capture device.
Hardware then use the software PVR, personal video recorder to view and to record to HDD.
To do this without your own software onboard is very rarely free and what is free is probably not very good or requires knowledge of VB java etc
Are you planning on watching this from a remote system? Or locally whenever you come home?.
Is it your PC?
What the different here is you dont want to capture your desktop but rather externally like a CCTV
In your situation a quick shot every few secs may be better suited like a time lapse
 idealy what you want yawcam
a few screen shots here
How to with yawcam

Open Video Capture
a software that allows you to record or capture video (image or photo) directly from your webcam, TV Tuner card, digital video (DV), digital camera (DC), etc
Live Stream

Not free and includes all teh necessary software
NETObserve Spy Software 2.8
NETObserve spy software is your all in one solution to monitoring spouses, co-workers, children, employee's and just about any other person you may concerned of that is using your PC! NETObserve will monitor not only what is going on within your PC, but it can also record what is going on in front of your PC

Author Comment

ID: 37745752
Thanks for the suggestions thus far. A recap is...

micro ball - ruled out, seeking software solution
mini spy cam - ruled out, seeking software solution
dyi home survellance - ruled out, seeking software solution
Software that came with logitech cam -ruled out, not capable
NetObserve - ruled out, not free
yawcam - no video
open capture - not free
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 37745806
your web cam please << make model brand etc and I'll then be able to look into what you can do with it and what else you need
what came with your web cam?
Which windows?
The reason I ask
Windows media center can be setup to capture if you have a capture device already
windows media encoder
Setting up a Live Webcam Feed

Author Comment

ID: 37750662
Brand is QuickCam Pro 9000 by logitech
I'm installing the package and nosing around but I don't think it's going to get it.
LVL 70

Assisted Solution

Merete earned 1000 total points
ID: 37750954
Thank you. No it does not offer any programs for live video capture,
Confirms my thoughts, these web cams are not designed to run 24/7 live capturing only quick capture, they can record a quick video to a program such as windows live messanger in the form of video calls and Skype,
Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 Quickcapture on Youtube
 in order to fetch this video from the camera direct onto your had drive with no processing and automated hmm,
first you need to capture it using another program that will access your web cam and set it up to record, however here is where we get stuck, you want free and automated.
In order to capture to your HDD connect  via USB so that your capture program will detect it, lets take Snagit for one example, ( not free) you would open snagit and in there is the settings to capture from the web cam.
here's a guide for Snagit to give you a picture
How to Record Video With a Logitech Quickcam
Or you would have to buy a capture card then it will provide the necessary program to access your web cam.
But I have already covered that.

So your choices, not many with this current type camera
the only other work around is to monitor keystrokes or a  kid logger software
Software and Key Logger.

If you wanted to,
 your best option is to buy the security camera that will include the software to record still images every 30 secs to the HDD automatically and you can watch it on your monitor live as well later on.
Most don't do live full video recording however continously that is then your heading into CCTV
Hope that explains it.
Regards Merete

Author Comment

ID: 37750980
Thanks for the info but what I am looking for is still the same.
The kidlogger thing is neat because it covers all the other bases. However, I have a camera that can do video. I don't understand why you are saying that there isn't any free software that will record a continuous stream of video files? Surely there is free software capable of that today.
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

lherrou earned 1000 total points
ID: 37752166

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