File naming
  • I am a researcher doing a study on sexual signaling in wolf spiders, and CaptureSync appears to be an extremely useful program for synchronizing and archiving different views of behavioral trials! Nice work! I really looked around a lot for a reasonable solution, and this is the most intuitive program I've found. Two things are kind of holding me up, however; 1) the lack of custom file names (this would be really helpful to distinguish different trials and treatments). Also, 2) being able to store uncompressed WAV would be ideal, as many research applications require this format for analysis.

    Thanks for producing an excellent and simple product!
  • Actually a third issue is that I expected the individual movie windows would be named according to the camera used to capture them. This does not appear to be the case.
  • Hi - great to hear you have discovered CaptureSync. To answer your questions:

    1. Currently the file names are generated automatically based on the current date and time. If, instead, CaptureSync asked you for a name every time you started a recording, would this resolve your issue?

    2. I presume you are taking about the audio track - and yes uncompressed audio has already been implemented and will be a new feature in the next update.

    3. The one movie that is created contains all the video and audio streams, so it wouldn't normally be useful to name it based on a single camera. Or did you mean something else?
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the quick response! Actually, I like that CaptureSync dumps the files automatically, without further input. That's quite useful for using Automator with my experimental setup.

    My main issue at the moment is that I keep getting a recording error (it says to check the error log in the console, but I'm not sure if that's a text file stored somewhere?) Basically, my one stream from a cheap Dynex webcam is fine, but the stream from my Logitech C920 records a single frame. (Though it doesn't do this consistently--seems like mainly for recordings >1min.) This is a big problem, since this is my most important camera angle for behavioral trials. I was having the output file to be 1920x1080, but I tried checking the default (same as window size). Failure in both cases. Advice?

    Also, I will probably purchase the software in the next day or so. I appreciate that you're taking feedback in developing it! When will the update with WAV recording be available? If you have a beta version, I would definitely like to try it! That would be far superior to trying to run Audacity simultaneously, which is wont to crash.

    Thanks,
    Matt
  • Hi Matt,

    If you go to your Applications folder, and within that navigate into the Utilities folder, you will find the Console there. Open it and type "CaptureSync" into the Filter box at the top right of the window, and you will see the error messages. If you let me know what is shown there for the error message for the Logitech camera I should be able to shed some light on what is going wrong.

    As for a beta version with uncompressed audio recording, I have put that online for you at the CaptureSync Beta Version page.
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks! There are a ton of repeat errors, so I've copied the unique ones below:

    2/13/15 1:08:44.111 AM CaptureSync[837]: Error capturing video for device "HD Logitech": 23010,83799 (buffer overflow - try reducing frame rates)

    2/13/15 1:29:57.000 AM kernel[0]: process CaptureSync[1008] caught causing excessive wakeups. Observed wakeups rate (per sec): 247; Maximum permitted wakeups rate (per sec): 150; Observation period: 300 seconds; Task lifetime number of wakeups: 45001

    2/13/15 1:29:58.228 AM spindump[613]: Saved wakeups_resource.diag report for CaptureSync version 1.0.1 (1) to /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/CaptureSync_2015-02-13-012958_Matts-MacBook-Pro.wakeups_resource.diag

    2/13/15 2:03:21.031 AM CaptureSync[1008]: Error processing video frame from device "HD Logitech": 23100,1203, the device will be closed

    2/13/15 2:03:21.032 AM CaptureSync[1008]: Error processing video frame from device "Top view (HDish": 23100,1203, the device will be closed


    I see that there may be an issue with 30fps...I would really like to be able to have this (spiders move quickly). Is there something I can do to make this work AND keep the high frame rate with my equipment. (make the window smaller or use the JPEG compression algorithm?)

    I will give the beta version a try!

    Thanks,
    Matt
  • Hi Matt,

    The "buffer overflow" message means that your Mac cannot keep up with encoding video from the cameras. If you use USB cameras, which supply uncompressed video, CaptureSync must encode this video to JPEG or MPEG-4 before writing it to the movie file, otherwise it would quickly become huge. Using JPEG may very well solve this problem, as it is much quicker to compress than MPEG-4.

    The "excessive wakeups" is standard for any app that uses a lot of CPU (in this case for encoding the video) and is nothing to worry about.

    The "error processing video frame" I believe is due to lack of USB bandwidth. USB cameras use a lot of bandwidth and problems when using multiple cameras at the same time are common. Reducing the resolution will hopefully help here - you can do this via the Preferences window; try setting both cameras to 640x480, while keeping the frame rate at 30fps, to see if that resolves it. Reducing the size of CaptureSync's window won't have any effect on the actual video size being requested from the cameras.

    Alternatively, both the above issues can be resolved by switching to using network cameras. These supply already-compressed video over an ethernet network, so there are no bandwidth problems and CaptureSync doesn't have to do any compression itself.

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