Video and audio recording in Live Cams Pro

Video and audio recording in Live Cams Pro

After 3 months of work, version 3.5 was submitted to Apple on November 20, 2013.

It has taken a lot of work to complete our next binary update (although we have rolled out over 20 configuration updates in that time). Your patience will be rewarded soon! We have been purposefully taking our time to carefully re-engineer our app for the future. The internal design was limiting our ability to add new features and simplify some of the more complex camera setups. The upcoming 3.5 release will introduce the first wave of improved design.

Along with the new internals we’re introducing one of the benefits of the app redesign, video and audio recording in compressed H.264 format! In v3.5 we support audio recording on roughly 70% of the 1000+ camera models. The app will record synchronized audio/video and save the results to your photos app upon completion. Video recordings will have a maximum frame rate of 10fps and will store PCM audio at any sample rate. In subsequent releases we will be converting the remaining 30% of drivers so that they can also record audio along with the video. As of v3.5 we support audio recording on Foscam devices (excluding 86xx series) and any RTSP data source, along with PCM-compatible cameras like Axis, Trendnet, iPux, etc.

Our original Live Cams Pro icon is returning! We heard a lot of feedback regarding the new icon for the app and we’ve decided to revive the old camera logo. Many people reported how much they disliked the simple looking webcam icon. They were all in favour of the CCTV style that we used previously.

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The original icon is returning in v3.5

Startup options have been altered to reflect our new business priorities. In prior releases the app would default to launching with random public cameras. We have always included the option to change this setting. In v3.4 we removed the “picker” control from the settings menu in favour of a wrench icon next to the camera groups. The idea was that you could click the wrench next to the group you want and then optionally set it as the launch group. This worked well in our tests on the simulator but on real devices we discovered (too late) that the wrench icon was nearly impossible to click due to its small size. The wrench icon remains in v3.5 but the size and sensitivity is greatly improved. We have modified the app so that it will default to private cameras when first installed. Existing installations simply need to use the wrench option to alter the launch group.

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Click the wrench icon for the group that you wish to rename or to set it as the default launch group.

Audio options for squelch and alarms are vastly improved with our new realtime audio graph. Simply tap the new alarm icon (a bell replaces the old megaphone icon) so see an animating graph of peak volume levels. Tap one of two buttons to toggle the alarm levels or squelch levels. Use your finger to slide the level indicator up or down on the graph and hear the results in real time.

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New real time audio graph allows precision settings for squelch and alarm levels.

An easy-access LED button has been added to the toolbar on the video screen. This will bring up a menu to allow LED on/off or AUTO for supported models. Coverage will be improved for more camera models in subsequent updates.

The video toolbars have been modified for landscape view. Now we include a traditional bottom row toolbar with a larger number of icons spanning the row. It is translucent and allows underlying video to show through when visible. The app will now display the camera name and connection status as well.

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Toolbar now spans the bottom of the screen when your iOS device is held on its side (landscape mode).

 

A source of pain in previous releases was the “video test” feature that runs when you add or modify cameras. We have removed this feature and now you can add or edit camera settings without needing the 15 second video test. If your settings are incorrect you will see errors in the video thumbnail. Further simplification of the add/edit camera screen is planned for upcoming releases. We aim to make the process as simple as possible and plan to eliminate confusion from new camera owners who have limited technical knowledge.

Also improved is our app stability. We found a bug in the 3.4 release which caused random crashes when painting the screen. Tests show that the new app is extremely stable and we continue to run 48 hour tests to ensure quality.

Now that we have addressed some of the internal engine changes we will start to add new options and features in upcoming releases. We also plan to eliminate the startup delays caused when the app discovers new public camera listings or new configuration options from our server. All of the customer feedback has been heard and we continue to evolve the app even after 4 years of non-stop development! As always, thank you for your continued support.

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