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I've been looking for Windows webcam software that will run as a Windows service without any user login. The goal is to use the webcam as a cheap security camera and log the results to secure networked storage (windows share, not FTP). The requirements are:

  1. Motion detection
  2. Video capture
  3. Runs as a service (should start recording immediately after reboot)
  4. Nice to have: Round-robin storage, e.g. 10Gb limit, oldest files overwritten/deleted when space gets low

I've read the other webcam questions but still haven't stumbled across anything suitable.

Evaluations thus far:

Title              MotionDetect       Service      Snapshots   Video   SpaceLimit  License
Yawcam             Yes                Yes          Yes         No      No          GPL
WebCam ZoneTrigger Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          Commercial
Dorgem             Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          GPL
AbelCam            Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          Commercial
Logitech           Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          Paired with camera
IspyConnect        Yes                No           Yes         Yes     Yes         Free
SecureCam (SourcefoYes                No           Yes         Yes     No          GPL
AbelCam            Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          Commercial
Active WebCam      Yes                Yes(?)       Yes         Yes     Volume Free Commercial
WebCam Surveyor    Yes                No           Yes         Yes     No          Commercial
WebCamsPy          NA                 NA           NA          NA      NA          GPL

Camera: Logitech Webcam Pro 9000
Windows 7 32-bit
WebCamsPy failed to initialize so couldn't be tested

So far, the contenders:

  • Active Webcam comes the closest, and claims to run as a service, but i haven't been able to get it to record after a cold boot even though a service is running.
  • Yawcam can be set up as a service but doesn't record video.
  • IspyConnect has exactly the type of space limit I want and looks great, but doesn't run as a service (seems also to be a bit of a cpu hog)

Any other suggestions? I'm locked into Windows so can't use linux Motion, which looks almost perfect. Any pointers to rich Windows webcam/motion detection libraries out there that could easily be turned into a command line program would also be appreciated.

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Not an exact answer, but there are utilities to run non-service apps as a service. Check out MS's Srvany.exe (support.microsoft.com/kb/137890), or perhaps application-as-service.com –  techie007 Jun 16 '11 at 20:54
    
Good idea, I'll see if srvany works with Ispyconnect. –  hurfdurf Jun 16 '11 at 21:53
    
One note - the yawcam service seems to stop upon any logout event on XP (even when running as a different user). Win7 works fine. –  hurfdurf Jun 21 '11 at 1:05
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3 Answers

Haven't tried this, but it does say it will run as a service: http://www.webcamxp.com/home.aspx

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Will check this out. Thanks! –  hurfdurf Jun 21 '11 at 1:06
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ContaCam is freeware, has motion detection, can be run as a service, has automatic file cleanup etc.

This Free Video Surveillance and Live Webcam software for Windows is extremely easy on system resources, and does not contain unnecessary bloat. It is fast, light, and versatile enough to meet all your security needs while still being very user friendly and able to run on even the most moderate systems.

An easy three steps Assistant is provided:

  1. Decide for the usage (security surveillance, live snapshot webcam or manual records / snapshots)
  2. Enter a friendly camera name, choose the web appearance & language (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Slovak, Czech, Dutch, Bulgarian)
  3. Configure how long to keep the files on your hard disk

Screenshots

Device Assistant

ss of device dialog

Cameras

ss cameras

Web UI

ss of web

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May be this one (never tested): Yawcam

«It is also possible to run Yawcam as a Windows service. Yawcam will then run invisible in the background and start even before a uses logs in to the computer»

http://www.yawcam.com/

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