[thelist] Windows Web Cam Software

Timothy J. Luoma luomat at operamail.com
Wed Dec 25 20:50:01 CST 2002

You may recall that I have been looking for some software that would allow
me to run a webcam *from my own computer*.

I finally found some that seems to work.

It's called Active WebCam from http://www.pysoft.com/.  It costs US$19 (30
day trial, puts the word "unregistered" in the top corner of your image,
puts a little banner ad on the screen of the computer where it's running)

{{There's also something (from the same company) called "PYSoft
Broadcaster" that is supposed to do a lot more (US$59) but I haven't played
with that much.  Sending audio would be cool... may have to try that
another dya}}

I tried several other products out there (mostly freeware) and found that
none of them worked particularly well.  Some wouldn't work with my camera
(Logitech QuickCam, fairly popular model), some just crashed all the
time... most of them want me to run my webcam off their server, most of
which have a horrendous amount of ads on them... basically they are just
there to get you to say "the free version doesn't work well, maybe I'll try
the pay version"... a lot of the others just push still images to a web/ftp

I've been running Active WebCam on my cable modem all day.  I've been
pushing a pretty low FPS but it seems to have worked fairly well.

I've been running on WinXP (650mhz/256mb ram) with the regular Windows
codecs... I already had most of the various codes/drivers installed for the
camera, so I can't really comment on how easy "Active WebCam" would be to
install from scratch, but installation and configuration was entirely
painless... it let me set the port to run on and gave a wide variety of
other options.  It is supposed to be able to push 20fps, but that depends
heavily on the size of your connection pipe and how many connections you
are running.

Also, the CPU was at least 80% for most of the time... lots of free RAM
(with basically no other programs going).  A faster computer would be a
good idea if you are going to do anything more complex than a simple family
webcam for Christmas.


<tip title="Web Cam Server Software" author="Timothy Luoma">
When looking for web cam software, read very carefully what IS said and
what is NOT said.  Don't assume anything.  There are a lot of programs that
will automatically upload single JPG files, but very few that will stream
live video from your own computer.  It also helps to have a name brand web
cam rather than some freebie from 1997 that you found in your closet .

Timothy Luoma <luomat at operamail.com>
30 Days to Becoming an Opera (6) Lover http://tntluoma.com/opera/lover/
(an Opera7 version will follow once it is officially released)
Opera Etc Blog: http://tntluoma.com/beyond30

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