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Anyone know how to tap into the webcam/mic on a Mac?

#1DetroitDJ(Moderator)Posted 6/25/2012 6:19:23 AM
I'm not only interested in a programming answer to this, so if anyone has any alternative ways to solve this problem, feel free to mention them.

We're running a summer camp this summer and we want to gather data on how students are using our software. We have consent to film, of course, but ideally I'd like to tap into the webcams and microphones of the individual computer kids are using to avoid a classroom distraction from giant cameras placed throughout the room (a problem we've run into in the past). We're already keeping a log of all the software interactions, so syncing that up with the webcam/microphone feed should be trivial.

So, basically what I'd like to figure out is a way to auto-start recording video and audio whenever the students open a particular program. I'm thinking that the answer will be a wrapper programmer that launches the webcam/microphone recording, then launches our software and listens for when our software closes. Problem is, I don't actually know any way to programmatically deal with the microphone and camera. I've searched for options, but all my searches have seemed to lead either to JavaScript options or to narrow problems solved on forums (capturing an image, for example, instead of capturing a video).

If necessary, I can skip the wrapper program and just put this directly into our software. The program's written in Java -- anyone know of a good approach to pulling this off in Java?
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#2PTP2009Posted 6/25/2012 6:48:41 AM
I was actually dicking around with this a few years ago (the webcam portion at least), and found this:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=398810

The question is for still images, but you can modify it to do video as well. And then there's a few links for capturing sound at the bottom.
#3DetroitDJ(Topic Creator)(Moderator)Posted 6/27/2012 8:47:20 PM
Awesome, thanks. Unfortunately, it looks like versions play a key role there, and I'm not 100% sure of the version for the Macs we'll be using. I know they're MacBook Airs with Lion, but I don't know more than that... and I don't know enough about Mac to know if I need to know more than that.
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#4PTP2009Posted 6/28/2012 9:36:54 PM
For a Mac, I would be really surprised if "MacBook Air running Lion" wasn't specific enough. I would be mildly surprised if just "Mac OSX" isn't specific enough.
#5DetroitDJ(Topic Creator)(Moderator)Posted 6/29/2012 5:34:07 AM
Oh really? That's good -- I only thought that because recently I had some obnoxious look-and-feel problems going between multiple versions of Mac OS. Apparently my labmate got this working for me, though, so now I just need to switch to video instead of stills.
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#6CC RicersPosted 6/29/2012 7:43:57 AM
DetroitDJ posted...
Oh really? That's good -- I only thought that because recently I had some obnoxious look-and-feel problems going between multiple versions of Mac OS.


Were you programming with Cocoa? Cocoa is the best way to have consistent UI controls for all Macs.
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#7DetroitDJ(Topic Creator)(Moderator)Posted 6/29/2012 7:45:05 AM
Nah, Java sadly.
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#8DetroitDJ(Topic Creator)(Moderator)Posted 7/2/2012 3:25:33 PM
Oi, I can't get past an annoying:

Exception in thread "AWT-EventQueue-0" java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no QTJNative in java.library.path
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#9ReconditePhreakPosted 7/2/2012 4:32:53 PM
Well there's the bug, you used Java :P
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#10DetroitDJ(Topic Creator)(Moderator)Posted 7/2/2012 4:33:49 PM
Not by choice :( that decision was made for me, and I've hated it with a fiery burning passion for years.
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