A few people have been asking me about the RasPiCamcorder software. My original plan was to partner with a well known supplier and offer a “build your own RasPiCamcorder” kit, along with software and instructions, as a product. The software was always going to be open sourced though.
But the market said NO! Many people have argued with the market and lost. I don’t intend to. There simply weren’t many takers for it. Cool though it is to be able to Dropbox your photos and videos, having neither sound nor screen seems to be enough to put off prospective video camera buyers. (What a fussy lot you are? ;) )
No failed experiments
But, there’s no such thing as a failed experiment. In fact this was a big success because it avoided me investing in a product that nobody wants to buy. I’d rather take a hit to the pride than a hit to the wallet any day of the week.
All it ended up costing me was time (~75 hours, maybe) but I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot through the process. So that time was by no means wasted. And I’ve got a RasPiCamcorder and YOU haven’t. Nerr nerr nee nerr nerr. But I’m not a pig (oink) so I’m Open Sourcing my software.
Actually I used the RasPiCamcorder as a second “close-up” camera in a product review that’ll be out next week.
Still gotta eat though
Still, even though I enjoyed it, I needed to focus for a while on some other things before spending further time on it. (I also took a break from blogging about the camera because I got a sense that those who couldn’t buy one were getting fed up.) People clamouring for software will be clamouring for help if there’s no documentation. Releasing something with no documentation at all is foolish. Instead of just those waiting for software hating you, everyone will hate you if there’s no docs.
On Friday, I finally got a round tuit.
I’ve documented the software, hopefully well enough to minimise the onslaught of hate-mail when people don’t understand it or can’t get it working.
I spent some time getting to know GitHub a bit. (BTW, there’s a really funny Youtube video called “Hitler Uses Git” – awfully rude, but awfully funny.) And now I have made a “GitHub repo” with the RasPiCamcorder software in. It’s called, err, RasPiCamcorder and it’s under raspitv. You can find it here…
Is it perfect?
Are there things wrong with the way I’ve coded it?
Does it work?
Yes it does what I wrote it for, which is why I don’t care if it’s not perfect.
Does it work for you?
That’s for you to sort out.
Download it and have a play.
git clone https://github.com/raspitv/RasPiCamcorder.git
There’s some shots of the hardware here…
…and a hardware shopping list is at the bottom of the ReadMe.txt file. Make sure you read it all or…
“Silence! I keel you!”
No Guarantees of any kind
I’m not offering to support this though. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever help anyone under any circumstances.
It means no guarantees of any kind.
If you want to tell me that I could have used “finally:” instead of “except KeyboardInterrupt:” I already know. I’ve left it in a couple of the programs to wind you up. :p
Don’t ask for help if you haven’t read the ReadMe.txt file though. If you haven’t got time to read that, I haven’t got time to help you. After all, I spent time writing it in order to help you. (OOh did I just have an RTFM moment there? ;) )
If you want to collaborate and improve it, I’m up for that. It would be particularly nice if it could be made to work as one program instead of three. I had problems with MMAL errors when I tried to combine stills and video into one program. The camera stopped working and wouldn’t work again until I cleared it with a reboot. Separating the functions made this nasty beast go away.
It’s (y)ours now
It’s out there now. Open Source. Use it, fork it, slag it off, do what you like with it. It’s not just mine any more, it’s ours now. Happy Christmas :)