OS X Command-Line Vieo Capture
September 5, 2007 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I need to capture full-size/framerate DV + audio from a firewire source on OS X. That's the easy part. Controlling it from a script is the hard part. If this were Linux I'd use ffmpeg, but it isn't...

Here's the story: I want to write an app for a kiosk-type environment that'll allow a user to press a key to start recording and another to stop, at which point he/she will be presented with a dialog asking for some information about the clip, which will be entered into a remote database via an XML RPC call. The back-end already exists and I'm working on the front-end in Java (which I know very well), but Java can't push the bits around fast enough to do full-framerate capture. I was originally planning to use objc/Cocoa, but Cocoa is a bit insane to try to learn in rapid crunchtime. I already know how to issue local commands via Java, so, here I am.

Ideally I'd like to be able to specify a filename and format in advance and start the command, then issue some other character to the console to quit recording and save. Any idea what software I should be looking at? I know I could use iMovie and AppleScript, but I worry that's getting into insane levels of complexity. If it's the only solution I'll try it..

I'm also open to other suggestions, or if anyone knows of an objc framework that makes interacting with Quicktime Sequence Grabbers less of a pain (yes, I know QTKit Capture is coming in 10.5, but that'll be a couple of more months..)
posted by Alterscape to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not a coder but can't you do this in OS X? It is *nix. I'm pretty sure that ffmpeg will work in the command line, at least I knew of somebody who was using ffmpeg (or mplayer) with the command line. You can't code in java in OSX?
posted by crios at 12:10 PM on September 5, 2007

I already know how to issue local commands via Java, so, here I am.

Why not do this? You can run ffmpeg on the command line. Just pass in your Java variables on the command line.

If you want to go the Cocoa route, use NSTask.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on September 5, 2007

ffmpeg seems to work.
posted by dmd at 12:53 PM on September 5, 2007

I followed the instructions in Blazecock's link to extract ffmpeg from the FFMPEGX package but I get a "could not find video grab device" error with both my firewire iSight camera and my panasonic PV-DV953, both connected to my Powerbook G4's firewire input. On a Unix system I believe I'd solve this by pointing ffmpeg to /dev/1394 (I forget the exact string but it's something like that) but there are no 1394 devices in my /dev/ list (and yes, the camera is plugged in and turned on..)
posted by Alterscape at 2:40 PM on September 5, 2007

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