LizardCam! FFMPEG and the Server

So, I struck on the most brilliant of brilliant ideas today, and decided to create a LizardCam! Basically, I get my web cam and hook it up to the server, then stream it live for any and all to view! But….how to actually do this? During class tonight I did some research on how to stream live video online using some sort of server, and I came across a very familiar name. FFMPEG…

FFMPEG is something that I hear about at work every now and then. It’s basically a media encoder. It doesn’t sound like anything too fancy, but basically it can accept input and then encode it into a different output. You can turn a .wav file into a .mp3 file and stuff like that. Or maybe even take video input from a web cam and turn it into something that can be streamed. HMMM… now things are getting interesting.

As with any sort of server.. setting up the configuration file to actually do what you want it to do is probably the most difficult aspect of the entire enterprise. Figuring out the CLI commands was even worse, but after giving it many many hours of work I finally managed to figure out how to get it all set up and had a working flash stream from my web cam. Huzzah! (this does not express anywhere near the amount of frustration I had to go through in setting this up)

AAAANYWAY, LizardCam is li—NOT live right now. I’m sleeping as of this post. But it will be live soon! I’m going to be running a live cam of Chopstick’s vivarium daily from 12:00p CDT until 01:30a CDT, and I have automated cron jobs in place that should turn the camera on and off at those times. We’ll see if that works when I wake up in about 8 hours. In the mean time, if you’re reading this and you’d like to see if the stream is up, check out the link below.