While webcams are great for social video chat applications such as Skype and also for Facebook, there are many other uses for webcams, such as home security, video editing and art projects. There are several applications on the Linux platform that allow users to take advantage of their web cameras for all of these purposes. Some of these applications are easy to use, allowing Linux new comers to set up a webcam with minimal effort, and others allow more advanced customizations and therefore require a little more Linux expertise in order to get the most out of them. We will review five of the most popular webcam applications for Linux in this article.
Of all the webcam apps we review here, this is the straightest forward to set up and use. Cheese is a webcam app that was originally developed during Google’s Summer of Code competition back in 2007. This app will allow Linux users to take photos with your webcam and apply some fun special effects. Plug ins are available for the Cheese app that will allow you to export images (F-Spot) or easily post your images to your Flickr stream (post).
This is a great app for the large security minded crowd within the Linux community. ZoneMinder allows users to set up and manage multiple webcams through a single computer and app. This is a great app to manage a home closed circuit television based security system in which you set up and manage several computers throughout your home or business. With ZoneMinder, you can view all cameras in real time in a windowed view. In addition to setting up live streaming webcams, you can set up your webcams to activate based on motion sensitivity. You can then look at the last ten active moments for each or your cameras when you use the motion sensor option. Another cool feature is that ZoneMinder can be configured to take full advantage of your webcam’s special options such as panning and zoom.
The app called Webcam for Linux has a simple name for such a highly customizable web camera applications. This allows users who are familiar with Apache server setup to configure their webcams to upload images and video directly to your hosted site. The configuration is fairly advanced, but the features are rich. Not for the faint of heart.
For the more artistic among Linux enthusiasts, HasciiCam allows you to turn ordinary webcam pictures into geeky art. HasciiCam will take the input from your web camera and save the output as a text file, creating wonderfully geeky artistic ASCII representations of you and your cat. The pictures are saved as text files on your hard drive. You can even set up a web page that will automatically refresh your ASCII pictures based on a configurable schedule that you set up in the program. Since the output is ASCII, you should not expect clear and glossy prints, but rather black and white text based representations of your cat being adorable.
For Linux users interested in broadcasting themselves, Geekast provides a great video broadcasting capability for web casts and other social network focused streaming. Geekast is a GNOME interface or peer casting video content. Peer casting allows users to broadcast themselves through audio and video using peer to peer technology. This essentially allows users who cannot afford or access the large amounts of bandwidth required to stream their own broadcasting content to use peer networks to share their broadcast. Geekast was originally intended for use with the open source tool called Peer cast, but the Peer cast site seems to be abandoned, leaving Geekast as a standalone tool.
Author bio: The post is shared by Jason Phillips. He loves to write on technology and software programs. He loves to work out at gym as he is health conscious person and have webcam chat with his friends.