GlanceCam is a highly configurable app that lets you keep an eye on IP cameras (webcam) and optionally perform some actions via HTTP(s) GET requests.
GlanceCam is a bit nerdy, but very useful if you want to take full advantage of cheap webcams and maybe combine them to the automation capabilities of the Internet of Things (IoT); it works on your LAN or via Internet (please see the requirements below) and, while it's not the most "works out-of-the-box" home or business automation solution to configure (you'll need to type in a few network parameters, as detailed in the following description), it's very flexible.
There's no limit on how you can configure GlanceCam; just a few use cases:
• You have cameras from different manufacturers and you can't stand using web interfaces or multiple apps to view them anymore.
• You want to install webcams in your living room, your kitchen and your garden to check on your cat when you're away, maybe turning on a light at night or taking a snapshot when kitty does something funny.
• You mounted a camera pointed at your front gate and would like to open it to visitors directly from your Mac, by activating an Ethernet connected relay.
In order to take advantage of GlanceCam you'll need third party hardware (one or more webcams, optionally IoT enabled devices) and a little knowledge about your network; please, check the requirements below or get in touch at email@example.com before purchasing.
Here's how GlanceCam works:
• With most IP webcams, you can receive the video stream via RTSP, HTTP or RTMP, without opening a browser; GlanceCam shows you that feed in a resizable window you can keep always visible on your Desktop, without opening a browser.
• You can add as many cameras as you like to GlanceCam and switch between them (currently, you can see only one feed at a time).
• For every camera, you can also configure up to 2 optional buttons, visible when you hover your mouse on GlanceCam window, to perform actions via a customizable HTTP GET action URLs (PUT is not supported).
• GlanceCam window can be configured to be always on top and visible in every Space, or to behave like a normal window; it can also be configured to auto-launch at login.
• If your camera also streams audio, you can easily enable it or mute it.
• A Mac running OS X 10.11 or a newer version of macOS; GlanceCam looks great on Mojave's Dark Mode.
• One or more IP cameras capable of broadcasting its stream via RTSP, HTTP or RTMP; you'll need to know the webcam IP address, the protocol of its video stream, the login credentials and port for the connection.
For example, the following is the URL format you'll have to enter into GlanceCam preferences to view a Foscam webcam stream: rtsp://username:firstname.lastname@example.org:88/videoSub
You can check if your camera provides a RTSP, HTTP or RTMP stream by searching the web, usually on the manufacturer website; since there is no standard for the stream URL format, you'll need to retrieve the proper string on your camera's manual or website. If you can't find it, get in touch at email@example.com: we always try to help, but we can't promise to be able to figure out the right URL for every manufacturer or model out there.
• The app connects directly to cameras and doesn't support DVRs / cloud services.
• Optionally, for triggering an action by pressing the customizable button, you'll need a device or appliance that can react to an HTTP GET call.
For example, the following is the URL format you'll have to enter into GlanceCam preferences in order to activate a Robot Electronics Ethernet relay: http://username:firstname.lastname@example.org:17494/io.cgi?DOA1=10
• To work over the Internet, you'll need a static public IP address (or a dynamic DNS service) and to configure port forwarding for the webcam stream and, optionally, for the action button; we recommend to start testing the video stream in LAN to check compatibility and, when it works, move to testing it via Internet.
What's new in v2.7.0
Thank you for supporting GlanceCam with reviews, word of mouth and the occasional tip! Here's what is new in version 2.7:
• The toolbar in the upper-right corner now includes a couple of additional buttons for your convenience: the first to toggle audio on and off (if your camera supports it) and the other to reload the video stream if, for any reason like a lost network connection, the playback would freeze.
• Are you the lucky owner of a MacBook with TouchBar? Now you can change cameras and control the app directly from there.
• GlanceCam now has an URL scheme that allows to switch camera from outside the app! Your custom application or AppleScript can call the glancecam://?camera=17 URL and switch to that video stream; just replace "17" in the example URL with the camera number you want to switch to (as listed, counting from 1, in the app Preferences). A couple of additional informations for nerds: if the camera number is out of range or the URL string is incorrect, the switch operation fails "silently" to avoid interrupting the video stream and, for now and pending additional improvements, you can only switch to a different camera if GlanceCam was already running.