Is it just me, or is this camera and software just basic, immature junk?

This is a rant. So deal with that.

So, I have a problem. One of my 6 cats has been pissing 1 foot away from the litter box…
Which one is doing it? You’d think a WYZE camera with an SD card should be able to tell you this pretty quickly. Wrong.

Motion events are only 12 seconds, and there are no motion events for the SD card.
The timeline does not show motion events on the timeline view, when you play back a recording, so you have no idea where to even being looking for an event. Why!?

Motion is all or nothing. You cannot motion search in a particular area - only the entire image, which has a lot of motion… Why!?

There is no web interface, only mobile app, WHY!?

Yes, you can save recordings to SD card only on motion, but who knows how that works – it might not capture the few seconds before, or after the event that I might need - so why would I use that? Ugh, why must I make such compromises with this trash product?

It’s as if WYZE had this great idea, let’s make a low cost product, and then never looked at any other competing products to see what features might actually be useful. Yes, it records, but that’s about all it does. Kind of useless.

I’m pretty much done ranting. I think I want to toss this thing in the trash - it can’t even help with the most basic question - what cat pissed on the floor. What’s the point when it takes more effort to review footage than it takes to write a rant like this?

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You don’t have to make any compromises, spend the big bucks and buy high end cameras that have the features you are looking for. There are plenty out there. The system below we use at a condo we rent out. It does everything you wanted. With the features you indicated it would be around 2K installed with 4 cameras.

It’s pricy but for the features you want cameras are going to be 100 or more and the back end controllers are 400-600.

You won’t get that feature set in a 25 dollar home camera.

https://www.getscw.com/commercial-cctv-systems.php

If you would like, you can message me on here or we can work it out in this thread and I will spend the time helping you hopefully figuring out your issue. I have the exact setup that you are looking for on my end with a Wyze cam. I will work on this with you, but I want to make sure you are going to be receptive to it. You didn’t say in your post if you wanted help, or just wanted to rant.
My fur babies would like to help yours out.

And welcome to the forums:)

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For something like this use continuous recording. Couple that with a motion event to narrow down the time.

6 cats?

Right now, what I’m doing is grabbing all the video clips from the SD card, combining them, then I’ll use some too to motion search on my computer… I shouldn’t have to do this, but, here we are.

As to the comment about spending 2K for a camera that can actually do, you know, basic things like show motion events on a timeline… There are countless cheap, consumer grade products that do this. Just not WYZE.
As an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvtHjCFgCS8

So, before I can load files on my PC from my WYZE cam, I find that everything is organized like a child was in charge of the design at WYZE…

Folders are organized like: 00, 01, 02, 03 - so helpful (not) - and then with filesnames 01,02,03,04 - again, so helpful (not)… So when you want to join them, it’s a lot of folders, with 60 clips per folder, each with 1 min video clips, with many clips, with the same darn name…Why would someone design it this way? This is absurd!

  1. why 60 sec split files? That just seems arbitrarily short, and silly, but whatever - there was probably a lazy technical reason, like it wrote better to some SD cards this way, or required the cam to have less ram or something, ok fine…But…

  2. why name them and organize them this way? Sure, there is an index file, but that’s annoying for a human to use… Why not name them:
    YYYY-MM-DD-mm-ss
    For a clip starting on:
    March, 28th 2020, at 03:00:00 PM
    04-28-2020-15-00-00

For the next clip, starting 60 seconds later:
March, 28th 2020, at 03:01:00 PM
04-28-2020-15-01-00

Then throw all the clips into ONE folder… That would make life easier, but nooo, like everything else I’ve seen so far with WYZE, it has to be awkward and kind of painful to deal with.

I don’t see a technical reason why they couldn’t just date stamp the files on the SD card.
Am I crazy here? Probably.
Was WYZE worried about too many clips per folder? Date stamping the files seems much more logical to me, but whatever… sigh.

Yes. 6 cats.
Long story short:
Momma cat was in our yard, with her newborn kittens. We brought her in to protect her kittens, and then intended on getting them fixed (we did) and finding them homes. That has not happened. Now we’re crazy cat ladies that like to whine about crappy, lazily designed camera systems.

@Omgitstony you asked if I am open to a solution, sure, if you’ve read all of this post - if you have a better idea than what I am doing, I’m all ears :slight_smile:

Thanks for letting me get all of my ranting out. Sigh.

I feel your pain, I’ve tried to make time lapse from the raw continuous footage and had to make them one hour segments at a time because if I throw three hours worth of files into my video editor, I get multiple 00’s, 01:l’s, 02’s etc. I make one hour, make the next hour, then stitch the clips together to get my multi hour speedy up bits. I love how my Wyze works, so I make to work the few times that I pull the files from the card and have to do that. Can there be a better file system like you said? Yep, I agree, but just gotta make do with how it works now. It’s not broken, but it could work better.

Now into your issue. Looks like you have it set to continuous for the liter box cam. You should try setting your litter box cam local recording to event recording.

I think you may not understand how the local event recording works, it works differently than the event clips

Local event recording works where it saves the whole minute that the motion fall in to the SD. Say a cat walks into frame of the little box cam from 08:37:15 to 08:37:45. Now the camera will save 08:37:00 to 08:37:59, the “37” filename in the “08” directory that you mentioned earlier. If the motion goes into the next minute, that full minute will be saved aswell. Now since you don’t have continuous recording on anymore, the timeline will show each individual motion event as a green segment on the time line in playback in the app. The motion events can be searched in app by going back and forth with the arrows on either side of the timeline. See below:


Much easier to search motion this way than removing the SD card. This is the way I have it set up. This works for me because we needed to find the sick cat. Not going into details, but we found her.

We have 5 cats. Had two twins, then the inlaws wanted us to watch their 3 cats during an extended vacation. We took them in, and the next day the inlaws said they are now ours… Umm, come again? Well now many months later, all the furbabies are besties.

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Thanks for the reply, @Omgitstony , this is actually useful info! I’m glad WYZE saves the 1-min chunk when you do motion based recording to SD… This would likely work for my needs. I think it’s a bit inelegant, but, but works… The reason I say inelegant… If “motion” is detected at 05:01:01, but actual motion began earlier, I wouldn’t have that section of the video…

And I just have a feeling this guy is the culprit. No proof yet.

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@ferrentino- welcome to the forum. Sorry you are here under these circumstances.
You have me beat by one. Our max was five cats. Used to kid my wife about having a flashing “FreeEats” sign over her head that only lost kittens could see.
I think @Omgitstony has been giving you some very good advice. One additional, admittedly klunky, workaround to having to pull the card is to determine the timeframe you want to search thru, go to playback, start at the beginning and use the record button to record the playback. Go get a large cup of coffee or play with the cats while it’s recording- this is real time recording but from your SD card. When the time slot you want is done and you save, saves to your album on your device. Now you have it where you can use any video editor/player you want to search, Plus it’s one continuous video, not incremental chunks.
I said it was klunky, but I use it when I want to access something on a card in a Cam in a difficult to access location, like way up on the side of my house.

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Hopefully those happen at the same moment. And yes, that is the downside, but hopefully the furbaby mills about triggering the motion to start before they miss the box.

Ah you see this is where my 2K camera system comes in. It uses an AV grade hard drive. This is recording ALL video constantly. If a motion detection occurs at say 12:23:04 it automatically rolls the event start to 12:22:00 and runs an much more sensitive filter against the footage to determine exactly where motion began and ended. It then extracts that clip and annotates the time line and logs. It can discern between a vehicle/person/animal etc.

It can also run facial recognition real time on its own database that you trained or has the hooks to run against any number of databases post processing.

There you go, no doubt this would identify your culprit.

Or you could just buy a Wyze sense kit and use it’s motion sensor placed strategically to get better motion clips in the standard event listing. Instead of 2K that would cost you 30 bucks.

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Couldn’t you simply set the camera to send you notifications when there is motion but define the detection area to be only the area you’re interested in? The recorded notification begins a few seconds before the motion was sensed and runs for 12 seconds. If you think the motion justifies a longer playback, press the playback button on the app while you have the 12 second clip on the screen (you don’t have to be watching the video clip, just have that notification on the screen). Then the playback jumps to the start of the clip and playback continues until you stop it. That way if the “deed” didn’t happen until after the 12 seconds preview, you will still see it, and you only need to look at the notifications you were sent. Hopefully the notifications won’t be too numerous since you limited the motion detection area to just the area of interest instead of the the whole screen.

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