Pirecorder: Controlled and automated image and video recording with the raspberry pi

pirecorder is a Python package, built on the picamera and OpenCV libraries, that provides a flexible solution for the collection of consistent image and video data with the raspberry pi. It was developed to overcome the need for a complete solution to help researchers, especially those with limited coding skills, to easily set up and configure their raspberry pi to run large numbers of controlled and automated image and video recordings using optimal settings.

Pirecorder consists of a number of interconnected modules to facilitate key aspects of media recording: 1) setting-up and configuring the camera, 2) recording images, videos, time-lapses, and standardised video sequences with automatic file-naming, 3) easy scheduling of future recordings, and 4) converting of recorded media with resize, timestamp, and monitoring options. All functionalities are designed to make it very straightforward, even for users with limited coding experience, to configure, initiate, schedule, and convert recordings. In particular, pirecorder offers interactive streaming functionalities to facilitate users in positioning and focusing the camera, selecting the desired white-balance and other image parameters using trackbars, and set the ideal camera shutter speed. Furthermore, pirecorder comes with a dedicated documentation website with detailed information and tutorials (jollejolles.github.io/pirecorder) as well as a set of annotated Jupyter Notebooks to help users integrate the raspberry pi and pirecorder in their work.

Key Features:

  • Controlled recording using custom, easy-to-edit configuration files
  • Record single images and videos, timelapses, and sequences of videos
  • Configure camera settings interactively via a live camera stream
  • Dynamically draw the region of interest for your recordings
  • Automatic naming of files and folders with relevant and custom labels
  • Easy scheduling and automating recordings in the future
  • Direct control of all modules via simple terminal commands
  • Convert (folders of) images and videos with resize, monitor, and label options
  • Dedicated documentation website with detailed guides and tutorials: https://jollejolles.github.io/pirecorder/
  • Jupyter notebook tutorial files

A paper accompanying the package is published in the Journal of Open Source Software: Jolles, J.W. (2020). pirecorder: controlled and automated image and video recording with the raspberry pi. J. Open Source Softw. 5, 2584. doi: 10.21105/joss.02584

Project Author(s)

Jolle W. Jolles


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