— the company that makes Portraits & Prints, ChronoSync, and other Mac software — has released ImageCaster, a US$20 Webcam application built exclusively for Mac OS X. It’s designed around a simple tabbed interface and “makes it easy for anyone to broadcast images with a Mac and a video camera,” according to Joseph Japes of Econ Technologies.
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You can use it to select an image from virtually any source; Mac OS X camera drivers are automatically recognized so all available cameras automatically appear for selection, he said. Format the image for upload, schedule it and choose the destination. ImageCaster stores Webcam settings in documents so you can set up an unlimited number of Webcams and upload destinations. Multiple video images can be broadcast simultaneously, opening the door to applications such as security and surveillance.
ImageCaster also sports several advanced features, Japes said. The source image, which can come from a video source or an image file on the hard disk, can be resized, scaled or rotated. Text and graphic objects can be overlaid on top of the image, including automatic date and time stamps. Webcam images can be delivered in all QuickTime compatible file formats including JPEG and PNG. Full control over scheduling and delivery intervals is provided, Japes said. Images can be delivered to FTP servers as well as file servers (including WebDAV) and the local hard drive.
You can use ImageCaster’s AppleScript functionality to script a variety of broadcasting tasks. It’s built on a modular, component-based architecture that allows for future expansion of capabilities through the installation of plug-ins. ImageCaster also has a relatively small footprint, allowing it to be run on a machine that’s used daily for other tasks, Japes said.
For more info on ImageCaster, or to download it, go to the Econ Technologies Web site. It requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later.