iSentry

Instantly turn your computer with web camera into Internet-connected motion-sensing security system.

User Guide for iSentry Free

What’s New Intro Get Started Configuration Options
Defining the Upload Folder Setting up Audio/Video Input Contact Us

What’s new in version 2.8.0:

  • Added support for RTSP streaming protocol to IP cameras.
  • Extended the list of supported video codecs, now including H.264/AVC/MPEG-4 and others. The full list can be checked here.
  • Added new help buttons and hints to show contextual help in iSentry.
  • Dropped support for MacOS version 10.12.
  • Dropped support for IPhoto integration.
  • Implemented timestamps that are saved with your video files.
  • The application now checks if the name of the IP camera is unique in the database.
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements.

Intro

Instantly turn your web camera enabled computer into an Internet-connected motion-sensing security system.

iSentry is a webcam security system for the Mac. Just launch iSentry, point your camera to the region you want to monitor, and prepare to receive a video or photo if any motion activity is detected. With a wide selection of settings, iSentry allows you to schedule the activation time, enable sound alerts and receive email notifications about the events occurring within the region specified.

Please email us at isentry@codeminders.com if you have any questions or suggestions.

Get Started

Immediately after launching the application, you will see the application window which will display the area as seen from your camera. This will help you adjust your camera to capture the area that you wish to monitor. The application window will also contain the “Motion Indicator” light and the “Start” button. If movement is detected, the motion indicator will momentarily turn red.

Right away, you can start the motion detection process on iSentry. In order to do that, press the Start button. You will see a countdown timer on the screen. After some time (the default is five seconds) the motion detection will start.

When iSentry detects some movement on the field, it starts playing an alarm, records video/photo and sends email messages. All these actions are configurable. To learn more about these actions, read the Configuration Options section.

You can use the following cameras with iSentry: Built-in iSight cameras, USB cameras.

Important Notes

iSentry will not be running while the computer is asleep. Make sure your computer is not set to go to sleep automatically in System Preferences > Energy Saver. However, iSentry will be running if your display goes to sleep. We would also like to warn users that the Power Nap feature does not allow execution of the third-party apps (including iSentry) while your Mac is asleep.

Compatibility: OS X 10.7 or later.

Configuration Options

Before starting the motion detection process in iSentry, we recommend that you configure some settings in the application.

Adjusting the Motion Detection Sensitivity

“Sensitivity” is one of the most important settings. It allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection algorithm. The detection threshold value must be large enough so that the program does not react to minor noises or slight changes in the monitored area but must be small enough not to miss any actual movements.

You can set up the motion detection threshold by clicking Settings and navigating to the Detection tab.

Drag the Activation Threshold slider to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detection algorithm.

The Start Delay option creates a delay between pressing the Start button and arming of the alarm. This is useful when you want to leave the field of surveillance before the application starts (e.g. turning off the lights) without triggering the motion detection.

Setting up the Schedule

You can set up iSentry to automatically start the motion detection during a certain time interval. This feature is called “Schedule”. Open “iSentry Preferences” window and select the Schedule tab.

By selecting the “Basic Schedule” check box, you can set up the detection start and finish hours that are repeated daily. The motion detection will automatically start at the set time entered in the “Start Time” field and will finish at the time entered in the “Stop Time” field. This could be used to automatically activate iSentry while you are away, such as at your office during after hours. Please note that the application must be running for the scheduled motion detection process to take place.

Recording Settings

You can select what type of recording will occur when movement is detected. Selecting Photo Recording will record what is happening with a sequence of photos while selecting Video Recording will record a video.

If “Video Recording” is selected, you can enable sound recording for USB and built in cameras. Select “Record Sound” to toggle sound recording on or off. Note that audio recording is not available for IP cameras.

If “Photo Recording” is selected, then saved photos will be named something like “ImageN.jpeg” where N indicates the number of the photo in the sequence. Each photo will be labelled with the date that it was taken in the bottom right hand corner.

The “Frequency” setting allows you to select how rapidly photos will be taken. To capture the details of the scene being recorded it is recommended to set the Frequency to a minimum of 5 photo/1 sec. Setting a lower frequency is only advisable if you have limited disk space.

“Pre-Motion Recording” allows you to record the moments leading to the detection of movement. It is a set of photos recorded 5 seconds immediately preceding motion detection.

The “Resolution” setting allows you to adjust the resolution of the photos or videos being taken.

Note that increasing the resolution of the video or photo also increases the volume of data processed by the application. Setting the video or photo resolution too high may overload your computer and cause it to lag. This in turn may affect the quality of the photo or video or even lead to a partial loss of data. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a resolution based on your computer specifications. For example, if you have a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB RAM, we do not recommend using more than 640×480 resolution. If your equipment is better than this setup but inferior in performance to a 2 GHz Intel Core i7 and 8GB RAM system, use resolutions up to 1280×720. If your equipment is more advanced you can use the highest resolution.

There is another more versatile method for determining the optimal resolution. This method consists of selecting a video or photo resolution at which the CPU load won’t exceed 30%. You can determine the CPU usage with the application “Activity Monitor.app”, which is located in “/ Applications / Utilities “.

Setting up the Alarm

You can control the alarm sound played by iSentry upon the detection of movement by the application. This function can be useful to alarm a possible intruder and to alert you of an intrusion.

Use the “Play Alarm Sound” checkbox to turn the alarm sound function on or off. The “Alarm Delay” popup list allows you to specify a delay between the movement detection and the initial alarm sound. The “Alarm Volume” slider regulates the intensity of the volume of the alarm. Finally, you have the option of choosing from the list of different alarm melodies provided.

Setting up Email Notifications

Here you can control the electronic notifications sent by iSentry upon the detection of movement by the application. The Use Mail Notification checkbox can be used to activate or deactivate the notification function. Enter your email address into To: text field. Press the SMTP Settings button to edit SMTP settings for your email account.

It is also possible to label the iSentry notifications in the field labeled “Subject” and to input a custom message in the “Message” field.

The dialog for entering information about SMTP settings for your email account looks like this:

Once you have configured your email settings, you can test them by clicking “Send Test Message” button. iSentry will attempt to send a test email and will report any problems it encounters.

Email settings if you are using Gmail

  • Username: Your Gmail address
  • Password: Your Gmail password
  • Server Address: smtp.gmail.com
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes

A problem you may run into is that Google’s security settings do not allow third party apps to send messages via SMTP through their servers unless you explicitly allow this. You have two options here:

  • Use App password
  • Enable ‘Less secure apps’ option

Use App password

  1. Go to your Google Account.
  2. Verify that 2-Step Verification is set up for your account.
  3. On the left navigation panel, choose Security.
  4. On the “Signing in to Google” panel, choose App Passwords.
  5. At the bottom, choose Select app and choose the app you’re using.
  6. Choose Select device and choose the device you’re using.
  7. Choose Generate.
  8. Follow the instructions to enter the App Password. The App Password is the 16-character code in the yellow bar on your device.
  9. Choose Done.
  10. Enter App Password in iSentry email settings

You can find more info here.

Enable ‘Less secure apps’

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Navigate to the Less secure apps page.
  3. Toggle to turn this feature ‘ON’.
  4. Wait for some time for Google to update this setting.
  5. Try sending test message again.

You can find more info here.

Email settings if you are using iCloud

  • Username: Your full iCloud email address including your name and @icloud.com. An example is johnsmith@icloud.com
  • Password: An app-specific iCloud Mail password.
  • Server Address: smtp.mail.me.com
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes

How to generate an app-specific password

  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. Verify that Two-Factor Verification is on.
  3. In the Security section, click Generate Password below App-Specific Passwords.
  4. Follow the steps on your screen.
  5. After you generate your app-specific password, enter or paste it into the Password field of the iSentry email settings.

You can find more info here.

Email settings if you are using Comcast/xfinity

  • Username: Comcast username
  • Password: Comcast password
  • Server Address: smtp.comcast.net
  • Server Port: 587
  • Use TLS (Secure Mail): Yes

You can find more info here.

Defining the Upload Folder

You can specify the upload folder where all recorded photos/videos will be saved.

You can select any folder on your hard drive using the “Browse…” button. Files will appear in the selected folder immediately as they are recorded. The Documents folder of the current user is used by default. It is advisable to select a folder for the saved files that is synchronized with a cloud storage service such as iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. This way, your files will be saved locally on your computer as well as remotely with the cloud storage service.

Setting up Audio/Video Input

In this tab you have a list of video input devices that are connected to your computer or added using “Add IP Camera” feature. For example, Built-in iSight cameras, USB cameras, IP cameras. Please click here to get more information about recommended cameras. You can select any camera from this list. If you connect or disconnect a USB web camera, it should immediately appear or disappear from the list with no neeed to restart the application.

Note, the full IP cameras support is only available in iSentry Pro, the paid version of iSentry. You can test the compatibility of your cameras with iSentry Free, but the “Motion Detection” will not be available for IP cameras.

After pressing “Add IP Camera”, a dialog window will appear in which you can specify all the necessary information needed to add the IP camera.

The URL (which is the address of the IP camera) is a mandatory field. Currently, iSentry Pro supports RTSP and MJPEG video transmitted over HTTP protocol. Therefore, in most cases the URL should have the following formats:

For RTSP stream:

rtsp://username:password@IP:port/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=1 or 0 or 2

For MJPEG stream:

http://username:password@IP:port/axis-cgi/mjpg/video.cgi?subtype=1 or 0 or 2

The Username/Password fields are mandatory, in case the IP camera requires authentication.

Name is an optional field. You can use it to give the IP camera a meaningful name. For example, you can name the camera which is located at your workplace “Work”.

The application does not allow you to select audio input devices directly. However, you can go to System Preferences -> Sound -> Input tab and change the audio device there.

Note that currently audio recording is not available if IP camera is selected.

Contact Us

Unfortunately, we cannot provide phone support for iSentry. Please email all your questions and support requests to isentry@codeminders.com

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page first.