In a full on throw back to the 2nd ever post to this blog, back in February 2010, I’ve recently been updating the system that sends me a video when there is movement in my flat via MMS and email.
I thought I’d try and add audio to the video that gets sent. A quick Google turned up two options, one was to use the sox command and it’s silence option, the second uses the on_event_start triggers in motion as a way to record the audio at the same time as capturing the movement video. I went with the second option and tweaked it a bit to make it pick the right input for my system and to direct encode the audio to MP3 rather than WAV to save space.
The other useful addition was the –process-id-file /var/motion/arecord.pid which writes the process id to a file so I can just use this to stop the recording rather than having to use grep and awk to find the process in the ps output.
on_event_end kill `cat /var/motion/arecord.pid`
Now it’s just a case of combining the video from motion with the audio. I can do this with ffmpeg when I re-encode the video into the 3gp container to make it suitable for sending via a MMS message.
I’d like to try the AMR audio codec but I can’t get ffmpeg to encode with it at the moment, so I’m just going to email the mp3 of the audio along with the high res AVI version of the video and just send the low res 3GP version via MMS.
I left the setup in the last post with a system that would email photos of the burgular off site and then an SMS message. This is a prety good solution but since nearly everybody has a phone capable of receiving picture messages it seamed like the next step is to not just email the photos off site, but to also send them as a picture message so they can be checked for false alarms even when I’m not at my computer.
I went back to searching the net for a package that would supply MMS capability using a cell phone attached to a computer, not a direct connection to a bulk messaging provider. There is project called Mbuni that is a fully functional MMS gateway and relaying service as run by the cell phone providers. Normally this would run on the providers network and or at a company providing paid for content via MMS. Hidden away in the CVS for the latest version there is a add on to one of the components which will allow the sending of MMS messages via a phone.
In the last post I had discounted Kannel for sending SMS messages because of the complexity. But Mbuni prereqs it so it was time to have another look at the setup. Mbuni also request a specific level of Kannel (CVS 2008-07-28 download) so because I was planning on using some very new function in Mbuni I decided to build this Kannel version from source to make sure it all matched up.
tar -zxf kannel-snapshot.tar.gz
su -c "make install"
Kannel is made up of a number of separate programs that provide different bits of functionality
In order to be able to send and receive SMS messages we are going to need the frist two on the list. Wapbox is only used if you want to provide a dial up WAPgateway.
Setting up Kannel is not hard, the docs are very good and can be found here and there is a copy of my config files as a guide in the resources section
There is some good documentation for setting up the full MMS gateway version of Mbuni, but because the cell phone plugin is stil only in the development stream there is only a small sample config file and the source code. I have tried to document what I have learned setting it up here.
Since this is a bleeding edge function you will need to build Mbuni from the src in cvs. There are instructions on how to do this on the web site here, but here is a short version
cvs -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/mbuni login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/mbuni co -P
su -c "make install"
The change of directory to the extras/mmsbox-mm1 is to build the extra library needed to work with the phone. If you are running on a machine that has SELINUX enabled you will need to run the following command to allow the library to work
su -c "chcon -t texrel_shlib_t /usr/local/lib/libmmsbox_mm1.so"
Like Kannel, Mbuni is made up of a collection of applications
To send MMS messages via a phone we only need mmsbox which is what is known as a VAS gateway. So we need to create a Mbuni config file, there is a sample file shipped with the src in the doc/examples directory. Here is my version modified to work with O2 UKs MMS service
group = core
log-file = /var/log/kannel/mmsbox.log
access-log = /var/log/kannel/mmsbox-access.log
log-level = 0
group = mbuni
storage-directory = /usr/local/var/spool/mbuni
max-send-threads = 5
maximum-send-attempts = 50
default-message-expiry = 360000
queue-run-interval = 5
send-attempt-back-off = 300
sendmms-port = 10001
sendsms-url = http://localhost:13013/cgi-bin/sendsms
sendsms-username = tester
sendsms-password = foobar
# Sample conf for MMSBox using a modem (MM1)
group = mmsc
id = modem
type = custom
custom-settings = "smsc-on=lynx -dump 'http://localhost:13000/start-smsc?
smsc-off=lynx -dump 'http://localhost:13000/stop-smsc?password=bar&smsc=w880i';
gprs-pid=cat /var/run/ppp0.pid | head -1;port=13014;
mmsc-library = /usr/local/lib/libmmsbox_mm1.so
group = send-mms-user
username = tester
password = foobar
faked-sender = 100
The interesting bits are the sendsms-url and the custom-settings lines. The sendsms-url points to the bearerbox/smsbox URL from setting up Kannel earlier which Mbuni uses to send the notification about the new mail.
The custom-settings line is a lot more complicated, it is basically a mini config file all of it’s own. The two entries that start with smsc-on and smsc-off are commands that the custom library built earlier uses to stop and start the sms gateway while the MMS message is sent. gprs-on is used to start a PPP session via the phone. This can be either gprs or 3G. The code implies that this command should not return until it’s killed at shutdown, but using /usr/bin/pon on Ubuntu seams to work.
The next few bits depend on which cell phone provider your using. The mmsc-url and proxy are the addresses for the machines on their network you need to use to
send MMS messages. I found the following page has a good list of the settings for UK provider http://www.filesaveas.com/mms.html
So now we’ve got the set up working we need some content to send. MMS messages are defined using SMIL markup. The following is the simple SMIL file I am using to send a short video clip and text caption. The first half divides the display in half, with the video in the top half and the text in the lower. The second section contains the details of the links to where Mbuni can find the content to
fill those areas and how long to display them. This is a very simple example, much more complex messages can be assembled with
So far we have been just sending static images, next comes converting the avis created by Motion to mpeg4 in a 3gp container that should be playable on any MMS capable phones. The following ffmpeg command will convert the file to the right format.
Where “-i 07-20090916100019.avi” is the file created by motion, “-s qcif” tells ffmpeg to use an output file that is 176×144 and conforms to a standard that all phones should understand, “-vcodec h263″ is the video codec to use. “-y intruder.3gp” tells ffmpeg to overwrite the file if it already exists.
Here is an example of the Motion output.
When viewed on a 2 inch screen the drop in quality is not noticeable and it is still possible to tell if it is somebody you know.
Actually sending the MMS
So now we have actually created the content for the MMS message we need to put it somewhere mbuni can find it. In this case I put the video and text files into the /cam1 directory being server up by http server. The URLs match the entries in the SMIL file created earlier.
Now we need to send the SMIL file to Mbuni along with the phone number to send it to. The following curl command will send the SMIL file and the rest of it.
In this case Mbuni is running on the a machine called x-wing and listening on port 10001 (as set with the sendmms-port in the config above). The frist half is the urlencoded version of the username, password, the senders and recipients numbers and the subject of the message. The second section, after the –data-urlencode loads the SMIL file and encodes it before sending it.
Putting it together
Now we need a to collect all of this up in a scrip to attach to the movie end action of motion. The following script first helps to prevent false alarms by ensuring that any video has at least 15 frames. Assuming that test is satisfied the orginal version of the video is emailed offsite for safe keeping, before converting the it to the 3gp format. It then adds the time and date to the message.txt before sending the SMIL to Mbuni.
if [ $FRAME_COUNT -gt 14 ]; then
uuenview -a -m email@example.com $1 <<EOF
Subject: Movement detected video $2 $3
/home/hardillb/bin/sendMessage SMS/Outbound "TO: +447703xxxxxx MESSAGE: possible intruder"
ffmpeg -i $1 -s qcif -vcodec h263 -y /var/www/html/cam1/intruder.3gp
echo "$2 $3" > /var/www/html/cam1/message.txt
curl --data "username=tester&password=foobar&to=07703xxxxxx&subject=Possible+Intruder&from=07543xxxxxx"
--data-urlencode "smil@/var/www/html/cam1/intruder.smil" http://x-wing.loc:10001
The frameCounter was a script I had run up earlier for a different project, made sense to reuse it here.