Chrome not playing video from Nest cameras?

If you have a Nest camera (formerly Dropcam) that you use for live streaming, you may have noticed recently that Chrome won’t play the live stream any more, giving you an error about how “no compatible source was found for this media”. Our construction camera’s feed is embedded below; if you see video playing, or even a still image, then you’re probably not affected. But if you see a black box with an X in the middle, you’ve been hit by this.

I think what happened is that Chrome changed its default behavior for Adobe Flash content. I think it used to automatically play any Flash content, unless you’d changed its default settings to have it ask you each time. And now it looks like it’s defaulting to asking each time, unless you’ve changed the setting to “always play”, or added an exception for a site.

Unfortunately, Nest’s live streaming doesn’t work with pure HTML5 video, so they use a Flash player for that. And something about their player loader (Video.js) is detecting that Flash isn’t playing automatically, and rather than loading the Flash player anyway, triggering the ability in Chrome for you to play it manually, it’s loading the HTML5 player, which can’t load the stream.

If you want to see live streams from Nest cameras in Chrome, here’s what to do:
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Long scale Nest time lapse videos (part 2)

In Part One I showed you how to get the snapshot URL for your Nest camera, so you could get a full resolution still image from the camera. In this part, I’ll describe what I’m doing with those to make time lapse videos.
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Long scale Nest time lapse videos (part 1)

We have a few Nest (formerly Dropcam) cameras that we’ve had pointed at the construction site of our new building. We’re paying for the lowest of the subscription services, the one that gets you 10 days of video storage but not the full “Nest Aware” package. The time lapse videos we were getting from the service were ok, but the cameras are capable of higher resolution than the videos we were getting. (1080 vs 720, I believe.) And there were some pretty unpleasant compression artefacts showing up, mainly in the sky and clouds, which make up a large portion of the frame with some of the cameras. Also, we want to be able to make time lapse videos covering months, maybe a year. I think you can do some of that with the higher priced subscriptions, but you definitely can’t with the cheap one, at least not easily. (The previous idea was to have someone download a daily time lapse every day and then assemble them in Final Cut as needed. That’s a lot of manual work for something which ought to be eminently automatable.)

Here’s what I did to get us the ability to make full resolution time lapse videos of arbitrary duration, over any period of time the cameras were running. I’m using an iMac running OS X, but this should work from a linux system or a Windows system with the right tools installed.
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