Uncover the mystery for developers: Continuous recording or motion detection videos?



Do you really think continuous recording is necessary? Tell us why or why not and you get to remove all advertisements for your account!!

This debate is probably as old as CCTV or IP cameras are. We held a hundred rounds of user interviews before developing this feature. The result is interesting. People who have experience with security cameras know better that they don’t have time to go back and check footage. “We are not security guards who spend the whole day staring at the Viewer”, so the Alfred team was told. “When there was a theft or burglary, you want to know what happened, so there was no point recording junk and saving junk”.

Users of Dropcam made the same comment.

Still, when new users are searching for security camera (alternatives), they tend to think it is really important to keep recording.

Night vision, 24/7 recording

Aware that touched on other areas, but for one a system of continuous recording is unnecessary as one wants to be alerted and record the event. If one wanted continuous recording then one would have opted for a different system.

A system of increased recording times would be nice, so if you record 30 seconds of the first movement sensed, but it senses movement within (x ) - Time frame of first trigger event, then recording length up’s to say 1Min, and again if trigger within X then double recording time is 2 minutes, etc. That way it covers enough time to catch event, and allows people enough recording time to make some difference. Offers enough recording time to makes a difference, but stops wasted bandwith with recorded unwanted time frames.

You could offer to allow viewers the option to record footage via the web-app just use a screen grab and record to a paid cloud service. Just a thought.


I would only want to see what triggered the motion. I plan on using Alfred to complement a traditional 10 yr old ADT home security system. That system often triggers false alarms and I get call from the ADT center when I’m at work. I’d like to check Alfred to see what triggered the ADT alarm: was it a moving shadow from a tree outside or an actual intruder.


Dear @BDYoon

This is so interesting! Thank you for sharing with us your use case. So, is the ADT camera system 10 years old? Has ADT ever upgraded the system or device for you? Do you have access to your video on your phone or computer? Or does ADT monitor for you and inform you of situations?

If your friend is looking for a security system and thinks continuous recording is safer in the sense that everything kept. How would you convince him/her the otherwise?


I agree, totally unnecessary for recording 24/7/365! Movereat recording is just fine, just wish it would be for a little longer than the usual 5 seconds , 9 seconds or even the occasional 29 seconds.


Hi @Larrybiv

Thank you for sharing with us your insight!! We don’t think continuous recording is necessary either.

About motion detection, we keep them short because we want to notify you right away. Say, if a burglar breaks into your place, or if your baby starts crying or your dog is chewing the sofa and Alfred notifies you 3 minutes later, it may be a bit too late to intervene, isn’t it?

That was our idea when we designed it. Would love to know what you think.


The initial notice and recording is fine, but it would be useful for people to set up a longer recording time if triggered again within a specific time frame, so say 15 seconds trigger again and so recording time also increases to such a trigger event, so double recording time, or option to constant record (5 Min blocks etc) to better guarantee recording actual event and catch what your after.


I don’t think it’s necessary but I would like the option of longer recordings, I use mine as a cat-cam indoors and to overlook my front yard.


Awww…we are a group of cat lovers too!! Nothing is sweeter than knowing that Alfred is watching over more fur babies.


I do not feel that continuous recording is needed for home surveillance. I would like to have the option to set recording lengths so that it would continue recording for a set amount of time even when the movement is no longer detected. Thanks so much for this great app. Would not mind paying for a non ad supported version.



I think the option of having it is useful.
Yes, if it’s for security reasons per say., continuous recording isn’t. (Ie someone is entering my house uninvited, I want to know and have the option of having it recorded.
However, if it’s to be used as a nanny cam, which the real intent and purpose is to keep an eye on the NANNY and make sure there is no abuse towards your kids, having the possibility of constant recording is useful.
Likewise, if it’s being used as a security camera, to see if employees are not stealing or abusing their position, constant recording is a must.
One of the reasons I actually had to download a security app, is to prove that what I am being accused of doing, I ain’t doing. No constant recording means no availability to defend myself by showing it ain’t me. I know it sounds twisted, but hey


Yes I think it’s necessary! I think it should be an option so that recordings will automatically always be kept at least for a certain timeframe (probably “record til Xgb is used, then overwrite oldest” type scenario).


Continuous recordings eliminate the false starts of the 4 second/no real activity alerts. I sometimes get more than ten alerts in an hour but with no motion and nothing happening. Not necessary but would be a nice option on demand. Being able to eliminate a recorded 4 second segment on demand, would also be helpful.


I think that continuous or motion should be a option for everyone. Esp if people are worried about device lag or internet lag effecting recording of there videos


I guess they haven’t found a way to stream and store videos continuously free of charge. As a software engineer, I can somewhat estimate the cost. I expect the Alfred team to improve the motion detection algorithm so we don’t miss any important events but I won’t expect them to record everytthing when nothing is going on.


I would have to say continues recordings will be better because 30 seconds isn’t enough time because when events take place and the 30 second ends to save video it misses parts of the event that is a curring at the time. It would be best to continues recordings is when you have to use the video in court they want you to have the whole event on camera. When my car got damaged it show who did it but the moments it missed while recording and stopping to save the 30 second video it didn’t record them doing some of the damage and the judge only had them to pay for what the video showed them damaging when in fact they did more damage then the cameras recorded. The only way I was able to get all the money for all the damages was I had pictures of the vehicle when I had bought it 36 hours before the damage occurred. That leed me to say it need continues recordings


I would like continuous recording so if something did happen I could go back and see if some one had scoped my house out. I have alfred on a phone inside and out. So if someone had drove past or walked by slowly it wouldn’t have triggered the record because they weren’t close enough .


Hey continuous recording would be ideal for my friend as she has people seeking around and motion doesn’t always pick it up. She would like it to be able to rewind and save the footage for any criminal actions that they might do.


I DEFINITELY AGREE with this person!!! There ARE times extra recording is unnecessary, then there ARE times the extra recording will give the authorities the proof they need that something not on the taped piece was taken, or action not seen (damage, violence) had ACTUALLY happened!! When it’s not on the recording it’s the bad guys word against mine!! Also missing items may have been misplaced previous to an incident or a person may be claiming something not recorded just to make a bad guy go down for more than what they ACTUALLY DID!!! I’ve seen that actually happen!! Where the victim accuses an actual perpetrator of more than what they did do, just to try and cause them to get more time!!!
In short i think STRONGLY that each ‘Alfred User’ should have BOTH OPTIONS AVAILABLE!!! Just like motion detection is!!


I don’t feel that continuous recording is necessary, especially in the application and service that Alfred provides. This is not a mission-critical service, and I may ruffle some feathers here - Alfred is free (or low-cost).

One thing I wish that Alfred did have, and is kinda close on this topic of continuous recording and motion detection triggered recording, is video from before the motion sense activation, maybe 1-3 seconds then the period that triggers the motion detection. I’ve found that the application lags a little bit (again, between 1-3 seconds depending on ambient lighting) before detection is triggered. Example here: https://alfred.camera/tv/EkDDHU50Z (Sony Xperia Z3 on the rear camera)

Otherwise, motion detection triggered recording is more than enough for most anyone’s consumer needs.