I finally noticed the motionEye integration card... after several days of tinkering with the motionEye add-on

I have just started using HomeAssistant OS, running on a Raspberry Pi 4. I have a couple of USB webcams I want to use. I also have an old alarm system, installed by ADT in 2006. I figure webcams aren’t really designed to run 24/7, but I should be able to have them turn on and start recording based on a trigger from the alarm system’s motion detectors, which I should be able to integrate with AlarmDecoder’s device and their integration for Home Assistant. I don’t have that device yet, but surely I should be able to simulate a trigger with… I don’t know, a button on a dashboard, right?

So I looked through the available integrations and add-ons. motionEye is the only one I saw that allows me to easily add the USB webcams. I did discover how to access Motion’s (motionEye’s backend) web control interface (I think the option “Motion webcontrol” in motionEye’s configuration to enable this is elsewhere referred to as the “advanced” setting?) I also found out how to access motionEye’s container. But it looked as though I would have to try figuring out some other way.

Sure, FFMPEG should work, but the configuration documentation is sorely lacking. I think in order to use it, I would have to study the source code of the integration, and I’m not all that familiar with Python, and I generally find object-oriented programming un-intuitive.

When I got to this point, I had left motionEye running, which I usually stopped, but I had turned off the webcams via Motion’s webcontrol. I went to the integrations page to start diving down into the FFMPEG integrations rabbit hole… again. And I noticed something I had not noticed before: a motionEye integration card, showing that it had been discovered, top left in the list. I’m not sure why I missed this. But I just can’t recall seeing it until that point. Maybe it’s because I didn’t leave any cams enabled in motionEye, or even leave motionEye running, which I set not to start automatically.

The first thing I discovered upon clicking that “Configure” button on motionEye’s integration card was that both admin and user names and passwords have to be set before the integration can be configured, something that sounds totally optional in the Documentation tab of the motionEye add-on. I have uninstalled and again installed motionEye in order to see if the integration card failed to appear. It didn’t fail to appear; it did show up. I find it difficult to believe that I just missed it before; I’m more inclined to suspect it just wasn’t showing up for some reason, but I have no way to know.

Once configured, it becomes more clear how the integration opens up possibilities that just aren’t (easily) available without it.

For users, I would recommend actively looking for and configuring the motionEye integration first thing after installing the MotioinEye add-on, opening the UI, and setting names and passwords for both admin and user (first initial login is just “admin” with no password).

For the add-on developers, I would suggest mentioning in the documentation tab for the add-on that setting both admin and user names and passwords is -required- in order to configure and use the motionEye integration. If not explicitly mentioning the integration elsewhere, this would be a good point at which to do so and provide a link to the integration documentation. Also, I would encourage changing the Configuration tab so it’s more obvious that configuration options are not shown until the add-on is running. The “nothing to see here” message is a bit weird and off-putting for new users.

1 Like

Thanks for detailed write up, you can raise a pr to update these documentation, it would be great

1 Like

Yeah, but I’m new to the Home Assistant community. After years of avoiding it, I finally made a github account. I already submitted a proposed update to the Shell Command documentation. My first pull request. Let me see how that goes first. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

MotionEye is a great addon but it has one major flaw. it doesnt support mqtt. At least this was the case last time I was playing with it.