Frequently Asked Questions

Payment & Registration

The only models I have tested against are on the home page. Other models may or may not work.

If your dashcam movies do not play in DCV or you don’t see any GPS data displayed, I may be able to make it work — if you help me. You’ll need to send me a ‘clone’ or zip of your camera’s SD card disk image. The clone should contain at least 3 movies and associated GPS data files.

Some dashcams use separate files for the videos and the GPS data. In that case, the file/folder structure of the clone must be preserved. For example, the Mini 0801 stores its movie and GPS data like so:

SD Card
 |--- DCIM
   |--- 100MEDIA
     |--- AMBA0462.MOV 
     |--- AMBA0463.MOV 
 |--- MISC
 |--- gps
   |--- gps0462.log
   |--- gps0463.log

Zip a copy of the entire SD Card folder. Also, please provide your dashcam’s firmware version. You can send me the zip via WeTransfer. My email is john@earthshinesw.com.

You first purchase a license using the Buy Now link. Within 24 hours (usually a lot quicker) you will receive a personalized registration code. You enter the code into the Dashcam Viewer program. Click here for more info or watch the registration video.

A common question I hear is: “Is this a one-time payment or will I have to purchase a yearly subscription?” I personally despise subscription-ware! Since version 1.0 was released in 2016, I’ve provided free updates for everyone and I have no plan to change this policy.

After the software unlock key is emailed to you, there are no refunds. Please use the Free version to verify the software works to your liking before purchasing the Plus or Pro version.

Installation

On Win8.1 click on More Info to reveal the “Run Anyway” button. Click the Run Anyway button and the install will proceed. There is probably an equivalent override option in Win7 and Win10.

This is an error due to multiple version of the LIBEAY32.dll on your system. User Dennis McKay was able to fix the problem on his PC. He sent a very detailed email on how he fixed the problem:

I found an old system at work that had a lot of miscellaneous software installed on it and 17 copies of LIBEAY32.dll.  None of the copies were in the c:\windows\system32 folder but were in various software installation folders.  I ran dashcamviewer and received the dll error.  I took the LIBEAY32.dll from OpenSSL and placed it in the c:\windows\system32 folder and dashcamviewer ran without an error.  On my computer I moved the LIBEAY32.dll from SysWOW64 to System32 and mine now runs without an error.  Installing the 32 bit version of OpenSSL correctly places the dll in the correct system folder.

From what I have seen and some additional reading on Microsoft TechNet it appears that most programs install the version of LIBEAY32.dll that is used in developing the software in its own folder.  So there are multiple copies and because it is not a registered dll, each program uses the version it installed.  I tried putting this dll into the dashcamviewer directory and it still gave the error, so it expects to see it in the c:\windows\system32 folder.  I have a fair amount of software installed on all of my computers at home and work and none of them have this dll in that folder.

I don’t know why only a couple of us have had this problem or what software the other users are installing that puts this file in the system32 folder.  But I don’t think you need to change the way you are programming it and include this files since statistically the error rate is inconsequential and the fix is simple.  I have never run into this problem before with this library file so just chalk it up to another one of those weird things thanks to Microsoft.

Dennis

General Questions

Sometimes strange issues can be cured by performing a “hard reset”. The procedure is below:

  1. Quit Dashcam Viewer
  2. Hold down the Shift key
  3. Start Dashcam Viewer
  4. You will see a dialog box come up asking if you’d like to Reset All Settings. Click “Yes”.

 

Now Dashcam Viewer’s defaults have been reset. If you’re running the Plus or PRO version, you will need to re-enter your registration code.

If you’ve recently changed your monitor resolution or screen configuration, Dashcam Viewer may be drawing the windows offscreen. Try this “hard reset” procedure, I think it will fix it:

  1. Quit Dashcam Viewer
  2. Hold down the Shift key
  3. Start Dashcam Viewer
  4. You will see a dialog box come up asking if you’d like to Reset All Settings. Click “Yes”.

 

Now all your windows should appear onscreen.

Yes, Dashcam Viewer 3.6.6 and later can play and decode the GPS data in TS files recorded by the INNOVV K3/K5 Dual, the BlueSkySea B4K, and the VIOFO A119G V3. TS format has an advantage over MP4. If a TS file is not closed properly, the TS file is still readable (playable) up to that point. An improperly closed MP4 may become corrupt (unreadable) under the same circumstances. This advantage comes at a price— extracting the GPS data from a TS file is inherently slower than an MP4. Be sure to turn on Caching in Dashcam Viewer so that subsequent TS file processing  happens very quickly.

If the your video durations shown in the Videos-Trips-Geotags window have a duration of “-0:01”, this indicates that the video files couldn’t be found by ffmpeg, which is used to extract meta data about the videos.

One reason is that you have a unicode character in your file path to your videos. Try moving the video to a directory whose path doesn’t include any unicode characters. Usually, drag/dropping the videos directly from the SD card onto Dashcam Viewer works.

This is an indication that the video files couldn’t be found by the clip export mechanism. One possibility is that you have a unicode character in your file path to your videos. Try moving the video to a directory whose path doesn’t include any unicode characters. Usually, drag/dropping the videos directly from the SD card onto Dashcam Viewer works.

Some dashcams, like the Viofo A129 Pro and Pro Duo use the new HEVC (a.k.a, H.265) codec to encode their video streams into files. Smooth 4K HEVC video playback with Dashcam Viewer requires a MacBook Pro with 7th-generation Intel Core processor better.

From Intel on 4K HEVC playback: “Any 7th Gen Intel Core processor or above for 4K UHD playback, as those chips have special provisions to help with HEVC decoding.”

The 7th Gen Intel Core processor was “Kaby Lake” and was used in MacBook Pros starting with the 2016 model. So unfortunately you’ll need to upgrade your hardware for smooth 4K HEVC playback.

This is rare but here are a few things to try:

  1. Make sure you’ve installed the K-Lite Codec Pack. This free 3rd party software installs codecs missing from Windows that are required for some dashcam models.

     

  2. Dashcam Viewer works best on Windows 10. Please try again on a Win10 machine. Older versions, like Win7, may work but have not been thoroughly tested.

     

  3. Turn off antivirus protection. There have been some reports of antivirus software interfering with programs like Dashcam Viewer.

     

  4. Make sure you’re not running Windows on a virtual machine. VMs may not have the necessary video hardware emulation.

 

 

This message will be displayed if there’s some kind of decoding issue with the video. The most likely cause is that you didn’t previously install the K-Lite Codec Pack (Windows only). This error can also if it’s taking too long to load a video for some reason. In that case try loading the video again (your OS may load it from cache the second time, which is faster). If that doesn’t work try moving the videos to a faster hard drive and load from there.

The Mac version of Dashcam Viewer uses the same video backend as QuickTime Player 7 (not Quicktime Player 10). Although the reasons are not clear, a few dashcam manufacturers produce MP4 movies that are not compatible with QuickTime Player 7 (and therefore, not Mac Dashcam Viewer). These dashcams include DDPai M6+, Thinkware F750/F770, and Garmin DC20. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do on my end to remedy the situation other than switching the video backend (something I’m contemplating).

UPDATE: Dashcam Viewer 3 uses a new video backend and should now be compatible with the Thinkware F750/F770.

Yes, each platform is a separate purchase. Developing and maintaining two “separate but more-or-less equal” versions is actually quite challenging and time-consuming.

If you see this message, you can run Dashcam Viewer by going to your Security & Privacy settings and selecting the “Open Anyway”.

More details here:

“How to open an app that hasn’t been notarized or is from an unidentified developer”:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491

 

Mac’s Gatekeeper is blocking DCV from running. In newer versions of macOS, it’s easy to override Gatekeeper: After copying Dashcam Viewer to your Applications folder, right-click on the Dashcam Viewer icon and select ‘Open’ in the popup menu. You will then be given the option to run the program even though it’s not from an ‘approved’ developer. Fortunately, you only have to do this once!

Another way is to temporarily adjust your Security & Privacy settings. Go to your System Preferences and select Security & Privacy. Then choose “Anywhere” for “Allow applications downloaded from:”. After you run DCV the first time successfully you can switch your Security & Privacy settings back.

 

We have found that the Graphs display on Dashcam Viewer has an issue some Retina Macs. Try this tip from https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202471.

Try opening the application using Low Resolution mode:

 

 

  1. Quit the application if it is currently open.
  2. In the Finder, choose Applications from the Go menu.
  3. In the Applications folder that opens, click the application’s icon so it is highlighted.
  4. Choose Get Info from the File menu.
  5. Place a checkmark next to “Open in Low Resolution” to enable Low Resolution mode.
  6. Close the window and double click the Application to reopen it.

As of this writing, Garmin BaseCamp does not import GPX v1.1 files unless they have the special Garmin extensions. Strangely, BaseCamp does import GPX v1.0 files without extensions.

Fortunately, the solution is trivial: Simply choose the “GPX v1.0” option in the Data Browser to create a v1.0 GPX file.

Without more specific info it is difficult to diagnose the problem. Here are a few things to check:

1) Are you sure the GPS was ON and had established a lock on the satellites?

2) Are there any error messages displayed? Do you see any data traces in the Graphs window?

3) Make sure your dashcam’s internal clock is set to the correct timezone and correct time. DCV relies on the correct timestamp of the movies to sync with the GPS data files. The GPS, your computer, and the dashcam should all have the correct time.

4) If that doesn’t work, send me a clone of your SD card that contains about 3 movies on it and I will try to diagnose the problem. It’s important that you send me an image of the SD card such that the file and folder structure is preserved. The structure should look something like that below. You can send me a zip of the SD card via https://wetransfer.com using my email address as the destination.

Although many people have reported no issues with Windows 7 and Dashcam Viewer, a number of people have reported the ‘black screen’ issue. For that reason I no longer recommend Win7 for use with DV. I suggest a move to Windows 10, which has much fewer issues with DV.  If you stick with Win7, be sure you have K-Lite Codec Pack installed. Also, you could try reducing the movie resolution to 720p on your dashcam’s settings, which may help.

If your GPS data is from a separate source than your video camera (like a Garmin GPS receiver), you can export your GPS data to GPX file (see here for format), name the gpx file with the same base name as your movie but with a .gpx extension. If the gpx file is in the same directory as the movie file, Dashcam Viewer will load it.

Sorry, no iPad/iPhone version is in the works. With the large movie file sizes recorded by these cameras transferring data to the iPad would be very slow anyway.

Great! Send it to me: john@earthshinesw.com

Due to my day-job and limited spare time I cannot guarantee your idea will be implemented promptly (or even at all). But don’t let that dissuade you. Many features currently implemented in DCV were supplied by users like yourself.

Darn. OK, send it to me via email.

Camera Specific Issues

Dashcam Viewer ships with the LGPL version of FFmpeg. The LGPL version will only export the front channel to your videoclip when you choose the Export Video option. The solution is to replace the LGPL version of FFmpeg with the GPL version off the internet. You can download the Mac GPL ffmpeg here and the Windows GPL ffmpeg here.

Mac GPL ffmpeg installation: The GPL Mac FFmpeg download comes as a zip file. Select the most recent ffmpeg .zip file (not the .zip.sig file) and download it. On newer macOSs, applications downloaded from the internet need to be verified the first time they are run. To do this, immediately right-click on the ffmpeg icon and choose Open. You should see a dialog that looks like this:

 

 

Click “Open” and it will run in the Terminal and immediately quit. Now you are ready to replace the old version as follows:

 

 

  1. Right-click on the Dashcam Viewer icon and select Show Package Contents. This will open the contents in a new window:

  1. Open the Contents/MacOS You will see the LGPL version of ffmpeg. Move it to a safe location outside of the package.
  2. Now move the GPL version of ffmpeginto the MacOS folder. Close the package window and you’re good to go!

 

Windows GPL ffmpeg installation: Download the latest ffmpeg zip file. Unnzip the ffmpeg package and copy the ffmpeg.exe (located in the bin directory) to the Dashcam Viewer directory. You will be asked if you want to replace the existing ffmpeg.exe. Click Yes. That’s it.

One caveat. Since each version of Dashcam Viewer ships with the LGPL version, you will need to repeat this process every time you update Dashcam Viewer.

For some unknown reason the A129 Pro’s MP4 encoder produces video files that skip when played on a Mac using Quicktime Player 7 or Dashcam Viewer. No workaround at this time so this dashcam model is not on the supported list for Mac. This does not appear to be a problem on Windows.

Although Dashcam Viewer works with the Rexing V1LG and V1P, the latest firmware of the V1P Pro and V1P (Gen3) was written such that the vehicle’s latitude and longitude waypoints are now encoded in a proprietary format that I haven’t seen before. Two V1P Pro owners have contacted Rexing to request the data encoding scheme, but Rexing has refused to provide assistance. So unless Rexing agrees to provide the encoding scheme or I ‘crack’ the encoding, I’m afraid I won’t be able to support the V1P Pro or Gen3. I suggest contacting Rexing on this issue. There’s power in numbers.

I have heard this complaint from a dozen A119 customers so far. I have examined sample movie files provided to me and have determined that there is no GPS data written into the movie file. Here are hex dumps of the movie file where the GPS data is supposed to be in sample movies produced by two different A119 dashcams. Only the A119 on the right is correctly writing data into the movie file.

 

 

This A119 is NOT working correctly. It is not embedding GPS data into the movie file. 

 

This A119 is working correctly and saving GPS data to the movie file. 

A number of A119 owners have corrected the problem by downgrading the firmware from 2.01 to 2.0.  In one case the vendor (SpyTech) exchanged the customer’s A119 for a new one. Presumably this fixed the problem. If you send me a sample movie I can examine it to see if it has this problem.

UPDATE: Viofo notes that it addressed this issue in the firmware v2.02 update.

I do not have a 70mai but a few customers provided me with video samples. The GPS data appears to be encoded in a way I haven’t seen before, or that the data is buried in an ancillary file which was not provided. I am still working on it in my spare time.  Another issue is that the high-res mode of these camera uses H.265 (HEVC), which is currently not compatible with the video system on the Mac version of Dashcam Viewer (should work in Windows). Perhaps there is a setting to encode using H.264. Anyway, for now the 70mai dashcams are not compatible.

UPDATE: I’ve cracked the GPS data encoding of the 70mai Dash Cam Pro and added compatibility for this dashcam in version 3.6.2. Also, I discovered that the reason the 70mai Dash Cam Pro videos did not play on my 2015 MacBook Pro was that my Mac was too old. Macs built before 2016 cannot handle 4K HEVC (h.265) encoded videos. When I tested 70mai video samples on a newer iMac, they played fine in Dashcam Viewer. They also played fine on Windows 10 with K-lite codecs.

This dashcam is not “officially” supported. The way the DDPai M6+ manipulates files and stores GPS data on the card is unique among dashcam manufacturers. They store some of their GPS data in a folder called “103gps” although some folks had their GPS data in a folder called “203gps”. Furthermore, not all the GPS data is in these folders. Some of it is stored in an archive format and is dearchived by the dashcam when needed. So the state of files on the SD card is always in flux. Sadly, DDPai does not seem interested in supporting the desktop community and instead focuses on smartphone users. In a recent post in a dashcam forum DDPai states, “our products were designed to connect to smartphone for pictures and video sharing on social community, and we built our own community to make more fun to use our social car dvr, rather than just recorder.”

That said, Dashcam Viewer will look for DDPai “gpx” files in the 103gps and 203gps directories. So as long as there are filename-matching gpx files in the 103gps or 203gps folders then the DDPai M6+ is “unofficially supported” in Windows Dashcam Viewer.  Unfortunately, the MP4 movie format they use is not compatible with the QuickTime Player 7 library so the movies don’t play in the Mac version of Dashcam Viewer.

Previously I had a chance to investigate the Advanced Car Eye dashcam and it does some tricky things. First of all, it combines both front and rear movie track into a single movie file. I’ve only seen this done with one other dashcam, the VisionDrive 9600. The media library software I use with my software does not allow me to separate both tracks. So for the VD dashcam I actually had to write them a pre-processor program that separates the tracks into two movie files. Very complicated for the user. The second problem is that your GPS data is encoded in a proprietary method within the movie file itself. Many times the GPS data is encoded in the movie subtitle stream, but not in this case. Without help from the manufacturer it is extremely difficult to decode.

As a former MINI and 328i owner I would have liked to have made this dashcam work, but I’m afraid it’s got me beat—for now.

Tips & Best Practices

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Dashcam Viewer. I’ll add to this list as time goes on:

  1. If Dashcam Viewer’s windows don’t appear onscreen, see the reset procedure above.

  2. For best video exporting experience, replace the LGPL version of ffmpeg with the GPL version as described below.

  3. Simultaneous playback of multiple videos while updating maps and widgets can be CPU-intensive. If video playback appears to stutter, or Dashcam Viewer issues the error “Time out has occurred while trying to load file…”, you can try the following:

    1. Use a fast, high-quality,  USB3  SD card reader if your Mac/PC doesn’t have have an internal SD card slot.

    2. Copy the video folder from your SD card to your internal hard drive. Then load the videos from the hard drive.

    3. Change your dash cam’s settings to produce lower-resolution videos.

  4. Set your dash cam to record videos no longer than 5 minutes each.

  5. When you load your videos from the SD card everything works fine, but if you copy them to a folder on your hard drive and load them from there suddenly the Map, Graphs, and Dashboard no longer display GPS data. This can be caused by an extraneous folder named “GPS” or “gps” in the video folder. If you dashcam doesn’t create a “GPS” folder, make sure you don’t add one to directory containing the videos or Dashcam Viewer will get confused.

  6. If you’re running Windows and Dashcam Viewer playback is slow or stuttering, try re-installing the K-Lite Codec Pack and experimenting with the tick boxes in the Advanced Options. Users have reported improved playback performance by tweaking the options.

  7. If no GPS data is displayed, the problem could be that your files are on a Network Storage Device (NAS) or RAID system. Use the SD card or your local hard drive instead.

This is a rare issue but the customer who had this problem reported that it only occurred if the clip was played in Quicktime Player. The audio was heard correctly if the clip was played in VLC or the clip was uploaded to YouTube.

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