Question for Wyze: When using "Record on Event", when is μSD card written to?

Edit: Changed typo to “option 1 is much better” - thanks for catching this RickO. Also changed “Record on Event” to “Record events only”

Edit: TL;DR - Answer is #1. See

The specs for the V2 camera (that seem to have disappeared), stated that the V2 cameras had 128MB of DRAM (volatile, working memory that loses its contents when power is lost, but compared to μSD flash memory, is much faster and it does not wear out when written to).

Which of the following methods is used when “Record events only” is active?

  1. The one minute videos are written to dedicated RAM buffers (perhaps double buffered between two buffers, one used for even minutes and one used for odd minutes), and then processed and written to μSD Flash memory only after the buffer is closed, and only if motion was detected during the recording to RAM.
  2. The video always written to μSD Flash memory, and then if there was no motion detected, that file is deleted, and the storage recycled back into the "free memory".
  3. Something else (please specify)
From the standpoint of μSD Flash memory longevity, option 1 is much better. The "cost" is the loss of more video when power is lost, and limited RAM memory.

Great question.

The answer to this could affect the choice of continuous vs event only recording to the mSD card, with event only be much easier on the card if Option #1 is the answer.

I’ll see if I can ask one of the Wyze technical folks to answer.

This also brings up the question… if the camera encounters multiple failures when attempting to write the the mSD card, is there any way for the user to know? What behavior occurs in this case?


Thanks for catching my typo. I have edited the original post to reduce confusion.

We store the 1-minute video in RAM (option #1). Here is the logic for ‘events only recording’

For every minute we check if there is any event (right now motion only, no sound event check) inside. If there is any, we will store the video footage to SD card. If not, we will discard the 1-minute video.

If you pop out the SD card in the middle, you will lose the last-minute video since it was not written to the SD card.

There isn’t a reporting mechanism for SD card failures yet. If there is one in the future, how do you expect it to notify the user? I don’t want to see a ‘SD card failure’ popup randomly. A notification message may be ok but keep it in mind you can receive a lot of notifications. Then we need to add a timer which makes it more complicated…

Thanks for the explanation. So we are wearing out the flash ONLY when the camera detects change in picture.

If that’s the case, I don’t see much advantage to continuous recording (other than not getting “no video at selected time.”)

That explains why sometimes the event can be at the start of the 1 minute video, or the middle and even almost at the end, I suspected that is what the camera was doing of grabbing every minute 7/24 and only saving to card only those minutes with events in it regardless of what part of that minute the event was.

It would be nice to be able to get non-picture notifications. Perhaps by email to account associated with the camera.

If email notifications could be chosen, they should have something unique in them that could be used by email reader to classify.

If this could be implemented, then less need to rate limit (I assume this was what the mentioned timer was about), since it wouldn’t be using up AWS space.

Independent of any notification, there should be a visual indicator on the Live Steam view screen, and ideally on the Main screen after the device has been opened. similar to what Microsoft window device manager displays when there was a device error.

Also the Advanced Settings screen where SD card info is displayed, it should have something like (the bold was supposed to be in RED like it was in the preview)

SD Card <span style=“color: #ff0000;”>(write failure)</span> xx.xx GB/xx.xx GB

This could be done with a single bit “flag” that would be cleared at power on or card inserted, and set (indicating write failure) any time a write failed. Alternatively an unsigned word counter that would be initialized at zero and incremented on each write failure (but not incremented if already at max value; all bits set). Then if word not zero, display xxxxxxx write failures (perhaps ******** if at max value).

But if there has been at least one write failure, it is not clear that it is even worth trying to continue writing to the card. So perhaps, only write to SD when no write errors have been detected since power on or card inserted.

Yes, the one minute nature of the mSD card videos has been known and discussed on the forum. In fact, if you pull the card from the camera, you’ll see that the whole file structure is organized by date/hour/minute. What we’ve learned new here is that the video isn’t written to the card and then erased if there’s no motion. For that reason, for card longevity, I’ll be changing all my mSD recording to Event Only.

Tao… THANKS for getting us this answer!

I agree with BuckEye… there doesn’t need to be a timer to prevent a flood of notifications. Either only notify on the first one (until the card is reinserted or formatted) or increment a counter.

As to where to put the notification… it might go in the Messages section which is currently infrequently used. In that case, it would be good for the app to turn the Notifications button and the Messages button bold/red to draw attention. And/or make the push notification option separate for alert clips vs. messages.

Correct. ‘Record on events’ should saver more days of videos comparing to ‘Continuous recording’.

Yup, you can see ‘Events only recording’ as ‘Continuous recording’ minus the ‘no-movement’ videos. The other difference is that ‘sound only’ events will not be recorded by ‘Events only recording’. IMHO, sound is less important comparing to motion.

I will note this down as a customer request. We will consider sending out notifications when we have write failure. Comparing with our other features this is lower on our list. Just want to set the expectation clear and thanks for all the suggestions.

New Wyze cam owner here. Question about Event only recording - does the 5 minute cool down apply too? When it detects change (motion), it will not record for another 5 minutes or will always record events, but send notifications with 5 minute cool down?

The 5 min cool down and 12 second clip length only apply to the notification alert clips sent to the cloud (viewed under the Notifications tab in the app and set up under Alert Settings). It applies to both recording of event clips and notification of those events.

Event Only recording to the mSD card (set up under Advanced Settings > Local Storage and viewed via the View Playback button) are not subject to either of these limits. Recording to the mSD card will continue as long as motion is detected until the card is full at which point oldest video will be replaced by newest.

Thank you for the response. The answer is exactly what I was hoping it would be - no limitations. I changed the setting on my cam to Event only. I actually like it that way, so much easier to review. It was soooo painful to review when it was set to Continuous recording. I really appreciate you clarifying this feature of the Wyze cams.

"For every minute we check if there is any event (right now motion only, no sound event check) inside. If there is any, we will store the video footage to SD card. If not, we will discard the 1-minute video."
Does this check for event analyze the entire screen for motion, or just the region of the screen that has been specified in the "Motion detection zone"? (Based on my experience, I think it's the latter).

Similarly, is the Sensitivity setting utilized as part of checking for events for Record on Event operation? Logically, one would think that it should be.

Yes, both the detection zone and sensitivity are applied for the SD card Event Only mode.

Hello new Pan owner here - If i have the alert Motion detection on with a detection zone set so when i insert an SD card it will record only motion detected in this area to the SD card (if i’m reading the threads correctly) - will i still get alerts when motion is detected outside of the zone and are stored on the cloud? The reason i ask is i have a tree in frame which i’d like to cut out and currently all i’m being alerted to is the fact that storm Ali is still howling.