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FFmpegthumbnailer is a lightweight video thumbnailer that can be used by file managers to create thumbnails for your video files. The thumbnailer uses ffmpeg to decode frames from the video files, so supported videoformats depend on the configuration flags of ffmpeg.

This thumbnailer was designed to be as fast and lightweight as possible. The only dependencies are ffmpeg and libpng/libjpeg.


ffmpegthumbnailer is called from the command line

Available command line arguments:

  • -i: input video filename
  • -o: output filename of the generated image file (filename ending with .jpg or .jpeg will be in jpeg format, otherwise png is used)
  • -s: size of the generated thumbnail in pixels (use 0 for original size) (default value: 128)
  • -t: time to seek to (percentage or absolute time hh:mm:ss) (default: 10)
  • -f: use this option to overlay a movie strip on the generated thumbnail
  • -q: image quality (0 = bad, 10 = best) (default: 8) only applies to jpeg output
  • -c: override image format (jpeg or png) (default: determined by filename)
  • -a: ignore aspect ratio and generate square thumbnail
  • -w: workaround some issues in older versions of ffmpeg (only use if you experience problems like 100% cpu usage on certain files)
  • -rN: repeat thumbnail generation each N seconds, N=0 means disable repetition (default: 0)
  • -h: display the usage