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Old August 21st, 2011, 10:44 AM   #1
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Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

I've created a simple to use tool which creates thumbnails from video files, AND stamps the file date/time and a caption onto those thumbnails. I find this helps immensely in cataloging and locating specific clips. The tool (Movie Thumbnailer Express) primarily uses the commandline tool "movie thumbnailer" to create the base thumbnail, then I added my own algorithm to automatically stamp the file's date/time and add an optional caption. I can't say it will work for every video codec, but I've tested it with MOV, MP4 and MTS files containing H.264/AVC from various still cameras and it works well.

To be clear, the tool does not require the user to use the commandline, as it is fully automated. The tool works via Windows "Send To" menu. Just select multiple video files or an entire folder of video files and "Send To > Movie Thumbnailer Express". A "duo-thumb" is created, with two thumbnails from 1/3 and 2/3 into the clip. I find this much better defines the clip contents than just one thumbnail (at the start of the clip).

A sample thumbnail: http://www.freeimagehosting.net/d1c68

If there is any interest in it, I'd surely make it available, free of course, no strings. Photo tool development is my avocation. Some beta testers could maybe help me with suggestions to tweak it for its initial release. It would be available for Windows OS only.

Thanks for any interest,

Mike
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Old August 21st, 2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

I would like to try it.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 09:19 PM   #3
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

David,

Sorry for the brief delay. Here is the download link:
Movie Thumbnailer Express setup.zip - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

May I suggest you review the short readme file during installation, then to see how (if?) it works for your files, send one video file to Movie Thumbnailer Express from Explorer. After you CREATE a thumbnail, you can then send that thumbnail to MODIFY if you wish to add a date/time or caption. If you have (exclusively) video files in folders by date then it makes things very easy to send an entire folder to CREATE, then MODIFY. Currently the only caveat is that if you send an entire (day) folder for modification and wish to add a date/time stamp, the time stamp would be the same for all files. Personally, I delete the time stamp, keep the date and add a caption, as I did in the example I posted.

Be sure to let me know how things go, or if you have any questions. I can easily modify the program to stamp your name/company, in lieu of mine, as it is in the demo.

Mike
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Old August 21st, 2011, 10:48 PM   #4
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

That's pretty slick. I created a few jpeg thumbnails of some M2T video files. I then added about a half dozen M2t files to a folder, and sent the folder to the Thumbnail Tool as a batch file and it created jpegs thumbnails for all of the video files in the folder. Nice!

Which is good, since I have over 3,000 M2T files!

Question:

When I open a folder of video files and thumbnails, the thumbnails remain closed. I have to click on each one individually to view them. Is there a way to open a folder with video files and jpeg thumbnails and have all the thumbnails open at the same time?

and can you tweak the tool to create like 10-20 thumbnails for a very long 30-60 min clip?

If you can do the above, I think your really on to something.

In properties I am opening the thumbnails with Windows Photo and Microsoft Picture Manager.

Dave
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Dave,

I'm glad you like it. First, yes, I'll make you a version which creates 15 thumbs equally spaced throughout the clip. Second, I'm not entirely certain what you mean by "the thumbnails remain closed". I am presuming you are working on Windows 7, am I correct? Are you referring to your view in Windows Explorer, where you can see (the default) thumbnails of your M2T files, but see only file names for JPEG files? A screenshot would go a long way here to show me what you see. The files created by Movie Thumbnailer Express are standard JPEG files, so they should appear just as any other camera JPEG you may have. If you could give me a little more information in this regard.

I'll let you know when I have the revised version ready, later today.

Mike
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

The Thumbnail Tool jpeg's are not open in Explorer like my typical photo jpeg's are. The Thumbnail Tool files only have icons of the program that I choose to open them.

I'm using Vista 64-professional edition. I have never been able to view thumbnails of M2T files.

I'll play around a little more, and report back.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

I got the thumbnails to open. Deep in properties of my folder I had choose icon selected.

Dave
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Dave,

That explains it, but I would ask why (and how) you would associate the JPEG thumbnails from Movie Thumbnailer Express (MTE) to something other than your default JPEG viewer? By this I mean how can you associate some JPEG files with one program, and other JPEG files with another, unless they have different extensions, such as JPG and JPEG? Just to be clear, are you saying that thumbnails for files created by MTE are not displayed in Windows Explorer, but for other JPEG files created by your camera are?

Most curious,
Mike
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 12:13 PM   #9
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Our messages crossed. I'm glad you got that figured out. I was a bit confused.

Regarding the 15 image "multi-thumb" (I'm having to invent terms here), what if you only had a short clip to thumbnail? How about an option to select a 2 image or a 15 image thumbnail. That way the user could could decide how detailed a thumbnail he wanted. I could also afford more caption space to a 15 image thumbnail to permit a longer description of a long clip. Follow me?
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 12:44 PM   #10
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

I wouldn't mind a basic 15 thumbnails for any or all size clips. I have a folder with 100's of 24P M2t clips from 10 seconds to 60 minutes in length. I would love to throw the whole folder into the Thumbnail Tool at once.

Don't worry, I have a backup folder. Let's go for it.

also, I have over 80 hours of HD and DV footage on 3 hard drives that I could catalog and thumbnail if I could. Need to be able to thumbnail HD and dv too???
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 02:50 PM   #11
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Dave,

I used this tool Homepage of CassetteDV to catalog my many dozens of DV tapes. Works well, but its going to take you a long time (as you might have guessed). Paul Glagla, its author, is an old friend of mine.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 03:08 PM   #12
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

All my old VHS, DV, and HD is stored on terabyte hard drives with backup. I think your thumbnail tool will do it for me.

Dave
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 07:31 PM   #13
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Dave,

I've just uploaded your custom version. Same download link as before. You can install over the existing installation. It is a 4x4 array (big, but shows a lot about a clip). I hope it works for you. Please let me know.

Mike
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

Mike,

All I can say is WOW.

I sent a 11.6 gig Folder with almost 60 full minutes of HDV 24p video to the Thumbnail Tool. It created 27 thumbnails in less than ten seconds!!!!

The thumbnails were created in a "double wide long vertical group". Which is OK. If you want to further tweak, I think it would be nicer to group the thumbnails in a 5 by 5 wall.

Anyway, I'm looking at thumbnails of a video I shot over 4 years ago, and had forgotten what was in the file. Your tool is amazing and super fast.

I presume that the tool will work for AVI files. I have a lot of old dv that needs examining.

Thank you!

Dave
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 09:31 PM   #15
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Re: Digital Video Thumbnails Tool

I can't believe this. I just sent 20 folders as a batch file to thumbnail tool. Over 165 Gigs of M2t video files all at one time. It create thumbnails for all the video's in all the folders in about 4 minutes....

Amazing,

I'm sending a whole hard drive filled with 436 Gigs of video at it now.

Dave
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