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Display Video Thumbnail in Windows Explorer (FLV, 3GP, MKV, Webm, etc)

Video thumbnail displayed in Windows explorer makes us easy to grab a quick preview of a video file without having to open it. Sometimes the file name isn’t good enough in describing what the video has and this thumbnail support here is a great help for this. Unfortunately, there are still some popular video formats that aren’t supported in Windows explorer. FLV, 3GP and MKV are just a few to name. It’s just kind of annoying to see that some of your video thumbnails are displayed while the others aren’t within a directory.

Media Preview is here to help. It’s a free plugin for Windows Explorer that lets you see tons of video thumbnails that you can’t see before. It supports a wide range of video formats that are left behind by the explorer.

media preview

Quick video thumbnail generation

After installing, you can select any video format that you want to display its thumbnail. The configuration window will open automatically once you finish the installation. Just check the boxes or simply click “Select All” button to enable all at once. There is this “Restore System Default Settings” button on the bottom of the window. This is supposed to undo all of the changes you make and bring back the default thumbnail support in the explorer.

Support tons of video formats

Aside from flv, 3gp, mkv, and webm, it also supports avi, mpg, mp4, m2ts, ,ts, mpeg, ogg, mov, hdmov, rmvb, rm, vob, wmv, asf, etc.

Interestingly, if you don’t find a certain video format from the list in the configuration window, you can add it manually in the “User Defined Extensions” box.

In my case, I only select three video formats: Matroska (mkv, webm) and Flash (flv).

Once you’ve done with the selection, click on the Apply button. Now go check the video thumbnails in Windows explorer. I’ve seen them displayed instantly after applying the settings. No Windows restart is required.

Smart thumbnail generation

Instead of simply generating thumbnail from the first frame of a video that can lead to a nothing but a black screen thumbnail, or lead to same thumbnail displays between two video files, Media Preview steps further. In a nutshell, it attempts to provide a good visual representation for the videos.

Media Preview can also be configured to enable or remove the overlay icons on video thumbnails, but I notice that it only works on some video formats. You can also display video reel image on the thumbnails if you want to. It’s better to remove these additional stuff, however, to speed up the thumbnail generation.

disable or enable overlay icon

When I enabled the thumbnail support for MKV, FLV and Webm videos, some of my videos display black screen. This is acceptable, though, as the videos contain some dark scenes. I changed the position seek from 33% to 51% and the problem is gone. You can do so in the Settings window of the application.

Note that if you change the position seek, some changes can take effect only after restarting Windows explorer or restarting your Windows.

position seek for preview

Media Preview is a freeware developed by BabelSoft. It is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7 and Windows 8.

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