This may not be for everyone, but its a quick and dirty way of generating thumbnails on a large collection without alot of hassle (at least once its setup). This solution might be bit technical, so if the instructions look overwhelming, you might want to wait until thumbnails are added to MIP or another tool. This original code is a PERL script, so for Linux it does need Perl. I have rolled up the script into a prepackaged EXE for Windows. This should work for most Windows systems. I tested on XP, but not specifically in Vista. There might be some UAC issues with Vista, but I think it should work okay.
To use this tool, you should be using a folder structure for your files. It will be pretty useless otherwise. This isn't really a limitation of the tool, but the Aeon skin for example looks for the thumbs in a directory relative to the movie folder. The program is designed to be a one shot script to pull thumbnails from virtually any movie file and batch the images to the right locations. Bold are new with version 1.2
- Config file based setup.
- Many file types searched. See config file for full list.
- You can run it in a collection folder and it will examine all subfolders automatically. An additional config/paths file can be used to scan multiple directories.
- Thumbs for multi-part movies are detected and spanned across the parts. However, XBMC has issues with this (see issues below).
- By default the program will detect if you've already made thumbnails and skip over that folder. You can overwrite existing thumbs by setting a config value.
- By default, I generate 9 thumbnails. This can be changed by providing an option at runtime or config.
- The time interval between thumbnails is calculated automatically based on movie duration.
- The default size of each thumbnail is 960x540. The size can be changed in config or with command line options. High quality thumbnail output and resizing is done automatically.
- Calculates aspect ratio of thumb vs movie and does letterbox or crop to the aspect.
- Cropping can be offset by a percentage value (allows frame offset of the crop itself).
- Code is MIT licensed and source code is included, so you can do with it what you'd like.
- Output of program work to a log file for easy backtracking of errors.
- Windows and Linux versions (will likely run on OS/X with Perl as well).
- Blur and black level detection to discard "bad" images
- For multi-part movies, Aeon's workaround in the XBMC skinning engine cannot find the thumbnails for these movies. This can only be resolved by joining the movie files. This may be fixed in XBMC in the future, but there is no planned timeline for this currently.
- Only VTS_1 is parsed for VOB files. It is assumed this VTS is the main movie.
- The program makes lots of "noise". Most all of this is FFMPEG output. Processing can be monitored in the log file.
- Previous versions had problems with FFMPEG hanging on bad movies. This should now be resolved.
Requirements for Linux:
If you're using Linux, I am kind of assuming you know what you're doing. If alot of Linux folk need additional help on these requirements, just let me know (PM) or reply in thread and I will try to help. I have tested this on an Ubuntu server install (8.04LTS) as well as XP.
- Perl 5 - any recent version will do. I tested with 5.8. I only use standard Perl modules.
- FFMPEG - more recent versions will work best. Most Linux systems have older versions by default. As such, you may need to compile your own or find an SVN build package. I recommend as new as possible.
- Mediainfo - I'm not sure which distros carry mediainfo by default. If you need a package, grab one here http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en/Download. You will need all three: libzen, libmediainfo and the CLI packages.
- ImageMagick - If you want to enable image processing for blur/black levels, you must install the CLI utilities for ImageMagick.
Everything should be pre-packaged, but you will need a zip utility to unpack the files.
For Windows users, I have packaged these requirements in a single file to aid with usage. I have also rolled up the script into a Windows executable. There isn't an installer though, so you're on your own for unpackaging and use.
Installation & Usage:
LINUX: Put the "thumber" script in your path (I usually use $HOME/bin), ensure FFMPEG, MediaInfo and Imagemagick are installed. Run the program by changing to the folder you want to scan, or add the path to the end of the command and it will use that path instead. NOTE: You do not need the tools directory or the thumber.exe for Linux.
WINDOWS: Extract the file to a folder of your choice. The main program is "thumber.exe". The alternate file "thumber" is the base Perl code. For general use, you should be able to drag a folder to the program file. NOTE: The program only accepts one folder, so if you drag multiple ones, it will only process the first one. If many users have problems with using the command line options, I might write some batch wrappers for this. The source code for Windows is separate and included in the "src" directory.
The program accepts command line options as well as using the config file. Command line options always override the config value. To get help on the command line options, run the program as follows:
I expect a few people might have issues, so I am happy to help however I can.
Hope this helps...