How to get lightning fast thumbnails for mkv and avi

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How to get lightning fast thumbnails for mkv and avi

Postby KhaosDvorak on Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:31 pm

I have been using Ubuntu for literally the past 6 years, but recently made the jump to Mint 14 with Cinnamon. Am loving it.

Anyways, I noticed, just like in Ubuntu since 9.10, that I was not getting thumbnails generated for my 10bit .mkv files or avi, and that the thumbnail generation is very slow.

Anyways, using ffmpegthumbnailer and this small tweak, you can get flawless thumbnail generation for ALL videos and pictures. I was able to generate thumbnails for a folder with around 2500 jpg, gif, and png files in under 2 minutes with this tweak, and my laptop has a core 2 duo.

First install ffmpegthumbnailer from a terminal if you haven't already, as we will use that for generating thumbnails.

sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbnailer

Also make sure you still have totem player installed. It was installed by default. (shows up as movie player) You will need to tweak totem, which grabs the thumbnails by default, to work with ffmpegthumbnailer for all file types. A few years ago someone somewhere on the internet uploaded a tweaked totem.thumbnailer file. I do not remember who it was or where I got it, but credit goes to them for this.

Download the included archive, which has the file you need in it. After extracting it, you need to sudo into nemo using the following command

sudo nemo

You need to copy/cut the totem.thumbnailer file you extracted from the included archive to the following directory:


There will be three files in this folder, evince.thumbnailer, gnome-font-viewer.thumbnailer, and totem.thumbnailer. When you copy/cut the file into this folder, make sure to hit REPLACE on the dialog that pops up.

Thats it! Now your computer should generate thumbnails for those pesky 10 bit .mkvs.

You will need to delete your thumbnail cache if you want it to work correctly in most cases, and in Mint 14 the thumbnail directory has changed from .thumbnails in your home directory to .cache/thumbnails

Delete everything in the thumbnails folder (normal, failed folders) and then see how your thumbnail generation goes!

Also, please vote in the poll if this works for you. I have never had a problem, and I thinks something like this needs to be included in Mint (and Ubuntu) in the future.
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Re: How to get lightning fast thumbnails for mkv and avi

Postby jr72 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:13 pm

Sorry to dig up a relatively old post, but I registered to say this:

I've used this fix twice now, once on Mint 14 Cinnamon 64 bit and just yesterday for Mint 15 - neither would build thumbnails for pretty much any movie formats for any new files in Nemo despite having ffmpegthumbs installed, regardless of a fresh install or in-place distribution upgrade.

So thank you for posting this all those months ago - it saved a load of hassle trying to work out what wasn't working :D
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Re: How to get lightning fast thumbnails for mkv and avi

Postby FrameDragging on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:37 pm

It looks like simply installing ffmpegthumbnailer and deleting the contents of ~/.cache/thumbnails is enough to make this work now! :)
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Re: How to get lightning fast thumbnails for mkv and avi

Postby speedsterharry on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:15 am

Many many thx KhaosDvorak !

I installed these changes on my (not clean) install of cinnamon and nemo (went from Ubuntu 14.04 to gnome-fallback and then cinnamon, and I think we have a lovestory beginning ;) ). Navigating and most of all, sorting pictures in my various folders was a nightmare before applying this !
I can't really judge how far the Cinnamon developers have gone since I haven't install LM from ISO but I hope they have something equivalent installed by default (basically changed the slow thumbnailer for FFMPEGthumbnailer). I can't believe the speeds increase. Lightning fast is no exageration. Such a joy to use the system for this kind of tasks now :mrgreen:
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