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MoviePrint: create video thumbnail summaries

MoviePrint is a free open source program for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh systems that creates thumbnail summaries of any number of video files.

The program is not the first of its kind; we reviewed Video Thumbnail Maker in 2008, ImageGrab in 2010,  Auto Movie Thumbnailer in 2010, and the Macintosh exclusive Thumber in 2008.

The first thing that you may notice is that MoviePrint is a huge application. The application has a zipped download size of 117 Megabytes (Windows) and 132 Megabytes (Mac) respectively. Large file sizes usually indicate the use of Electron, and that is the case here as well.

The Windows version is provided as a zip archive that you need to extract. Run the program afterward. It will add a shortcut to the Start menu of Windows but opens without installation dialog.

MoviePrint

movieprint

MoviePrint is simple to use, at least in its base configuration. Drag and drop one or multiple video files into the program interface to get started. The application parses the video, creates thumbnails automatically that depict scenes, and displays all thumbnails that it created in the end in the interface.

The sidebar displays all loaded video files if you added more than one. You can add more videos at any time and switch between each using the sidebar menu.

You can save any video summary creation with a click on the save button. MoviePrint saves the selection in the png format to the desktop by default; there is no confirmation or prompt. Individual thumbnails may also be saved.

You may change the output format, size, and path in the program settings. Note that the file path gets embedded in the png file by default; you may change that in the settings as well and change the default save directory to the folder the video is stored in.

The settings list customization options for the output. The program uses a 4×4 grid by default to display 16 thumbnails of the video. You may change that to any number between 1 and 20 for columns and rows. While it makes little sense to create a 1×1 grid, you may want to experiment a bit to find the perfect setting for your use cases.

Other options provided include adding a header to the output image to display file path, file details or timeline information (all individually selectable), and to show frames or the timecode for each individual thumbnail.

You can switch the default view to timeline view for each individual video. Timeline view displays each thumbnail next to each other which results in a display style that may work well for certain video files and not so well for others.

timeline view

Other customization options include defining custom ranges for the thumbnail creation and to select frames individually.

Closing Words

MoviePrint is a well designed open source application to create video summaries from any type of video file. The program supports a good range of input formats, and works well even if you drop large movies into the interface. Customization options are available in abundance and should satisfy most users.

The huge size is a minus in my opinion but that is the only thing that I find problematic. The developers promise that they don’t collect any data. Since it is open source, you may verify that claim by going through the source code.

Now You: Do you use multimedia programs?

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