Seeking an application for previewing videos.
April 30, 2006 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Anyone know of a video player or video catalog application with thumbnails?

I wake up around 9:00 am on the weekends. My kids get up around 7. I don't have a TV but I have lots of computers, and the normal routine is to point them at one of my linux boxes, where they know how to point nautilus to a directory with cartoons and pick what they want to watch, so I can sleep for another hour or two.

Nautilus gives you thumbnails of the videos, so a child who can't read can still figure out what they're watching. One great thing about the video previews in nautilus is that they are taken from frames in the middle of the file, so you can kinda see what's going on. It's even got the ability to scale the icons so they see big video previews.

I'm trying to wean them off of my linux box, because I actually do real work on it, and moved my videos over to a rarely-used windows server 2003 machine. I had to jump through some hoops to get video thumbnails working at all, but even when I did, it previews the very first frame of the videos only, which is almost always solid black.

So they see this solid black square and can't tell what's going on and I have to read them the entire list until they finally pick what they want to watch.

Does someone know of an application that a non-reading little kid can use to choose a video from the local filesystem?
posted by mragreeable to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
Thumbs Plus (Windows) will show thumbnails of video files and will play them (or most of them).

But just like what you already have, it creates the thumbnail from the first frame. If that's black (because the video fades in) then that's what you'll see.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:02 PM on April 30, 2006


If you have lots of computers couldn't you just purpose build another linux box and stick with Nautilus?

[sounds like a very cool system for your kids BTW]
posted by quin at 2:38 PM on April 30, 2006


Why don't dual boot the w2k3 machine, or use a configured live cd with Nautilus?
posted by singingfish at 4:39 PM on April 30, 2006


Well alright. Never, ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine Gentoo linux would prove to be the most kid-friendly operating system around. (At least in this admittedly narrow context.)

One option is to just make shortcuts to the real movies, and use custom icons for those shortcuts. It's a bit labor-intensive, but it'll work.

I may try the dual boot thing as well - I have a server or two around so I can just put the cartoons on that and have a link setup to open the shared repository.

Thanks much for the input.
posted by mragreeable at 10:45 AM on May 1, 2006


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