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I've got a collection of videos and most of the thumbnails generated are useless as they are of a frame very early on, in most cases the title sequence.

Is there any registry setting or something to change the minimum length into a file to take a thumbnail shot?

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You can use Thumbnailer Lite to specify a relative or fixed offset to use for video thumbnails. It can also alter a few other aspects of the thumbnail including adding a glossy shine on it. It can also be used to choose whether an embedded thumbnail is used (if available) or force a dynamic one to be generated.

Thumbnailer Lite

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  • This seems nice, but apparently outdated. Is there a 2016 solution to this? – bytecode77 Aug 9 '16 at 15:38
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Use Icaros.

Icaros is a collection of lightweight, high-quality, Windows Shell Extensions, which is capable of providing Windows Explorer thumbnails for essentially any video media file type. Icaros can provide Windows Explorer thumbnails, for essentially any video media format supported by FFmpeg which includes popular file types such as: MKV, FLV, AVI, MP4, MOV, RMVB, M2TS, OGM, etc. It is capable of thumbnailing just about any file by adding its extension(s) to the optional filetypes box and re-activating Icaros.

To set an offset to use for video thumbnails, after installing, open Icaros → Thumbnailing → Activate → SETTINGS → Set the "Thumbnail Offset." By default, it is set to 25% progress of the video. You can change this percentage, or you can also opt to set a specific preferred timestamp.

Screenshot: screenshot of configuration described above

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