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Totem never works right in my experience. My latest problem is that totem will not display some video Thumbnails. I fixed the problem by installing ffmpegthumbnailer and using this to generate thumbnails. But unfortunately it appears to have only fixed the problem within Nautilus. Shotwell, it seems, is still relying on Totem for its thumbnails because all the same videos that Totem wouldn't show Thumbnails for, Shotwell still won't either--even though Nautilus is now showing thumbnails for them because of ffmpegthumbnailer.

How do I get Shotwell to use ffmpegthumbnailer instead of Totem for video thumbnails?

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Which version of Ubuntu are you on? – Thomas Ward Jun 21 '12 at 17:08

Shotwell 0.9.x uses Totem for video thumbnailing, but that was dropped as of Shotwell 0.10 in favor of shotwell-video-thumbnailer. Chances are, upgrading to a more recent version will solve your problem.

As for ffmpegthumbnailer, you'd have to edit the Shotwell code to add support for it. The place to look would be in VideoSupport.vala in the thumbnailer() method. That said, duplicate detection relies on video thumbnails -- something to keep in mind if you have an existing Shotwell database.

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This question has been around for some time, but it does also matter today, because some Linux distributions have licensing issues on this and it might be easier to use ffmpeg. I found, that renaming

/usr/bin/shotwell-video-thumbnailer to /usr/bin/shotwell-video-thumbnailer-original and creating a new file

/usr/bin/shotwell-video-thumbnailer with:

# ffmpegthumbnailer -i "$*" -c png -s320-1 -o-
ffmpeg -threads 2 -loglevel error -y -skip_frame noref -ss 00:00:10 -i "$*"  -
filter_complex "thumbnail=100,scale=720:-1" -frames:v 1 -f image2 -

in it and making that executable by calling chmod +x /usr/bin/shotwell-video-thumbnailer does the trick.

You can either use ffmpegthumbnailer or the ffmpeg line depending on your personal preferences by moving the # from before ffmpegthumbnailer to before ffmpeg . I found ffmpeg to be faster and that's what the script in it's current form runs.

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GStreamer itself would be just fine, but there are still problems in how Shotwell uses it that I've described at bug #1406546. The bug includes information about my PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users that has an upgraded package using ffmpegthumbnailer.

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