I copied a ton of MP3s onto a USB stick tonight and noticed:

  • I couldn't umount because totem-video-thumbnailer was busy processing the MP3s and
  • Each file was taking forever to process and
  • No network traffic was happening
  • A fair amount of CPU was being used

What gives? If it's pulling artwork from ID3, then it should be speedy. If pulling from the 'net, it should have traffic and not use CPU (maybe slow if e.g. waiting for response/DNS/whatever).

So what's the thumbnailer doing on MP3 files? I can understand a fair amount of work processing videos, but audio files?

  • I don't know, but you could investigate this using strace: sudo apt-get install -y strace then sudo strace -p$(ps -ef |grep 'totem-video-thumbnailer'|grep -v grep|head -1 |awk '{print $2}') Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


According to this bug report seems that your cache is damaged. Try deleting your ~/.thumbnail folder. That should fix it in this case.

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