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Media Preview


Media Preview shows thumbnails for all your video files in Windows Explorer. Media Preview is powered by ffmpeg.

OS: Win
File size: 15MB
Old versions
Version history
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Media Preview screenshot
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Latest version

1.4.3 (April 13, 2014)


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Download Media Preview 1.4.3  15MB  Win

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Software License

Freeware (Free download!)

Supported operating systems


Complete Version history / Release notes / Changelog

Media Preview v1.4.3.429 (04/13/2014)

Mini-me release:

Better handling of camcorder recorded video files by getting actual thumbnails instead of grey images
Do not reset settings upon upgrading anymore (it won't work if you upgrade from 1.4.2 to 1.4.3 as uninstall is still handle by 1.4.2, but it will work when upgrading from 1.4.3)
Overall size reduced by nearly 10% (16.1MB to 14.7MB)

Media Preview v1.4.2.417 (03/30/2014)

Minor release:

Fixed the bug where Media Preview was crashing when selecting Luma Bicubic / Chroma Bilinear as the scaling method

Media Preview v1.4.1.415 (03/17/2014)

Mending release:

WinXP only: fixed a memory leak that didn't let users move or delete media files
Fixed debug output generation to avoid issues unrelated to Media Preview processing
Configuration tool
Added command line options to easily register Media Preview with any kinds of supported file formats

Media Preview v1.4.0.404 (03/09/2014)

Multimedia release:

Upgraded LAVF FFmpeg to repository state as of 03/09/2014
Improved support of video file formats:
Fixed a memory leak while processing cover arts
Added support for cover art embedded in mkv files
Added official support for several video file formats (bink, smk, wtv and dvr-ms)
Added support for H.265/HEVC and VP9 codecs
Added support for iPhone mp4 auto-rotation / orientation
Improved decoding of interlaced VC-1 and Lagarith encoded files particularly, but also of H.264/AVC encoded files
Optimized thumbnail generation to achieve a good speed boost when disabling Entropy
Windows 8 and 8.1 only: thumbnail generation was really too slow on these platforms, but got a huge speed boost after optimization
Added support for cover art embedded in audio files
Added support of common image file formats:
Correct transparency display
Faster thumbnail generation
Support of jpeg auto-rotation / orientation when Windows allows it
Fixed a potential memory leak while processing swf files
Unified everything into a single installer
Can now be displayed with all the languages already supported by the configuration tool
Fixed a bug where the installer could re-install an old version instead of the expected version when upgrading
Configuration tool
Added new tabs to easily select audio and image file formats
Added "live testing" support for audio and image files
Added the ability to change thumbnail adornment in the advanced options
Improved the file association engine to replace other third-party thumbnailers
Enabled filling up thumbnail cache for network drives
Added a convenient "Remove All" button for user defined format listings
Improved user defined format browsing feature: automatic scanning can now be stopped mid-way
Added Italian translation, thanks Luca!
Improved handling of grammar number rules, particularly useful for languages having more complex name declension systems than the dual singular/plural rule

1.3.2 beta2

Fixed bugs:
-Common audio file formats doesn't work on Windows 8 yet
-Support for common audio and image file formats on WinXP/Vista/7 is enabled by manually adding them as User Defined Extensions (bottom part of the File Formats tab). Better User Interface to follow soon
-If a file format is registered in Windows with the wrong PerceivedType, Media Preview may not generate any thumb for it
-[regression] MKVs embedding font files don't get any thumb when cover art enabled

New stuff:
-Robust system to enable support of new format categories (applied to audio and image formats).
-Support of every audio formats with cover art embedding capabilities.
-Support of the most common image formats.
-Added some video formats (bink, wtv, dvr-ms and a few others).
-Jpeg auto-rotate / orientation partially supported (see bug section).
-The config tool now enables to easily select audio and image formats through their dedicated tabs.
-The config tool also supports "live testing" of audio and image formats.

1.3.2 beta1

New stuff:
-Better support of wmv / asf files
-Fix cover art for wmv
-Add cover art for mkv
-Fix memory leak while processing cover arts
-common image file formats:
--Support real transparency for .bmp (MS: black background), .tga (MS: grey background) on Vista+
--Add support for .jpg (faster), .bmp (really faster), .tga (bit slower)
--Other image formats not extensively tested yet (.gif, .pcx, .png)
-common audio file formats:
--Add support for .flac, .ape, .mp3 (do the same as MS thumbnailer), .m4a (do the same as MS thumbnailer)
--Other audio formats not extensively tested yet (.wv, .wma)

Media Preview v1.3.1.343 (02/05/2013)

Patch release:

Fixed regressions due to the missing C runtime. It should henceforth really be unneeded now...
x64 OS only: fixed the desktop shortcut link

Media Preview v1.3.0.341 (02/04/2013)

Windows 8 release:

Full support of Windows 8
Support of *.swf and *.xvid file formats
Added an option to display embedded cover art instead of a random video frame for *.wmv, *.mp4 and their derivatives (the only area where the vanilla MS thumbnailer was still better at!)
Fixed 2 bugs in luminance computation
In a special case, color components could be misinterpreted
Blue color component was never taken into account (no improvement for cartoons, better mostly for live video sequences)
Upgraded LAVF FFmpeg to repository state as of 02/04/2013
Removed dependency to the C runtime
WinXP only: thumbnails are now generated even for non-ASCII filenames (this bug was triggered for all non-English characters)
Support silent install, i.e. without having the configuration tool being launched during installation
Localized installer into English, French and Simplified Chinese, so there are 3 different installers now
x64 OS only: now install the x86/Win32 version of MP along the x64 version to fix thumbnail generation for x86 processes within x64 systems
Configuration tool
Added command line options to register / unregister Media Preview for every supported file formats (simply append /Register or /Unregister)
Activated the 3rd mode in Test & Cache tab, thumbnails can now be extracted into *.png files
Chosen display language is now memorized, quite useful for those working on an English OS but having a different native tongue
Added translations to Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese and Traditional Chinese. Thanks to Muhammad, Igor and Newgene01!
Added a button in the Advanced tab to force Windows Explorer to take into account the thumbnail adornment parameters for every MP configured file formats
The size editbox in Test & Cache is now a more user-friendly editable combobox

Media Preview v1.2.5.264 (06/18/2012)

Rock-solid release:

Improved the robustness of the core to handle more edge cases without reporting any error to the shell
Modified the advanced options of the config tool as followed:
Improved thumbnail adornment overlay management in order to avoid any side-effects on Media Center-like applications
Added the option to disable file type overlay on thumbnails

Media Preview v1.2.4.253 (06/13/2012)

User request release:

Improved badly encoded file processing to further avoid black frames
The version of LAVF FFmpeg used until now was actually still the version as of 04/10/ updated it as of 06/13/2012:
This fixes a bug where some DVD VOB files could be recognized as a VC-1 encoded file instead of MPEG-2, leading to an unrecoverable error
Patched it to let FFmpeg extract images from interlaced VC-1 encoded video file even if we get some grey clouds instead of a complete image
Added some functions to the config tool:
Windows XP only: users can change thumbnail size using Tweak UI. The Testing and Cache tab now has an option to handle this Tweak UI parameter
Windows Vista+ only: The Testing and Cache tab has a new button that forces Media Preview to search for every media files on local drives, generate thumbnails, and cache them. Handy for users having a lot of often updated partitions filled with video files!
Added some common sound file formats to the user-defined format blacklist
Now forbid to add already supported formats through the user-defined format manual input
Fixed several minor live testing related bugs
Fixed a bug that could result in not launching any clearing cache operation while searching for still opened folders
Included German translation. Thanks Kai!
Included Russian translation. Thanks Долматов!

Media Preview v1.2.3.217 (05/28/2012)

Ergonomics release:

Fixed an edge case where a very short clip could not get any thumbnail
Now fully compatible with other Explorer-like applications, e.g. Total Commander
Added full support of *.mpe files
Upgraded LAVF FFmpeg to repository state as of 05/28/2012
Revamp the config tool a bit for better ergonomics:
Added tooltips whenever useful information was needed
Scaling methods are now put along a speed-quality slider
Enabled the "restore default system settings" button
Changed live testing as follows:
Fixed a performance slowdown, accumulating with each display language switch
Fixed a memory leak
Can show various side-by-side comparisons
Processes files faster on Win7+
Works the same way on XP and Vista+: only updates requested thumbnails instead of deleting the entire Thumbs.db cache file
Added an Advanced tab with features for power users and developers
Fully complied to Libavcodec LGPL licence and changed Media Preview licencing terms
Remains free for non-commercial use
Redistribution is forbidden without permission (it's mainly a way for me to trace where the app get uploaded)
Repackaging is forbidden without permission (I saw a portable version floating around, which is a nonsense for an app that must be integrated to the system...)
Again, special thanks to the administrator of Codec Guide for his numerous feedbacks. I also want to acknowledge JEEB, one of the administrators at CCCP for reminding me that proper software licencing does matter.

Media Preview v1.2.2.169 (05/01/2012)

Hotfix release: A user reported that the live testing feature made the configuration tool to crash on 32-bit editions of Windows Vista+. Well, not anymore :)

Media Preview v1.2.1.167 (04/30/2012)

Completed release:

Thumbnail generation is now based on display aspect ratio instead of storage aspect ratio
Added full support for most of the existing media file formats on the market (notably 3G mobile phones, DVD-Video and Blu-ray dedicated formats)
Media Preview no longer reports error to the shell when processing corrupt, damaged or incomplete files, e.g. files still being downloaded through peer to peer means, but try its best to extract something out of them
Completed the implementation of all the functionalities of the configuration tool, apart from a minor one:
Added scaling method to the setting items
Easily change file association
Run live testing of configuration changes
Upgraded LAVF FFmpeg to repository state as of 04/30/2012

Media Preview v1.2.0.115 (04/16/2012)

Enhanced release:

Disabled DirectX acceleration (no big processing improvement but problems with low-end graphics card drivers)
Better support of Windows XP by enabling thumbnail cache for local drives
Improved metrics calculation resulting in faster processing (notably for virtual machines under Windows 8 CP)
Media Preview is now entirely configurable
Media Preview now comes with a configuration tool, to allow you to speed up thumbnail generation if you still find it slow. Some functionalities of the tool are currently disabled and should be implemented in the next version.

Media Preview v1.1.1.86 (04/10/2012)

eXPerience release:

Switched from Libav to FFmpeg (latest version of the LAV Filters branch):
Better performance thanks to a memory management patch
Better decoding for most of the video formats
Added full support of *.mpg and *.mpeg files
Support of Windows XP

Media Preview v1.1.0.74 (04/08/2012)

Optimization release:

Trimmed Libav from unnecessary encoders, multiplexers and filters, resulting in a nice library downsize of 6 to 1
Activated DirectX hardware acceleration for video stream processing
Upgraded Libav to repository state as of 04/08/2012
Special thanks to the administrator of Codec Guide for giving useful hints on how to recompile FFmpeg.

Media Preview v1.0.1.29 (03/18/2012)

Bugfix release:

Check dependency with Microsoft C runtime library
Upgraded to Libav 0.8.1, fixing some rendering issues
Support of Windows 8
Added full support for *.rmvb files

Media Preview v1.0.0.1 (03/10/2012)

Initial release: Support of Windows Vista and 7. Thumbnail generation with image entropy and average luminance as validation metrics.
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All features


Since the advent of Windows XP in 2001, Windows Explorer has improved its usability by running a preview control system that let you get a glimpse at the content of your files while browsing and without having to open them. For media files, this is done by generating thumbnails replacing default icons.

But the default video thumbnail extractor of Microsoft generally does a lousy job at getting useful previews of your media files, mostly due to performance considerations. Nevertheless, computers have become powerful enough not to let the matter rest, and Media Preview can help them to provide you the best.

Supports The Key Media Formats

By default, Windows only supports the media file formats developped by Microsoft or for Quicktime, and ignores other popular media formats. Third-party media players fill the gap in terms of playback but usually let the preview functionality on the side-road.

Media Preview is here to bring to your computer the full preview capabilities for all of your media files.

Redefines The Uniqueness Of Your Media Files

While browsing TV series folders, you probably already got sets of identical thumbnails, where the default thumbnail extractor get stuck with the same title sequence.

Media Preview get over this by seeking another sequence of your media files to let you get more information out of them.

Works Everywhere

Windows comes in 2 different flavors, 32-bit and 64-bit versions, the later not being entirely backward compatible. And one of the main problems with third-party thumbnail extractors is that most only work on the 32-bit version.

Media Preview caters to every versions of Windows so that you won't feel cheated even if you opted for the more performing 64-bit version. Obviously, it also works seamlessly with your local and remote media files.

Avoids The Monochrome Symptom

The default video thumbnail extractor usually grabs the first frame of your media files, possibly leading to only display a collection of black thumbnails.

Media Preview is smart enough to detect image relevance using related metrics. If the extracted image is part of a shot transition, Media Preview will go seek the following scene to get a meaningful thumbnail.

Gets You Free Of System Constraints

While browsing, you probably encountered some issues like not being able to rename or move a file anymore, because the thumbnail extractor was still running in the background.

Media Preview won't ever remind you of its presence as you'll be able to do what you want with your files.

Designed For System Stability And Performance

Third-party thumbnail extractors use directly the video rendering pipelines of your system and so impose upon you the media solution it's tied to, sometimes invoking a full-blown framework to do the job.

Media Preview remains out of the regular rendering pipeline, lets your delicate playback setup stable and out of harm, doesn't clutter your system with more than needed, but still performs efficiently.

Sections/Browse similar tools

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Acronyms / Also Known As

BabelSoft Media Preview, MediaPreview

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9 reviews, Showing 1 to 5 reviews

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Review by grmi on Nov 11, 2019 Version: 1.4.3 OS: Windows 10 Ease of use: 4/10 Functionality: 2/10 Value for money: 4/10 Overall: 2/10

After the latest Windows update you can no longer use this programme to stop thumbnailing of video files whilst leaving thumbnails of photos. It's all or nothing now.

Review by naszdom on Jul 30, 2019 Version: OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 6/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 6/10 Overall: 1/10

No comments. Rating it only.

Review by Anon on Aug 20, 2018 Version: 1.4.3 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

A couple of delays up to a minute each during installation on 8.1 (just a little patience required), but now works very well with all my video types and thumbnail sizes. This helps me see those thumbnails when viewing my computer on a 1080 res. tv. Thanks to the developers!

Review by fred on May 22, 2017 Version: OS: Windows 8 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

At this point in time, I must say that Media Preview is the best thing ever. I love it.

Review by andythebeagle on Oct 14, 2015 Version: 1.4. OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 10/10 Functionality: 10/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 10/10

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