So, let’s say you just downloaded all the session videos from a certain Mac System Administrators conference:
These would make for much better ‘posters’. In order to extract these frames, we’re going to use MPlayer — a free and open source media player. It handles just about all formats, is infinitely configurable and its
man ‘page’ is actually 145 pages*.
If you don’t already have MPlayer, the easiest way to install it is via Homebrew:
$ brew install mplayer
Now, on to the actual command:
Let's go through it piece by piece.
-nosound— Pretty self-explanatory. Don't worry about audio (saves some processor time).
-really-quiet— This time, not about audio. Surpresses the console output (it’s a very chatty command without this).
-vo png— Use video output driver
png. In other words, convert frames into PNG files. Followed by a list of parameters for said driver (separated by
z— PNG compression level. Hardly noticed a difference, so I cranked it to
outdir— Specify a directory to save the PNG files to (otherwise dumped in the current working directory).
-ss(not shown) — Seek to a given time position (e.g.
-ss 60take frame(s) from 1 minute into the video).
-frames— The number of frames to export. We only need
At the command line, navigate to the folder where your video files are located, run that bad-boy and check your
~/Pictures folder for the results.
After adding these assets to Plex, we see a noticable improvement.
* No exaggeration (US Letter). Try:
$ man -t mplayer > mplayer.ps