I come across a lot of forum postings where people ask how to change the thumbnail art (or cover art) for video files. By default, most video conversion software don’t specify the cover art for a converted video file, so the Zune Software will simply use some random frame from the beginning of the video. The standard tools that people use for setting the meta data for a video file (e.g., TigoTago, zMeta, dSHARPIE) don’t have provision for editing or defining the cover art.
I’ve learned on the Babgvant’s Blog that the cover art is controlled by the bitmap data contained in the WM_Picture meta tag, however, I haven’t been able to find any application that can edit that tag… until now!
The program called AudioShell is not really a program that you run independently, but rather a shell extension which you access from File Explorer on your Windows system. With this extension installed, you can right-click on any video file to bring up a popup context menu, where you can select “Properties…”. The next dialog box that appears has a tabbed screen labeled, “AudioShell Tag Editor” from which you can select a jpg or bmp file to be the cover art for that particular video file. Very easy to use, and very handy for defining cover art for your converted video files.
One thing to note, is that it seems to take 1-2 minutes for this utility to completely save the cover art image to the video file, so be patient.
Below is a few images of what this extension looks like:
Since this extension is called “AudioShell” I can assume that it is primarily used for audio files, however, it does seem to work with video files also. Because of this, you can probably find other ID3 Tag editors that can add cover art as well. I really like this utility, since it can be access by doing a right-click on a filename direct from within File Explorer.