As you may have read from my previous postings, I use my Zune primarily for watching TV shows that have been recorded on my desktop PC in DVR-MS format, and then converted to WMV format for my Zune. I’ve got the entire process automated using the wonderful utility called, DVRMSToolbox, along with a commercial-cutting utility called ShowAnalyzer.
The only small issue I have, is that the cover art for the generated WMV file (or “Thumbnail” image) is obtained from a randomly selected frame image from the video file. Since this frame image is selected before all the commercials are cut out, sometimes it will use a image frame from a commercial and thus looks bad as a cover art for the video file. As such, there isn’t an easy way of defining a different frame or image to be used as the cover art. You can use the File Explorer add-on utility called AudioShell to define the cover art, but that’s a very manual process and I want something that can be done on a command line for use with my DVRMSToolbox setup.
Thus, I created a small utility called setWMVThumbmailImage which will modify the WM/Picture attribute of WMV video file container and set the cover art to a specified jpg file. To use it, you run the following from a DOS command window:
setWMVThumbnailImage (input wmv file) art (cover.jpg)
So as an example, if I have a video file called, “fringe.wmv” and I want to change the cover art for this video to use the jpg image file, “fringe_show.jpg” I would use the following command,
setWMVThumbnailImage fringe.wmv art fringe_show.jpg
Note, that “art” is a required keyword that tells the application to insert the jpg as the cover art.
With this utility, I can now use it to insert a jpg image as the cover art for my converted DVR-MS file to WMV format. So, I can change the cover art, but how do I extract an image from the video file to be used as the cover art? The makers of DVRMSToolbox also have a utility called DSSnap which is suppose to extract a specified frame from a DVR-MS video file into a jpg file, but it doesn’t seem to work on my Vista OS system. As such, I discovered that I can use the well known video converter tool called FFMpeg to extract a specific image from a WMV video file to a jpg file. Here’s how I would extract the video frame image at 1 minute, 10 secs into the video playback,
ffmpeg -i “fringe.wmv” -an -ss 00:01:10 -t 00:00:01 -f image2 -vcodec mjpeg “fringe_show.jpg”
So I can use the above operation to get the desired jpg cover art from the video being processed, and use my utility to insert this jpg image as the cover art for the WMV video file. I’m going to test this a bit with my automated conversion system and if it works ok, I’ll make my cover art utility available on this web site in the near future. Stay tuned!