YouTube and Dailymotion’s big thumbnails

If your site or blog uses a theme that uses thumbnails as part of the preview, or just want to use them as part of an article or post you’re writing, there’s an easy way to get YouTube and Dailymotion’s big thumbnails.

This short guide is for people who want to get the thumbnails manually, if you want your website to do it automatically you will need either plugins or do it via php.

On Dailymotion it’s pretty easy, all you have to do is get the video address from either the address bar or the permalink box, and then add “thumbnail/” right before “video.”

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdpo4j_firefox-auto-scroll-webpages-tekzil_school

http://www.dailymotion.com/thumbnail/video/xdpo4j_firefox-auto-scroll-webpages-tekzil_school

On YouTube it’s a little bit more complicated.

First you need the video ID, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vsKypVze2w <– that’s your ID.

Normally for the small thumbnail it’s either:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/(VIDEO ID)/default.jpg

http://img.youtube.com/vi/(VIDEO ID)/(1, 2 or 3).jpg

Now, for the big one it’s gonna be zero, as in

http://img.youtube.com/vi/(VIDEO ID)/0.jpg

If you use Firefox you could also right click on the thumbnail and do “view image,” that will show you the small thumbnail, from there all you have to do is replace “default.jpg” with “0.jpg.”

However this doesn’t work all the time, some older videos will not display the big thumbnail at all, so keep that in mind if you keep seeing the small thumb only.

Also that’s as big as the big thumbnails go, don’t expect them to be 1024×764, if you want to use them in a slideshow like the one I have on the main index you’ll need even bigger images, so this will not work.

From there you can save it and upload it to your website. If you’re using WordPress 2.9.x you might have noticed that you cannot use an external picture as a post thumbnail, it has to be uploaded through WordPress for it to see it, so keep that in mind if you try to hotlink the thumbnails directly from Dailymotion and Youtube.

If somebody knows how to manually get thumbnails from Vimeo please let me know.

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