Windows Explorer is great for finding and organizing files, but it’s sadly lacking in preview and thumbnail support for anything other than garden-variety JPEG and AVI files. FLV , OGG, APE, FLAC, PCI and other less-common formats appear as generic application icons without a preview—not exactly optimal when trying organize a varied multimedia collection.
[Have a tech question? Send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
But where Microsoft has been remiss, Babelsoft has not. The company’s aptly named Media Preview integrates seamlessly into the Windows open preview architecture to provide thumbnails and previews of all those files I mentioned and more. Even better, Babelsoft charges the grand sum of... Nothing. Nada, zip, zilch, zero. That’s right, the spirit of Linux right here in Microsoft-land.
Using Media Preview is simple: Download it, install it, then open the configuration tool seen below and select the music, picture, or movie files types you want it to generate thumbnails and previews for.
Click Apply for each tab and enjoy. Note that creating thumbnails takes CPU cycles and disk space. Your system may slow down while creating the icons each time you visit a new folder.
Caveats or no, take a look at screen grabs of my test video folder before and after installing the Media Viewer. I don’t know about you, but I definitely prefer the after.
Media Preview is a simple fix for a simple problem that someone has put out there for free. Huzzah!