How to Get Auto Generated Youtube Video Thumbnails


If you want to host and share your videos online, then YouTube is your number one choice. YouTube has got a collection of videos that no other website on the web possesses. From official music videos to user uploaded videos on different topics, YouTube seems to have it all.

Due to different reasons, there may arise a need where you require thumbnails of different sizes of YouTube videos. You might have to link to a YouTube video from your website using the image or you might need the thumbshot to share on other websites.

You can generate those thumbnails manually by taking a screenshot of the video. That way is convenient but the smarter way is to get automatically generated YouTube thumbnails. YouTube auto generates a set of thumbnails of different sizes and quality for your convenience. The thumbnails are generated for each and every video hosted at YouTube.

How to Get the Thumbnails?

For our example we will be using the most popular video on YouTube i.e. Gangnam Style. The video is available at the url:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

You will have to get the video id of the video. For this particular video, the id is 9bZkp7q19f0. The id is present after the v= part of any YouTube video.

Getting Default thumbnail

This is the smallest possible thumbnail (120 px X 90 px) used by YouTube as well. The thumbnail is present at the following url:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/default.jpg

The thumbnail generated:

Gangnam Style Default Thumbnail

Getting Small Thumbnails

YouTube generates four small thumbnails for each video. The four screenshots are from different positions in the video. Here is the list of those four screenshots for Gangnam Style:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/0.jpg

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/1.jpg

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/2.jpg

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/3.jpg

Getting Medium Quality Thumbnail

The medium quality thumbnails are of size 320 px X 180 px and is available at the following url:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/mqdefault.jpg

Getting High Quality Thumbnail

If you need a higher quality thumbnail i.e. 480 px X 360 px thumbnail then access it via the following url:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/hqdefault.jpg

Maximum Resolution Thumbnail

Finally, if you need the largest possible thumbnail of a video i.e. equal to the largest possible size of the video 1080p, 720p etc. then you can get it by:

http://img.youtube.com/vi/9bZkp7q19f0/maxresdefault.jpg

*The maximum resolution thumbnail for the video in our example is 1920 px X 1080 px.

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