YouTube Thumbnail Grabber

Sharing, even curating and embedding, YouTube videos is a popular way to produce content for websites, and done well, a pretty good one at that. I do find it somewhat surprising, however, that I encounter quite a number of sites that don’t present their YouTube video choices well, particularly those who simply do text links and descriptions.

Granted, YouTube doesn’t really provide an easy way to get thumbnails and/or screencaps of videos that’ll serve well for this purpose. It can even be frustrating—a visit to the site shows thumbnails in heavy use as you browse through the video selections. On top of which, YouTube lets video producers include specially prepared thumbnails for their submissions to make their creations more enticing to folks as they browse, so we know that thumbnail images are present on the site in abundance.

The YouTube Thumbnail Grabber takes care of that little hurdle. Enter the video’s URL (like, which is a scene from the movie 300 that I used for testing), select the resolution of the image you want to get, and download it to your computer for use. That’s all there is to it!

Low Quality has the smallest resolution (the one I downloaded and show below is 120×90 pixels), and is what we generally expect as a “thumbnail” size image. The other options (Medium, High and HD) get progressively larger. In fact, they’re more what we associate in size with typical screen captures that accompany posts and articles. The HD one I got, for instance, is a full 640×480.

Here’s the test Low size thumbnail, which I’ve linked directly to the 300 clip it came from on YouTube. Just click on it.

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