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This article was published on January 13, 2012

YouTube is rolling out a cool new thumbnail storyboard feature

YouTube is rolling out a cool new thumbnail storyboard feature
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

YouTube is rolling out a new version of its video player which will include a cool new feature, which lets you hover your mouse on any point of the video’s timeline and lets you see thumbnail images of specific frames, without the playhead actually skipping to that point in the video.

As Digital Inspiration reports, this new feature – similar to what already exists on other video players such as Netflix – lets users get an overview of the content of a clip without interfering with the actual playback. Here’s a screencast that gives you an idea of what it will look like:

Traditionally, YouTube generates three thumbnail images to represent a video, captured using the frames at the quarter, half and three-quarter points in a video clip. The new video player, however, has one hundred thumbnails for the entire video, and these thumbnail images are arranged in a 10×10 storyboard grid.

As you hover your mouse across different parts of a video, the new player will grab the thumbnails from the storyboard, and helps users skip to key parts within a video.

Digital Inspiration has pulled together some sample storyboard images from the YouTube website. It’s not yet clear when this feature will be available to everyone: