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When I add a movie or other video to iTunes, it appears that iTunes selects a video frame from somewhere near the beginning of the video file as the default cover art — and most of the time this is a terrible choice.

Many of the shows and movies in my collection have an opening sequence containing frames where a title is plainly shown (e.g. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"), or at least there's some scene in the video which is distinct & identifiable, a scene I would clearly recognize when scrolling through my collection with the Cover Flow view.

I'd like to specify such a distinct frame, from an arbitrary point in a video, as a video's cover art. I expected a slider somewhere to seek through a video and find just the right spot to use as cover, but I didn't find such functionality.

  1. How does iTunes determine which frame to select for the cover art from a video?

  2. Is there a way to tell iTunes to use a different video frame as the cover art?

  3. Failing that, what is a good alternative?

Thank you.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The frame that's used is called the "Poster Frame". It looks like iTunes chooses a frame 10 seconds into the video by default.

To choose a specific frame as the cover art:

  1. Start playing the video.

  2. Pause the video on the frame you want to use.

  3. Right-click on the video and choose "Set Poster Frame".

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I knew it was hiding somewhere :-) I was expecting to see the feature under the Get Info... Artwork tab, but I didn't think to actually play the video to look for this. Also good to know what this is officially called - thanks again. – Chris W. Rea Mar 27 '12 at 23:22

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