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Session thumbnail URL from UUID

I'm creating a web gallery that will sometimes contain Panopto embeds. I'd like to make it as easy as possible on my content authors, so if they provide a Panopto embed URL then I will determine a good thumbnail URL without asking them to find one or upload an image. My question is: if I know the ID of a session, am I able to construct a link to its thumbnail?

Viewing the Panopto interface, it looks like the answer is "yes." We have a commencement video with ID 452b767b-0035-470b-af66-ad2101821e06 and I see it's thumbnail URL is https://ccarts.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Services/FrameGrabber.svc/FrameRedirect?objectId=452b767b-0035-470b-af66-ad2101821e06&mode=Delivery&random=0.355176641305525&usePng=False

There's a random float in there which changes every time the UI loads. But if I drop the random parameter, the thumbnail still loads: https://ccarts.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Services/FrameGrabber.svc/FrameRedirect?objectId=452b767b-0035-470b-af66-ad2101821e06&mode=Delivery&usePng=False

I can drop the usePng parameter and the URL still loads, too. That parameter doesn't seem to do anything; you get a JPG or PNG thumbnail depending on the video, but the value of this parameter doesn't seem to affect anything.

But I digress; I don't really care about PNGs. All I want to know is: does the URL formula {domain}/Panopto/Services/FrameGrabber.svc/FrameRedirect?objectId=${ID}&mode=Delivery consistently deliver the $ID video's thumbnail? Is this something I can rely on? Do I have to include a random float for some reason? Is there anything in the APIs about thumbnails? I didn't see any documentation of this feature but I also didn't look for very long. I realize this may just be a support ticket but I figured the information could benefit other people, too.

Best Answer


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    I'd be interested in an "official" answer to this as well! I've used the frame grabber thing before for some things here and there. It seems to work as I expected, and with the same observations you had about removing the query strings, but since it isn't a publically documented thing I have a feeling it is potentially subject to change without documentation/notification of said change.

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    I wonder if changing the random value could (theoretically) change the thumbnail? Maybe that lets it select a random spot in the first second of the video?

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    From my tests, changing the random value doesn't change the thumbnail, though perhaps it's possible. I think it's some kind of cache-busting measure for the Panopto web UI.

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