Get Vimeo Thumbnail

Vimeo updated their API to version 3. In the process they have not only deprecated their previous, simple, API. They have also created a giant unwieldy monster that is unusable by 90% of developers in 90% of cases.

Sure, if you want to build an application around the use of vimeo for hosting your videos, this new API may be worthwhile.

But if you are like 99% of people who just want to display a thumbnail of a video hosted on Vimeo, you are **** out of luck. You need to setup library, and run through a bunch of oAuth bullshit. Dashron¬†over on stack overflow seems to be the lead developer for this API and I am sure he had his reasons. I just can’t fathom what they could be.

ANYWAY, angry rant aside I found a workaround for this on Brian Coords website. The following code is his, but I needed to save it here for my future use since there is no way I will ever setup an entire library in a project just to get a thumbnail.

Now to use this function you simple have to pass it the embed URL of your video, like this.

This should return the URL of your thumbnail which you can stick directly into your image src.

Thanks Brian!