timg, a text mode image viewer and video player

Yes, you read it right. timg is a text mode image viewer and can also play videos. But, but, how is that possible?

timg uses suitable Unicode characters and also the colour support that is available in many terminal emulators.

The timg application that can show images and videos on a terminal emulator. Create your own teddy bear with Blender by following this Blender tutorial by tutor4u.

timg is developed by Henner Zeller, and in 2017 I wrote a blog post about creating a snap package for timg. A snap package was created and published on the Snap Store. I even registered the name timg although some time later it became much stricter to register a package name if you are not the maintainer. In addition, it was so early days for snap packages that I think you could not setup the license of the software in the package, and it always came up as Proprietary.

Fast forward from 2017 to a couple of weeks ago, a user posted an issue that the snap package of timg does not have the proper license. I was pinged through that Github issue and decided to update the snapcraft.yaml to whatever is now supported in snap packages. Apparently, you can now set the license in snap packages. Moreover, timg has been updated and can play many more image and video formats. I figured out the latter because timg now has a lot more dependencies than before.

What use would you have of a text mode image viewer and video player?

  1. Security. The snap package at least does not have access to the X11 server, nor the network, neither the audio server.
  2. Convenience. You are on a remote server (like a VPS) and do not want to ssh -X after you install an X11 application with all the dependencies.
  3. Workflow. The image you view, is part of your text session. No popup windows that open and dissappear.

Permanent link to this article: https://blog.simos.info/timg-a-text-mode-image-viewer-and-video-player/

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