Drupal Media Session at DrupalCon Denver


This is a live blog of the Drupal Media session at DrupalCon Denver by Aaron Winborn and Dave Reid. The sessions is all about the Media module. We wrote a detailed introduction to the Media module here.

Aaron wrote the Drupal Multimedia book. He introduces himself as an ALS sufferer who will likely die within a year unless he’s one of the lucky 10%. If he is one of the lucky 10%, he’ll live in a locked-in sate. He’ss increasingly physically weak and can’t hear very well. He wrote about the condition here.

The big goals for the Media module

  1. A unified media / file manager.
  2. Files as fieldable entities. It allows you to add fields to files. For example, this would allow you to add taxonomies, dates and more directly onto files.
  3. A single file browser for authors.
  4. Allowing you to use Views in the file manage. You can use power of Views to browse based on taxonomy, file type and many other settings.

Media files in Drupal currently

  • Originally Drupal tackled media files by treating them as a node.
  • The creation of CCK fixed this somewhat by allowing the addition of a video field, an image field, an file fields and more. However, there was no unified API for storage or display and so each module did it’s own thing.
  • Some more improvements came with a WYSIWYG, IMCE and more.

The history of the Media module

This has been going on for around 4 years now. There have been a serious of sprints with some improvements already sent to core. They joke that it has been a 4 year code sprint.

Acquia’s need to use it on DrupalGardens was a big help and got the media to beta status.

The module is finally in Release Candidate and there’s the possibility of a 1.0 release this week.

Current status

1.x and 2.x versions are floating around. You can read a comparison between Media 1.x and 2.x. Essentially 1.x is the stable version and recommended for production use. People are using 2.x live but they are braver people.

There’s now a stack from highest to lowest (Drupal 7 is at the bottom) with software levels building on each other:

  • Modules that integrate with Media (YouTube, Vimeo etc module)
  • The Media module
  • Views
  • The File entity module
  • CTools
  • Drupal 7


How to use the Media Module

Dave Reid then give a demonstration of how the Media module works. You can get a similar, detailed overview in our Media module tutorial.

One thing we didn’t cover in that tutorial is how to add the Media module to your WYSIWYG. You can that via Configuration > WYSIWYG profiles and add the WYSIWYG button.

Another thing that we didn’t cover was adding fields to files. You can do that via Structure > File types.

The future of the Media Module

There is an unofficial Media initiative for Drupal 8 (you can find a list of the official initaitives here).

There are meetings every second Thursday in the #drupal-media channel on IRC.

It’s hard to tell what Media will look like in Drupal 8 yet. There will likely need to be a lot of communication with the main initiatives such as WYSIWYG and HTML5.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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