Media Module F.A.Q.

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What is the Media module?
The Media module is a File Browser to the Internet.
The Media module provides a framework for managing files and multimedia assets, regardless of whether they are hosted on your own site or a 3rd party site. It replaces the Drupal core upload field with a unified User Interface where editors and administrators can upload, manage, and reuse files and multimedia assets. The Media module is meant to act as a supplement or replacement for many other multimedia modules, such as FileField, Embedded Media Field, Media Mover, and Asset.

What is a stream?
Any time data is passed between computers it is done through a “stream”. In the past Drupal handled only files within your local file system as a stream. The Media module will open up Drupal’s stream ability to any 3rd party file or multimedia repository for which there is an implementation, which we refer to as “Media module plugins” or PHP Stream Wrappers.

For more info, please see http://us.php.net/manual/en/intro.stream.php

What is a PHP Stream Wrapper?
A stream wrapper consists of code which tells PHP/Drupal how to handle the specific stream. For example the stream wrapper for YouTube (available at Media: YouTube) adds the ability to add YouTube videos to a Drupal site using the new Media module interface, and the video would become available to the Drupal file system as though it were a local file. More technical information can be found at http://us.php.net/manual/en/function.stream-wrapper-register.php.

Where can I find the Media module?
The main project page is located at http://drupal.org/project/media. Media module plugins will be listed on the main project page as well as on the Media Group.

Why do we need the Media module?
Currently there are hundreds of modules that deal with files and multimedia, which has led to an enormous amount of duplicate code and conflicting implementations. Consequently, it has prevented multimedia and file module maintainers from coordinating more closely, and has created a huge overhead for maintaining Drupal’s multimedia and file capabilities. The multiplicity of modules also contributes to the confusion experienced by Drupal users who are choosing the modules to use for their site, and makes it difficult for developers to figure out how best to contribute to multimedia and file module development.

The Media module framework is helping to unify many of the current multimedia and file efforts, acting as a springboard to future development. Interested developers can focus on their expertise or interests, without having to worry about file handling or the integration of their work with other developer’s modules. For example, if a developer wanted to utilize a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) within their site, but also wanted to give their users access to work with local files and YouTube, they could simply write the wrapper for their CDN and include it along with the Media module and the YouTube wrapper.

Will the Media module support displaying multimedia files?
No. The Media module provides an engine that can be used to manage files and metadata. Individual Media module plugins, as well as the modules they integrate with, will handle media display.

What modules will support Media module?
The following modules will either support the Media module or provide clean upgrade paths when the Media module is complete:

FileField (in core for Drupal 7)
ImageField (in core for Drupal 7)
ImageCache (in core for Drupal 7)
Image API (in core for Drupal 7)
Embedded Media Field
Media Mover
XSPF Playlist
FLV Media Player
YouTube API
Flash Video

Who is working on the Media module?
The Following developers and companies are actively helping to build the Media module:

Aaron Winborn (aaron) - Advomatic
Arthur Foelsche (arthurf) - CivicActions
Darrel O'Pry (dopry)
Ken Winters (kwinters) - Coalmarch Productions
Andrew Morton (drewish)
Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg (Alex UA) – Zivtech
Roger López (rlopez) - SonyBMG
Jody Hamilton (Jody Lynn) - Zivtech
Owen Osborn (oweno) - Zivtech
Manuel Garcia (Manuel Garcia)

When can I use the Media module?
You can follow the Media module roadmap, and the main Media module project page.

What can I do to help?
Introduce yourself to any of the current contributors in the list above. Many of us hang out in IRC in the #drupal, #drupal-dojo and/or #drupal-dev channels. Also, if you want to jump right in, you can look at the Media module's issue queue. We need developers from many specialties and backgrounds, as this is a large and multi-faceted project. We need people familiar with the usual suspects: Drupal coding standards, PHP, jQuery, Multimedia display, File storage, PHP Stream Wrappers, Documentation, Theming, CSS, etc.

Finally, we need to get more people aware of and excited about the Media Sprint. If you maintain a media module, or have a favorite media module you want to make sure doesn't get left behind, then join us. We can help ensure the module embraces these new standards and becomes future-proof.

Is the Media module going to be in core?
Parts of Media module will likely make their way into Drupal 7 core. However, because the Media module is still in a very early development stage, it’s doubtful that the majority of the functionality will be ready for core by the time of the Drupal 7 code freeze (September 2009).

However, Drupal 7 support of the Media module is early in the development plan, which should also make good use of other file-related changes in Drupal 7 Core (native stream wrappers, etc.).

What functionality will the Media module support out of the box?

  • File selection
  • User files
  • Embeded media
  • Custom views
  • Media Mover files
  • Local directory files
  • FTP files
  • S3 files

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