Embedded Media Field a Media Essential

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Embedded Media Field has grown exponentially in the last year since I've begun developing it. From its humble beginnings as a brainstorming session at DrupalCampNYC last spring, it has grown from a quirky method of make embedding YouTube videos easier for editors to a full-featured suite of modules allowing for drag-and-drop placement of third party videos, images, and audio clips.

Used on a wide range of sites, such as Air America, NRDC, and Drupal Dojo, the module is a flexible and powerful solution for embedding multimedia.

The Weaknesses

The first weakness would be documentation. Though it is simple to use, as it integrates automatically with CCK and Views, based on the occasional support requests in its issue queue, documentation could be a little more filled out. However, several people have begun writing tutorials and recipes for using it, such as Sean Effel's excellent Feed API + Emfield video tutorial, and another video tutorial in Portuguese.

Next is its complexity. It tries to do a lot, and grew organically with differing goals, so that some parts branch out in ways that I would code differently if I were to start over. Additionally, the code documentation is sparse (although I have begun addressing that with the Drupal 6 port). All of this, combined with the significant changes to CCK and Views, has made the Drupal 6 port take longer than originally planned.

The Strengths

The strengths of the module, I believe, more than make up for its weaknesses, especially as these are as well in progress. The first is ease of use. An editor can literally drag and drop a video thumbnail to a node field to embed that video in their content. Configuration is sometimes a bit tricky, but the module works fine even out of the box.

Next is its extensibility. Well over a dozen providers, ranging from YouTube to Blip.TV to Flickr to Odeo are supported, and adding a new provider is generally a simple process for a developer. Unless a particular API is difficult to use, I can add basic support for a provider in less than an hour.

Additionally, several contributed modules, particularly Media Mover and Feed API, hook easily into its API, allowing for some powerful media solutions.

In all, I consider this module a necessity for most sites that I develop now, or at least any that wish video support. The growth of distributed video on the Internet has been phenomenal over the past year, and enabled with Embedded Media Field, Drupal has been able to meet the challenge.

And thanks go out to Fred Gooltz (for the initial idea), Sam Tresler (for help with the initial code), Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg (for helping to maintain it), and all the excellent people working on the issue queue! This is truly a collaborative effort.

(Cross-posted at Drupal Modules.)


Jonline's picture

Video between Body Content


I want to show my youtube video like this article.

This is my start body text
My Youtube video goes here
This is my end body text

How can I do that??

rick treadway's picture

needing help with our photo/video gallery

Give me a call or check out our website and see if there is anything you can do to make us have multi image/video upload, and give a code for people to put on there myspace, face book etc.

rick treadway


aaron's picture

I suggest using FileField

I suggest using FileField (with multiple fields checked) and jQuery Media. Drupal 5 for now, as the recipe doesn't work in Drupal 6 right now. As far as my availability to help out with your site, you would need to check with Advomatic. Cheers!

Sean Effel's picture


Aaron, it's pure coincidence that I looked you up today. I wanted to know if the jQuery Media you are maintaining will port up to Drupal 6 any time soon. I'm planning my next screencast and the Filefield + jQ Media recipe looked like a good topic. Its also a solution that is very close to my heart in a certain public access television implementation I'm working on. What do you think, should I put off the screenie until it ports up or just go ahead?

aaron's picture

File Field + jQuery Screencast, Yay!

I can't wait to see your screencast! Your others are very relevant, original, and useful. And File Field + jQuery Media, as you say, are a knock-out combination.

I've written up that very recipe for my upcoming book Drupal Multimedia, to be published this summer (I'm actually writing the last chapter this weekend). As far as the jQuery Media port to Drupal 6, that should be a fairly easy one, so I'll plan to do it by Tuesday. If you want to wait till then, that's cool, and I'll let you know when it's ready. If you can't wait for it, you'll be safe using Drupal 5 for the example, as this module won't change for this iteration.

Anonymous's picture



Robert Douglass's picture

Yes, this is a great module, and thank you!

For me, the real value hit home with Sean Effel's video that you referenced above. I've used the emfield module, along with FeedAPI and Yahoo! Pipes to build totally automated aggregation sites that are far more exciting than what you can get with an RSS reader. For example, check out the Zivtech inspired Wall of Cello Videos. That's nearly 400 videos on one page, and that's what's been aggregated in the last week. This is like crack for cellists ;-) So please, keep up the good work. This module is definitely on my I <3 list.

aaron's picture

Cello Heaven!

That is some great work, Robert! Definitely going on the emfield Wall of Fame, whenever that gets built. The site inspires me to finish up integration with YouTube API, so folks can more easily tie in some of the other future-supported features, such as grabbing youtube's comments, ratings, user-info, and the like.

The Society for Venturism has chosen me as the recipient of its charity for this year, to hopefully offer me cryonic preservation when the time comes. And this month, Longecity, an excellent forum for the discussion of issues related to extending the lifespan of humans, has offered up a matching grant of up to a thousand dollars to help out! So help out! Please.