Media in Drupal 7 | NetEngine

Media in Drupal 7

Adding images to a Drupal site has always been a hassle - until now.

Before Drupal 7, developers had to download contributed modules such as Imagefield to allow users to upload their own images to a site. This meant images could be added to nodes, but not to blocks or comments (since you can’t add fields to them). IMCE was therefore a popular choice, as it not only allowed uploading images to any textarea on the site, but also allowed browsing of images already on the server (no more having to upload the same image multiple times).

But IMCE was not without it’s problems: although it allowed users to resize images, it didn’t integrate with Imagecache - the standard image resizing/manipulation utility. It also didn’t integrate well with lightbox-type modules.

With the release of Drupal 7 however, image fields are now in core and files are handled much better by the File API’s use of PHP stream wrappers. Core’s support of images still isn’t perfect, but one module aims to fix that: Media.

The Media module is still in active development, and not quite ready for production sites, but is already well on its way to becoming the de facto standard media handling contrib module for Drupal (with hopes of making it into core for Drupal 8).

Media will allow users to upload images from their computers, browse images already on the server, and even pull in images from external sites such as Flickr. It aims to provide a unified interface for managing media files in Drupal (whether uploading from a WYSIWYG editor or from an image field) and integrates with the Styles module which will allow for the resizing and manipulation of images, as well as lightbox support (in development).

Media will obviously support other media formats such as videos and audio files, but just the work they’ve done on image handling alone makes me look forward to making it our default image handling module!