Last updated 24 August 2015. Created on 1 October 2013.
Edited by jcisio, drupalshrek, Tim Bozeman. Log in to edit this page.

Scald is too heavy, isn't it?

Scald is modular, thus it contains many sub modules. If you don't want a feature, just disable a sub module and replace it with your drop in.

Look at the size (as of Oct 1st 2013):

Module Size Tests included Note
Scald 150 KB Yes Included: YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Audio/ID3, Flash support
Media 1.x 177 KB Yes
File Entity 2.x + Media 2.x 185 KB Yes
Asset 200 KB No

So, no, it is not at all heavy as you may think.

I think Media is the de-facto standard solution

A solution used by more than 100 K website can't be wrong. But we believe we need another solution because Media's approach is not extensible. Media implies a media is a file, Scald does not. Scald believes file is just a special case for a media entity. Those both approaches are not compatible and we can't fix Media. The Scald team thought carefully about many possibility before deciding to port Scald to Drupal 7 (to be based on File Entity or Scald's own entity, which is known as "atom"). Amongst reasons why Media Atom entity is not File entity:

  • We don't want that every managed file is a Media Atom entity.
  • Multiple Media Atom entities (with different title, caption...) can reference to the same File entity (or any resource).
  • One Media Atom entity can have multiple revisions, each reference to a different File entity (or any resource).
  • Media Atom may not always have a filesize or mimetype like a traditional file. A "transcoded" Media Atom may have. Each transcoded Media Atom may be a file.

So, while it is still good for simple usage, for more advanced usage we believe Scald is a better match. Scald also has many features that Media does not, like great WYSIWYG integration, friendly library, advanced/granular permission system...

Scald has much smaller usage because a lot of people still think Media is the standard solution, or they simply even don't know of Scald.

PS: for Drupal 8, after the Media sprint at Drupalcon Prague 2013, a new module Media Entity was born with a similar approach as Scald. Because Drupal 8 is a big change, people start from scratch instead of porting a Drupal 7 module.

Scald may disappear one day

While it does not have many usage (now), many big sites use Scald: Radio France (national public radio), ARTE (Franco-German TV network), Le Figaro (the biggest media in France), Africa 24 (TV network)... and a lot of other media, government or private websites. You can learn more about it on Scald representations at or this slide (Drupalcon Prague 2013).

The Scald issue queue is quite active. Therefore this module won't go anywhere in the foreseeable future. Let's use it!

How about performance?

Scald is optimized for performance and uses its own caching system that works well with other caching layer (core filter cache etc.). As of today (Oct 2013), there are:

  • 800,000 atoms on
  • 300,000 atoms on

(images, videos and audios)

Because Scald works at entity and field level, the render and text format filter can be cached without bypassing the access control level. It is more D8-friendly than most of other media-related modules.

If a module works at the filter system, it either bypass the access control check for embedded entities, or bypass the filter caching system. Yet, the filter caching system is really useful and essential for big media sites: in a page with a node + 50 comments without cache, it might takes seconds for a HTML corrector filter (like HTML Purifier or HtmLawed...) to filter the texts in every page view.

View mode, context - What is the difference between them?

Nothing. They are the same.

The "display context" concept was introduce by Scald in Drupal 6 because at that time there was:

- No entity: so there was no "view mode" for entity
- No CCK field for entity: so contexts were managed in a separate page, different from the Field UI managing page.

The port of Scald to Drupal 7 still left "context settings" and "view modes settings" at two different places, but we are planning to unify them. If you are familiar to File Entity, then they are "Manage file display" and "Manage display" tabs.

Besides, Scald atoms mean entities. The term "atom" was invented because "entity" didn't exist at that time.

OK, I'm convinced. How to test Scald?

You can set up your own website and test Scald in less than 60 seconds using the Scald Galaxy distribution. It is bundled with a lot of modules, preconfigured to demonstrate Scald features.

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.


ivyclark’s picture

Hi, thank you for doing such a fantastic job with Scald. It looks much more flexible and contributor friendly than media module.

Is it possible to apply different image styles when using Scald to insert images into a single field (e.g. body content)

For example, when inserting images using media module, it is possible for content managers to select image size to apply. This means they can have a few different sizes or alignment/styles in the body field. Is it possible to do this with Scald?

Thanks again for the video and the fantastic module. Keep up the good work.

slybud’s picture

It's called context and you can find documentation here:

You can also watch a demo here: ! (from Drupal Con Prague presentation:

ivyclark’s picture

I have been searching for the answer to this for the past few days but couldn't find it!

Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction. I couldn't get the context selector to work because when I right-click the atom in the editor, my only options are to cut, copy, paste, image properties, edit div, remove div. And although image properties has many options including an "advanced" tab for css style, there is no context.

It turns out, we are using WYSIWYG with Ckeditor 3.6.6. And therefore context options are not displayed.

I've updated the development environment to the Drupal ckeditor + CKeditor 4.2.2 combo and can now see the context menu.

I hope this Q&A will help anyone else who is looking for the same solution.

Thank you! :)

laurent44’s picture

I'm currently using SCALD for my website with "Scald File Provider".
When i was using file field, it was easy to index content of .pdf and .doc with "Apache Solr Search" and "Apache Solr Attachments" modules.
But it's not working with an atom field...
How can i do the same with SCALD ?

jcisio’s picture

You can ask in the Scald File issue queue. They are basically files attached to an entity, so it needs more configuration on Solr to work.

Aron Novak’s picture
Now I just added support for Scald File + ApacheSolr attachments. Please review and try to make it happen :)