A year after answering Dries Buytaert's call for Drupal book authors, Aaron Winborn is pleased to announce the publication of Drupal Multimedia, which is now available! Packt Publishing, known for their support of Open Source projects, will donate a portion of the book's royalties to the Drupal Association.

The book teaches the best practices and contributed modules for integrating Images, Video, and Audio into your site. Written for Drupal 6, the book assumes you are a developer, themer, or administrator who needs to embed multimedia. It makes heavy use of Content Construction Kit (CCK) and Views 2, and offers demonstrations of the various modules required for the task.

The book helps to answer common questions, such as when to use Image or ImageField, how to leverage the power of FileField, and how to override theme functions to display multimedia content the way we need it.

Drupal Multimedia is roughly split into three sections, for Images, Video, and Audio. Each section recommends the modules to use for specific tasks, and offers best practices for developing your site.


  • Image or Image Field?
  • Inline images, galleries, teaser thumbnails
  • Scaling & cropping on the fly
  • Styling Views, drop-shadows, and more


  • Local or external video?
  • Media Mover
  • Embedded Media Field
  • File Field, jQuery Media, and more


  • What player to use?
  • Embedding audio clips
  • Playlist creation
  • Creating embed code & more


  • File Asset Management
  • Dynamic Image Headers
  • jCarousel Slide Shows
  • The future of Drupal's multimedia handling
  • and More!

The book's technical editors include James Walker (walkah), Kristof De Jaeger (swentel), Bruno De Bondt (brunodbo), and Ryan Shrout (Vigile).

Aaron Winborn has been a developer for Advomatic for nearly three years, where he has helped to develop and maintain sites such as Air America, The New York Observer, Mozilla, It's Your Nature, and the NRDC.

He is also a developer and maintainer of several multimedia-oriented modules, including (among others) the Embedded Media Field, Views Slideshow, jQuery Media, Drupal's own Media Player, and Media Transcriptions. He is actively involved in many related issue queues, both among other contributed modules and in Drupal core.

Aaron will be presenting how he's cloned YouTube for a session at Do It With Drupal in New Orleans, from December 10-12. He'll also present an overview of the current state of Drupal Multimedia for DrupalCamp Philly on November 19, similar to other panels he participated in, such as DrupalCampNYC 5, DrupalCon Boston 2008, and remotely at DrupalCamp Colorado.

He's also preparing for a session/panel about Drupal Multimedia for DrupalCon DC from March 7-9, 2009.

Aaron lives in Harrisburg, PA, with his partner Gwen, their daughter Ashlin, and their dog Mia, overseen by their cat Theo. In addition to his pursuing his passion for Drupal, he currently serves as secretary for The Circle School, a Sudbury model school (which is a democratic, non-compulsory, aged-mixed educational model). He has been involved in web development and Sudbury schools for over ten years.


RobLoach’s picture

It's in the mail!

stephenhendry’s picture

Been waiting for this book for a while. Ordered. Good work Aaron!

thamas’s picture

I've been waiting this book too and I'm very curious about its content. Cant wait to read it! :o)

greylogic’s picture

will order my copy of ebook today

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dalin’s picture

Congrats Aaron,
I know you've been workin hard on this one for a long time.

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JohnForsythe’s picture

Looks like it's already climbing the sales chart over at Amazon. Looking forward to reading it.

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akira’s picture

just ordered

Abilnet’s picture

Thanks for the book, just ordered the PDF -version!

venkat-rk’s picture

Purchased the book and e-book bundle. Have been waiting for this :-)

mcrickman’s picture

Just ordered it. Looking forward to reading this book.

ascetic’s picture

seems like a great book, thanks

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laceiba’s picture

I ordered the book and PDF bundle. That's a nice way to do things. I can dig into the book on screen while waiting for the paper copy. I was surprised, however, that IMCE was not mentioned anywhere. There is coverage of the Image Module along with the CCK variants, but nothing for perhaps the simplest method of attaching images to a node - a WYSIWYG editor and IMCE. I need to actually read the whole book, but I would be interested to know why this subject was not even touched upon. I'm not sure if Aaron reads these comments, but I'd be interested to hear his thoughts on the matter. I am looking forward to reading about CCK as well as the options for audio and video. This book looks to be an excellent resource.

aaron’s picture

For WYSIWYG inline image handling, I chose to cover Image Assist over IMCE for many reasons, evaluating both before making the decision.

Firstly, I wanted to use a module that allowed the most flexibility, and my belief was that IMCE is largely isolated from the rest of Drupal, so that images uploaded through it could only be used and accessed by that module. As Image Assist creates Image nodes, it's automatically hooked into all the functionality that module provides, and is automatically tied into other Drupal functionality, such as Views. Of course, as Drupal's file system evolves, Drupal may soon embrace IMCE. For instance, even Views 2 now allows views made of files (though I haven't tested that functionality in combination with IMCE).

Secondly, at the time I wrote that chapter, as IMCE provided no theme functions, it was nearly impossible to override its output. Image Assist uses the Image module's theme outputs, as well as theming the administration elements, making it much easier to override. I will note that at this time, some of that has been rectified for IMCE, which should have warranted a second look at the module during the book's rewrite this summer. However, I was not aware of that at the time, and for sake of the book's deadline would have probably made the same decision.

Thirdly, development and maintenance of Image Assist at the time I made the decision seemed to be more active than with IMCE. That still seems to be the case. I'm not certain of the reasons, as I have not been in contact with the developers of either module about that issue, and to be fair, that often happens in spurts anyway.

Finally, WYSIWYG is currently a tricky business in Drupal. Any solution has some huge hurdles to overcome, such as integration (or lack thereof) with the filter system, and no consistent (or arguably even available) file system. Fortunately for us all, there are some heroic efforts on many fronts to resolve this issue.

I have to live with the decisions of what modules to include or not include, largely due to time constraints. I originally covered a few more modules than were included in the final version, but I dropped due to duplication of functionality. It's already confusing enough already. A couple of cases I feel justified, such as the Video module, which though it's a great name space, has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of Drupal. In some cases, such as the Flash Video module (for which I chose Media Mover over this), I regret not having included it. (EDIT: I don't regret including Media Mover, which is an excellent solution that overlaps some functionality, in addition to everything else it offers.)

IMCE is a borderline case for me. At this time, I feel justified for not having included the module. However, it appears the module has made some headways in embracing Drupal. And considering its popularity, I should probably have at least mentioned it.

In any case, there are some exciting things in store for the future of multimedia in Drupal. I touch on some of that in the book, such as hook_file and fields in core. I suspect that multimedia handling in Drupal 7 will completely transform (for the better) how all of these modules interact with the system and each other, and we'll all get to reap the benefits. I'll certainly revisit the modules when I write the Drupal 7 edition of Drupal Multimedia...

Drupal Multimedia (my book)
AaronWinborn.com (my blog)
Advomatic (my work)

laceiba’s picture

Hey Aaron,

Thank you for the very thoughtful reply. I will keep your observations in mind as I put together my Drupal sites. I am thoroughly enjoying your book so far.

Steve Hanson’s picture

The UPS guy showed up yesterday with my paper copy of the book, so last night I really quickly ripped through it. Man, it's full of things that I wish I'd understood when I needed to use them the first time, and I think it's just a great piece of work for people who are starting out to use multimedia in Drupal - even if you just want to stuff pictures up on your site.

Highly Recommended.

Steve Hanson
Principal Consultant Cruiskeen Consulting LLC

Steve Hanson
Principal Consultant Cruiskeen Consulting LLC

bolaowoade’s picture

I've got it already. Should be a very interesting read. I will review it on Amazon after reading it.

www.1moneymania.in’s picture

Excellent, I was waiting for this book from long time, I was actually thiking to add videos on my website, and this will be of great help... thanks a billion

- http://www.1moneymania.in/

Fred125’s picture

Cool. i ought read this book

hansrossel’s picture

I've received the book a few days ago and have just finished reading it.
It's certainly a nice addition to the collection Drupal books that are now being published on more specific topics.

It is rather oriented towards beginners/intermediate level with a few code snippets for the more advanced. It's certainly an interesting book about multimedia in Drupal and will save you a lot of time if you haven't tried out all media modules yet or don't know how to start. It gives plenty of screenshots with explanation of the different steps and options so you don't have to try it all yourself.

Personally I have used intensively most of the modules in the book so it did not add much to my knowledge. I had hoped on a bit more information on more advanced subjects like image handling snippets, importing images programatically, using jquery for nice display of images, images storage in the database, more on theming of images/imagecache and an overview of the less known image modules.

A table which compares them would be very good or at least a paragraph with possible alternatives and their differences in short after each solution. Like a comparison between slideshow modules. There are plenty of slideshow modules (couloir slideshow, views slideshow, slideshow creator, views rotator, slideshowpro, photos, ...), which one to choose? A comparison table between the most used ones could be perfect. Same for image galleries and albums, there are also plenty of them, but when to use which one?

I also found it strange that IMCE was completely left out. I have read Aarons comment above, but I think that comment should rather have been included in the book as a start of comparison when to use IMCE and when Image Assist. As there is only one Drupal book that talks about image handling in depth at the moment, I would expect to get a complete overview of what Drupal has to offer on the field of image handling. If you look at http://drupal.org/project/usage you can see that IMCE is the seventh most used contributed module in the Drupal project, so leaving it out is not an option I think. I also think that IMCE has a different use than Image assist, it's a lot more lightweight and perfect for blogs, where the creation of a node for each image is a lot of overhead, and having also a separate page of that image node is not always wanted.

Anyway just to say that I had expected the book more as a complete overview of multimedia handling in Drupal but maybe that's for part two :) or a double sized second edition (follow the example of the "Pro Drupal Development" book). But it is certainly a very good start. Thanks!

KOBA - Drupal Webdevelopment

Wolfflow’s picture

WoW another collection of knowledge that is all contained for free on Drupal.org, Beatifull ;-)

If you look at word and nouns you do not clearly understand take a look at Common Terminology, Feel free to propose missing Terms

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Dig1’s picture


I'm keen to learn from this book.

You say 'It makes heavy use of Content Construction Kit (CCK) and Views 2...', does that include Content Construction Kit 2 which has just been released?

Is there much difference between the way you have described working with Content Construction Kit v Content Construction Kit 2 or are they the same for the book?



3lite’s picture

Those who read it, is it a must have???


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zenorb’s picture

I for one appreciate the immense value in having someone put together a body of information in a knowledgable and orderly fashion. Aaron's hard work is going to save me many hours of trying to find and do things the hard way.

Well done and thank you


GoofyX’s picture

It's a very good book. I received my hard copy about three weeks ago and I also posted a review in my personal blog. The review is available at http://www.lourdas.name/page/new-drupal-book-drupal-multimedia-aaron-win...

Aaron, thanks for the great book!
... Morpheus: What is "real"? How do you define "real"? If you 're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain...

... Morpheus: What is "real"? How do you define "real"? If you 're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then "real" is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain...

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rtaytug’s picture

i agree to you my friend... It's a very good book...

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ardr’s picture

I have a query about the book - I hope this is the right place to ask.

I'm using the book to get started with Drupal image handling, using a localhost clean installation of Drupal 6.15 on a Windows XP PC, with Apache, MySQL and PHP. The default theme (Garland) is being used. I'm logged in as the default administrator user created during installation. I haven't created any other users or roles yet (as I said, it's a clean install).

I'm relatively new to Drupal, so I apologise in advance if this is a dumb question :-)

Something that's puzzled me is that the screen shots in the book are significantly different from what I see in my D6 installation.
For example, on page 16, in the screen shot of the 'content types' dialog, the 'operations' column includes 'add field' whereas mine doesn't, it just has 'edit', 'manage fields' and 'delete'.

Were the screen shots produced from a significantly earlier version of Drupal?

I'm sure it's not a big issue, but I just want to make sure I haven't made an omission in my D6 installation (e.g. should I have created any other users or roles; do I need to give the administrator user permission to see more details etc.)

Thanks in anticipation for any advice.


ardr’s picture

After Googling for references to this book, I've found a review of this book on Slashdot.org that mentions some glitches found by the reviewer, including use of screen-shots from older versions of Drupal (i.e. older than D6). So that answers my query. I've now managed to make some progress through the book, with the aid of the corrections in the review :-) I think a second printing/edition of the book, updated & corrected for D6, would be very worthwhile. I might submit some errata via the publisher's link, to assist other Drupal learners.

Kind Regards,