Multimedia/About Media Viewer
Media Viewer aims to improve the multimedia viewing experience on Wikipedia, Commons and MediaWiki sites, to display images in larger size and with less clutter. It is being developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's new multimedia team and now has a first beta version ready for testing, as part of our new Beta Features program.
You can now test beta version v0.2 of Media Viewer on all wikis worldwide. For example, check out this demo page on MediaWiki.org (be sure to enable Media Viewer first in your Beta preferences). This version is still in development, with many known bugs, and we invite community members to report any new issues, as described below.
After you've had a chance to test it as described below, we invite you to join this discussion. Hope to see you there!
Blog Post: We recently published this blog post to invite community members to test the latest version and share your feedback on this talk page. Latest v0.2 features can be tested on this MediaWiki.org test page, as outlined in these testing tips.
IRC Chat: Here is the log of our recent IRC Chat about Media Viewer, held on Friday, February 21, 2014. We will host another one in mid-March at Wikimedia's Office IRC Channel. To participate in the next one and keep up with our work, subscribe to our multimedia mailing list.
Why Media Viewer?[edit | edit source]
The purpose of this tool is to:
- Provide a richer multimedia experience, to match user expectations
- Display images in larger size, on the same page as the thumbnail you click on
- Reduce confusion when users click on thumbnails (bypass duplicate file info page on Wikipedias)
It aims to serve all users of Wikipedia, Commons and other MediaWiki sites. Note that this media viewer now only supports still images, but we plan to support other file formats such as video, audio and slides in the next version.
Current features include:
- Show images in larger media viewer panels when you click on them
- Modal panel opens up as overlay (on same page where you clicked)
- Large image appears without clutter, for a more immersive experience
- Information about the image can be accessed easily
- Images can be shown in full-screen mode
- Images in a collection can be browsed easily
How does Media Viewer work?[edit | edit source]
Media Viewer provides two different views of an image when you click on its thumbnail on an article page: Lightbox and Full-screen View.
Lightbox View[edit | edit source]
The 'Lightbox view' for this tool includes:
The image is shown in large size against a black background, as an overlay that fills up the entire browser page where you clicked on the thumbnail. This makes the image stand out more and removes some of the visual clutter typically found on a text-heavy page.
- Viewing Tools
In this v0.2 release, these tools are provided:
- Close button (goes back to article view)
- Full screen button (expands into full-screen view)
- Next and Previous arrows (to browse through related images)
- Primary Information
Here is the information that is shown immediately below the image, in a small meta-data strip (see mockup):
- File name (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
- Author (e.g. Alejandro Erickson)
- Source (e.g. Bird Institute)
- License Info (e.g. CC-BY-SA-2.0) (or link to license info)
- Chevron icon for opening the metadata panel to reveal more info (see below)
- Secondary Information
Here is the information that is shown below the fold, once you open the metadata panel (by clicking on the chevron or scrolling):
- Site name and link (e.g. 'Learn more on Wikimedia Commons')
- Uploader name (e.g. Smallbones)
- Creation Date (e.g. 12 April, 2012)
- Location (e.g. place name and/or geotag coordinates, if any)
- Categories (e.g. Birds of British Columbia, Zonotrichia atricapilla … more> )
- File usage (e.g. 'This file is being used by 5 other pages. <See all>')
- Permissions (e.g. special credits or restrictions) (screenshot)
- Assessment credit (e.g. '<Featured Picture>') (screenshot)
- More meta-data may be added to this panel over time
Full Screen View[edit | edit source]
The 'full-screen view' for this tool will show a large image across the entire screen, with minimal information and buttons available on hover.
This is the view that lets you focus exclusively on the image, with no other distractions. When you click on the full screen icon, you see the largest version of the image that fits within the user's entire screen (not just the browser window). In this mode, you only see the controls, the file name and the author/source/license if you hover over the image.
New Tools[edit | edit source]
We are now working on these new tools and features for version v0.2:
- Use/share this file (screenshot)
- Embed this file (screenshot)
- Download this file (screenshot)
- Access Media Viewer on Commons
We're also working on a range of other features such as faster image load and better user interface. We invite you to test and discuss features in development, so we can improve them based on your feedback. Please join this discussion about Media Viewer, where new features are regularly listed. We would love it if you could try the ones labeled ‘ready for testing’. You can also review our specifications for features that are ‘coming soon’ — and hope you can help test them as well later this month (we release new code every Thursday).
When will it be released?[edit | edit source]
We are now working on beta version v0.2 of Media Viewer, with a focus on better user interface, faster image load, more file info and attributions, as well as improved 'Use this file' tools (e.g.: share, embed, download). We aim to release this version gradually, starting with a limited test on a few pilot sites at the end of this quarter. Based on test results, we plan a wider release of Media Viewer next quarter.
Media Viewer can now be tested in beta mode by logged-in users on most sites using the current MediaWiki software. You can enable this feature in your Beta preferences, such as this one on MediaWiki.org. See instructions below on how to test this software.
A first beta version v0.1 of Media Viewer was released in November 2013, as part of Beta Features (a new experimental program that will enable users to opt-in to test new beta features before they are released widely).
In the first releases, the Media Viewer only supports the most widely used image file formats (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF). In subsequent releases, we will gradually add support for other file formats (e.g.: PDF), as well as audio and video file formats.
How can I help?[edit | edit source]
Can you help us test Media Viewer in coming days? Version 0.2 of this beta feature is now available for testing by logged-in users on all wikis. For example, you can test it on this demo page on MediaWiki.org (don't forget to enable Media Viewer in your Beta Features preferences page).
If you're feeling adventurous, you can test the latest features before they are released, on this beta site, but performance will be much slower on that site. For better performance, you can test last week’s features here on MediaWiki.org. We release every Thursday on MediaWiki.org, then Monday on Commons and sister sites, then the following Thursday on all wikis.
To test either version of Media Viewer, click on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu. Then check the box next to 'Media Viewer' in the Beta Features section of your user preferences — and click 'Save' (see screenshot). You can turn off any this option anytime, by reversing these steps.
Over 12,000 other beta testers have now enabled Media Viewer around the world. Here is an overview of the feedback they have kindly given us to help improve this tool. Many of their suggestions are now being implemented, as part of our current release plan.
Note: in this current release, the Media Viewer will only support the most widely used image file formats (e.g.: JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, SVG). In future releases, we plan to add support for more file formats, such as PDF, audio and video files. See the next section.
Next Version[edit | edit source]
The next version 0.3 of Media Viewer will focus on supporting more file formats (e.g. slides, video, audio), as well as zooming on large images and adding plug-ins for developers. For an overview of what we're working on, check our 2016 multimedia vision, as well as the current release plan.
- Zoom on this file
- Show file collection panel
- View files in slideshow mode
- Show PDF slides
- Play Video files
- Play Audio files
- Developer Plugins
- Mobile Version of Media Viewer
A consistent user interface will be provided for time-based and audio-video playback tools above (play/pause, rewind, volume, timeline). In future versions, we plan to provide more feedback tools below the image (e.g. thank, flag), as suggested by best practices from other media sites. We will also start working on mobile versions of the Media Viewer, in collaboration with the mobile team.
Desktop Mockups[edit | edit source]
Here are some preliminary mockups of designs we're exploring for desktop computers.
These mockups will be adjusted based on community feedback.
Mobile Mockups[edit | edit source]
Here are some preliminary mockups of designs we're exploring for mobile devices in future releases.
We will update mobile specifications on this Mingle card in coming weeks. This product will be considered for v0.3 but may not be included in this release, if not feasible.
These new versions will not be available until later this year, but you can test version v0.2 right away, as described above. Enjoy!
More Info[edit | edit source]
For more information about this tool, visit the project overview page on MediaWiki.org.
This feature was designed in collaboration with community members like you, through a series of discussions held over video roundtable #2, IRC, the in person at Wikimania, as well as video roundtable #4 and video roundtable #5.
Media Viewer was brought to you by many Wikimedia Foundation team members, including: Fabrice Florin, Gilles Dubuc, Mark Holmquist, Gergő Tisza, Aaron Arcos, Pau Giner, Jared Zimmerman, May Galloway, Brian Wolff, Keegan Peterzell, Bryan Davis, Rob Lanphier, Howie Fung and Tomasz Finc and Erik Moeller, to name but a few.
To learn more about other multimedia projects we're working on, visit this Multimedia project hub.