Commons:Multimedia Features/Media Viewer

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Media Viewer lets you browse larger images on Wikimedia sites.

Welcome to our Media Viewer page!

We are happy to announce the upcoming release of Media Viewer, a new tool for browsing multimedia content on Wikipedia, Commons and other Wikimedia sites.

This new tool provides a more immersive media experience for our users: they can now see larger images when they click on article thumbnails, right where they expect them (see below). It was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team in recent months, with the help of many community members. We now plan to gradually release this tool in coming weeks -- starting with a few pilot tests this month, followed by wider deployments next month, as described in this release plan.

As we approach release, we would like to know what you think of this tool, so we can address any critical issues, based on your feedback. If you haven't already, we invite you to try the tool in beta as described here, then join this local discussion on Commons -- or this wider discussion on MediaWiki.org.

How it works[edit]

Today, viewing images on our sites can be a frustrating experience for casual users: when you click on a thumbnail in an article, you are taken to a separate page where the image is shown in medium size and surrounded with a lot of text information that can be confusing to readers. Media Viewer aims to improve this viewing experience by showing images in larger size, as an overlay on the current page.

With Media Viewer, you can click on any image thumbnail to see it in large size, without visual clutter. You can see the file name and author credits at the bottom of the screen -- and view more information in an expandable panel below the image-- with prominent links to the Commons file description page for editing and more info. You can also expand the image to full screen, for a more immersive experience -- or browse through all images in an article or gallery by clicking on the next and previous arrows. The 'Use this file' tool makes it easier to share images with your community, add them to articles or download them for your own purposes -- with full attribution to contributors. Learn more on this Help page.

User response and usability studies so far suggest that Media Viewer provides a richer multimedia experience, right where people expect it. They tell us they can see the images more clearly, without having to jump to separate pages -- and that the interface is more intuitive, offering easy access to images and metadata.

How you can help[edit]

Can you help us test Media Viewer in coming weeks, before it is released on your site? To try it out, log in to your Wikimedia site and 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'. Then click on any thumbnail image on that site to see it in the Media Viewer. For more info, check out these testing tips or this Help page.

Try out Media Viewer and let developers know what you think on this discussion page. If you find any technical bugs, please report them here on Bugzilla. Over 20,000 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 have now been implemented, as part of the development team's current development cycle.

The multimedia team is grateful to all the community members who helped create this feature, through a series of discussions held over video conferencing, IRC and in person at Wikimania. To participate in future discussions, you are invited to join the multimedia mailing list. We look forward to more collaborations with you in coming weeks, so we can all improve Media Viewer together -- and provide a better experience to our users!

How can I disable Media Viewer?[edit]

Since Media Viewer appears when opening a file instead of the File: page, it may be inconsistent with the workflow of a Commons editor who primarily is interested in file information. Media Viewer can be disabled in preferences for registered accounts, located in the "Appearance" tab, underneath the File section, by unticking "Enable Media Viewer".

More Info[edit]

For more information about this tool, visit the project overview page on MediaWiki.org., which focuses on features for the upcoming release version.

To learn more about other multimedia projects we're working on, visit our Multimedia project hub on MediaWiki.org.