Are there any alternatives to the drupal media module for drupal 7?
Looking for functionality to preview and upload images and set the image style before displaying the image. Or would the media module be the best bet for this type of task?
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The Media Module and the way it handles files as entities seems to be the wave of the future. It also manages image files, names, location, etc, which is important for keeping track of all your media assets. Unfortunately, as of Jan 2013, Media doesn't handle in-line images very well, and a few useful modules don't play well with it (or vice versa). For example field slideshow only works with images, not media files rendered as images.
I don't use WYSIWYG editors, but they may provide a way around the inserting inline file-images problem.
I do use Media Module for uploading images, but then I set the field type as image rather than use the file:render system. I can then use field slideshow (which is a very easy, very cool module), and Insert.
Have you check the Scald module? This is a real alternative in active development.
Scald is a different take on how to handle media (audio, video, image or otherwise) in Drupal and beyond. It is a platform designed to make it extremely easy to implement the social features which are so essential -- and so unique -- to web communities. Additionally, Scald -- in tandem with the DnD module -- provides a novel and natural way for users to compose complex posts.
Feel free to ask me for details, or to put a issue in the module issue queue.
Yes there are alternative techniques. See the presentation slides on this post http://quicksketch.org/node/5744 for the module combinations.
Basically it is using FileFieldSources + Insert + Image Resize Filter + IMCE + FileEntity + File Entity Inline.
If you are going to go the Media module route, make sure you use the 2.x-dev and File Entity 2.x-dev. Also make sure to use image or file fields, not the deprecated mediafield that comes with media module.
Here's a very useful recent post examining pros and cons of either approach: http://purewebmedia.biz/articles/2013-01-10/how-insert-and-float-inline-images-drupal-7
After much testing I recommend the second one (using Insert field, without Media module), but I do keep the wonderful File Entity module on (maintains files as entities and allows for view modes for files, without any need for Media module).
At this point (mid 2014), we finally have a much better approach to using Media: Picture, CKEditor and IMCE. Both Inline and Attached images can be handled.
This approach looks like it will be the Drupal 8 default, and includes techniques for handling responsive images, and breakpoints for tablets and mobile phones.
[addeded early 2015] I've now begun to use Scald for media management, and it is very slick - especially for end users. It integrates nicely with Picture & Breakpoints.