Resources can have media resources attached to them. Resources and their media (images, video and audio) are connected through ‘depiction’ edges. Additionally, resources can be embedded in some HTML text, such as the resource’s body text.

Adding media

Media is added to resources with the ‘Add media item’ button in the admin. You can embed resources by using the admin’s rich text editor.

Programmatically, use the m_media model to insert the media resource:

{ok, MediaId} = m_media:insert_url("http://some-site/images/img.jpg", Context).

Or, with some properties:

Props = [
    {title, <<"This will be the title of the media resource">>},
    {category, audio},
    {is_published, true}
{ok, MediaId} = m_media:insert_file("/path/to/audio.wav", Props, Context).

Then link the owning resource and the media resource:

m_edge:insert(Id, depiction, MediaId, Context).

In templates

To render some resource’s (id) first depiction, use the image tag:

{% image id %}

You can also add inline parameters:

{% image id width=200 height=200 crop %}

To render embedded media, use the show_media filter:

{{ id.body|show_media }}

Media classes

Instead of inline image tag parameters, you can use media classes to define image transformations. The advantage is that this image definition can then be reused amongst templates.

Create a templates/mediaclass.config file in your site directory:

    {"thumb", [
        {width, 200},
        {height, 200},

This defines a media class called ‘thumb’, which can be used to display a 120x120 cropped square image. You then only need to refer to this media class in your image tag:

{% image id mediaclass="thumb" %}

The image URL will have a checksum embedded in it so that when the contents of the media class is changed, all images which use that media class will be regenerated to reflect the new media class.

Responsive images

To provide images in multiple responsive sizes, use the srcset attribute:

%% templates/mediaclass.config
    {"masthead", [
        {width, 1600},
        {height, 900},
        {crop, center},
        {quality, 85},
        {srcset, [
            {"640w", [{quality, 50}]},
            {"1200w", []},
            {"2x", []}
        {sizes, "100vw"}

An {% image id mediaclass="masthead" %} tag in your template will output:

<img src='image-default.jpg'
    srcset='image-640.jpg 640w, image-1200.jpg 1200w, image-2400.jpg 2x'

Each srcset value is either a width descriptor or a pixel density descriptor.

  • A width descriptor of 640w will resize the image to a width of 640 pixels.
  • A pixel density descriptor of 2x will resize the image to 2 times the original media class width value, so 2 * 1600 = 3200.

By default, each srcset image will inherit all properties from the parent media class. So, in the example above, the 640w image will have a reduced quality value of 50 while the 1200w image will inherit its parent’s value of 85.

So you can override the automatically determined width of 3200 for the 2x descriptor by adding:

{"2x", [{width, 2000}]}

Raw ImageMagick options

Besides the normal image processing options, as described in image, it is possible to add literal ImageMagick convert commands to the mediaclass definition.

For example:

{magick, "-level 90%,100% +level-colors \\#FE7D18,\\#331575"}

(Note that you have to double any backslashes that were needed for the convert command line.)

This command is given as-is to the ImageMagick convert command, therefore it is best to first try it with the command-line convert command to find the correct options and command line escapes needed.

There are three variations: pre_magick, magick, and post_magick. The only difference is that the pre_magick is added before any other filter argument, magick somewhere between, and post_magick after the last filter.

In this way it is possible to pre- or post-process an image before or after resizing.

See for examples of using ImageMagick from the command line.

CSS classes used in templates Developer Guide Icons

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Media Best Practices

Use Media classes to define image properties.


Shows the admin dialog for uploading a media item. See Media.

E-mail handling

Any Zotonic system is capable of sending and receiving e-mail messages over SMTP.