Add Remote Libraries to the WordPress Media Library

WordPress offers excellent oEmbed support for embedding content from more than two dozen major services. Pasting a link into the editor on its own line will have it magically appear as embedded media on the frontend. However, the task of finding that media in another browser window is still required, and this takes you outside of WordPress.

The Remote Media Libraries plugin aims to simplify the process of inserting remote media, while keeping you in the admin. The plugin gives you quick access to content that is hosted on Youtube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion, and presents it as a natural part of your media library.

When setting up the plugin, you can add remote libraries by selecting a service and adding your account username. For example, let’s say you’re creating a fitness site and you want quick access to videos from the FitnessBlender account on Youtube. Simply paste the username into the settings.


Next, you can navigate to the post editor and test the integration by clicking Add Media. Use the menu on the left side of the modal to insert from your remote gallery.


The URL for the selected video will be wrapped in an embed shortcode and will display on the frontend like any other video. I’m not sure why it adds the shortcode as inserting the plain URL would be adequate.


Currently, the supported remote libraries are limited to Youtube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion, but the plugin author plans to add the following in the near future:

  • Vimeo Pro (make your exclusive videos private right from WP admin)
  • Instagram
  • Amazon S3 Services
  • Cloud files
  • Flickr

Sites that frequently embed media from one or more of the supported video service providers can benefit from having quick access to remote media in the WordPress admin. This is especially helpful for video bloggers who regularly post their most recent video as a blog post. The Remote Media Libraries plugin brings your latest videos into the media library in a way that feels like a natural part of WordPress. Download it for free from


14 responses to “Add Remote Libraries to the WordPress Media Library”

  1. Thank you Sarah for sharing about this!

    Since I am the author of this plugin, I can say that you did a great job figuring what I wanted to do!

    To answer you question, there are mainly two reasons that explain why I chose to wrap the URL in an embed shortcode. First, it allows to insert multiple embeds at once using the media manager selection toolbar. Second, it also gives the flexibility to add different options like autoplay that could be set directly from the media manager attachement details tab in future releases.

    I have plenty of improvements under way, starting with a new release coming this week including basic flickr support. Also, people might want to check out for the upcoming release of premium add-ons that will allow more advanced feature like direct upload, syncing and updating your remote medias details here:

    I pay close attention to comments and suggestions, so keep them coming!

    • A direct upload functionality which uploads to your own site, then sends it on through to YouTube would be awesome. It would make sure people have their videos backed up in their own install, but still let them leverage the power, functionality and bandwidth of YouTube.

      Upload limitations would mess many people up with this, so keeping it a paid product only would definitely be a good idea, to avoid support overheads.

      • I totally agree, that would be awesome! Also, with people having their YouTube videos backed up like that in their own install, I think it would be nice to be able to batch upload medias to any other services like vimeo for example.

        Concerning the paid products, this is also what I had in mind. Advanced functionalities that could require more support would be available via paid products only.

        Thanks for the comments!

        • I have another idea relating to this. One of the problems of self-hosting videos, is that encoding the videos is a pain in the butt. If you could have it auto-upload to something like YouTube, then download the clip(s) back from YouTube, then you could effectively offload the video encoding/processing to YouTube whilst still allowing them to be served natively from within WordPress. You could even download multiple versions at different qualities and incorporate a quality switcher into the video player.

          I wouldn’t use that sort of functionality myself, but others may consider it useful.


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