Audio/Video 2.0 Project Aims to Improve WordPress Core Multimedia Support

WordPress 3.6 introduced native support for audio and video files which meant that you no longer need to add a plugin in order to play multimedia files hosted in your media library. A new group, led by Scott Taylor under the project code name “Disco Fries,” has set out to continue iterating on this feature.

Taylor said the goal of project Disco Fries is “to continue to modernize Media and give our huge user base even more ways to display and manage their content.” The group is working on adding and improving support for MediaElement.js, Backbone, and Underscore to bring WordPress media into the future. Here are a few of the highlights of what the team is currently working on:

  • Replace media file type icons with Dashicons
  • Documentation of media code – Add (JSDoc)umentation to the Backbone-centric Media files
  • Metadata Regeneration for audio/video – ability to generate on-demand
  • Add “Playlist” and “Video Playlist” shortcodes
  • Consolidate handling of object, audio and video tags in wpautop()
  • Placeholders (TinyMCE views) for Audio / Video shortcodes
  • Support mediaelement.js YouTube sources in the video shortcode

Many of these are are subtle or otherwise invisible changes to users in general, as in the case of documenting the Backbone files. The most visible changes are placeholders in the visual editor and the capability to add audio/video playlists via shortcode.

Audio/Video placeholders in the visual editor
Audio/Video placeholders in the visual editor

Taylor shared some of the progress on the playlists in an update on He created a basic UI for playlists with minimal HTML and CSS that should inherit the styles of the active theme. Here’s an example of how that looks with the Twenty Fourteen theme:


The prospect of soon having native audio and video playlists in the core is very exciting. While oEmbed support for playing multimedia files is excellent, WordPress has been lagging behind in the ability to play files located in its own media library. With these new updates, WordPress users who frequently post media files will have the option to eliminate the plugins they previously depended on for playback. To check in on the progress of the Disco Fries project, check out the new core Media component page for an overview.

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