Could someone explain the advantages of using a multimedia component over a regular component when the multimedia content is only ever going to be stored externally (i.e. not uploaded to the Tridion database)?

I am currently in the process of adding thousands of external videos to my Tridion 2011 Content Manager and don't see why I need to reference these using a multimedia component.

  • Thumbnails and the ability to publish those binaries as part of the transport package. If you don't need either of those, then don't use MM components.
    – Nuno Linhares
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:55
  • @NunoLinhares Can you move that from a comment to an answer? Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:59
  • 2
    If you have a large volume of external binaries, you might want to consider External Content Libraries (you will need 2013, so that might be a good reason to upgrade ;o), see my presentation here webinars.julianwraith.com/2012/10/03/november-2012-webinar Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Creating External Multimedia Components with links to your assets gives you a few advantages over standard components:

  1. The CME will try its best to show a thumbnail of the external image
  2. "OOTB" Tridion can publish the Multimedia file as part of the transport package that gets sent to deployers

This 2nd feature can be particularly useful if your image repository is not internet-accessible, or if you must ensure files used by a page are included in the deployment package.

If you don't need either of those features, then there's no advantage of using Multimedia Components

  • Thanks Nuno. I think I'll just stick to regular components for my current project. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 21:34

If you use the Multimedia component with Resource Type "External" the are limitations to what you can put in the URL. Tridion actually checks if it's a video file according to its liking. I've ran into scenarios where the video URL I had was rejected by Tridion (i.e. couldn't save the MM component) because it was missing a file extension, and hence I had to use Normal components.

So if you are pointing to straight up MP4s or AVI files hosted externally, you should be fine, but if your video URLs are some FLVs with cryptic URL (like on YouTube), then you will need to use normal components.

  • 1
    You can impliment a work-around on the publishing side to get around the restrictions related to the "external" urls having to end in an extension mapped to a mime type by appending 'fake' extensions to the end of the urls and then stripping them out on publishing We had a sitution in which we had no real choice but to do that( stackoverflow.com/questions/14965497/… ) but I would try to avoid that type of situation if possible as it creates a messy experiance for users and in the code. Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 15:50

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