# Media9 is becoming obsolete Dec 2020. Any alternatives for embedding video/audio in LaTeX?

Media9 is becoming obsolete Dec 2020 due to Adobe dropping Flash support. Is there any replacement out there that does not rely on Flash that will allow the inclusion of video and audio in latex documents?

• The package is still under active development (last commit just a week ago, see gitlab.com/agrahn/media9/commits/master) so this may be fixed by the maintainer. You can open an issue on Gitlab if you want to ask about this directly. Nov 11 '19 at 21:35
• Thanks for the notice. Do you know of any official statement by Adobe on his regard? Especially in connection with embedded media support in PDF? Nov 12 '19 at 7:10

Official Adobe documents on embedded multimedia support (MP4/h.264 video, MP3 audio) in PDF, such as https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/adding-multimedia-pdfs.html, are still Flash-centric. Thus, it seems Adobe have not yet decided on the future of multimedia in PDF beyond Flash EOL. Maybe, they are working on it, but nothing has been disclosed to the public yet.

Update 04/2021

Here is a minimal Flash-free implementation of video embedding, which is very similar to the one Adobe themselves currently have to offer to their users of Acrobat.

With the help of users J. Hagemann, D. Savransky, M. Vlasák and others in the bug tracker, an acceptable solution could be put together for Acrobat Reader, that allows the user to control playback through the controls of the OS specific media player plug-in. For video that also plays in the Okular PDF viewer, try the method suggested by user Fritz.

To get it working on Windows, the following tweak of the Registry is necessary. Unfortunately, it must be done with Administration privileges, running (clicking in the file explorer) the following file (information found by user Deepblue):

File enablePlayerControls.reg:

REGEDIT4

"HonorControls"=dword:00000001


Embedding a video with \embedvideo{<poster text/image>}{<video file>}; starred variant \embedvideo*{...}{...} for autoplay :

\documentclass{article}

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \embedvideo{<poster or text>}{<video file (MP4+H264)>}
% \embedvideo*{...}{...}                     % auto-play
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\usepackage[bigfiles]{pdfbase}
\ExplSyntaxOn
\NewDocumentCommand\embedvideo{smm}{
\group_begin:
\leavevmode
\tl_if_exist:cTF{file_\file_mdfive_hash:n{#3}}{
\tl_set_eq:Nc\video{file_\file_mdfive_hash:n{#3}}
}{
\IfFileExists{#3}{}{\GenericError{}{File~#3'~not~found}{}{}}
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{fstream}{{}{#3}}
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Type/Filespec/F~(#3)/UF~(#3)
/EF~<</F~\pbs_pdflastobj:>>
}
\tl_set:Nx\video{\pbs_pdflastobj:}
\tl_gset_eq:cN{file_\file_mdfive_hash:n{#3}}\video
}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Type/RichMediaInstance/Subtype/Video
/Asset~\video
/Params~<</FlashVars (
source=#3&
skin=SkinOverAllNoFullNoCaption.swf&
skinAutoHide=true&
skinBackgroundColor=0x5F5F5F&
skinBackgroundAlpha=0.75
)>>
}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Type/RichMediaConfiguration/Subtype/Video
/Instances~[\pbs_pdflastobj:]
}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Type/RichMediaContent
/Assets~<<
/Names~[(#3)~\video]
>>
/Configurations~[\pbs_pdflastobj:]
}
\tl_set:Nx\rmcontent{\pbs_pdflastobj:}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Activation~<<
/Condition/\IfBooleanTF{#1}{PV}{XA}
/Presentation~<</Style/Embedded>>
>>
/Deactivation~<</Condition/PI>>
}
%
\hbox_set:Nn\l_tmpa_box{#2}
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_wd_tl{\dim_use:N\box_wd:N\l_tmpa_box}
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_ht_tl{\dim_use:N\box_ht:N\l_tmpa_box}
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_dp_tl{\dim_use:N\box_dp:N\l_tmpa_box}
\pbs_pdfxform:nnnnn{1}{1}{}{}{\l_tmpa_box}
%
\pbs_pdfannot:nnnn{\l_box_wd_tl}{\l_box_ht_tl}{\l_box_dp_tl}{
/Subtype/RichMedia
/BS~<</W~0/S/S>>
/Contents~(embedded~video~file:#3)
/NM~(rma:#3)
/AP~<</N~\pbs_pdflastxform:>>
/RichMediaSettings~\pbs_pdflastobj:
/RichMediaContent~\rmcontent
}
\phantom{#2}
\group_end:
}
\ExplSyntaxOff
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

\usepackage{graphicx}

\begin{document}
\section{autoplay}
\embedvideo*{\includegraphics[page=1]{example-movie}}{example-movie.mp4}
\newpage
\section{play on click}
\embedvideo{\includegraphics[page=1]{example-movie}}{example-movie.mp4}
\end{document}

• According to the following site: adobe.com/products/players/flash-player-distribution.html They are suggesting contacting HARMAN for more information. Nov 12 '19 at 13:18
• Thanks. As for PDF and multimedia we will have to wait how Acrobat (Reader) will look like after Flash EOL. Maybe Adobe will publish another addendum to the ISO PDF specification. Nov 12 '19 at 13:46
• This does not work for me. I tried Foxit, Adobe Reader both with Flash Player installed and removed. In the latter case Adobe Reader complains that it needs Flash Player. Jan 12 '21 at 9:34
• Do you use the most recent A-Reader DC version?. It definitely does not support Flash anymore. Jan 12 '21 at 9:41
• This solution is for viewing with Acrobat Reader DC on Windows and Mac. The solution in the other answer also works with the Okular PDF viewer on Linux. May 20 '21 at 9:01

By using a screen annotation in pdf instead of a rich media annotation it is possible to get player configuration and player interaction. I found the following solution that met my needs:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{xkeyval}
\usepackage{media9}
\usetheme{CambridgeUS}
\usecolortheme{dolphin}
\usepackage{zref-abspage}

\makeatletter
\define@boolkey{simplemedia}{autoplay}{\def\simplemediaautoplay{#1}}
\define@boolkey{simplemedia}{showGUI}{\def\simplemediashowGUI{#1}}
\presetkeys{simplemedia}{autoplay=true,showGUI=true}{}

% all page-references relate to: Adobe PDF Reference, sixth edition, November 2006, can be found e.g.:
%https://ghostscript.com/~robin/pdf_reference17.pdf
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \simplemedia[<options>]{<poster or text>}{<media file>}{MIME type}
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\ExplSyntaxOn
%\cs_new:Npn\simplemedia[3][]{
\newcommand\simplemedia[4][]{%
\setkeys{simplemedia}{#1}%
\leavevmode
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{fstream}{{}{#3}}
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/Type/Filespec/F~(#3)/UF~(#3)
/EF~<</F~\pbs_pdflastobj:>>
}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/CT~(#4)% content type, page 764, table 9.9
/D~\pbs_pdflastobj:% full file spcification, page 764, table 9.9
/N~(Media~clip~from~#3)% name of media clip, page 764, table 9.8
/P~<</TF (TEMPACCESS)>>% media permissions, page 764, table 9.9
/S~/MCD% subtype media-clip-data, page 764, table 9.8
}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{
/C~\pbs_pdflastobj:% media clip dictionary, page 762, table 9.6
/N~(RenditionFrom#3)% name of rendition, page 759, table 9.1
/P~<<% media play parameters dictionary, page 762, table 9.6
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%       Here's the point to switch on/off player GUI
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
/BE~<</C~\simplemediashowGUI~%C: display a player-specific controller user interface, page 769, table 9.15
/A~true>>~%A: automatically play when activated, page 770, table 9.15
% select player (not used here)
%        /PL~<</A~[% arrray of media player info objects page 777
%        <</PID~<</U~(vnd.adobe.swname:MSFT_WindowsMediaPlayer)~/OS[(win16)~(win32)~(win9x)~(winnt)~(wince)]>>~>>~%/OS operating system, page 780
%        ]~>>
~>>
/S~/MR% subtype of rendition, page 759, table 9.1
}
%
\tl_set:Nx\mediarendition{\pbs_pdflastobj:}
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{}% obj-number created for later use
\tl_set:Nx\renditionactionplay{\pbs_pdflastobj:}%
%
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{}{dict}{}% obj-number created for later use
\tl_set:Nx\renditionactionstop{\pbs_pdflastobj:}%
%
\hbox_set:Nn\l_tmpa_box{#2}% size of annotation
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_wd_tl{\dim_use:N\box_wd:N\l_tmpa_box}
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_ht_tl{\dim_use:N\box_ht:N\l_tmpa_box}
\tl_set:Nx\l_box_dp_tl{\dim_use:N\box_dp:N\l_tmpa_box}
\pbs_pdfxform:nnnnn{1}{1}{}{}{\l_tmpa_box}
%
\tl_set:Nx\l_simplem_current_page_tl{\zref@extract{simplem@\int_use:N\g_simplem_id_int}{abspage}}
\pbs_pdfannot:nnnn{\l_box_wd_tl}{\l_box_ht_tl}{\l_box_dp_tl}{
/T~(AnnotationFrom#3)~% title of screen annotation, page 640, table 8.38
/Subtype~/Screen~% Subtype Sreen, page 616, table 8.20 and page 640, table 8.38
/BS~<</W~1/S/S>>% Borderstyle
/C~[0.039216~0.039216~0.039216]% color used background, title bar, border, page 607, table 8.15
/Contents~(EmbeddedAudiofile#3)% Text to be displayed, page 606, table 8.15
/NM~(audioscreenannot:#3)% annotation name, page 606, table 8.15
/AP~<</N~\pbs_pdflastxform:>>% appearance dictionary, page 606, table 8.15
/F~4~%Annotation flag, page 606, table 8.15 and page 608, table 8.16
/A~\renditionactionplay~% Action to be performed, page 640
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%       Here's the point to switch on/off autoplay
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% autoplay is realised by "additional action" (page 640),
% PageOpen (PO) -> play "Play Rendition"
% PageClose (PC) -> play "Stop Rendition" (see page 650)
/AA~<<\ifKV@simplemedia@autoplay~/PO~\renditionactionplay~\fi~/PC~\renditionactionstop~>>~%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%       see Adobe pdfmark-reference, I THINK, THIS WORKS ONLY WITH tex->dvips->ps2pdf
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\int_compare:nT{\l_simplem_current_page_tl>0}{
/P~\exp_args:Ne\pdf_pageobject_ref:n{\l_simplem_current_page_tl}
}
/CA~1%constant opacity value, page 618
}
% Rendition Action: "Play Rendition"
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{\renditionactionplay}{dict}{%
/R~\mediarendition%
/S~/Rendition
/OP~4%operation to perform (page 669): 4 = play rendition specified by R
/AN~\pbs_pdflastann:%
}
% Rendition Action: "Stop Rendition"
\pbs_pdfobj:nnn{\renditionactionstop}{dict}{%
/R~\mediarendition%
/S~/Rendition
/OP~1%operation to perform (page 669): 1 = stop rendition specified by R
/AN~\pbs_pdflastann:%
}
%
\phantom{#2}
\zref@labelbyprops{simplem@\int_use:N\g_simplem_id_int}{abspage}
\int_gincr:N\g_simplem_id_int
}%
\int_new:N\g_simplem_id_int
\ExplSyntaxOff
\makeatother

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}{Video inclusion with autoplay and showGUI}
\begin{columns}
\begin{column}[t]{128mm}
\begin{itemize}
\item command:\\
\scriptsize
\texttt{\textbackslash{}simplemedia\{\textbackslash{}vbox to 3cm\{\textbackslash{}vfil\textbackslash{}hbox to 5cm\{\}\textbackslash{}vfil\}\}\{sample-5s.mp4\}\{video/mp4\}}
\normalsize
\item result:
\simplemedia{\vbox to 3cm{\vfil\hbox to 5cm{}\vfil}}{sample-5s.mp4}{video/mp4}
\hspace{0.5cm}\tiny{}https://samplelib.com/sample-mp4.html
\end{itemize}
\end{column}
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}{Audio inclusion with autoplay and GUI}
\begin{columns}
\begin{column}[t]{128mm}
\begin{itemize}
\item command:\\
\scriptsize
\texttt{\textbackslash{}simplemedia\{My audio\}\{sample-6s.mp3\}\{audio/mp3\}}
\normalsize
\item result:
\simplemedia{My audio}{sample-6s.mp3}{audio/mp3}
\hspace{0.5cm}\tiny{}https://samplelib.com/sample-mp3.html
\end{itemize}
\end{column}
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}{Audio inclusion with autoplay, no GUI}
\begin{columns}
\begin{column}[t]{128mm}
\begin{itemize}
\item command:\\
\scriptsize
\texttt{\textbackslash{}simplemedia[showGUI=false]\{My audio\}\{sample-6s.mp3\}\{audio/mp3\}}
\normalsize
\item result:
\simplemedia[showGUI=false]{My audio}{sample-6s.mp3}{audio/mp3}
\hspace{0.5cm}\tiny{}https://samplelib.com/sample-mp3.html
\end{itemize}
\end{column}
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\begin{frame}{Audio inclusion without autoplay}
\begin{columns}
\begin{column}[t]{128mm}
\begin{itemize}
\item command:\\
\scriptsize
\texttt{\textbackslash{}simplemedia[autoplay=false]\{Klick here to start\}\{sample-6s.mp3\}\{audio/mp3\}}
\normalsize
\item result:
\simplemedia[autoplay=false]{Klick here to start}{sample-6s.mp3}{audio/mp3}
\hspace{0.5cm}\tiny{}https://samplelib.com/sample-mp3.html
\end{itemize}
\end{column}
\end{columns}
\end{frame}

\end{document}


It is based on the flash-free example above and works with latex->dvips->ps2pdf and thanks to AlexG also with pdflatex (lualatex and xelatex should work, too). The pdf-file plays with my actual Acrobat Reader DC and also with Foxit Reader (both under Windows). My Acobat XI (from 2012) doesn't support mp4 and only the mp3 examples are playing. In all cases you have to trust the document first.

Regards, Fritz

• pdftex doesn't have a command to reference "ThisPage", but you can use \pdf_pageobject_ref:n{<absolute page number>}, you then only need a label/ref to get the page number. That is rather easily done with e.g. zref. Beside this looks quite nice, I could embed the example-movie.mp4 from mwe. Apr 14 '21 at 13:19
• @Fritz I see, you should use Ulrike's approach to get the page object reference then. Apr 15 '21 at 16:13
• Thanks for your hint, I will try. Many extensions are conceivable, but the task to pump this solution up to an allround solution (as your media9 package) is actual to big for me. I have no experience with "base-level" Latex2e commands. Apr 15 '21 at 16:46
• I have used your code and added the page object reference using the zref package. I am going to send it to you by e-mail. Then it will also work with pdflatex and xelatex. Apr 15 '21 at 16:53
• Thank you very much. I got it. Apr 16 '21 at 7:48

As elaborated here and here Flash support has been discontinued. But Adobe Reader DC (I have version 21.001.20142) I get pdf documents compiled with mp4 videos.

In my document I used the following code snipped with the media9 package:

        \includemedia[
width=0.6\linewidth,
height=0.7\linewidth,
keepaspectratio,
activate=pageopen,
playbutton=fancy,
flashvars={source=figures/80deg90.mp4&autoPlay=true}
]{}{VPlayer.swf}


I got an compiled pdf. First I was not able to see the video in Adobe Reader DC, but with this settings mentioned in here, I got it working:

 1. Go to Windows Settings > Display > Graphic Settings > Under Choose an App/ Browse >
2. Add Acrobat.exe and edit the default from "Let Windows decide" to Power Saving Intel.
3. Relaunch Acrobat.
4. Try to play video.
`

The full solution of the previous answer, you find here running in overleaf. I can compile the document and run it in Adobe Reader DC as well.

• Can't open link May 15 '21 at 6:44
• The example is here: overleaf.com/read/rcfqksxktygc. I've put it in the edit queue to get it added to the post. Aug 24 '21 at 5:49
• This answer works for me on Windows 10 + Adobe Reader DC ! Sep 13 '21 at 13:22