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Insert Media

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About Inserting Media

Adding media to your survey can help you create a cutting-edge experience for respondents. This page outlines how to insert media (e.g., audio and video files) from your library or from audio or video hosting servers like YouTube and SoundCloud into your surveys.

Warning: Inserting media requires the Allow All HTML Markup account permission to be enabled on an account. The Allow JavaScript account permission must be enabled for proper video playback. If you have a free survey account, these permissions cannot be enabled without upgrading your account. If you are a user on a paid license and have questions about your account permissions, contact your Brand Administrator.

Supported File Types

Though Qualtrics supports the uploading of most audio or video files, web browsers aren’t as forgiving. For most file types, your survey respondents will need to have a related browser plug-in installed to correctly view the media.

Because of this, we recommend uploading your media to a file hosting site such as YouTube or SoundCloud, and then embedding the media via HTML or a URL. Both of these services dynamically load an appropriate version of your file that will work on whatever device or browser your respondent is using, ensuring the widest compatibility. In addition, both YouTube and SoundCloud support private media if security is a concern.

If you still want to upload your files directly to Qualtrics, the best file type will depend on your audience.

For audio files

For audio files, we recommend MP3 format. WAV is also widely supported, but its large file size may create a negative experience for those with slower internet connections.

For video files

The best video file format changes depending on the device and browser your respondents use to view the video. If you are unsure what file type is the best for your situation, we recommend posting your video to YouTube or Vimeo and using the sharing features to embed the video into your survey.

Qtip: You cannot insert a Private YouTube video. If you would like to host your video on YouTube but not have it appear in search results, upload it as Unlisted instead.

If you cannot use YouTube, we recommend saving your video in various file formats (MP4, MOV, and WMV being the most popular), and then creating a version of your question for each format and using display logic to show the appropriate one based on the respondent’s device and browser.

Using Display Logic to Show The Appropriate File Type

Here, we’ll cover how to display different types of files to respondents, depending on if their browser and device support Flash Player.

  1. Add the hidden meta info question to your survey, which will record data about the respondent’s browser settings. This question must come before the questions with your media.
    the meta info question in the survey builder
  2. Create one question with the Flash version of your file, and another question with the MP4 version of your file.
    two different versions of the same question to display the flash and mp4 versions of our file

    Qtip: Notice how the media does not load for the Flash version in the above screenshot. This happens because our browser does not support Flash player; this is why it is important to use multiple file formats if you choose not to post your media on a file hosting site.
  3. With the Flash version question selected, click Display logic.
    adding display logic to the flash question
  4. For your logic condition, select Question, Your Meta Info Question, Flash Version (Text Entry), Is Not Equal to, -1.
    creating the logic to play the flash video
  5. Click Save.
  6. Add display logic for the MP4 question, except the display logic should read Question, Your Meta Info Question, Flash Version (Text Entry), Is Equal to, -1.
    creating the display logic to display the mp4 question
  7. Click Save.

With this setup, the respondent will see whichever version of the media is best suited for their browser.

Qtip: You can do similar logic statements based on the respondent’s operating system. For example, we know that Flash video formats (FLV, F4V, and SWF) don’t run on iOS, so we can create logic to only show these videos if the respondent’s operating system is not equal to iOS.

How to Add Media from Your Library

You can upload audio and video files that are 16 MB or smaller to your files library and embed them directly into your survey. Refer to the supported file types section above for more information on file compatibility. This section will focus on inserting a media from your files library after you’ve already uploaded them.

Qtip: If you need help uploading files to your library, see adding a file to a library.
  1. In the survey editor, click your question text.
    selecting the rich content editor on a question
  2. Select Rich Content Editor.
  3. Click More.
    clicking more in the rich content editor
  4. Click the Insert Media icon, the media icon.
    the insert media button in the rich content editor
  5. Click Select File From Library.
    the select file from library button
  6. Choose the desired file from your library.
    choosing a file and inserting it
  7. If you want to use a new file not yet in your library, click Upload a New File.
    Qtip: When uploading a new file, you will choose a file from your computer, and then give the file a category and description.
    the screen for uploading a new file to your library
  8. Preview your file to make sure it appears correctly.
    previewing media before inserting it

    Qtip: For video files, click the blue Advanced text that appears beneath the image preview to set a different video width and height.
    the advanced button
  9. Click Insert.

Adding Media Using HTML

You can use the embedding snippet of HTML, provided by the hosting company, to include media in your survey.

Attention: We recommend that you embed YouTube videos by using HTML.

Retrieving the HTML Code

Most media hosting companies (like YouTube) provide a code for embedding the media clips in other websites, and you can usually recognize it as the appropriate code if it starts with the word “iframe.”

  1. Click Share on the Youtube video you want to embed.Share button beneath video
  2. Select the Embed option.Embed option in the middle of the window
  3. Copy the presented code. Embed HTML
Qtip: This code, found in the Share section of most videos on, can be used to embed the video in a survey so that the video plays even on browsers like Safari and mobile browsers that do not work well with Flash.

Adding Media Using HTML

  1. Click the question you want to add the media to.
    entering the html view of the question editor
  2. Click HTML View.
  3. Paste your HTML code snippet.
    the video html pasted in the question
  4. Preview your survey to make sure the media is displaying correctly.

Adding Media Using a URL

If you want to host your media files outside of Qualtrics, either on your own servers or via a hosting service, follow the steps below to insert the media by using its URL.

Warning: Changes made to the hosted content will be reflected here, so be sure to only use this option for content you own yourself.
Qtip: You can only insert media from a URL that is publicly accessible. If the URL can’t be reached by Qualtrics, then the media will not display in your survey.
  1. Click the question you want to insert media into.
    selecting the rich content editor on a question
  2. Select Rich Content Editor.
  3. Click More.
    clicking more in the rich content editor
  4. Click the Insert Media icon, the media icon.
    the insert media button in the rich content editor
  5. Paste your media file’s URL.
    adding a video by url by pasting in the url and using the advanced fields to adjust the size
  6. If desired, you can set your video width and height by clicking Advanced in blue and entering the desired dimensions.
  7. Click Insert.
Qtip: Though this method will work great for files you’ve hosted on your own servers, other hosting services may not be supported. If you have difficulty with this process, try adding media using the snippet of HTML code provided by your media hosting website. This process is described above.

YouTube Tips and Tricks

Videos hosted on YouTube offer quite a few customization options that may be useful for your survey. See the following sections to find out what is available.

Qtip: As of September 25, 2018, Youtube has deprecated the ability to remove suggested videos. See this page for more information.

Making a Video Private

When using YouTube to host your video, you can mark your video as “Unlisted” to prevent people from finding the video outside of your survey. To alter the privacy of your video, view YouTube’s Video Privacy Settings.

Enabling Autoplay

When inserting a video hosted on YouTube, you can enable autoplay to start playing the video as soon as the page loads.

In the Source view of your rich content editor, you will see the link to your clip. Add “?autoplay=1” to the end of the link if there is not another question mark (?) in the link for your clip. If there already is a question mark (?) in the link for your clip, add “&autoplay=1” instead. This will start the video as soon as a respondent opens that page of the survey.

Qtip: Look for the HTML code that is in this general format: src=””. Insert ?autoplay=1 after the videoID and before the end quotation mark.

Qtip: Autoplay only works on desktop browsers. It does not work on mobile.
Qtip: If you are using Chrome version 66 or later, Chrome has made changes so that autoplay will not work unless the video has no sound, if the user has clicked or tapped on the site, or if the user has shown interest in media on the site in the past. Chrome has made this change to reduce unexpected playbacks and sound when a page is opened. You can read more about this update here.