CommCare applications can include multimedia such as images, audio, or video, which can be used for counseling or to aid low-literate users.  


Why Multimedia?

Why include multimedia in your app?

  • Images or audio can help guide your user to selecting the right answer or otherwise navigating the application successfully
  • Videos, audio files, or images can be used to enhance or supplement a counseling experience, and support users when training is limited
  • We know that users often really value media

Where can I incorporate multimedia in my app?

  • Within any form you can add images, audio files, or videos to any question. You can also add images or audio files to any choice in a multiple choice question
  • You can also add images and audio files to forms or modules in the application structure, which can help a lot with navigation
  • In Case List and Details screens

Multimedia capture questions like taking a picture in a form are dealt with separately and are covered in the Form Builder documentation.


Creating and Finding Multimedia Content

See the multimedia section of Best Practices - Application Creation for suggestions on how to effectively use multimedia in an application.

For a fully multimedia application geared to low-literate mobile users and clients, see CommCare for Low-Literate Users.  

There are lots of open source repositories - visit the pages for each media type for some resources, or see Creating Images Using Open Source Repositories and PowerPoint/Paint.

Details on Media Types

While CommCare can support a variety of media types depending upon your phone, we recommend using the following:

Media Category

Recommended File Type

Detailed Resources

Managing Multimedia on CommCareHQ

CommCareHQ has a tool called the Multimedia Manager that helps organize all of an application's media files. This tool also allows you to upload image and audio files to HQ so that anyone user with access to your domain can download all the files.

Advanced Technical Tools

Installing Multimedia 

For detailed information on installing applications, including multimedia, please see Phone Management.

Android Phones

Online Installation: Multimedia files can be easily installed when you install an application by clicking the "include multimedia" box when deploying an application to CommCare for Android.

Offline Installation: Multimedia files are automatically included when you download a CommCare Android application to install offline.

More detailed guidance can be found at Install CommCare for Android Smartphones.

 Click Here for information about older versions of CommCare
  1. On CommCare 2.0 - 2.3, you will find a folder called "commcare" located here: Android\data\org.commcare.dalvik\files\commcare  Put your folders for each media type (video, image, audio) inside the "commcare" folder.
  2. On CommCare 2.4, you will find a folder called "app" located here: Android\data\org.commcare.dalvik\files\app . After installing your application, this folder will contain a folder with some name (often a long string of numbers and letters). Inside that folder there should be a folder called "commcare". Put your folders inside of that folder.
  3. If you cannot automatically install multimedia files:
    1. There are two ways you can install multimedia on Android phones, via Dropbox sync or via a File Manager. Both require an active internet connection.

      Installing via Dropbox:

      1. In the Dropbox account of your choice (you may one to create one specifically for the email used on the phone), add your zipped multimedia folder.
      2. On your phone, go to the Google Play store and install Dropbox.
      3. Open CommCare and install the application.
      4. You will then see a set of messages indicating multimedia couldn't be found.
      5. Press Menu or Setttings button on your phone and choose the Install Multimedia option.
      6. Press the Folder button and find your multimedia zip file in Dropbox.
      7. Click on the Install Multimedia button and wait for multimedia validation to finish.

      Installing via a File Manager:

      Connect your phone to the computer. Open the phone's SD card. (Sometimes phones will have two SD card folders - one in internal memory and one that is the actual physical SD card. In this case try using the internal SD card first).

      CommCare for Android 2.5 and Above:

    2. On your phone install a File Browser (ex. Amaze File Explorer)
    3. Download the multimedia zip file from the CommCareHQ for your application.  Copy the zip file to your phone.  If you copy the file directly to your phone's SD card (not in any folder), CommCare can often automatically find it. 
    4. Open CommCare and install the application.  This will validate your multimedia for the application. 
    5. You will likely see a set of messages indicating that multimedia could not be found.
    6. Press Menu or Setttings button on your phone and choose the Install Multimedia option.
    7. Sometimes CommCare will automatically find the multimedia zip file (if you copied it directly to the phone's SD card).  If it is not already listed, press the Folder button and find your multimedia zip file.
    8. Click on the Install Multimedia button.  

More detailed instructions can be found at CommCare for Feature Phones and Multimedia for Feature Phones.


Custom Branding

More information can be found here.


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