Multimedia Tools

Looking to integrate more multimedia on your site? Start here. We’ve compiled a list of multimedia tools available online for your staffers to integrate alternate story forms and multimedia elements into their online stories. If there are any tools you’d like to add, please contact us at

1-Aggregation2-Audio3-Audioslideshow4-Charts/Graphs5-Document hosting6-Forum/Comment7-Games8-Image (interactive)9-Infographic10-Liveblog11-Livestream12-Maps13-Mobile14-Panorama15-Photo Gallery16-Quiz/Poll17-Slideshow18-Timeline19-Video Chat



  • Storify: Collect media from Twitter, YouTube, and other sources, then embed the collection into your story. (free)
  • Intersect: Create an album of stories, photos and videos that can be posted to an embeddable map. Optionally allow others’ public posts to appear on your map where they “intersect” with your story. (free)
  • Meograph: Select a series of “moments” to tell a story. Include photos and video on an optional map. Record narration for each “moment.” (free)


  • SoundCloud: Record and edit audio clips to be shared publicly and embed on your site. Users can comment at specific points of audio. Mobile apps available. (free)
  • Audioboo:Record up to three minutes of audio and share via Twitter, Facebook or on your site. Allows creation of a channel and unlimited number of “boos” with free account. (free)
  • Google Audio Player: Simple Google embeddable mp3 player that is resizable and will play any uploaded .mp3 file. Requires uploading the file to a server (through WordPress Media library is okay), then inserting the URL. (free)
  • SoundCiteJS: A simple little gadget to integrate sound clips into text without a separate audio player. (free)


  • Soundslides: Software that allows simple creation of audioslideshows by inserting an .mp3 file and a folder of .jpgs. Requires uploading to a server, however slideshow hosting is available for $12 annually. ($35after emailing for education discount)
  • Animoto: Allows 30 second web-quality videos. Select audio from a media library of tracks, and use text titles and captions to tell the story. (free)
  • Photopeach: Upload photos, select from a library of music, and it’s done. No customization of .mp3 or transitions without a paid subscription. Does allow quiz slides, though. (free or $3/mo for subscription)

Charts/Graphs (Data Visualization)

  • ManyEyes: Upload a data set and choose from 17 different types of visualization to display data. (free)
  • amCharts: Download sample files and create dynamic Javascript charts. (free)
  • D3.js: Complex tool to create interactive and animated charts and graphs. Advanced. (free)
  • Hohli: Web-based chart builder. (free)
  • Google Charts: Create Javascript charts to embed directly into your site. (free)
  • DatawrapperSimple tool to turn data into embeddable charts. (free)

Document Hosting

  • Issuu: Upload PDFs to share. Embed the customizable viewers on your site. (free)
  • DocumentCloud: Upload primary source documents and annotate them. Requires emailing to request an account, which takes up to two weeks. (free)
  • Scribd: Publish documents to their online library, then embed them on your site. (free)
  • Flipsnack: Create digital magazines with flippable pages. Upload PDFs or work from scratch. (three free)


  • Nabble: Create a free, embeddable forum. (free)
  • Simple embeddable forum that allows users to comment through Facebook, Twitter and Google. (free)
  • bbPress (WordPress): Forum created by WordPress creators. Easy to set up and moderate. (free)
  • Disqus: Customizable comment stream that integrates Facebook, Twitter and Google. (free)


  • Zondle: Create interactive games to embed in your site. (free)

Image (Interactive)

  • Thinglink: Upload an image and tage the image with rollover buttons that pop up info boxes. (free)
  • Clevr: Create panoramic images with “hotspots” that the user mouses over for more info. (free)


  • Select a template to create simple, visually engaging infographics. (free)
  • More advanced than, allows you to create infographics from scratch or using one of the preset templates. (free)
  • Piktochart: In the free version, choose from seven templates to create even more customizable infographics. (free or $29/yr)
  • Sprites: Slideshow style infographic presentation. (free)
  • Venngage: Use free templates to arrange graphic elements on a canvas. (free, limited)


  • CoverItLive: Moderated live blogging that allows users to join and participate without creating an account. (Education pricing)
  • Cbox: Embed a simple chat box into your site. Free version is not customizable. (free)
  • ScribbleLive: Blog live and integrate media from other sources. (free for education, email request)
  • Chatroll: Embeddable chat window that allows up to 10 simultaneous users free. (free)


  • U-Stream: Record directly from a mobile device and embed the video player on your site. Pro version offers better quality and more options. (free)
  • Livestream: Embedded player allows streaming live to your site. Viewers have to log into Livestream to view, and no archiving is available with the free plan. (free)
  • Snagit/Jing: Download this screen capture tool to record what you’re doing on screen along with narration and publish it on YouTube or download as an .mp4 file. Jing is the free version, but videos can only be uploaded to their website. (free or $30 one time)

Maps (Interactive)

  • Google Maps: Collaborate with others to place markers and highlight locations with extra info, including multimedia. (free)
  • Google Maps Engine: Google maps with lots of added features and customization options. (free)
  • ZeeMaps: Create maps collaboratively, and include text, highlighting, audio, photo, and video. Maps can be saved as PDF. (free)
  • amMap: Create visually appealing Javascript maps with this downloadable template library. (free)
  • StoryMapJS: Create slideshow-style map presentations that integrate photos, video, social media. (free)


  • Banjo: To crowdsource, use location services to find the public posts of people near you. (free)


  • Dermandar: Create 360 panoramas with this photo stitching tool. Works with Apple mobile devices, too. (free)
  • Clevr: Online photo stitcher that creates 360 panoramas and allows you to create “hotspots” that pop up a small window when the user mouses over them. Hotspots can include html. (free)
  • Hugin: Download the open source software to create artistic stitched panoramas and spiral images. (free)
  • Photosynth: Use the mobile app or desktop software to create panoramic images. (free)

Photo Gallery

  • Flickr: Free with storage limitations. Embeddable slideshow is clean but doesn’t show captions by default. (free)
  • Photosnack: Simple gallery creator that’s fully compatible with mobile devices. Optionally, add an audio file, though it won’t allow for syncing with images like the audioslideshow tools. (free)
  • Photobucket: Embeddable “stories” allow users to create sliding collages of images and pair with captions. (free)
  • Picasa: Add captions and tags to uploaded photos. Embed slideshows in website. (free)


  • ProProfs: Free polls for up to 50 people. Integrate images and video. (free)
  • QuizSnack: Create simple embeddable polls with some customization options. No data storing. (free or $16/yr for full access to entire suite of Snack Tools)
  • Google Form: Create a form that populates a spreadsheet as users respond. View visualizations of collected data. (free)


  • Slideshare: Upload and share slide presentations directly from native software. (free)
  • Prezi: Created animated presentations that allow embedding of images and video. (free)
  • Hype: HTML5 animation builder for Mac OSX that creates presentations much like Flash presentation, but that will work on Apple mobile devices. ($35.99 education license)
  • Bunkr: Create simple HTML5 presentations online and embed directly into your site. (free)
  • Exposure: Create full-width photo essays in a scrolling format. Three exposures on free accounts. (free)
  • Steller: Combines photo, video and text into well-designed flipping page slideshow with embeddable viewer. (free)

Timeline (Interactive)

  • Dipity: Interactive timeline creator that allows embedding of outside media. Three timelines for free accounts. (free)
  • Timetoast: Simple timeline creator used for text and images. (free)
  • TimelineJS: Clean, simple timeline creator that works through a Google spreadsheet. Outside media embeddable through URL. (free)
  • TikiToki: Highly visual and customizable timelines. Free account allows one timeline. Premium account is required for embedding. ($100/yr teacher account)
  • Timeglider: Scrollable, zoomable collaborative timeline. Free account allows three timeline, 200 views/mo. (free)

Video Chat

  • Google Hangout: Include up to 10 participants in a video chat through Google. Option to go “On Air” and broadcast the hangout to the public. On Air hangouts are saved to your YouTube channel, which makes them embeddable. (free)
  • Interlude: Make interactive videos that allow users to make choices that alter the video. (free)

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