How to add multiple media files in a single question (using media::image, media::audio columns)

Question: How can I add multiple images and audios inside a single question? Can I include multiple filenames in a single cell (in the "media::image" or "media::audio" columns), and if so which separator do I use?

For example, I need the user to be able to listen to 3 different audio files before answering the question (answers: yes or no). Another example, I need to display 3 images below a question's label for the user to look at before choosing an answer.

Please note: I don't want the media files associated with the answers, I need them to just appear below the question label (above the answers).

I'm trying to get this to work via XLS Form, using ODK Collect v1.22.0 on
Samsung Galaxy Tab A / Google Nexus 7 (Android)

Thanks in advance for your help!

You can get your answer here
XLS link
Webform link

you can put multiple media in select type question or group different text/numeric etc type questions and view them in a single screen.

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Hi Arif, thanks for your response. I had reviewed both the bird form and the xlsform link but unfortunately it doesn't say how to put mulitple images in the question itself, meaning in the survey tab (and not in the choices tab, as the images/audios should not be associated with any particular answer).

Do you know how to add multiple images or audios in the survey tab so they appear below the question label but before the list of answer choices in the ODK Collect app?

Hi @Jlemaire

the case you described is not possible in ODK Collect. Each question can have one image one audio file and one video file. If you have a select one/multiple question each option can have one image one audio file and one video file as well.


@Grzesiek2010 is correct in terms of intentional features. I haven't tried this myself but you might be able to do something like a question with a label, then a read-only select with audio, then a question with a hint all on a single screen (see field-list documentation) to get the behavior you want. The part I'm not sure about is whether you can play audio or video from a read-only select.

For images, the approach generally taken is to create a composite image with all the visual elements you want displayed.

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That's true there are some possible workarounds. You can try my form: (22.3 KB)
Ther result would be like:


Hi Grzesiek2010,

Thanks for posting and uploading your work around!

I have used the xlsx form from you zip file and tested it inside an ODK Collect based app. Unfortunately it is not working for me. Instead I get radio buttons and images underneath each other (I need them next to each other like in your screenshot):

Do you know why this might be?

Try to update the app to the newest version from Google Play.

Hi Grzesiek2010 -- many thanks! we were using v.1.22.0 but just updated to the version released yesterday v1.22.3 and now it works.

Could you tell us how you hid the period (.) however? We copied your XLSForm but couldn't see how that was done.

Also, is there any documentation you can share on the 'appearance' you used (“columns-4 no-buttons”)?

Thank you very much.

What period? I don't understand.

The appearance I used: columns-4 no-buttons is a new appearance we added in the latest version. It's not documented yet (because it's new) but we will do that soon.

columns-4 means you want to use select options in 4 columns
no-buttons means don't use radioButtons/checkBoxes but use media files if exist.

so generally it's a select_one question where options are placed in 4 columns using just images, and the question is read-only so you can't select anything.

Great! Thanks for adding these new appearance features!! They are super helpful :slight_smile:

We meant the "." in the label of q1:

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We thought the label could not be empty but it turns out it can (when read-only?), so we took out the ".". Thanks again for your help!

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