NEW!  MediaLab v2020

MediaLab v2020 for all> versions of Windows is now available! This page provides an overview. View the online user's guide. To upgrade, check out licensing options, or view pricing, please visit our order page.

MediaLab Overview

MediaLab helps both technologically savvy and technologically challenged researchers with their creation of powerful computerized experiments. Created specifically for the Windows environment, MediaLab combines smart experimental design features with the capabilities of today’s powerful multi-media PC technology.

HighHighly intuitive and user-friendly, MediaLab comes with extensive interactive help files, an easy-to-follow 107-page manual, sample experiments and a simple tutorial to help you get started right away. You will be able to start creating fully-functional basic experiments in 15 to 20 minutes.

Simple surveys? Complex factorial designs? No problem.
If you’ve used them, you know. General purpose programs typically have limited flexibility when it comes to experimental design. With MediaLab, participants can be administered different stimuli and different dependent measures and in different orders depending on the experimental condition. MediaLab allows for a wide variety of input including multiple choice responses, fill-in-the-blanks, essay-type open ended responses, thought and recall listings, and even ratings of one's own open-ended responses. MediaLab handles all of this with ease and writes friendly data files that be analyzed immediately in either Excel or SPSS.

Powerful Multi-Media Capability
MediaLab allows you present an abundance of stimuli from basic and fully-formatted Word documents, HTML, and PowerPoint Shows to multi-media files such as audio, video and image files—either alone or in combination. If MediaLab can not perform a specific task, it will branch off to run an independent program of your choosing during an experiment, and then return to where it left off.

General Features

  • Define as many experimental conditions as you like (great for factorial designs).
  • Flexible randomization features.
  • Randomize items within a single group.
  • Randomize the order that groups of items are presented.
  • Randomization routines at both the experiment level and within questionnaires.
  • EmbeEmbed your own or third-party programs within an experiment or questionnaire.
  • Run DirectRT, Inquisit or Qualtrics sessions from within your MediaLab experiment.
  • Create multiple custom preference settings with choices of fonts and display colours. Context sensitive help such that pressing F1 at any time will help you with what you are currently doing.
  • Option of on-the-fly editing of Word and WordPerfect documents-edit them as you run through your experiment.
  • Resolution independent-compatible with screen displays from 640x480 to 1600x1200 and beyond.
  • Easy-to-use intuitive interface--no programming code necessary.
  • Now compatible with non-english fonts (e.g., Japanese, Chinese, Arabic).
  • Customize all messages and/or translate into any language.
  • Optionally run experiments from a CD-ROM or Server on LAN.

Flexible Questionnaire Design

  • Scale responses with up to 12 closed ended responses.
  • Multiple response (select all that apply) responses.
  • Fill-in-the blank responses (free or restricted).
  • Essay-type responses.
  • Thought listings and recall listings.
  • Have subjects rate their own thought-listing responses on any dimension.
  • Easy text-based instructions for any question.
  • Present html pages with active hyperlinks. MediaLab uses the Intenet Explorer browsing engine so you can display anything that Explorer can.
  • Track browsing behaviour as subjects navigate through local html files or the world wide web.
  • Track every link the subject follows and record when they arrived and how long they stayed.
  • Easily present Microsoft Word or any other OLE compatible documents for more elaborate formatting.
  • Easily embed Microsoft PowerPoint shows within your experiment or questionnaire(s).
  • Gather on-line continuous rating data during audio and video clips.
  • Skip pattern capability when a particular closed ended response is given.
  • Questionnaire items can be omitted in specified conditions.
  • Easily modify and re-use your questionnaires in other experiments.
  • Option of self-paced or time-limited responses.
  • Allow subjects to return to previous questions if necessary.
  • Embed subjects' responses in subsequent question wordings.
  • Create multiple style configurations (e.g., colours and fonts) for use within the same experiment or questionnaire.


  • Present graphics (.bmp, .jpg, and .gif).
  • Present sound files (.wav, .mp3.)
  • Present video (.avi, .mpg, .mov.)
  • Present combinations of graphics, sound, video and questionnaire items.
  • Present html, flash, java, asp and any other browser compatible files.
  • Optional parameters allow you to set the screen location of images and movies as well as set.
  • Optional parameters allow you to set the screen location of images and movies as well as set the size of video clips all the way up to full screen.


  • Writes data to an easy-to-analyze ASCII file.
  • Your choice of which variables to write to the data file.
  • Writes all data into a single file that can be imported straight into Excel (up to 255 variables) or SPSS (unlimited variables). Variable definitions are written automatically, so you can start analyzing your results immediately.
  • Two sets of data files are produced, one organized by questionnaires, the other by variable names.
  • Includes a utility to easily merge data files collected on different computers.
  • Optionally write reaction time for any response to the data file.
  • Optionally write data from multiple computers to a single folder on your network.

System Requirements

MediaLab runs great on pretty much all current PC systems runnning any current version of Windows (e.g., XP, Vista, Windows 7/10).  At least 64 Mb of RAM is recommended, but additional memory can certainly boost perfomance when resource demands are high (e.g., when using an array of multi-media stimuli).

It is not necessary, but installing Microsoft Office on machines that will be running MediaLab, can add some impressive functionalit--e.g., allowing you to embed Word and PowerPoint documents in your experiment and to access the conditional logic and power of Excel for your experimental design. 

With Microsoft's Internet Explorer installed, MediaLab can also give you the ability to embed local and internet web pages within your experiment. This means that anything now on the web or anything that could be put on the web can easily be dropped into your experiment.

Finally, a spreadsheet application such as Excel or SPSS is required to view some of the data files produced by MediaLab but this may be done on any machine.

MediaLab and/or DirectRT?

New customers often wonder whether they need both MediaLab and DirectRT, or if one of them is sufficient. We answer this in the knowledgebase:

Article: Do I need both DirectRT and MediaLab?

See also: MediaLab FAQ


Software News

April 28th, 2020
Join our beta testing program for conducting experiments over the internet with version 2020!--ask us for details!

April 28th, 2020
Site licenses for v2020 now allow users to work from home--ask us for details!

April 21st, 2020
MediaLab and DirectRT v2020 are now available!

January 30th, 2020
We can now authorize site license machines by using your domain names--ask us for details!

April 21st, 2016
MediaLab v2016 is now available! MediaLab v2016

April 21st, 2016
DirectRT v2016 is now available! DirectRT v2016

Feb 18, 2014
MediaLab v2014 is now available! Compatible with all versions of Windows. MediaLab v2014

Feb 18, 2014
DirectRT v2014 is now available! Compatible with all versions of Windows. DirectRT v2014

March 16th, 2012
MediaLab v2012 is now available! Compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7. MediaLab v2012

March 16th, 2012
DirectRT v2012 is now available! Compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7. DirectRT v2012

January 1st, 2012
The latest public software reviews from SPSP and elsewhere.

Our full page software ad makes the back cover of JPSP, the Rolling Stone of Social Psychology.

Blair is very serious about software in our first brochure produced for the SPSP convention.

News Archive

MediaLab Research Software and DirectRT are trademarks of Empirisoft. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies. Purchase inquiries should be directed toward our ever-friendly sales team. Frequently asked questions, how-to questions, suggestions, and troubleshooting inquires can be addressed through our searchable support forums located at http://support.empirisoft.com.

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Last modified: April 21st, 2016.