System Requirements

For most uses, MediaLab v2016 will run well on any PC system or Mac (e.g., via BootCamp), running Windows XP or Windows 7. At least 256 Mb of RAM is recommended. If large experiments and/or large multi-media files are going to be used frequently, then additional RAM is advisable though not necessary. Video cards with at least 16 Mb of video memory also are recommended.

It is recommended that you also install Microsoft Office on machines that will be running MediaLab. These programs allow MediaLab to present documents fully formatted by Word and slide shows prepared in PowerPoint and allow you to execute a number of features using the conditional logic of Excel. Although MediaLab will work fine without them, these programs perform cooperatively with MediaLab to produce some very impressive functionality. Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 9 or later is required in order for MediaLab to present custom items and other HTML formatted pages (whether stored locally or on the internet). Finally, it is necessary to have a spreadsheet application (e.g., Excel, SPSS) installed in order to view the data files produced by MediaLab (although the .txt and .csv data files can also be viewed in any text editor).

Backward Compatibility

If you are accustomed to using a previous version of MediaLab (v1998/v3-v2014), you should be able to continue using v2016 without having to learn anything new. v2016 is backward compatible so that MediaLab experiments from all previous versions should run the same as they always have without requiring modification.  Of course, be sure to confirm compatibility for yourself with any old experiments prior to scheduling participants. As we continue to updated v2016 with new fixes and features, we will post the changes on our support site at:


To install MediaLab, download and run ml2016.x.x.exe (where x.x is the specific release) available from If installing from a CD-ROM then simply double-click on the ml2016.x.x exe file located on the CD. The installation program will guide you through the set-up procedure. After the setup is complete, follow the security instructions below to gain authorization for the workstation to run MediaLab.

1.Note to Network Administrators:

Users will require read/write access to the MediaLab folder following installation. If they do not have read/write permission for the folder, the license check may fail and will cause a new code to be generated. The installation should grant these rights to all users automatically, but if not then they may need to be set as follows by someone with administrator-level access:

Step 1. When logged on as an administrator, this can be done by right clicking on the MediaLab folder and selecting Properties and then Security and ensuring that regular users have Read/Write permission. If you do not see a Security tab, then try Step 2.

Step 2. Open Folder Options in the Windows Control Panel. On the View tab, make sure Use simple file sharing is not checked. It should be one of the last options. With that unchecked, you should now get a security tab when checking the properties of folders. Try Step 1 again—that should do it.


To help control unauthorized distribution and use of MediaLab, it has been secured with ATX™ software protection. MediaLab will not run on any machine until this security has been disabled. To disable the security follow these steps:

Install and run MediaLab.

You will receive a message that the current workstation requires authorization to use the software, and a code number will be displayed.

E-mail the code to

If you are an authorized user, you will receive a translation of this code which will be a registration number unique for the machine on which you have installed MediaLab (usually the same day). Then, re-start MediaLab and enter the six-digit code provided to you. MediaLab should now be fully functional. Important: ATX codes are unique to every machine. Be sure to get authorization for each machine that will be using the software. If you have any difficulty at all with this procedure, please contact us for assistance via

Trial users may request a code that will enable MediaLab to run for 21 days. Please note that the purpose of the trial license is for anyone interested in MediaLab to try it out risk-free to see if it suits their potential needs. It is the policy of Empirisoft to offer one trial code per person. Any use beyond the trial period of 21 days or for actual data gathering should be done under a fully authorized and purchased license. Information about the different types of licenses for purchase may be found here on the Empirisoft website:

Alternative Solution for Verifying Licenses

Tired of entering all those authorization codes? If you belong to a school that has purchased a departmental site license then we can hard code your department's IP prefix into MediaLab so that ANY machine starting with that prefix (e.g., 123.456.789.*) will start up right away if the code 99999 is entered. Multiple patterns can be accommodated. Ask for details.

Reinstalling MediaLab

If you are upgrading to a new version you will be asked to uninstall the existing version. Experiments, data folders, preferences, and licenses will not be affected by uninstalling. Of course, we recommend backing up experiment data and any existing MediaLab files (e.g., any .que and .exp files) before making any changes to your system.

System Settings

The following are suggestions for your general system set-up:

True colors

To allow for the full range of colors usable by MediaLab, it is recommended that you use 16, 24, or 32 bit color. Some older systems are set by default to 8 bit, which provides for only 256 colors (colors or color ranges may appear as dots, patterns, or solid regions). To change these settings in Windows 7, right click on an empty area of the desktop and click on Screen Resolution. Select the monitor Display you want to change the color bit depth for and click on the Advanced Settings link. Click on the Monitor tab, select from the available Colors from the drop down menu the color bit you want. Select the highest color range possible. 24 and 32 bit color ranges are both capable of displaying close to the full range of colors detectable by the human eye.

Show file extensions

MediaLab frequently makes use of file extensions. These are the three-letters following the period on file names (e.g., .exe, .doc, .mpg). For this reason, it is advisable that you don't instruct Windows to hide these from you. To set this up in Windows 7 or later, click the Start menu, click Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options. Deselect the option to have Windows Hide File Extensions. It is also useful to have Windows Display the Full Path in Title Bar as well as Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts. The latter setting should be on by default in Windows 7 or later.

Task bar NOT always on top.

It is possible to have the windows task bar always on top. This is not recommended for use on machines that will be running MediaLab as it gives participants easy access to the system, and it can obstruct some important features of MediaLab. To deselect this option, right click on the task bar and then click on Properties. Always on top can be de-selected here if you wish. Note the key sequence Ctrl+Esc will make the task bar re-appear at any time.

Screen Resolution

Although MediaLab was designed to work in all screen resolutions, how things look may depend on the resolution you choose. Certain items may need to be repositioned with the left and top parameters when running in high resolution modes. If you are working on different computers, it is often best to pick a single resolution for your experiment (e.g., 1024x768). To change these settings in Windows 7 or later, right click on your desktop and select Screen Resolution and select the appropriate option from the Screen Resolution drop down menu.