July 19, 2010

XML Shareable Playlist Format (XSPF)

A vector-based version of CC_SomeRightsReserve...
XML Shareable Playlist Format (XSPF), pronounced spiff[1], is an XML-based playlist format for digital media, sponsored by the Xiph.Org Foundation. Lucas Gonze of Yahoo.com/Webjay.org originated the format in 2004.
XSPF is a data format for sharing the kind of playlist that can be played on a personal computer or portable device. In the same way that any user on any computer can open any web page, XSPF is intended to provide portability for playlists.

  • A playlist format like M3U or ASX
  • MIME content-type of application/xspf+xml
  • Patent-free (no patents by the primary authors)
  • Specification under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 license
  • XML, like Atom
  • Unicode support
  • Cross-platform support
    XSPF was created by an ad-hoc working group which kicked off in February 2004, achieved rough consensus on version 0 in April 2004, worked on implementations and fine tuning throughout summer and fall 2004, and declared the tuned version to be version 1 in January 2005.

    XSPF is not yet an Internet standard, and is not a recommendation of any standards body besides Xiph.Org Foundation.

    Content Resolution
    Traditionally playlists have been composed of file paths that pointed to individual titles. This allowed a playlist to be played locally on one machine or shared if the listed file paths were URLs accessible to more than one machine (i.e. on the web). XSPF's meta-data rich open format has permitted a new kind of playlist sharing called content resolution.
    In the simplest terms, content resolution is the local recreation of a playlist based on meta-data. A content resolver will open XSPF playlists and search a catalog for every title with , and Yahoo! Music Unlimited or some other searchable archive. The end result are shareable playlists that are not tied to a specific collection or service.


    • Amarok
    • Audacious
    • Herrie - reading/writing XSPF playlists. XSPF is also used to autosave the playlist on shutdown.
    • Serpentine - GNOME application for writing audio CDs
    • VLC (stand-alone player, available on every major platform)
    • Visonair.tv Stream Directory (uses XSPF for server list download)
    • libxspf (C++ XSPF library)
    • Visonair.tv Player (supports XSPF files)
    • Clipland Playlists (onDemand video-playlists also in XSPF)
    • PHP4XSPF - a set of PHP classes that aims to make it as simple as possible to create XSPF files using PHP.
    • XSPF for Ruby - a pure-Ruby parser and generator library
    • JointRadio - takes RSS feeds of MP3 files and creates XSPF files
    • XSPF Web Music Player - Open Source XSPF player (in the web browser)
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