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Stands for "Extensible Metadata Platform." XMP is a universal metadata format developed by Adobe Systems and standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It provides a standard format for sharing metadata between multiple applications.

Many file formats include internal metadata, which describes the contents of the file. For example, JPEG images created by digital cameras typically include EXIF data, which defines the shutter speed, aperture, focal length, flash setting, and other information related to the image captured by the camera. While EXIF is a universally recognized format, other types of metadata are saved in proprietary formats that can only be read by a specific program. This makes it difficult or impossible for other programs to process the metadata.

Adobe's XMP specification provides a solution to this problem by outlining a standard format for storing metadata. It uses standard XML and RDF syntax to define metadata properties and attributes. Below is an example of XMP text:

<x:xmpmeta xmlns:x='adobe:ns:meta/'>
  <rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">

The "extensible" part of XMP means it can be used to describe any type of data. However, several specific XMP schemas have been developed to store metadata for common file types. Examples include PDFs, Photoshop documents, compressed images, and camera raw images. Each schema uses a predefined namespace, which specifies property names. For example, the Photoshop schema includes properties such as pdf:Keywords, pdf:PDFVersion, and pdf:Producer.

XMP data is usually stored within an existing file, such as a Photoshop document. However, it can also be saved externally as a separate .XMP file that is associated with a specific document. Since the data is saved in a standard format, XMP files can be read by any program that supports XMP.

File extension: .XMP

Updated: August 8, 2013

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