XSPF (XML Shareable Playlist Format)

The XSPF Audio file format

The filetype XSPF (pronounced as “spiff”) was created due to the booming popularity of playlists. A playlist is something that you can create on your own computer that allows you to group all of your favorite songs, etc together so they play one after the other in a sequence, without you having to manually play each one individually. An XSPF file gives you the ability to move that playlist from one computer to another and still have it function correctly. You can also send it to a friend and share your playlist. It’s important to note that an XSPF file does not include the actual audio files, it only contains the list.

Technical details of XSPF files

An ad hoc group of people combined their efforts in early 2004 to develop a tool that would allow people portability with their playlists of music. This group developed the initial version of XSPF in the middle of 2004 and the first official version was released in early 2005. Any computer that is connected to the internet can open any web page that is online. XSPF provides that same type of functionality, but is focused on organizing music instead of web pages. Before XSPF, a playlist was specific to a file path and that path was focused on individual music titles. The meta-data rich open format of XSPF changed to focus of a playlist to handle the sharing of the list through “content resolution”.

More information about the XSPF file format

File extension .xspf
File category Audio
Associated programs Roxio Creator NXT Pro (Windows)
VideoLAN VLC media player (Windows)
Clementine (Windows
VideoLAN VLC media player (Mac)
Clementine (Mac)
Amarok (Linux)
Audacious (Linux)
VideoLAN VLC media player (Linux)
Clementine (Linux)
Useful links Learn more about the XSPF file extension.
Developer N/A – open source