I have 20,000+ images in Expression Media, which I also use to store the caption information. This information is compatible with Photoshop's IPTC information and is available in XMP sidecar files.

I am working on a website and want to be able to include this information with the photographs on the website. Since I can import information from a spreadsheet, I am looking for a convenient way to extract the desired data from the XMP file. Is anyone aware of a way to automate such a process?

If so I am all ears!


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ (I think the question is a bit offtopic here.) XMP-files are basically XML-files. Is your intent to manually copy the information from the spreadsheet to the website? Then asking for "XML to your favourite spreadsheet format" converters on Super User might help. If you want the website automatically read the XMP-files, you could parse them e.g. with PHP and ask for help in Stackoverflow. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 2, 2011 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Koiyu, Thanks for the advice. I will take it over there. \$\endgroup\$
    – forrest
    Feb 4, 2011 at 3:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with the off-topic assessment. Sure, it's photo-related, but approach to handling these XML files is no different than from any other XML file (which is kind of the point.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Feb 8, 2011 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Off-topic but still interesting to photographer-programmers. I have done something similar. Inspect the XML to determine the structure. Write a PHP program to parse the XML data and write it into a MySQL database so that you can quickly retrieve it when displaying the photos. The XML tools in PHP are easy to use. \$\endgroup\$
    – labnut
    Feb 8, 2011 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Try Phil Harvey's exiftool, which can extract not just Exif data but a lot of other data formats from image files.

Download exiftool from http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

Note the XMP documentation on http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/TagNames/XMP.html


I tried Phil Harvey's tool and I must admit that the beauty and functionality was lost on me. I suppose it is great if you are handy with the command line. This prompted me to look further and I finally found what I was looking for all along.

I use Expression Media for cataloging all my photographs and I finally found the feature that I needed in the beginning. Under Make there is a feature called Text Data File... In it you can select all the fields you desire to extract from and it outputs the results into a .txt or .csv file which I can then import into my website.

Problem completely solved. And I couldn't be happier about it.


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