XSPF v1 Notes and Errata
This page lists errata of the XSPF version 1 document and also gives advice on using and understanding XSPF.
<trackList> and <trackNum> spelling
Please note that trackList and trackNum elements MUST NOT be written in all lowercase since XSPF is case-sensitive. These two are the only elements containing capital letters so just remember trackList and trackNum and your XSPF will be fine.
Absolute vs. relative URIs in key attibutes
The attributes rel (<meta> and <link>) and application (<extension>) are by XSPF v1 specification allowed to hold relative URIs. For example this meta element is legal in XSPF v1:
While this might look elegant it comes with several drawbacks:
- You might easily forget that this string is a URI and include non-URI characters like spaces by mistake (e.g. rel="play count" is not valid)
- You lose the namespace concept: nobody will know what or whom this key belongs to or came from
For these reasons it is strongly recommended to use absolute URIs as keys instead:
Version information in key attributes
When defining you own extensions to XSPF you will have to choose an application URI for your onw extensions:
<extension application="http://example.com/myext/"> .. </extension>
Please consider including version information in your application URIs and increase it whenever the structure of your extension changes:
<extension application="http://example.com/xspf/track/1/0/"> .. </extension>
This enables others to properly distinct different versions of your extensions without the need to do version guessing. Adding version information to rel of <meta> and <link> is a good idea as well:
In XSPF child elements can appear in any order. That means that for example both these tracks are valid for XSPF v1.
As appearing in the specification:
<track> <creator>Creator first</creator> <album>Album after</album> </track>
<track> <album>Album first</album> <creator>Creator after</creator> </track>
This is not mentioned in the specification and might have been ignored by some implementations. Thus for people implementing XSPF support that means:
- XSPF readers must be able to deal with arbitrary element order
- XSPF writers should always produce XSPF files with elements in the order appearing in the specification for maximum compatibility.
To save you extracting this information yourself the order of elements appearing in the XSPF specification is:
Whitespace handling in XML can be a little difficult to understand at first. Since XSPF is based on XML, people implementing XSPF readers or writers do have to know about the basics of whitespace handling in XML. The good things is we summed it up here to make things easier for you.
Ignore in non-leaf elements
Whitespace in elements only holding child elements but no text must be ignored.
Process in non-string leaf elements
- Leading and trailing whitespace ('\t'(0x08), '\n'(0x0a), '\r'(0x0d), ' '(0x20)) is removed
- Whitespace "in the middle" is converted to a single space (think s/[\t\n\r ]+/ / Perl people)
For example the three-line text
ABC DEF GHI
ABC GHI DEF
Keep in "real" string leaf elements
Whitespace in string elements is significant and has to be preserved. So if <annotation> contains line feeds the annotation text really spans several lines:
<annotation>Line feeds and even spaces are preserved. This example annotation spans two lines</annotation>
Do X in Extensions
Whitespace handling inside of extension elements depends on the specific extension.
URI RFC used
The XSPF v1 specification mentions RFC 2396 when talking about URIs. As asking on email@example.com revealed, we should have referred to STD 66 instead which stands for "latest RFC of URI" (RFC 3986 as of 2007-07-09). What does that mean practically?
- You can use IPv6 host part URIs in XSPF v1
- You can use a RFC 3986 parser for your XSPF v1 implementation
This paragraph describes the content of playlist.meta. It also reads "xspf:playlist elements MAY contain exactly one" which does not make sense for the content of an element and can be safely ignored.
This paragraph describes the content of playlist.trackList.track.meta. It also reads "xspf:playlist elements MAY contain exactly one" which does not make sense for the content of an element and can be safely ignored.