XML Shareable Playlist Format (XSPF), pronounced spiff, is an XML-based playlist format for digital media, sponsored by the Xiph.Org Foundation.
XSPF is a file 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.
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 (e.g., on the Web). XSPF's meta-data rich open format has permitted a new kind of playlist sharing called content resolution.
A simple form of content resolution is the localization of a playlist based on metadata. An XSPF-compliant content resolver will open XSPF playlists and search a catalog for every title with <creator>, <album> and <title> tags, then localize the playlist to reference the available matching tracks. A catalog may reference a collection of media files on a local disk, a music subscription service like Yahoo! Music Unlimited, or some other searchable archive. The end result is shareable playlists that are not tied to a specific collection or service.