Using Python XMP Toolkit

This little tutorial will show you two different methods for how to read/write XMP documents from files as well as manipulate them metadata once extracted from the file.

The tutorial is meant to be understood without prior knowledge of XMP. However, readers who decides to use the library are strongly encouraged to gain basic knowledge and understanding of:

  • XMP Data Model
  • XMP Serialization

A basic understanding of these two concepts can save yourself from common misunderstandings of what XMP is and what XMP can do. Good resources are e.g. the wiki page or the XMP Specification Part 1 available from:

Method 1: Read XMP

One of the most basic uses of the library is:

>>> from libxmp.utils import file_to_dict
>>> xmp = file_to_dict( "test/samples/BlueSquare.xmp" )

This will read the XMP embedded in the file and return it as a dictionary. The keys in the dictionary are XMP namespaces so to e.g. get all Dublin Core properties use:

>>> from libxmp import consts
>>> dc = xmp[consts.XMP_NS_DC]

or to be explicit:

>>> dc = xmp[""]

This will give you a list of all Dublin Core properties, where each element in the list is a tuple. The first element is the property name, the second element is the value and the third element is options associated with the element (describing e.g the type of the property):

First tuple element:

>>> print(dc[0][0])

Second tuple element:

>>> print(dc[0][1])

Third tuple element is a dict with options:

>>> dc[0][2]['IS_SCHEMA']

Method 2: Read/Write XMP

Example 1 focused on just extracting the XMP from a file an determine the value of a property. If you however want to extract the XMP from a file, update it, and write it back again you need to do like the following

Read file:

>>> from libxmp import XMPFiles, consts
>>> xmpfile = XMPFiles( file_path="test/samples/BlueSquare.jpg", open_forupdate=True )

Get XMP from file:

>>> xmp = xmpfile.get_xmp()

Print the property dc:format:

>>> print(xmp.get_property(consts.XMP_NS_DC, 'format' ))

Change the XMP property:

>>> xmp.set_property(consts.XMP_NS_DC, u'format', u'application/vnd.adobe.illustrator' )
>>> print(xmp.get_property(consts.XMP_NS_DC, 'format' ))

Check if XMP document can be written to file and write it:

>>> xmpfile.can_put_xmp(xmp)
>>> xmpfile.put_xmp(xmp)

XMP document is not written to the file, before the file is closed:

>>> xmpfile.can_put_xmp(xmp)
>>> xmpfile.close_file()

Further Examples

Append an array item to the XMP packet.:

Read file:

>>> from libxmp import XMPFiles, consts
>>> xmpfile = XMPFiles( file_path="test/samples/BlueSquare.xmp" )

Get XMP from file:

>>> xmp = xmpfile.get_xmp()

Create a new array item and append a value:

>>> xmp.append_array_item(consts.XMP_NS_DC, 'creator', 'Your Name Here', {'prop_array_is_ordered': True, 'prop_value_is_array': True})