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MediaBeacon University

File Formats

This article details the file formats that can be used with Import/Export Wizard functions.
  • Character-Delimited
    • CSV
    • Tab Delimited
    • Custom Delimited
  • XML

Metadata File Terminology

See the Metadata File Terminology in Preparing Metadata Files section for a complete list.


This widely used format is fairly standardized, a guide Care must be taken with this format because common editing tools, like Microsoft Excel, will silently change data formatting with little warning. See the Manipulating Metadata Files and the Opening CSV files with Excel's Data Import Function articles.

CSV (comma separated values) is the most commonly used variant.

  • When to use Escape Characters:
    • A value contains the comma character.
    • A value contains double-quotes.
    • A value contains line breaks.
  • Escape Characters are discarded: Delimiters will be parsed and discarded by MediaBeacon.


MediaBeacon does not ignore whitespace that might be imparted by a length delimited source. Spaces will be retained in values, whether or not the value is escaped.


  • File Extension is .CSV


Also known as Tab-separated, this format is a good alternative to CSV:


  • Commas in values do not need to be escaped


  • MediaBeacon still requires escape characters around line breaks
  • The tab character, although rare in most value would need to be escaped


  • File Extension is .TSV or .TXT

Custom Delimited

This format allows the user to choose a "delimiter" character (the character that separates each field, and a "escape" character (the character that prevents usage of the delimiter character in values being misinterpreted.) if a comma (,) and double straight quotes (") are used in these areas respectively, the format is the same as CSV.


  • File Extension is .TXT


This is a more structured format than the character-delimited types. Microsoft Excel will not correctly import this data, as its XML format is not similar. MediaBeacon outputs XML in a compressed format, but respects formatting whitespace.

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
            <Field name="file_name">file01.xmp</Field>
            <Field name=" title">åéîøü∂¥ Tab Character: </Field>
            <Field name=" subject">Hello,World</Field>
            <Field name=" description">Line1
            <Field name=" date">2018-10-25</Field>
  • The date is overall enclosed in the Asset tag. One set per XML File.
  • Each record is enclosed in a "Metadata" tag
  • There is no "header row", instead each "Field" tag has a "name" identifier.
    • These should match in position, and name for all "Metadata" objects.
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