I opened a project with video and audio, and the audio had markers done in Premiere Pro (right-click on the playhead -> Add Marker).

Then I exported the audio to AIFF. And then I imported the AIFF file into another Premiere Project. And the Premiere Pro marker was still there.

I'd like to understand how that happened. How was it preserved through export and reimport? Was it kept in the audio file's data, like EXIF data for a photograph?

1 Answer 1


Markers are part of the XMP standard and are stored in the file. So yes, it's comparable to EXIF. You should notice, that immediately when adding a marker, the file on the disk will be changed, meaning the change date of the file should update. At least that's true on Windows. I don't know what file system a Mac uses and if that's behaving differently.

In the case of AIFF files (and probably any other file), the XMP data section is written at the end of the file. You find the markers in the XML element xmpDM:markers.

An entry for 1 marker in the marker section can look like this:

<rdf:li rdf:parseType="Resource">
   <xmpDM:comment>Test Comment</xmpDM:comment>
   <xmpDM:name>Test Name</xmpDM:name>
         <rdf:li rdf:parseType="Resource">
         <rdf:li rdf:parseType="Resource">

Since the file is mostly binary you may need a special editor that shows you the last part of the file which is human readable text, if you want to see that. On Windows I've used WinMerge. I don't know what can be used on a Mac.

P.S: This only works with the preference "Write clip markers to XMP" enabled:

enter image description here

  • Are you saying that the XMP data is written inside the AIFF file? What type of program do I need to look for (Mac user) to be able to read XMP data from an AIFF file? Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 20:59
  • 1
    Yes. You can look for Hex Editors. But chances are slim that you find a good one. Either they crash if the file is too large or just show everything in hex code and cannot interpret the last part as text. And they are awfully ugly. WinMerge is a diff tool which usually compare two files. You could search for similar diff tools and use such to compare an unchanged copy of the audio file with the changed versions, thereby seeing quickly what part is relevant. Maybe there is some kind of XMP viewer tool that would be way more comfortable. But I have no recommendation for that either.
    – Matt
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 21:28
  • On MacOS, if you select two files in the Finder, you can then right-click and select "Compare Files" from the contextual menu. I think that's part of the standard OS install, if you don't see it, you might need to install XCode developer tools from the Mac App store, which is free. It's not the best diff tool in the world, but it's convenient. XCode also parses XML, so you might want to try it anyway. Or Microsoft VS Code is also a popular choice. Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 22:04
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    @Matt I was actually able to parse the XML inside a .AIFF audio file with my usual Hex Editor (Hex Fiend for Mac), it was all the way at the end. And it looked like the markers were in there as well as the software used to record video / audio. Thanks! Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 19:28

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