Thanks for the quick and helpful responses everyone, though Kyle and Rachel, I think it being CONTENTdm is what it comes down to. I should have mentioned that I am trying to extract these images from CONTENTdm. 

So I am still a little confused, though, about how the .cpd file in CONTENTdm works. In the export I am noticing that the `cdmfile` variously points to .cpd files in some records and .jpg files in other records. It does not seem to correspond to whether there is a front and back to the image or not (I think they all have front and back in same object though I may be wrong). I am relatively green with CONTENTdm, so this is a learning moment for me.

If this is the case, how do I go about extracting the image file information from the .cpd files? If they are XML, I am not sure how to read their contents as opening up with a text file or browser shows 'invalid file'.


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kyle Banerjee
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:42 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] .cpd file format head scratcher

Just out of curiosity, are these files in a DAM or did you get them elsewhere? The reason I ask is that you appear to have a bunch of pharmaceutical cards in a CONTENTdm system at

If you're trying to extract the image files from CDM, the cpd file is an XML file defining a compound object with object odentifiers, filenames, and descriptions.You can iterate through all the images separately


On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 8:15 AM, Andrew Gordon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hey All,
> For a set of digitized pharmaceutical cards, I am coming up against an 
> image file format that seems to be locked in time. It's supposedly a 
> Compressed PhotoDefiner (?) lossless (.cpd) file ( 
> Though when I try to load up the 
> software, I can't get it to take on any of our windows machines 
> (running 8 and 7). Don't have a mac on hand so don't know if that 
> works or not, currently.
> In my experience, though, I've always been able to find some rogue 
> third party file converter (or imagemagick) to be helpful in these 
> scenarios but this format  is just not something that appears to have been accounted for.
> Additionally, it's one of those file formats that seem to only pop 
> randomly generated answer sites with questionable downloads in a 
> google search, such as  
> Just wanted to see if anyone has come across this format and whether 
> there might be any tools to convert it.
> Thanks,
> Drew
> ________________________________________
> Andrew Gordon, MSI
> Systems Librarian
> Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health New York Academy 
> of Medicine
> 1216 Fifth Avenue
> New York, NY, 10029
> 212.822.7324