Today the availability of digital media content is well established and widespread. Not only commercial content distribution is a big market, but also user driven digital multimedia content is produced and shared in big communities. One of the metadata standards that has been established to describe multimedia content via metadata is MPEG-7. This international standard facilitates many application domains and is probably the richest multimedia metadata set available today. However it does not yet exist a common query format that enables the user to query multimedia metadata databases. Therefore the MPEG committee decided to instantiate a call for proposal (N8220)for an MPEG-7 query format (MP7QF) framework and specified a set of requirements (N8219). This paper introduces a MP7QF query language and describes the background and requirements as well as the main architectural concepts and associated MP7QF XML schema types.