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Multimedia information retrieval (MIR) and delivery plays an important role in many application domains due to the increasing need to identify, filter, and manage growing amounts of data, notably multimedia information. To efficiently manage and exchange multimedia information, interoperability between coded data and metadata is required and standardization is central to achieving the necessary level of interoperability. In the context of this paper, the term retrieval refers to the process by which a user, human or machine, identifies the content it needs, and the term delivery refers to the adaptive transport and consumption of the identified content in a particular context or usage environment. Both the retrieval and delivery processes may require content and context metadata. This paper will argue that maximum quality of experience depends not only on the content itself (and thus content metadata) but also on the consumption conditions (thus context metadata). Additionally, the rights and protection conditions have become critically important in recent years, especially with the explosion of electronic music commerce and different ldquoshoppingrdquo conditions. This paper will review existing multimedia standards related to information retrieval and adaptive delivery of multimedia content, emphasizing the need for such standards, and will show how these standards can help the development, dissemination, and valorization of MIR research results. Moreover, it will also discuss limitations of the current standards and anticipate what future standardization activities are relevant and needed. Due to space limitations, the paper will mainly concentrate on MPEG standards although many other relevant standards are also reviewed and discussed.