Searching multimedia content for image, audio, and video is getting more attention especially for personal media content due to the affordability of consumer electronic devices such as MP3 recordable players, digital cameras, DV camcorders, and well-integrated smart phones. The precise search and retrieval of the content derived from these devices can be a very challenging task. Many leading edge search engine vendors have been applying sophisticated and advanced indexing and retrieval techniques on various text-based document formats, but when it comes to retrieving multimedia content, searching based on the media clip filename is the most common practice. As a result, there is an imprecise and ineffective user experience for searching multimedia content. This paper presents a new development underway from a joint effort between International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnial Commission (IEC) Subcommittee (SC) 29 Working Group (WG) 11 MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) and WG1 JPEG (Joint Picture Experts Group) for a universal standard query format called MPEG-7 Query Format (MP7QF) as a means to enable a good user experience for consumers searching multimedia content. It also provides the industry with a unified way to accept and respond to user queries. This paper presents the core requirements for such a universal query format.