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What is MIME?

Acronym for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. The standard for attaching binary files to Internet mail messages. The MIME standard has come to be used in many situations where one cmputer programs needs to communicate with another program about what kind of file is being sent.

For example, HTML files have a MIME-type of text/html, JPEG files are image/jpeg, etc.

More common MIME types:


text/plain the usual mail message
image/gif a common image format
application/octet-stream unknown type, 8-bit data
audio/midi midi music format
audio/x-midi alternate for the above


An email program is said to be MIME Compliant if it can both send and receive files using MIME. When binary files are sent using the MIME standard they are converted (encoded) into text for mailing and then decoded by the receiving mailer.

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