What is a Video MIME Type?

MIME type stands for multipurpose internet mail extensions and is a format for a video file that is transmitted across the internet. MIME types were originally created so that emails could send more than just text. Today, a MIME type is not just for email, but are used by web browsers and web servers to understand what kind of files are being sent to them. A MIME type is composed of two main components. These components are a video type and a sub-type. While MIME types can be used to help web servers understand a variety of elements including text, images, and audio. This article will focus on how to set a correct MIME type for your video files.

Correct MIME types for serving video files

We test video playback on a variety of devices, from Mac and Windows PCs, to all the various mobile phone platforms available today. One critical issue that comes up often is that the hosting server has not set the MIME types for the video type. A typical error message for this would be “unknown application/octet-stream”. Here is a list of many common formats we encounter.


Video Type Extension MIME Type
Flash .flv video/x-flv
MPEG-4 .mp4 video/mp4
iPhone Index .m3u8 application/x-mpegURL
iPhone Segment .ts video/MP2T
3GP Mobile .3gp video/3gpp
QuickTime .mov video/quicktime
A/V Interleave .avi video/x-msvideo
Windows Media .wmv video/x-ms-wmv


IMPORTANT: You will need to configure your ftp server to these MIME types for them to be properly recognized by their respective playback devices.

Contact us for more information on how we can help with your workflow.

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