How to find the mime type of a file in python?


Let's say you want to save a bunch of files somewhere, for instance in BLOBs. Let's say you want to dish these files out via a web page and have the client automatically open the correct application/viewer.

Assumption: The browser figures out which application/viewer to use by the mime-type (content-type?) header in the HTTP response.

Based on that assumption, in addition to the bytes of the file, you also want to save the MIME type.

How would you find the MIME type of a file? I'm currently on a Mac, but this should also work on Windows.

Does the browser add this information when posting the file to the web page?

Is there a neat python library for finding this information? A WebService or (even better) a downloadable database?

9/8/2013 12:12:23 AM

Accepted Answer

The python-magic method suggested by toivotuo is outdated. Python-magic's current trunk is at Github and based on the readme there, finding the MIME-type, is done like this.

# For MIME types
>>> import magic
>>> mime = magic.Magic(mime=True)
>>> mime.from_file("testdata/test.pdf")
1/27/2015 4:51:52 PM

The mimetypes module in the standard library will determine/guess the MIME type from a file extension.

If users are uploading files the HTTP post will contain the MIME type of the file alongside the data. For example, Django makes this data available as an attribute of the UploadedFile object.

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