How to find the mime type of a file in Python

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media type (also known as a Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME type) is a standard that indicates the nature and format of a document, file, or assortment of bytes. It is defined and standardized in IETF’s RFC 6838.

The screenshot showing a list of MIME types. Image courtesy of https://jhierrot.github.io/openprodoc/help/EN/ListMimeTypes.html

Python has a module called mimetypes that you can use to guess the mime type of a file. However, it is not a reliable way to know the mime type of a file. For example,

>>> import mimetypes
>>> print(mimetypes.MimeTypes().guess_type('my_file.txt')[0])
text/plain

You can also use a non-standard module called python-magic to deduce the mimetype of a file. For example,

>>> import magic
>>> mime = magic.Magic(mime=True)
>>> mime.from_file("my_file.txt")
text/plain

See how to detect mime type of a file in Java using Apache Tika library.

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