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In Windows, the file type is "defined" by the extension, i.e. .EXE, .TXT or .WRI.
On a Mac, the file type is defined by the files "Resource Fork" (I think, I'm no Mac guru?)
On the Web, the file type is defined by the files MIME type.
When the WWW was developed, part of MIME was lifted over to the Web technology, especially the concept of a "mime type".
A mime-type is often written as two strings with a slash between them. This is the major and minor MIME types. For instance:
text/plainis the MIME type of generic text. And
text/htmlis the type of a HTML web document!
That means, that the definition of the type of a file on the Web is done by the server!!
That's important, better say it again, louder:
Not only that - when the http server (your webserver) finds a file that it doesn't know what it is, it serves it as text/plain (the default)!!!
That means, that when you are off the web - i.e. testing on your local harddisk at home - the situation is quite different.
When not using http, the file extension is used, just like in Windows!
But when you upload it to the webserver, and try the link on your HTML page, the music doesn't play. Instead, the browser window is filled by garbage! This is the MIDI file being sent to you as text/plain, and the browser always shows files of type text/plain in the browser window!!
But when you upload it to the webserver, the HTML file displays OK. But where the embedded MIDI player is supposed to be, there is a strange icon, with the filename! This is the MIDI file that was sent to you as text/plain, and the Windows Netscape browser has a strange and undocumente behavior of embedding the Windows Media-player for unknown datatypes!
|MIDI||General MIDI music files||audio/midi||.mid, .midi|
|RealAudio||RealAudio files||audio/x-pn-realaudio||.ra, .ram|
If Netscape has downloaded a file with the wrong mimetype once, and it's still in Netscape's cache, the file will still look wrong even if your Webmaster fixes the mime types!! Even if you hit the RELOAD button!!!
To fix this:
If you do not know about this odd behavior of Netscape, you could otherwise loose more then one chunk of hair...