Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) technology represents an extension of the original Internet e-mail protocol. MIME allows Internet clients and servers to recognise and handle a variety of file types.
MIME technology allows the exchange of audio and video files, graphics, and application programs, as well as ASCII files. The original e-mail protocol, simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) was developed over time to allow formats other than ASCII to be exchanged via e-mail. MIME is described in detail in Request for Comment (RFC) 2045.