*.MIME Photo's?

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aomdmm

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Dec 28, 2003
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A friend of mine is sending photos through email to me and they keep showing up as .MIME files when I try to view them. No viewer I've tried so far will open them, unless I open the email through AOL.COM (even though I use AOL to connect and browse!)

Is there a stand alone program that will allow me to view this files without going through all this extra stuff?
 

911

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Mar 25, 2003
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MIME stands for "Multimedia Internet Mail Extensions." It's not really an image format, but a 'standard' that tells servers how to deliver the mail. I suspect that AOL (which I do not use) may be using this for the 'envelope' and the image is somewhere inside. If they are using a proprietary version, there may be no alternative to opening the stuff 'their' way. Is the friend sending the files also an AOL user ? Try using a different Email browser such as Thunderbird, and see if that helps. If you are an AOL customer, their support site might be able to help.
 
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I haven't had to deal with mime since windows 98 but here is what AOL says about it. When I would occasionally get them in my AOL mail I used to use winzip to decode them.


When you send or receive e-mail with the AOL service MIME encoding and decoding is handled automatically. As long as your correspondents also have e-mail software that is MIME-compliant (and most e-mail software is), you can swap files.

MIME Decoders
Occasionally, you might need to decode a MIME file yourself with MIME decoder software. WinZip is one MIME decoder that is available at www.winzip.com.


We also have other decoders in the download section at AOL but I am pretty sure I always used winzip when I had 98.
 

911

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Mar 25, 2003
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So AOL's MIME is just a zipped file ? I really hate it when they hang a proprietary name on a standard format. I don't trust Winzip. I'm pretty sure that it damaged my Wme "Extract:" function which never worked after I installed Winzip. They say that's fixed now, but I still suggest you get Justzipit. It is free, and easy to use.

http://www.topshareware.com/JustZIPit-download-7110.htm
 
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No I don't think it's a zipped file but winzip can decode it. It's been so long since I have dealt with them I forget. Since you are on AOL see if this links works and read about mime and there are links to other decoders in the AOL download center. You might have to open this link in the AOL browser. Not sure how it works anymore since they are opening AOL up to anyone now, anyone non AOL might be able to open it in IE and such.


http://help.aol.com/help/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=http--helpchannelsaolcom-kjumpadparticleId73354&sliceId=&dialogID=137824307
 
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MIME is not a renamed or proprietary zip file. As Crafty surmised, WinZip can decode them, but not because MIME is anything even close to what a zip file is.
WinZip can decode many other file formats other than just zip, and MIME is just one of them.

What MIME is, it is a file conversion format that converts all 256 possible byte combinations into one of approximately 100 common visible (typable) characters. That is needed because some older mail servers could not handle binary file information. So a scheme was devised convert all possible bit combinations into something that mail server would not choke on.

There are several popular schemes used, such as base64, UUE, XXE, BinHex (.HQX, common in Apple's), and MIME, and many others not quite so common.

What is interesting is that to convert 256 possible bit patterns (per byte) into about 100 different characters (sounds impossible, doesn't it) requires using more bytes of data in the result. It comes out about 30% larger. So, while a zip program compresses data, a file conversion scheme (into typable ASCII), like MIME, expands the result.

Any good mail service has those decoders built in to automatically decode that ASCII data back into the desired binary (perhaps a picture, or sound file, or program file, etc.) so that the user never even knows the transformations that happened to the sent email between the person sending and the person receiving. It is all invisible to the user.

When the mail service, or email tool you are using, does not do that automatic conversion, is when you see some of the MIME info. It doesn't happen often, but it can happen. Free standing software can be found to do that step manually when the automatic conversion fails.
 
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Don't know why you don't trust winzip but that is the best way to decode them and it's free. What format are the photos supposed to be in before they get turned into mime?
 
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BTW, WinZip is NOT free. You can download it for free, and try it out for a limited time, but it is not free.

Here is info from the WinZip v9 help file, and yes, I have a registered version:
"This is not free software. Subject to the terms below, you are hereby licensed by WinZip Computing, Inc. ("WCI") to use one copy of WinZip, on one (1) computer or workstation, for evaluation purposes without charge for a period of 21 days. If you use this software after the 21-day evaluation period, a license fee of $29 is required."

The current version is 10, and from the WinZip website it mentions that there is an upgrade cost even for us registered users:
"Registered users of previous versions of WinZip are eligible to upgrade at 50% of the WinZip 10.0 list prices ($30 to $50 depending upon version)."
 

RT

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Aug 20, 2000
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ChuckE, thanks for the great MIME info.(y)

Always thought that it was AOL specific and outdated, am glad to be enlightened. I hate getting emails from AOL folks because of the "drill down" effect.

WinZip is sort of free...you can always use the trial evaluation version, even when the time limit has expired ... if that is illegal why do they allow continued use of the evaluation version? I know that's getting off topic...:rolleyes:
 
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I was never asked to pay for winzip so I used it for 2yrs. on the other computer but now with XP I don't need it anyway.

What verision of AOL does the perso have sending you the files? Don't know if that matters but maybe if it's older than 8.0. I know I am on 8.0 and stuff I send never goes out in mime because I am sure people would be complaining to me if it did.
 
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acraftylady said:
... stuff I send never goes out in mime [sic] because I am sure people would be complaining to me if it did.
You have no control of what encoding/decoding of your emails is happening between the mail servers. As long as everything is working, as it should be, it is invisible to you. You have no idea if at some point, your email being passed from one server to the next, and there could be many, your emails might have gone through MIME, or base64 (the two most common) encodings.

You only usually become aware of some encoding data when something does not get put back into your expected format automatically. That usually does not happen.

If your email tool (like Outlook, Outlook Express, and even some webmail tools) has a selection to 'see all header information" (or words to that effect) then you may see some header info like "MIME-Version: 1.0" that lets you know the email went through some encoding/decoding process.
 
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