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MIME Type Registration for MPEG-4
RFC 4337

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (March 2006; Errata)
Updated by RFC 6381
Was draft-lim-mpeg4-mime (individual in tsv area)
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 4337 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Allison Mankin
Send notices to: singer@apple.com, csp@csperkins.org

Network Working Group                                             Y. Lim
Request for Comments: 4337                                   net&tv Inc.
Category: Standards Track                                      D. Singer
                                                          Apple Computer
                                                              March 2006

                   MIME Type Registration for MPEG-4

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   This document defines the standard MIME types associated with MP4
   files.  It also recommends use of registered MIME types according to
   the type of contents.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Selection of MIME Types for MP4 Files ...........................3
   3. IANA Considerations .............................................3
      3.1. MP4 File ...................................................4
      3.2. MP4 File with Audio but without Visual Presentation ........5
      3.3. MP4 File with MPEG-4 System Stream and neither
           Visual nor Audio Presentation ..............................6
      3.4. Initial Object Descriptor (IOD) in Binary Format ...........7
      3.5. Initial Object Descriptor (IOD) in Textual Format ..........8
   4. Security Considerations .........................................9
   5. Acknowledgements ................................................9
   6. Normative References ............................................9

Lim & Singer                Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 4337                   MPEG-4 MIME Types                  March 2006

1.  Introduction

   This document describes a standard definition of MIME types
   associated with MP4 files and the guidelines for using them.

   MPEG-4 (ISO/IEC 14496) is a standard designed for the representation
   and delivery of multimedia information over a variety of transport
   protocols [1].  It includes interactive scene management and visual
   and audio representations, as well as system functionality like
   multiplexing, synchronization, and an object descriptor framework
   [2].

   The historical approach for MPEG data has been to declare it under
   "video", and this approach is followed for ISO/IEC 14496.  In
   addition, some MIME types are defined under "audio" and "application"
   for the streams not containing visual presentation.

   Amendment 1 of the ISO/IEC 14496 standard (also known as version 2)
   introduced a standard file type, called MP4 files, for encapsulating
   ISO/IEC 14496 data.  This is now separately specified as the MP4 file
   format [4], which in turn is based on the ISO base media file format
   [3].  A separate specification [5] covers the storage of Advanced
   Video Coding (AVC) (also known as H.264) [6] material in files based
   on the ISO base media file format.  The MP4 file type can be used in
   a number of ways; perhaps the most important of these is its use as
   an interchange format for ISO/IEC 14496 data, as a content-download
   format, and as the format read by streaming media servers.

   These first two uses will be greatly facilitated if there is a
   standard MIME type for serving these files (e.g., over HTTP).

   The ISO/IEC 14496 standard is broad, and therefore the type of data
   that may be in such a file can vary.  In brief, simple compressed
   video and audio (using a number of different compression algorithms)
   can be included; interactive scene information; meta-data about the
   presentation; references to ISO/IEC 14496 media streams outside the
   file and so on.  Different top-level MIME types are used to identify
   the type of the contents in the file.

Lim & Singer                Standards Track                     [Page 2]
RFC 4337                   MPEG-4 MIME Types                  March 2006

2.  Selection of MIME Types for MP4 Files

   The MIME types to be assigned to MP4 files are selected according to
   the contents.  Basic guidelines for selecting MIME types are as
   follows:

   a) if the file contains neither visual nor audio presentations, but
      only, for example, MPEG-J or MPEG-7, use application/mp4;

   b) for all other files, including those that have MPEG-J, etc., in
      addition to video or audio streams, video/mp4 should be used;

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