This is a general purpose Swift library for a concept of typed treatment for Media Types. We use this library on clients and servers to speak the same dialect and to enjoy all the comfort strong types provide over raw strings.



MediaType is a library that can be used to create Media Types in a type-safe manner.

Mainly intended – although not limited – to be used in server-side Swift applications.

Creating Media Types

Media types are represented by the MediaType Swift type.

You can create a media type in a type-safe manner using one of the possible cases. You can also create media type instances simply by using string literals.

let mediaType: MediaType = "application/json" // is equivalent to

It is also possible to create a MediaType instance from a string variable as shown in the following example.

let rawMediaType = "application/json"
let mediaType = MediaType(rawValue: rawMediaType)

Suffixes and Parameters

Media type Suffixes and Parameters are supported both via string literals and MediaType cases.

let mediaType: MediaType = "application/atom; charset=utf-8" // is equivalent to
MediaType.application(.atom(nil, ["charset": "utf-8"]))

let mediaType: MediaType = "application/atom+xml" // is equivalent to

let mediaType: MediaType = "application/atom+xml; charset=utf-8" // is equivalent to
MediaType.application(.atom(.xml, ["charset": "utf-8"]))


You can create media type trees by using either the string literal syntax, or using the other case of a particular media type.

let mediaType: MediaType = "application/vnd.efi.img" // is equivalent to

Unregistered Media Types

Using this library you can create all the registered media types. The library is versatile enough to allow you to create practically any media type, even ones that are not registered. A few examples of such cases:

let image: MediaType = "image/svg+gzip" // is equivalent to

let application: MediaType = "application/myApp+json" // is equivalent to
MediaType.application(.other("myApp", .json))

Using Media Types

You can use regular switch statements to test for media types and get access to their components. The following example shows various ways to treat a media type.

func isSupported(_ mediaType: MediaType) -> Bool {
  switch mediaType {
  case .application(.json(_, _)): return true
  case .application(.atom("xml", _)): return true
  case .application(let subtype):
    switch subtype {
    case .xml(_, _): return true
    default: return false
  default: return false

isSupported("application/json") // Returns: true
isSupported("application/json+xml") // Returns: true
isSupported("application/json;charset=utf-8") // Returns: true
isSupported("application/json+xml;charset=utf-8") // Returns: true

isSupported("application/atom+xml") // Returns: true
isSupported("application/atom+xml;charset=utf-8") // Returns: true
isSupported("application/atom") // Returns: false
isSupported("application/atom;charset=utf-8") // Returns: false

String Conversion

Since MediaType conforms to the CustomStringConvertible protocol it is pretty straightforward to turn an instance into a string.

You can either call the MediaType/description computed property or simply embed an instance into an interpolated string.

For example, you can request the list of available products in JSON from an imaginary store.

var request = URLRequest(url: URL(string: "")!)
let contentType: MediaType = "application/json"

// The following two statements are equivalent
request.setValue("Content-Type", forHTTPHeaderField: "\(contentType)")
request.setValue("Content-Type", forHTTPHeaderField: contentType.description)

let (_, response) = try await request)

Media Types are Hashable

This means you can use MediaTypes in sets or dictionaries. For example, you can define the type of images your application supports like so:

let supportedImages: Set<MediaType> = ["image/png", "image/gif", "image/jpeg"]

Comparing Media Types

You can also compare media type for equality using the MediaType/==(lhs:rhs:) operator.

func canHandle(response: URLResponse) -> Bool {
  guard let mimeType = response.mimeType else { return false }
  let mediaType = MediaType(rawValue: mimeType)
  return mediaType == .application(.json())


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Last updated: Mon Feb 26 2024 09:33:50 GMT-1000 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)