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Mastering phpMyAdmin 3.1 for Effective MySQL Management by Marc Delisle

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BLOB (Binary Large Object) fields

BLOB fields are generally used to hold binary data (such as images and sounds), even though the MySQL documentation implies that TEXT fields could be used for this purpose. The MySQL 5.1 manual says: "In some cases, it may be desirable to store binary data such as media files in BLOB or TEXT columns". However, another phrase: "BLOB columns are treated as binary strings (byte strings)", seems to indicate that binary data should really be stored in BLOB fields. Thus, phpMyAdmin's intention is to work with BLOB fields to hold all binary data.

We will see in Chapter 16 that there are special mechanisms available to go further with BLOB fields, including being able to view some images directly from within phpMyAdmin. ...

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