Old 25th March 2013, 16:23   #1
MrSinatra
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character sets?

in my files, I see my id3v2 tags are mostly either UTF-16 or ISO-8859-1 for the char sets.

does anyone know which is native to windows 7, and pros and cons of each?

i'm not seeing an issue, but I would just like to get them all uniform. I would also like to use the most universally supported char set that is in no danger of losing support going forward. I use android, mac, xp, etc as well as win7.

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Old 25th March 2013, 23:53   #2
DJ Egg
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Where Winamp is concerned, it has 3 options (Prefs > Plugins > Input > in_mp3 > config > ID3 Tags) to write tags as: Unicode (UTF-16), Latin-1 (ANSI / ISO-8859-1), or System Language (whatever is set as default Locale in Windows Control Panel > Region & Language).

Note that UTF-8 support is a feature of ID3v2.4, which Winamp can read, but it writes (customized) ID3v2.3 tags (therefore, UTF-16).

All of ASCII (ancient 0-127 set), ANSI (0-255 Latin set), UTF-16 (Unicode) & UTF-8 are native to Windows 7

The Pros of Unicode tags are that all characters from all languages can be read by players/software which support Unicode.
Most devices/players support Unicode these days.

The Cons of Unicode are that (old) devices/players/software which don't support Unicode will just show gibberish instead.

The cons of Latin-1 are that it only supports Latin characters, commonly referred to as Western European or Windows-1252.
So if you try to save tags which include e.g. Oriental, Cyrillic, Asian, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. characters as Latin-1, then they will not save correctly and be displayed as gibberish instead.

If all your tags are in e.g. Sanskrit, and system locale is set as Sanskrit (Indian), and you save ID3v2 tags as System Language, then other systems with the same language support will be able to read them, but everyone else most probably won't...

So if you're not bothered about legacy support for old devices/players/software, then choose Unicode.

Or if all your tags contain only characters from Latin/Western European languages, it's ok to save as Latin-1/ISO-8859-1

Personally, I use the Unicode option for all.
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Old 26th March 2013, 02:08   #3
MrSinatra
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thanks egg for that breakdown, I was leaning to going UTF-16 for all my rips so this makes that easier. hopefully I can convert everything I have already to UTF-16 with mp3tag, but I haven't looked into it yet.

however, if I do go UTF-16, will it break an XP exp? what if it has sp3?

I am not too bothered about supporting legacy things, but XP would be a tough one to break. (I don't have one nearby to test myself). i'm thinking it won't break XP, but I figured it was worth asking and also if there's any other "biggies" I should worry about breaking by going to UTF-16?

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Old 26th March 2013, 03:29   #4
DJ Egg
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Unicode (UTF-16) should be fine on XP / XP sp3.
It was for me anyway (though it's been 2 or 3 years since I used XP).

I can't think of any other potential issues. I haven't come across any personally anyway....
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Old 26th March 2013, 15:10   #5
Koopa
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You can basically say, that you have Unicode support in all Windows version >=Windows 2000.

Some companies shipped an unicows.dll file in the past for Win9x based systems in their programs, but that was more a hack than real Unicode and it was limited as well.

As for tags I made the experience, that ANSI is sadly the more safe thing for me, because my car receiver has trouble with Unicode tags.
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Old 26th March 2013, 22:10   #6
MrSinatra
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thx for those responses. i go into detail here:

http://forums.mp3tag.de/index.php?showtopic=11925

but i basically just had mp3tag resave the file's tags while preserving the modified dates. worked like a charm. winamp uses UTF-16 by default but EAC needs to be told to do so.

thx again.

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