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Revision as of 2013-06-09T22:23:18 by Tobiasco (talk | contribs) (moved pathnames to Pathnames)
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Non-ASCII characters

The Issue

Non-ASCII characters in the pathnames (foldernames and file names) of music library tracks can cause problems due to incompatiblities with:

  • Macintosh
  • Portable music players e.g. Rockbox. These chars (perhaps only Unicode ones) can prevent play of the file and of subsequent files.
  • FTP clients and servers (where Unicode characters often appear as a garbage character pairs)
  • Some utility programs e.g. FLAC encoder, Beyond Compare 2
  • File-sharing programs e.g. SoulSeek v157 (also fails to preserve upper-case, converting to lower-case)
  • Librarian programs e.g.

Some of these cases may be confined to characters outside the Extended ASCII set.


Replace non-ASCII characters with e.g. ASCII stand-ins:

  1. accented -> non-accented
  2. left and right quotes -> upright quote
  3. character with no ASCII lookalike -> underscore

Such replacements can be performed by Mp3tag:

  1. Action Group containing a Replace action for each known character
  2. Ditto
  3. $ansi() (which reduces to Extended ASCII) followed by $regexp() to replace all remaining non-ASCII chars with a lookalike or substitute, e.g. underscore. $ansi() uses ? as a substitute, so for Windows-compatible pathnames (in which ? is disallowed), handle this either in the $regexp() or together with all other pathname-invalid characters by using $validate() .

further restrictions

One could also like to avoid urlencoding in urls. Or avoid that case has a meaning.

  • restrictions further as ascii could be:
    • prefer usage of only A-Za-z0-9_
      • or only a-z_
    • . for fileextensions, otherwise undecided, probably avoid
    • ' not decided yet, if removed, how to write D'Arienzo?
    • , avoid, at least in work titles
    • []() maybe reserve for special meaning
    • space always replaced with _


There can be lot of discussion whether a title should include ",!?." or such special chars like the spanish leading question mark. There can also be discussion about correct case (upper/lower). The a-z-title is a title that can be derived from lot of different original opinions about correctness. For filenames and references in databases it could be helpfull to have a-z worktitles.

  • remove all diacritics
  • make all characters lower case
  • replace space, comma, dot, with _
  • reduce repeating _ to single _

External references

See also