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> M3U8 Playlist export (UTF-8 encoded playlists)
post Jan 31 2009, 18:57
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Mp3tag Version: 2.43

Mp3tag doesn’t (yet?) have built-in support for playlists with files that have Unicode filenames.

Unfortunately, the ».m3u« playlist format was an »ad-hoc« creation by Nullsoft (the former Winamp people) a long time ago, and there are no official specs. Nevertheless, the general consensus nowadays seems to be that M3U only supports the Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1) character set while the (newer) ».m3u8« format supports UTF-8 encoding.

Many programs like Mp3tag will even silently try to convert UTF-encoded file paths to ISO-8859-1 (and fail), resulting in entries like:

#EXTINF:30,Alfred E. Moonbase - Test #08: HebRus / ????? / ???????
D:\Temp\Testdaten\MusicIP\Moonbase, Alfred E. - Test #08_ HebRus _ ????? _ ???????.mp3

(from my test case), which should have been:

#EXTINF:30,Alfred E. Moonbase - Test #08: HebRus / עברית / Русский
D:\Temp\Testdaten\MusicIP\Moonbase, Alfred E. - Test #08_ HebRus _ עברית _ Русский.mp3

Programs like iTunes, Winamp, foobar2000 and the like also tend to differentiate between ».m3u« and ».m3u8« playlists and simply skip any non-Latin-1 entries in ».m3u« files.

So for those of you who really need playlists that support UTF-8 (Unicode) encoding (for instance if you use Unicode filenames like above), here are two exports that do exactly that:

M3U8 Playlist, absolute file paths.mte
$loop(%_counter%)#EXTINF:%_length_seconds%,%artist% - %title%

M3U8 Playlist, relative file paths.mte
$loop(%_counter%)#EXTINF:%_length_seconds%,%artist% - %title%

These need to be copied to the folder %APPDATA%\Mp3tag\export\ for Mp3tag to recognise. This is usually something like C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Application Data\Mp3tag\export\.

In Mp3tag, you can now sort and mark files however you wish, right-click on the selected items, select »Export…« and »M3U8 Playlist, absolute file paths« (or »M3U8 Playlist, relative file paths«). Then give the new playlist a name and save it. Presto!

The playlist will be saved as ".m3u8" format, with UTF-8 encoding.

Under Tools -> Options -> Export, you should probably select
[x] Write BOM
so programs like Mp3tag, Windows Editor and Winamp can easily detect the encoding.

At least on my system here, Mp3tag (v2.42c) can even read ".m3u8" files back correctly.

This post has been edited by Moonbase: Jan 31 2009, 19:09

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