W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Solving some issues with Japanese and Chinese characters in files

Note to self and reader: This article may not be complete nor completely accurate, I'll try to complete and correct it if it's not, if I'm bothered to do so...

Note to self 2: Use < strong > in Html, not [b]. This is not a forum. And it's the triangle one, not the square bracket.

Lately... there's been nothing to write...

My page (Note: Page, not blog, i don't acknowledge it as one) is more about interesting tech things that i discover, or unique findings on Anime stuff, and not about my daily life. About things that you cannot find/hard to find someplace else, things that can be useful to some readers. Not a news blog either; somebody (the guy with the news obviously) would've written a better article about it. Reviews? Maybe, but that would be for my real pages that will never be completed and is currently floating somewhere in the fifth dimension in my head. And who would care about my life anyway? (The tinnitus ones are an exception, I just needed to rant (and tell the world something obvious))

So, it's hard to find something to write. Tricks like the ones I've previously posted don't just come to me, they piled up over the years and in one shot I've already posted a large majority of them.

That's why, don't treat this page like it'd be updated like every 1~2 days, even every week, can? Treat it more like the front page of silentpcreview.com, which only gets updated when something really interesting happens. I'd prefer that to Tom's Hardware, most of which articles I don't even read in-depth.

But, if you think that this page is useful, thank you for thinking that way.

Anyway, on with the main topic of the day...

Solving some issues with Japanese and Chinese characters in files

So you've downloaded a Japanese/Chinese song off the internet. However, when you play the file, what you see (in your player) is ‘šŒŽ‚Í‚é‚©. And when you want to burn that file with Nero, you see 472458~1. Or the best, you know how to make it appear right in Nero or other software. But when you burn it/extract it you still get Ë®˜ò¤«¤ª¤ê. Or the program simply rejects the file.

Or your non-English program just crashes, or you see no text.

This post (article?) will feature some of the issues you'd be likely to face if you ever come across this two non-English East-Asian languages. (Is there a geek that isn't an otaku?) In the case that you didn't know what to do then this post would be useful to you.

Situation 1: Burning Japanese/Chinese File Name In Nero

This one has been asked and replied a few times, and with my policy I'll cut it short.

Summary: Regional and Language Options

But there's something else that's much more convenient to use:

Useful Tool 1: Microsoft AppLocale

This is THE program most often used by many Chinese who are playing fan-translated Japanese games (eroge or not). It does the same thing as the Regional and Language Options in the Control Panel, but only changes the just for that program and for that session, and you don't have to restart the computer for that, meaning you can play a Japanese game now, then a Chinese game next, then do a disc quality scan without CDSpeed becoming Chinese. And much more convenient if you're testing which language the program will run with.

And the best part is it can also create shortcuts. Neat, huh?

Here is a good guide showing how works. The program in this case is Nero, hence this is also the solution to burning Chinese (or Japanese) filenames in Nero. But remember, this can also be used in many other programs to solve the same or similar problems.


There are cases where this won't work though. The most probable case is that the program is just a frontend/launcher for another non-English, non-Unicode program, hence even if you change the language of the launcher you won't be able to change that of the linked program. So unless you want to hex-edit you file such that it points to an AppLocale Shortcut, you'd have to use Regional and Language Options. Regional and Language Options is also slightly "more stable" in the sense of greater consistency, compatability, and less crashing. But all your Unicode programs will have their language changed.

Since the title is burning chinese filename in Nero, might as well go on about that.

Sometimes, when you burn in Nero, you will either get 1) Nero complaining that the filename/directory path is too long, or 2) It shows up fine in Nero but after burning, the filenames are Ë®˜ò¤«¤ª¤ê-ed. In which case,

Nero: Burning in UDF format

UDF stands for Universal Disk (or disc? Can't remember) Format. It has way less limitations compared to the ISO standard(s) - "s" denotes the various updates that came later. So, instead of tweaking with the ISO settings like some other guides may tell you to, why not try the UDF format? It also solves the problem with long filenames/directory paths, thus killing two bird with one stone.

The downside is, you won't be able to use the disc with Win98 and earlier systems. But these system will not properly support Unicode, Japanese and Chinese, and long file names anyway. So it's not exactly a loss.

Situation 2: Playing a Japanese/Chinese-subbed Japanese Game And The Text Doesn't Come Up

Note that this isn't "Playing a Japanese/Chinese-subbed Japanese Game And The Text is Ë®˜ò¤«¤ª¤ê". You would've figured that it can be solved by using AppLocale. Or at least tried AppLocale and succeeded.

In this scenario, even if you try various languages in AppLocale, the text just doesn't come up.

While this may be possible because your system doesn't have the necessary Chinese fonts installed (usually not the case, and usually the system will substitute the words that are not in the font with another font), this usually occurs because you don't have the necessary Japanese font installed. Yes, this is also the cause of Chinese words not showing up, ironically.

Useful Tool 2: jpfont.ttf

For this, find and download a file called jpfont.ttf, it should be ~2.8MB.

(In case you really suck at search engines:
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=jpfont.ttf&fr=yfp-t-331&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fp_ip=SG&vc=, click on the first one)

Hopefully that solves the problem. Even if it didn't, well, it was worth a shot. And at least you solved another problem in advance.

Situation 3: Playing The MP3 File In Windows Media Player Shows ‘šŒŽ‚Í‚é‚©
(Or other media types in other players)

Yes, this can be solved using the AppLocale or Regional and Language Options, but all you want to do is to double click the file and play, you can't be bothered with the wrong ID3 tags. Yet you still want to see the Japanese text so that you can confirm your suspicion that the song is yet another by KOTOKO or any member of I've Sound.

Useful Tool 3: Unicode Rewriter

Some guy (much better at programming than me) is also pissed with the same problem (or maybe he's worse, he uses iTunes and iPod. Sad.). So he wrote a program that will convert the ID3 tags to Unicode, so that it will always show up correct in Windows XP and other Unicode-supporting OSes.


Download the installer unless you want to compile your own. Never mind that it's in .jar since it will work like the .exe installer. But you must have Java installed.

By default, if I'm not wrong, the selected input language is Chinese, but you can change it to Japanese Autodetect in the menu at the top left corner that pops up into more menues, 3 layers in total. Just drag and drop, and click Convert, done. Note that you may lose text that may not be translated to Unicode, and the file's time/datestamp will be changed.

However, this does not work for files that have been corrupted so bad that the ‘šŒŽ‚Í‚é‚© is not recognized as Japanese (but as Unicode instead). I'm still looking for a solution for this one (meaning force the text to be read as Japanese), so leave a message if you have the answer.

Situation 4: Playing The MP3 File In Windows Media Player (or your MP3 player) Shows ‘šŒŽ‚Í‚é‚©

Your Media Player or MP3 player may not support the Japanese/Chinese characters, or your MP3 player does not support Unicode (WMP supports Unicode).

While it's possible to get your media player to show the words correctly via AppLocale, it's stupid when all you do to play a file is to double-click on the file itself. Plus, you can't use AppLocale on your MP3 player.

Useful Tool 4: Foobar2000

So it's irritating that your MP3 player is displaying the Ë®˜ò¤«¤ª¤ê instead of the file name, which makes it very difficult to find the file you want. Also, certain MP3 players (i'm using one "PMP" which is like that) arrange songs alphabetically, yet displays the ID3 tag song name instead, so it becomes very messy.

To kill two birds with one stone again, Foobar2000 has a function called Remove Tags from File(s). (Drag the file into Foobar2000, right-click on the file, select Tagging -> Remove Tags from File(s)) It's good since it allows for mass de-tagging of files.

This time I won't post the link to Foobar2000. It's easy to find via google anyway, and it's free.

So there you have it, four situations that may piss you off (it did piss me off), and four solutions to the problems. Hope this article has been useful to you, and happy Otakuing!

Also, if there's anything more you need to ask, or if you want to add anything to the list, feel free to comment something. :)

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