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Topic: ID3 2.3 vs ID3 2.4 vs Unicode 8 vs Unicode 16 (Read 6388 times) previous topic - next topic
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ID3 2.3 vs ID3 2.4 vs Unicode 8 vs Unicode 16

Hello,

I did some research about Unicode and my conclusion is that Unicode 8 is better than Unicode 16, since it takes less space and do better error handling. However, in MPTag, I'm forced to choose between Unicode 8/ID3v2.4 and Unicode 16/ID3v2.3. I'd normally go with the former, but I'm concerned about ID3v2.4 compatibility, as expressed here, for example here. If this is still an issue, wouldn't it be a solution to also save the tags in ID3v1, so that the player can choose between both formats? In fact, MP3Tag saves audio files by default both in ID3v1 and ID3v2.

If I really should avoid ID3v2.4, I could just use Unicode 16 and ID3v2.3, but I was wondering what I'd be losing/missing if I go for Unicode 16. To which extend should I be concerned about the ID3 tag and the Unicode formats? Which factor is more important?


Thank you!

ID3 2.3 vs ID3 2.4 vs Unicode 8 vs Unicode 16

Reply #1
I did some research about Unicode and my conclusion is that Unicode 8 is better than Unicode 16, since it takes less space and do better error handling. However, in MPTag, I'm forced to choose between Unicode 8/ID3v2.4 and Unicode 16/ID3v2.3. I'd normally go with the former, but I'm concerned about ID3v2.4 compatibility, as expressed here, for example here. If this is still an issue, wouldn't it be a solution to also save the tags in ID3v1, so that the player can choose between both formats? In fact, MP3Tag saves audio files by default both in ID3v1 and ID3v2.

If I really should avoid ID3v2.4, I could just use Unicode 16 and ID3v2.3, but I was wondering what I'd be losing/missing if I go for Unicode 16. To which extend should I be concerned about the ID3 tag and the Unicode formats? Which factor is more important?

I would recommend using ID3v2.3 with UTF-16LE. Though support for ID3v2.4 in applications and hardware players has improved in the past years, it's still not as good as for ID3v2.3, especially if you are using UTF-8.

UTF-16 taking more space is usually no issue due to padding being applied to the tags anyway. And if you really got files that exceed initial tag padding because of using UTF-16 over UTF-8, you'll lose only 2kB for such files. By the way, UTF-16 taking more space than UTF-8 is true only for Latin script based text.

And don't worry about error handling in tags! While it's true that UTF-8 can detect errors better than UTF-16, both will show you garbage when damaged in practice. Plus if the tags get damaged due to disk or transmission errors, the audio data most likely will be damaged as well, so you should disregard such files anyway.

Regarding ID3v1, don't use it! I'm all for killing that old bastard format. It's just too limited; unable to take titles exceeding 30 charcters, no Unicode support, fixed genre list, etc..

ID3 2.3 vs ID3 2.4 vs Unicode 8 vs Unicode 16

Reply #2
Thank you for your thorough answer, Enzo: I really appreciate it!

I'll follow your advice and I'll keep Unicode 16 & ID3v2.3. :-)

Re: ID3 2.3 vs ID3 2.4 vs Unicode 8 vs Unicode 16

Reply #3
I did some research about Unicode and my conclusion is that Unicode 8 is better than Unicode 16, since it takes less space and do better error handling. However, in MPTag, I'm forced to choose between Unicode 8/ID3v2.4 and Unicode 16/ID3v2.3. I'd normally go with the former, but I'm concerned about ID3v2.4 compatibility, as expressed here, for example here. If this is still an issue, wouldn't it be a solution to also save the tags in ID3v1, so that the player can choose between both formats? In fact, MP3Tag saves audio files by default both in ID3v1 and ID3v2.

If I really should avoid ID3v2.4, I could just use Unicode 16 and ID3v2.3, but I was wondering what I'd be losing/missing if I go for Unicode 16. To which extend should I be concerned about the ID3 tag and the Unicode formats? Which factor is more important?
I would recommend using ID3v2.3 with UTF-16LE. Though support for ID3v2.4 in applications and hardware players has improved in the past years, it's still not as good as for ID3v2.3, especially if you are using UTF-8.

UTF-16 taking more space is usually no issue due to padding being applied to the tags anyway. And if you really got files that exceed initial tag padding because of using UTF-16 over UTF-8, you'll lose only 2kB for such files. By the way, UTF-16 taking more space than UTF-8 is true only for Latin script based text.

And don't worry about error handling in tags! While it's true that UTF-8 can detect errors better than UTF-16, both will show you garbage when damaged in practice. Plus if the tags get damaged due to disk or transmission errors, the audio data most likely will be damaged as well, so you should disregard such files anyway.

Regarding ID3v1, don't use it! I'm all for killing that old bastard format. It's just too limited; unable to take titles exceeding 30 charcters, no Unicode support, fixed genre list, etc..


Many thanks, too. Very useful info.

 
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