Bad Characters


I'm reasonably new to tagging, and I've noticed that some characters (eg colon ":") in tags don't pass through media networks very well.

Is there are standard way to filter, convert, or escape these characters from tags?


As you do not tell us in which context you need the "escapism", I can only give you the hint to use the $validate() function (see
You then enclose the whole filename string in this function.
But AFAIK does the Convert>Tag-Filename function already cut this out as long as it is not the second character in a string.

Thank you for your reply ohrenkino.

As an example - I RIP a CD to MP3, where the tag data is provided by Gracenote. The album name is "30:30 Hindsight". I copy the MP3 files onto two media servers 1) Windows 7, 2) Western Digital MyBookLive. When I use the standard media search function, the Windows 7 server will find them but will crash when I attempt to play it, and the Western Digital MyBookLive will not find them.

I then manually edit the tags changing the album name to "33-30 Hindsight" and all is working again on both Windows 7 and Western Digital MyBookLive.

Other characters like "%" and "?" cause problems. Is there a work around?

Thanks again

I have thousands of tracks with metadata including 'forbidden' characters. As long as they don't appear in the filename, every program I know can handle it.
Maybe your filenames (not the metadata inside the files) may cause the problem?

As ohrenkino told you:
You have to use the scripting function $validate() to ensure that the windows filename doesn't include any of the illegal characters

Command: $validate(filename,to)
Example: $validate(%artist% - %album% - %track% - %title%,-)
This example replaces all invalid characters (/?*"<>|:) with dashes

Thanks for your reply LyricsLover.

The file and folder names are okay. I can find them using Windows Explorer. I can even play them on the local machine.

The problem occurs when I play them on a networked Media Renderer (either my amp or DVD player).

As I said, I can fix it by replacing the colon in the album name with a hyphen. I thought that this would be a common problem, and therefore there would be a common solution...

Thanks anyway.