Encoding "foreign" character metadata (FLAC files)

Using Windows 10 and mp3tag for adding metadata to FLAC files.

Since my keyboard does not directly support foreign characters, such as those found in Celtic music and other non-USA English music forms, I've been using Character Map to add them. However, it turns out that these characters are not necessarily UTF-8 compliant. This causes problems for us in ways too complicated to explain here.

That said, how can (or should) Character Map be used to properly insert UTF-8 compliant characters that are not on a USA English keyboard?

Dennis...aka "d2b"

Normally, you could paste any Unicode character and it's correctly encoded as UTF-8 when saving to FLAC metadata.

Can you give an example of such a problematic release?

After more research this morning, I'm even more uncertain whether or not there are actual errors in the metadata associated with some (but not all) of the files that we've ripped with dBpoweramp and then tagged with mp3tag. I'd like to send one of these suspect files for you to evaluate, but I find this 'new' forum interface to be very unusual and hard to use.

It is possible to attach a file to this response?

You can send a link to the file via email. I'm always careful with uploading potentially copyrighted material to this place, so a small file or a link to a larger file via email is preferred.

Please describe the issue with this file. I can't see anything unusual there.

When comparing this file with another copy of it, each on a different USB-connected Western Digital hard drive, Beyond Compare reports a File Encoding Error when set to display characters using the UTF-8 character set. It does not report such errors when set to display the tags as ASCII characters.

Note: I tried to open a copy of the album containing this file using mp3tag v.2.89 that I just installed, but when selecting the album or any of the files and then right-clicking on it, the mp3tag item in the fly-out menu does not launch mp3tag.exe and open the file(s) for editing. Nothing happens. Should I report this also as a bug?

Back to the original ASCII / UTF-8 issue, if you found all of the characters in the FORMAT line to be true UTF-8 compliant characters, then I have to assume that the problem we see is due to faults in the Beyond Compare plug-in used to display FLAC tags when comparing files. Since they created this plug-in especially for us, I'll contact them and see what can be done to resolve apparently erroneous or misleading metadata comparisons.

Dennis ... aka "d2b"

It says

A=FLAC; F=44.1 kHz; W=16 bits; M=Stereo

here, which looks perfectly fine. There is even no UTF-8 encoding needed for plain ASCII characters.

If I understand you correctly, all ASCII characters are UTF-8 compliant. If that's the case, the "problem" I see here must be due to incorrect comparisons of certain characters in FLAC metadata by the Beyond Compare application. the troublesome characters seem to be the apostrophe, the semicolon and most if not all characters with diacritical marks such as these: é, õ and ñ. These characters are added to flac tags and in this response using Windows 10's character map application set for Arial Unicode MS.

I think I already mentioned this elsewhere on the forum or perhaps directly to Florian, but with the help of Christopher "Monty" Mongomery with the organization that supports flac development, a suggestion by him was used by Chris at Scooter Software to rewrite the add-in they developed for us to read and correctly compare the vorbis comments in otherwise identical FLAC files. At least for now and hopefully ongoing, our issues are solved.

Dennis...aka "d2b"