[ID3 Dev] Which byte order should be used when using UTF16 BOM with ID3v23

Mathias Kunter mathiaskunter at yahoo.de
Sat Apr 10 03:14:48 PDT 2010

Yes, unsynchronized tags aren't supported very well. However, de facto all software and hardware mp3 players support ID3 version 2 tags today, at least for skipping them if they're present within an mp3 file. It therefore shouldn't often be nescessary to unsynchronize an ID3 tag at all.

If you need to ensure compatibility with (old) software or hardware mp3 implementations which don't support ID3 version 2 tags and therefore actually scan the tag for a mp3 synchronization pattern, I would avoid using the 0xFF 0xFE byte order mark. You then may don't use any byte order mark at all and encode the string as big endian (as specified by the unicode standard), or explicitely use the big endian 0xFE 0xFF byte order mark - most applications which support UTF-16 should also be able to actually decode a big endian string!

Mathias K.

Von: Paul Taylor <paul_t100 at fastmail.fm>
An: id3v2 at id3.org
Gesendet: Freitag, den 9. April 2010, 13:48:57 Uhr
Betreff: [ID3 Dev] Which byte order should be used when using UTF16 BOM with ID3v23

Hi, ID3v23 doesnt support UTF8 but it does support UTF16 with BOM, i.e 2 bytes per character which can be either Most Significant Byte (MSB) or Least Significant Byte (LSB) first as indicated by the BOM that can be 0xFF 0xFE or 0xFe 0xFF.

Trouble if you use 0xFF 0xFE it matches the pattern for synchronization and if you do synchronize the tag then many applications dont understand synchronization. Whereas if you use 0xFE 0xFF you dont need unsynchronization, but  I dont thinks Windows likes this byte order.

Anybody else had similar problems and come up with the best supported solution.

thanks Paul

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