For Western English Windows users who plays non-English songs and musics in Foobar2000 music player, the main challenge and also the annoying process is how to get the non-English language song title and artist or singer name to be displayed correctly. Although Foobar2000 supports Unicode (UTF-8) character encoding, however most songs are using non-Unicode ANSI codepage for non-English foreign language characters such as Asian Japanese, Korean, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Cyrillic, European and other native languages.

To help solve the problem of garbled text in foobar2000, skip the inconvenient and troublesome process of converting non-English code page to Unicode, and make it easy to convert from non-English code page to English Latin 1 codepage (used in most English Windows environment), a programmer named Acropolis has created foo_masstag_addons (previously known as foo_masstag_codepage), an codepage conversion extension for the foo_masstag plugin component for foobar2000. foo_masstag_codepage has a similar functionality with foo_codepage_action plugin for the older version foobar2000, except it supports foobar2000 version 0.9.x.

foo_masstag_addons has the following features and functions:

  • Language ANSI codepage conversion.
  • Conversion between Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
  • Conversion preview support to avoid messing up the meta tags after selecting wrong codepage.
  • Allow user to specify the which meta data to convert.
  • Embedded cuesheet inserter which automatically insert the related cuesheet data from external file to the supported audio format, i.e. .ape, .tak, .flac and .mac as embedded cuesheet.
  • Allow user to select the codepage currently used to display the characters and the codepage to convert.
  • Able to fix files tagged by foo_freedb2, which may accidentally treats any tags retrieved from the server as UTF-8 encoding even if it’s not.

Download foo_masstag_addons from Acropolis’ foobar2000 components page (no longer available).

foo_masstag_addons is an extension or plugin for Masstagger, an optional component for foobar2000 which installable via foobar2000 setup installer. If you missing the foo_masstag component, simply rerun the setup, and select Masstagger component under Optional features -> Tools. To install it, simply copy the foo_masstag_addons.dll file to Components folder under foobar2000 directory.

foo_masstag_addons also requires Microsoft VC8 SP1 runtime libraries and libmmd.dll application extension (no longer available – to be placed in \Windows\System32\ folder or inside foobar installation directory), plus SSE supported CPU processor (most modern processors after Pentium III do).

foo_masstag_addons language codepage conversion guide

To use the foo_masstag_addons to convert the codepage and fix the garbled text or unreadable rubbishy or garbage characters issue when displaying the MP3 or song meta tag data in foobar2000, simply highlight to select a song or a few songs in the foobar2000 playlist window, then right click on the selected song(s). Select “Tagging” on the right click context menu, then click on “Manage Scripts”. This will launch Masstagger. Click on “Add” button. foo_masstag_addons add 3 action types to the value list, namely “Addon: Chinese conversion”, “Addon: Codepage conversion”, and “Addon: Embedded cuesheet inserter”.

Only “Addon: Codepage conversion” is important to make gibberish text to appear readable and properly. So select “Addon: Codepage conversion” option and press OK. A Codepage conversion (cp1252) dialog will be shown. On the dialog window, set “Displayed codepage” to the code page value for the Windows system display language system locale setting. For example, if your system is using English (United States), set “Displayed codepage” to “1252 (ANSI – Latin I). Refer to ANSI codepage chart for the code page number for your Windows language locale. For “Correct codepage”, specify the actual codepage that is been used to store the meta data information in the songs, musics or MP3s. E.g., for Korean songs, most likely option is “949 (ANSI/OEM – Korean)”, “932 (ANSI/OEM – Japanese Shift-JIS)” for Japanese, “936 (ANSI/OEM – Simplified Chinese GBK)” for China’s Chinese and “950 (ANSI/OEM – Traditional Chinese Big5)” for Taiwan’s Chinese. The rest of the fields are optional.

To ensure that you have selected a correct originating codepage, you can tick the “Preview” checkbox, and the program will launch a results window to let you check if the encoding conversion is correct. Click OK when done, then on Run button on Masstagger window. If you have selected Preview mode earlier on, and verify that character encoding conversion is valid, double click on “Addon: Codepage conversion” in the Masstagger’s “Actions to perform” list and uncheck the Preview checkbox. Run the action again to permanently and physically convert all meta information.

For those who’re having problem when the tagging of track or album information by foo_freedb2, which treats any tags retrieved from the server as Unicode, users should select “28591 (ISO-8859-1)” as the displayed codepage and the correct codepage as what the non-Unicode (UTF-16 and UTF-8) codepage the server is actually returned and stored in the actual file. This actual codepage can be known if user browses the FreeDB website with the DISCID.