Apparently saying something against the Steve is just bad karma.
Let me sum up.
There’s a bug in Front Row. Not a big one, really more of a nuisance. Front Row will occasionally claim that you don’t have a license to play your unprotected mp3s. They work fine in iTunes, but not Front Row. So I go looking for a fix.
Simple fix found in mere moments. It seems all I need to do is select all the music in the iTunes library and tell iTunes that I want everything to have ID3 v2.4 tags. This churns for a while – overnight, actually – but when it’s done I seem to have fixed the problem. All my mp3s play fine in Front Row.
This feeling of satisfaction lasts until the next time I try to play an mp3 from a Windows PC on the network. Then I discover hell.
See, I have a lot of mp3s with kanji song titles, artist information, album information, so on. And the Mac represents kanji internally just a little differently from PCs. Just enough different to completely blow away all the kanji when these tags are viewed on a Windows PC, since MediaPlayer can’t figure out what’s going on and thoughtfully tries to rewrite them out…
After a few attempts to fix the problem automatically I wind up truncating all fields in the mp3 header to 30 characters and losing all album art, to say nothing of extended character sets. Time to give up. Last backup… October 2006. I guess it could have been worse, I’ve only gotten… uh. Quite a few CDs since then. Maybe 40? Mostly Japanese. Those Haruhi character singles do pile up.
Also, while I’m at it, I really ought to re-rip CDs that didn’t come in with proper track names, or had their track names tweaked to work on an old mp3 player that didn’t speak kanji either… and I should try to fill in some of this missing album art… So a simple disaster recovery becomes something more of a project, as occasionally happens.
Life would be a lot easier if I was studying, I don’t know, Spanish or something and had a bizarre obsession with wrestling instead of anime. I would have fewer problems involving kanji support on US hardware and software, for a start.
And, as an aside, I’m never letting the mac touch the network shared music folders again.