I’ve been waiting for Winamp to support Unicode-tagged MP3 files for a good half decade now, and with the release of Winamp 5.34, it’s finally happened. But I couldn’t really see it until I uninstalled my Last.fm plugin.
With Winamp 5.33, Unicode-tagging support was extended to most of the Media Library but not all. Question marks would still appear in the taskbar of Windows. That behavior is resolved in version 5.34, but according to the release notes, Winamp reverts back to the old behavior of substituting question marks for Unicode characters if third-party developers do not update their plugins.
Winamp hasn’t really done a good job of sending Unicode data to Last.fm since, well, the beginning, and now it looks like it can … but not until the AudioScrobbler plug-in is udpated. As I mentioned in a post to the Last.fm support boards describing this exact situation that I had to make a choice: tag files in Japanese with no Scrobbling, or Scrobble with no Japanese tags.
Of course, these efforts will be for naught since Last.fm still seems to be working on integration with Musicbrainz. I’ve actually been contributing to Musicbrainz in the hopes of affecting change in Last.fm, but I don’t see any evidence of those changes trickling down. Sometimes, AudioScrobbler will take my Shiina Ringo-tagged files and display 椎名林檎, but with, say, Hatakeyama Miyuki, it’ll go through as Hatakeyama Miyuki, not 畠山美由紀.
Which, I guess, begs the broad question — what’s the point?
(So — who can recognize from where I took the title of this post?)