Jul 28, 2007

Fixing Russian track names in iTunes

Here's a situation: you have a bunch of MP3s of Russian (or Cyrillic in general) songs that you decided to drag-and-drop add to your iTunes library. No problem with that, except every once in awhile you end up with songs/artists/albums named using "birds language" instead of proper Cyrillic letters.

I have once in the past stumbled onto a small AppleScript solution that fixed that, but I was unable to trace it down again. I have, therefore, decided to "scratch this particular itch" and build one myself.

Here's a fruit of that labor.

A few caveats:

  • It worked on a sample of songs I had, can't promise it would work always.
  • At this point it only fixes Russian letters, not Cyrillic ones at large.
  • The change is irreversible: you cannot undo the action!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi, I was hoping to use your script until I read that it does not work on Intel Macs.

    I am trying to port iTunes from Windows to Mac and, exactly as you described, some of the Russian tags come broken.

    I was wondering 1) why some tags and not all are broken, and 2) if there is a way to better prepare the library in Windows iTunes prior to porting (i.e., convert encoding from Win-1251 to Unicode) to avoid the problem, since I can't fix it with your script.


  3. Anonymous05:39

    I tried to do it on Leopard and no luck. The letters are still weird. =((((

  4. The issue with Intel Mac is mentioned in the bug tracker -- Intel and PPC are using different byte order. I've had some rough sketches of how things should be done on an Intel Mac, they sortof work, but not 100%.

    I can pass these over to you to check, but I'm getting the feeling that doing a "universal" version in AppleScript might be a bit challenging...

  5. Any update on the Mac Leopard fix for this problem? This is still the only forum I have seen for this. thanks

  6. Sorry, still not. I'm waiting till my Macbook is repaired... :(

  7. Anonymous23:46

    can it work on windows? anything similar done on windows? anyone?

  8. this would be amazing on windows.

  9. it works great!
    Thanks alot to the author!

  10. Now the itunes version is 10, this fails because it things it is below 2 :(

  11. Anna, can you send me a sample track with Cyrillics in it that is failing on iTines 10?

  12. By the way, I have just tried the script again with iTunes 10 and it works fine. Maybe you need to download most recent version of it? If so, please follow this link: http://code.google.com/p/as-convert-russian/downloads/detail?name=as-convert-russian-0.3.zip&can=2&q=

  13. Andrei, hello.
    All my music located on NAS, and i use iTunes server.
    Can script helps me fix russian name?

  14. Are you using FireFly or similar to serve content to iTunes clients? In this case — no. Script requires access to iTunes database via iTunes AppleScript objects.

    If you have a set of MP3 files that you need to correct, I can give you a Ruby script + some instructions on its usage that does a trick.