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Friday 19 September 2014

The Problems with Hyphens

There are some six different hyphens  within the Unicode Standard listed below:


As you can see there is not much difference between them, and when they are used within MusicBrainz and Discogs they are often used without much thought to it.

This causes problems when applied to your music collection because it can mean that songs by one artist can be split if Discogs has used a different hyphen to MusicBrainz, the same problem can also apply within MusicBrainz when comparing releases or recordings as well.

And because the hyphens look so similar it is very difficult to spot the problem.

Manual input of many of these characters is not easy as they do not have dedicated keys on the keyboard, so input is often via done by copy and paste of the character or resorting to using the Unicode value of each character (if you know it)

There are additional problems when filenames are renamed based on metadata. Although the six hyphens listed above all are all valid Unicode they are not all valid characters in other legacy charsets such as Windows-1252 used by many applications on English language versions of Windows.

So to help make your data more consistent all hyphens are mapped to the Hyphen-Minus character, this is the hyphen found on all computer keyboards.

This new version of the JThink Music Server also contains the very latest MusicBrainz data.

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