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Forums Avid Media Composer Working with Chinese characters in filenames

  • Working with Chinese characters in filenames

  • Alex Bushe

    September 7, 2022 at 3:39 am

    I’m running MC 2021.9. When I import (or link/transcode) new media that has Chinese (Traditional) characters in the filenames, these are converted to question marks in master clip name that shows up in the bin (so it looks like “????????.new.01”). Is there a way to preserve the original Chinese in Avid?

  • Tod Hopkins

    September 7, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    I can’t answer from direct experience, but you should start by adding a Chinese language, probably Mandarin, as a OS language option.

    https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/change-the-system-language-mh26684/mac

    Doing this will add a Chinese language character pack which may allow the Mac to recognize the unknown Chinese characters even when the primary language is set to English. But maybe not. It’s possible that you may have to switch the current language to Chinese to see the proper filename. As you probably know, text characters are not encoded in a specific language. They are numeric codes that are interpreted by the system according to the language set selected. The question marks indicate a code that is not recognized.

    Report back your results. I’m very curious.

  • Alex Bushe

    September 8, 2022 at 2:29 am

    Thanks for your reply!

    So I have Traditional Chinese added in the Preferred Languages section of Language & Region (just beneath English in the priority order) but find that Avid still converts all Chinese characters to question marks. The same happens if I change the Keyboard Input Sources to Chinese (from Keyboard settings in System Preferences).

    As a test, I restarted my system with Traditional Chinese as the primary language. Now when importing these files, Avid is able to preserve the Chinese characters. However, once I switch the primary language for the system back to English, when I reopen Avid all the Chinese characters have switched to other symbols, like “ºAªL.∂¬¶Y∂¬.≤_™Œ¶œ ™Ùº›πƒ∂¿™”.

    I’ve also tried a number of different fonts within Avid, such as Arial Unicode MS, which has a good track record of working in different languages, but haven’t had any success.

    So I’m still looking for a solution here, will keep experimenting.

  • Tod Hopkins

    September 8, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t know if you’ll be able to “convert” but here’s a way of experimenting with character sets. Get BBEdit. It’s free. Open a new document. Drag and drop your folder into the document window. BBEdit will create a text file listing (this feature has saved my bacon many times!). Now you can “Save as…” and in the save dialog there is a selector for different file sets. Start with Unicode-16 which supports both languages I think. Experiment. You may need to experiment with the system set to Chinese.

    I’m not exactly sure what you might discover and you may ultimately need a “translator” to retype the filenames using a different character set (Unicode). Or you may be able to create a document that a translator can use to translate your filenames to English/Latin so you can cut and paste them back to the files.

    Ultimately I suspect you will help from someone with at least some Chinese expertise.

    Cheers,

    tod

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