Does iTunes Know Japanese Names?
February 8, 2013
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I just noticed something interesting when adding some new music to iTunes. It’s a jazz album by Yusuke Uotani, who also goes by “USK” (a play on his first name). He sells his music himself and offers it as a FLAC download, which I converted to Apple Lossless with Max. I dropped the files into iTunes, then edited their tags to my liking — specifically, changing the artist name to Uotani-san’s full name, with Western name order (as shown above — I’m still deciding how I want to sort Japanese names in iTunes). Normally, iTunes would sort the name by the first character, in this case Y, unless it can determine that the first word is an article (“the”, “an”, etc.) which it will then ignore. Interestingly enough, iTunes sorted it by last name, slotting it in with other U artists. I checked in all of the advanced sort fields of the files, thinking there might be another tag it’s sorting by, but nope. All of the artist fields specifically say Yusuke Uotani. Perhaps iTunes understands Japanese name order and is automatically assuming that’s how I should sort such artists?
(Incidentally, Uotani is an interesting guy — he has a YouTube channel where he travels the Japanese countryside in search of vintage vending machines. Specifically, vintage ramen and udon vending machines. It’s just as interesting watching him plunk 300 yen into a machine and seeing what comes out as it is looking at the beautiful scenery as he drives around, with his soundtrack playing.)