I've been trying to import my iTunes library to Banshee but Banshee will not find songs that contain latin accents. It imports most songs just fine except the ones that contains accents like é, è, ç, ñ and so on... it says "file do not exists" although the file is in my hd and the accents display correctly in Nautilus AND also displays correctly in Banshee error report!

I found the issue in bugzilla but the reply was that this is not a Banshee bug and the problem might come from the file being originated in a Mac (?). I also posted in ubuntuforums but no reply so far... I've tried to "Save-as" the Mac .xml file into Ubuntu software hoping it would encode it correctly but nothing seems to work. My last attempt was using the UTF-8 migration tool (from software center) but is says :

Your current encoding was not found, or you are using the C locale. Please pick a supported language from /usr/share/i18n/SUPPORTED and log in again.

(no idea what this means, my system is now configured to en_US.UTF-8)

Anyone here can help me out understanding this?


I guess it's related to decomposed vs. precomposed diacritic characaters: In Unicode you can write many diacritic characters like é either as as one character ("precomposed", NFC) or as a combination of the base character "e" and an additional accent character ("decomposed", NFD), see

OS X always uses decomposed characters for file names. Linux files systems don't care about characters but just store bytes as file names and let the programs interpret them. NFC and NFD lead to different byte sequences Linux considers the resulting file names to be different. Most programs under Linux use NFC.

I don't know of any program that can convert text between the two encoding forms. The program convmv (not installed by default) can convert file names between NFC and NFD. Maybe that helps, but maybe it causes other problems, so be careful.

  • Thanks for the reply, that might be the problem indeed. I tried using convmv but the commands are not very clear to me. I've tried several things until I finally got the message "ready!"on my terminal. But Banshee still doesn't read the accents... I wonder if people using Banshee always import libraries from windows or this is a peculiar problem I'm facing. – wranvaud Jul 3 '11 at 18:45

I had the same problem, and I use on my Debian Server the convmv tool. It works like a charm.

I use the following command line to convert NFD in NFC (for the file in DIRECTORY) :

convmv -r --nfc --nosmart -f UTF-8 -t UTF-8 --notest DIRECTORY
  • 1
    I just tried this line, it seems to work in the cli but still, songs with accents cannot be located by the software... I looked at my xml file and saw that accents are using hex. format (e%CC%81 for é). It's not only the files names but the content of the XML file that I need to convert. I had to do a search and replace to get the accents. I could not find a tool to do that automatically... If somebody knows one please share, I'd love to hear about it. – wranvaud Jun 17 '12 at 19:34

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