Renaming MP3s simply and easily
September 11, 2009 6:59 AM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of assorted MP3s (maybe about 6000) that I would like to rename. What program do you recommend?

I have so many duplicate MP3s, files with names that are so long that iTunes can't handle them, files that I ripped so long ago that they're using a different naming convention to what I prefer now (artist + song name).

My ideal program will be able to handle the whole library (even if I need to feed it in several batches) and rename all files using the same convention. This will also allow me to remove duplicates very easily. Anapod Copygear does this when copying files from my iPod to the computer, so I'm hoping that there's also a standalone program that can handle it.

Free is ideal, will happily pay for something that does what I want though. I have a PC.
posted by different to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but Musicbrainz Picard is pretty good for properly tagging MP3s. If you then re-add those MP3s to iTunes, iTunes will then name them after the tags.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:01 AM on September 11, 2009

Once upon a time I used Helium for this; looks like it's still around.
posted by reptile at 7:03 AM on September 11, 2009

MP3Tag will allow you to easily rename large numbers of files based on tags.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:05 AM on September 11, 2009

I like The Godfather.
posted by gushn at 7:05 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

Seconded Mp3tag.

tag -> filename, filename -> tag, import from freedb, etc.
posted by noztran at 7:10 AM on September 11, 2009

mp3tag is a good one. Bulk Rename Utility is another- ridiculous to set up, but powerful.
posted by gjc at 7:23 AM on September 11, 2009

Seconding The Godfather. I can't recalling why I switched from MP3Tag, but there was something (obscure) that the latter didn't do as easily as I wanted it to. For what you are proposing it would seem relatively straightforward so either should suffice.

The variation in the filenames you allude to might require doing the job in many batches rather than pointing it at one directory and telling it to go, unless the ID3 tags are exactly as you want them (unlikely).
posted by gspm at 7:33 AM on September 11, 2009

MediaMonkey isn't just for renaming, but it will both rename according to your specified conventions and find duplicates. It can also tag based on filenames if some of your files aren't properly tagged. So you could select all the files with old naming convention X, tag them from the filename (just to make sure everything is tagged) and then rename them from the tags.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:34 AM on September 11, 2009

Oh, and it can also re-organize your files on your hard drive according to your specifications. For example, I have c:\my music\album artist\album\artist - song.mp3 and for anything that I have on a full CD. When I have one-off songs, I tag them as being "No CD" with the album artist being "Various".
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:37 AM on September 11, 2009

MP3Tag is great for setting the tags. I've found ReNamer ( and its ability to save rule sets better at the renaming side of things.
posted by phrits at 7:38 AM on September 11, 2009

Another vote for MediaMonkey, which is designed for managing large collections. The tagging stuff is impressive (e.g. edit an artist name in the tree of all artists and every MP3 with that artist name is altered automatically and then the auto-organise feature which will reame (and move around, if required) files based on tags is very powerful.
posted by benzo8 at 7:46 AM on September 11, 2009

Foobar2000 will do this, and is a wonderful media player besides.
posted by sinfony at 7:51 AM on September 11, 2009

I bought Tag & Rename years ago and have never regretted it. Very easy to use with nice renaming templates so your filenames come out just like you want them (including a "preview" before the rename actually happens).
posted by DWRoelands at 8:23 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

All great answers, many thanks. I've gone with Tag & Rename but could easily have marked all of these as 'best'.
posted by different at 2:56 AM on September 13, 2009

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