Renaming MP3 Files Based on ID3 Tags on Windows

Album Cover: Icky Thump

"I'm gettin' hard on myself, sittin' in my easy chair."
White Stripes / 300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues

Posted on November 24, 2006 9:15 PM in Computers
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I spent an hour or so tonight ripping a bunch of Pleasure Unit albums to my hard drive (I either have raw WAV copies or really poorly encoded MP3s from back in the day). Because iTunes obviously didn't know who the band was (since Gracenote doesn't), all of my files got labeled things like 01 Track 01.mp3 and had no ID3 data at all. Adding the ID3 data was pretty easy, but renaming the files was going to be no minor feat.

I decided to scour the web a bit looking for scripts or applications that would do the renaming for me. First I found some Linux scripts, but those didn't play nicely with Cygwin, so I gave up on that pretty quickly. Then I found some AppleScript stuff that didn't seem to work since I'm on Windows and not Macintosh. Then I finally found a list of Windows applications I could try, so try I did. All of them were crap. That's all I'm going to say.

Eventually, I stumbled upon an Open Directory listing and randomly clicked on a link to Mp3 File Editor. I went through yet another install process, only to turn a bit sceptical when I saw a GUI that looked like it was straight out of Windows 95. However, I was pleased to find that the application actually did the job, even though it wasn't the prettiest thing I'd ever seen.

If you're looking to do some batch converting of MP3 files based on the contents of their ID3 tags (either v1 or v2), look no further than Mp3 File Editor.

Just make sure all your conversion needs will be met within 15 days, 'cause that's when the trial expires (of course).


Rami Kayyali on November 25, 2006 at 8:00 AM:

Or, if you don't mind seeing an ad above the program, I recommend trying MP3Tag Studio. It's free, and it's not spyware. I'm sure you'll like it.


Bernie Zimmermann on November 25, 2006 at 8:51 AM:

Thanks Rami. Next time the need arises, since I'm sure my Mp3 File Editor trial will have expired, I'll give MP3Tag Studio a try.

If anyone else has any other scripts or apps they'd recommend, please let us know!


Ryan on November 25, 2006 at 9:50 AM:

Foobar 2000, my mp3 player of choice, comes with a plug in called "Masstagger" than can do everything you want -- its configurable, scriptable, bend-over-backwards-able...

And besides, foobar 2000 doesn't choke on my extensive music collection. The last time I was unfortunate enough to have iTunes installed on one of my computers, it crashed badly when I tried to feed in my music collection, a bunch of high bitrate mp3s. Not to mention all the other crap that comes with iTunes -- Quicktime (a travesty of nature) and a bunch of programs that start up with the computer.

But anyway, give foobar 2000 a shot for your tagging needs. Also, let it give itunes a run for its money...


Bernie Zimmermann on November 25, 2006 at 1:07 PM:

Thanks for the tip, Ryan. I actually don't use iTunes for anything other than copying files to my iPod (which I never really use anyway) or ripping CDs. I'm a long-time Winamp user, and it hasn't really let me down yet. I know I've read your posts on Foobar 2000 before, so I may eventually try it out one day.


Dylan on September 23, 2007 at 6:19 PM:

I too am a long-time Winamp user, and I too use iTunes for mass ID3 tag settings.

I tried out Mp3 File Editor, which I couldn't even get to load on Vista ... done with that one. :)

Next, I tried MP3Tag Studio, which would have worked if it didn't limit my ID3 tags to 32 bytes. Next.

On to foobar2000. Downloaded, installed with Masstagger, and ... wtf? It works great! VERY customizable, I was impressed! Not for me as a daily MP3 player (I'll stick with good ol' Winamp), but for renaming my files to match their ID3 tags, it's tops! Thanks Ryan and Bernie!


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