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Old 8th June 2011, 10:48 PM   #1
Jim_MDP
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How to strip leading track numbers on MP3s?

BTW... this is in Windows.

I have a collection of MP3s in multiple folders each file having a leading number (1-500).

Will I need to batch these from the command line or can I find a util for this?

Googling has found the neat little Mp3tag app but all suggestions are regex and don't seem to work.

As I neither read nor write regex, I can't tell what's not working as recommended.

I'm gonna put this aside for the night so any help is appreciated.
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Old 8th June 2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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I use Mp3tag regularly, it depends how structured the filenames are, are they something like:
1 song1.mp3
2 song2.mp3
...
13 song13.mp3
...
113 song113.mp3
Then you could use the following in the filename-filename renaming:

Old filename pattern: %1 %2
New filename pattern: %2

that will remove the numbers of the files mentioned above (there must always be a space between the number and the name, if you have files with "14-song xyz.mp3" those will get converted to "xyz.mp3")

I would suggest that you look into using ID3 tags (you can do that via the filename-id3 renaming)

That Mp3tag tool has a good preview function, you basically cannot do anything wrong with it.
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Old 9th June 2011, 05:30 AM   #3
Lord Emsworth
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I am not a Win user, so I won't be able to point you to a utility or something.

But I wonder, do you have a problem with filenames or with ID3 tags? If the former, you would ideally use something that allows you to batch rename files. As of now, you seem to be dealing with the latter, i.e. the ID3 tags.
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Old 9th June 2011, 05:47 AM   #4
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If you are interested in changing the file names check out
http://portableapps.com/apps/utiliti...namer_portable
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Old 9th June 2011, 05:54 AM   #5
madurobob
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I use "the godfather". Its a freeware GUI utility that lets you update file names and tags (Album, Artist, track Number, etc...) one file at a time, or apply to all files in a folder at once. I find it *very* useful when ripping the 100s of CDs I have.

http://www.jtclipper.eu/thegodfather/
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Well... they're going into iTunes (yeah, save it... I've got an iPod ), so I don't think it's the tags, but rather the filenames. And it's worse than just the leading numbers...

eg:
001 - Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone.mp3


This is not going to end well.
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Old 9th June 2011, 12:29 PM   #7
DrDave
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I've solved similar problems by importing into Excel (e.g. from above using - as a delimiter) and then building the batch file within Excel using concatenation.

You can probably use this to edit an iTunes library file also to directly import them also with track names and albums.
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Old 9th June 2011, 12:30 PM   #8
elgarak
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Originally Posted by Jim_MDP View Post
Well... they're going into iTunes (yeah, save it... I've got an iPod ), so I don't think it's the tags, but rather the filenames. And it's worse than just the leading numbers...

eg:
001 - Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone.mp3


This is not going to end well.
iTunes does not care (much) about the filenames. It looks into the meta-data to generate it's own meta-data that is listed in its library. If the meta-data is already reasonably set-up (with entries in the "Name" (of the file/track/piece of music", "Artist", and maybe "Album" fields), it will show up properly in the iTunes fields.

I'm also fairly certain that it will take track-/play-number from the track-number in the filename.

If the meta-data is empty, is uses the filename. It's possible that it simply puts the filename into it's "Name" field only. You will then have to edit the meta-data in iTunes manually.

iTunes itself will generate filenames with tracknumber and title in the format "xx title" (for instance, if you import/rip a CD and look-up the meta-data online).

Last edited by elgarak; 9th June 2011 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 9th June 2011, 01:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jim_MDP View Post
Well... they're going into iTunes (yeah, save it... I've got an iPod ), so I don't think it's the tags, but rather the filenames. And it's worse than just the leading numbers...

eg:
001 - Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone.mp3


This is not going to end well.
TheGodfather will handle that easily. One of the built in routines is to rename the selected files based on... almost any criteria you input. You can rename all files based on all available track tags, file name tags, audio file info (bitrate, duration, etc...) and folder tree.

So, if you want to remove the leading numbers you'd just need to tell TheGodfather to rename the files as Artist - Track and click "rename".
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Old 9th June 2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
TheGodfather will handle that easily. One of the built in routines is to rename the selected files based on... almost any criteria you input. You can rename all files based on all available track tags, file name tags, audio file info (bitrate, duration, etc...) and folder tree.

So, if you want to remove the leading numbers you'd just need to tell TheGodfather to rename the files as Artist - Track and click "rename".
Wouldn't that only work if the ID3 info is complete? If the ID3 info isn't available you would still have to enter all of the song names manually... unless it can parse them from the old file name somehow.
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Old 9th June 2011, 09:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths View Post
Wouldn't that only work if the ID3 info is complete? If the ID3 info isn't available you would still have to enter all of the song names manually... unless it can parse them from the old file name somehow.
True. You need ID3 tags to work with. But, iTunes is going to want at a minimum Artist and Title anyway, won't it?

Anyway, there appear to be zillions of batch file renamers out there that can trim file names. In addition to Ant Renamer mentioned above:
I could go on....

They all look relatively similar in terms of function. They all should pretty quickly be able to get rid of leading numbers in file names.
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Last edited by madurobob; 9th June 2011 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 9th June 2011, 09:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
True. You need ID3 tags to work with. But, iTunes is going to want at a minimum Artist and Title anyway, won't it?

Anyway, there appear to be zillions of batch file renamers out there that can trim file names. In addition to Ant Renamer mentioned above:
I could go on....

They all look relatively similar in terms of function. They all should pretty quickly be able to get rid of leading numbers in file names.
iTunes takes Title and Artist (and other info) from the ID3 meta-data, if present. If not, it puts the file name in its title field.

There's no need to change the file name itself.

It's easiest to get a nicely ordered iTunes library if the ID3 tags are filled out.

Whether or not the file name has a track number at the front is totally inconsequential.

As long as each file name is unique. But even if not, iTunes would produce duplicate entries, and you would have to manually resolve them.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:31 PM   #13
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I'm a fan of Mp3 Tag Tools. All kinds of options for renaming files (including correcting/changing capitalization), copying/updating tags, etc. All completely customizable.
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Old 10th June 2011, 04:21 AM   #14
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Musicbrainz Picard is well worth having a look at. Will do what you want, and if the tags not complete will 'listen' to the mp3, create a footprint and compare to the database and offer suggestions.
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Old 11th June 2011, 02:15 PM   #15
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Mp3Tag would be able to deal with those kind of names, just look at my 1st reply, for your example you would set the old patern to %1 - %2 - %3 and the new to %2 - %3 to end up with Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone.mp3
You can also do a Name > ID3 conversion or ID3 > name, Mp3Tag also has a super handy preview function so you basically can't do wrong.
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