Tutorial for Using File Information (MP3, photo and other files’ data)

The Scenario

Zaphod Dum-Dum Smith is the first child of the infamous rock star Jonny Smith, and he is clutching towards the heights of his dad’s fame and fortune. As such, he is in the process of creating a multimedia installation made up of back stage photos of a festival and snippets of music from it; he now needs to rename the pictures and audio files quickly. He has told you that each file is an “extensive multi-media visual artifact and stuff”, and so each JPEG photo must show in its file name the aperture that was used and each MP3 audio file must show the artist’s name.

As Jonny Smith’s loyal lieutenant of many years, you’re not usually tasked with this kind of thing, but if the old man’s son wants it, he gets it. This information is already inside the files, so why duplicate effort by typing it all again? Let the easy file renaming commence!

The Solution

1. Open RenameMaestro and drag and drop the MP3 and JPEG files you want straight into it. The files to be renamed appear like this:

  • Gloria.mp3
  • Leaders of the Free World.mp3
  • In it for the Money.mp3
  • GigPhoto1 - Coldplay on fire.jpeg
  • GigPhoto2 - Jonny Smith punches.jpeg
  • GigPhoto3 - Bowie enchants.jpg
  • ...

2. To give yourself some space at the end of the file name, select ‘Insert Text’. Leave the ‘Insert into’ option as ‘Every name’, and the ‘Beginning at’ drop down list to say ‘The end’. Then type ‘ – ‘ into the ‘Insert this text’ box. Press the ‘Save’ button.

3. Now select the ‘Use File Information’ action. Leave the ‘Insert into’ option as ‘Every name’ for this tutorial, and the ‘Beginning at’ drop down list to say ‘The end’. Then just look in the ‘From the directory’ drop down list and find the ‘ID3v1’ or ‘ID3v2’ directory. Remember, these directories will only be present if the MP3 file has this information set within it already! You will then see the list below get filled up with names like ‘Album’, ‘Artist’, ‘Genre’ etcetera. Select the ‘Artist’ item and each artist’s name will be inserted the end of each file, right before the file extension. None of the photo files will alter, since they don’t have any artist information here, or indeed any ID3 directories at all. Press ‘Save’.

4. Again select the ‘Use File Information’ action; just change the directory drop down list to the ‘Composite’ directory. (Please note, this information is entirely dependant on the software that created or altered your files, so this information may not be present, or maybe in another directory). Then select the list item ‘Aperture’, noting that only the photo files will alter since music files don’t have any aperture information. Press ‘Save’.

5. Finally press the ‘Rename!’ button. If you wish to save the actions for another time, just press the ‘Options’ button and in the screen that pops up choose the ‘Export Actions’ button to save them to a file for repeated use. And your results are here:

  • Gloria - Patti Smith.mp3
  • Leaders of the Free World - Elbow.mp3
  • In it for the Money - Supergrass.mp3
  • GigPhoto1 - Coldplay on fire - 3.5.jpeg
  • GigPhoto2 - Jonny Smith punches - 5.6.jpeg
  • GigPhoto3 - Bowie enchants - 8.jpg
  • ...

Number one son comes out of his sulk about the Ferrari for long enough to grunt thanks for a job done swiftly and well with your all round batch renaming software. Rock on!