Batch normalization of name items (Artist, album artist, producer, etc.)

I have thousands of FLAC files ripped from my CD collection over the years. For a long time, I renamed everything to "last, first" convention for alphabetical sorting. Now with media players, that's not only not important ("just search on Bruce") but not attractive, either.

What I would LIKE to do is export the tag data for my whole collection (tens of thousands of files over thousands of folders, folder hierarchy up to 5 or 6 deep) into some CSV file that I can import into spreadsheet, find all unique instances of people or band names, then create a table of changes to be made. Use that to run a global search and replace on my export file to clean everything up. I know everything I need to do to accomplish this, other than dealing with the headache.

What I do NOT know is how to then re-import those tag changes, where needed, to the files. I'm assuming MP3tag can do this, but haven't been able to find out how. Has anyone done something like this, do you anchor on the full path and file name?

Thanks for any help!


I would like to point you to the help:

But perhaps you don't need the detour with the spreadsheet - if you use the filter to find the various occurences of names.

I've tried to do that several times. The workflow of

  • finding a name that's not right
  • filtering and correcting
  • re-writing tags
  • finding any OTHER versions of the name wrong
  • repeat

is very time consuming and things get missed. I understand it CAN be done this way, it just doesn't work well for me.

and yes, the main_converter item you point to appears to be exactly what I'm looking for. I'd seen that before but didn't have enough of a clear mindset on how it had to work for me to realize that the " %_filename_ext% or %_path% are used to ensure the correct file gets tagged. Use %_filename_ext% if you have lots of files in one folder. Use %_path% if you have many folders each containing files" is the key that I need.

I'll peel off a subset and test with it this week.

Thank you!

Please have a look at the help on export.

Perhaps the option to export only one occurrance of each piece of data may be of interest (e.g. $loop(%artist%,1)
Like that you get a list of all variations but not all repetitions of each field.
Probably, you need a second export where you see all files.

When you export data with the target "Excel" or "Access", use $char(9) (the tab character) as field separator. Like that you do not fall into the trap of comma separated values when an artist also has commas as part of the data.

I've been in "comma as a delimiter" hell before, usually use double tildes [~~] myself, but the tab char would work well, too.

The loop idea is also perfect. Would speed it up.

Just looked at your profile information. My turntable is vintage Germany linear tracking, my wife is from Bavaria. Danke!

I'll be a month prepping for the search and replace, but Then It Will Be Clean!

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