Find and Replace list of Album tags

I have a set of MP3 albums bought from Amazon, but one thing I've noticed is that my MP3 players tend to sort them by the album name only, which is quite frustrating as the genres and artists are all over the place. What's worse is that the word "The" is included when sorting the names, which shouldn't happen.

What I'd like to to is to find and fully or partially replace the album names with extra characters that will force the player to sort by the order I want, for all tracks in all albums.

The tricky part is that I'd like this done as a single scripted list, so I can just run it once and ALL the albums will have their names changed.

Is this possible with MP3tag?

If you want to get rid of the "The"
use an action of the type "Replace with regular expression" for ALBUM
Enter as search string: ^The
(add a blank as last character)
Enter as replace string:
(leave that empty)

But concerning the "special characters" I have no clue what you mean. If you add the same information to all albums, then you could just as well leave that information out as it does not discriminate.
If you want to do something like add an underscore then use the converter Tag-Tag for %album%
and the mask

Or create an action of the type "Format value" ...

I simply mean putting a text string in front of the album name designating "Classical" or "Commercial" or "Seasonal", is all.

I've had a good look and Actions would appear to be the right way forward. BUT, I would like to create and save my own Action group aside from the three already present, but Utils only seems to save the "Selection", ie which Action groups are ticked at that moment.

What is the difference between ".mta" and ".mtg" files? Can I save my own Action groups? Does Utils do that?

The creation of actions always implies the creation of a new action group.
(see /t/967/1
THis may be puzzling as the GUI functions all have the same name more or less.
If you use the function Actions>Actions ... you end up in the dialogue to create a new action group.
You can put as many single action into an action group as you want - all action in such a group get executed as soon as you call the group. So you do not necessarily have to use the check boxes for combinations but can put all actions, that should run together, into one action group.
And then you can combine action groups with the check boxes in the actions dialogue.

Yes, but how do I save the action group as an .mta file, like the three already there?

ASAIK this is done automatically as soon as you conclude the defintion of a new action group.

Where would it be stored on a Win7 installation? I've looked all over. It's not in Program Files (x86), for example.


Thank you :slight_smile:

Concerning the Replace function, is there a way of replacing the ENTIRE STRING and not just matching parts of it? Is that what "only as whole word" means?

Matching as whole word means that if you look for "the" then it treats only "The Beatles" but not "Theloneous Monk".

What do you mean by "entire string"? Only that part of a piece of data that matches the search criteria is replaced.
If you want to treat only files that match a certain substring then you could use the filter to reduce the list and then enter the new data in either the tag panel or the extended tags dialogue.

Or, if all that does not quite hit the nail on the head: give an example of the search string, the original data, what you want to replace it with and what it should look like in the end.

This is the gist of my problem:

The first list is of the Album titles as they were when I downloaded the files from Amazon.

The second list is if my prefixes to those titles and the cutting out of the initial "The"s. "AM" means Amazon MP3, "Cla" means "Classical" and so on. The capital three-letter code just identifies the artist and puts it into alphabetical order.

If I could just have prefixed the strings to those albums in the list, it would've been so much easier. I'm also concerned that I'll only be able to run the Action list once, as otherwise the Album tags will be messed up with duplicate strings.

Ah, I see.
You want to append the current field.
Use an action of the type "Format value" for TITLE
Enter as format string:
AM %title%
This put AM in front of that what is already stored in TITLE
If you then have another action of the same manner, only with the
format string: Cla %title%

And you run them in the sequence
first the Cla-Action,
then the AM-action
you get
AM Cla + that what was in TITLE before.

Thanks for the advice, but you've forgotten the unique three letter code that I designated for the album and which forces it into alphabetical order. Thanks anyway.

No, these titles require individual attention.

The problem I've got is with one of the new albums that is simply titled "Best of". The thing is, there are already some albums called "Best of M People" (for one example). The first action may act on the other strings, you see.

As of this moment, I am backing up my original downloads from Amazon untouched, but I will try my action list on them after, see if it all goes OK anyway.

If you append the 3-letter-album identifier first (which you can do very quickly with an action (quick) of the type "Format value" for all tracks of an album) then you can use all the other ready-made actions afterwards.
E.g. if you enter the GENRE first then you can use an action that gets the first 3 letters of the genre and adds them to the title:

Just a little something:
One day, I am sure, you will find that entering a kind of key somehow blocks the real title information and you will try to get rid of it.
For this day, I would recommend that you use a unique separator between the key part and the real (and variable) data behind it.
For this I would recommend an underscore as this character hardly ever pops up as plain text letter.
Using the blank as separator will interfere with the required blanks within the real title data.

I've given up on using the Actions for this purpose, as it's just too convoluted.

I'm starting from scratch and just sorting the albums by the Album tag, selecting all those within one album and simply editing the tag on the left-hand column and saving... as I should've done in the first place. :rolleyes:

Just went through 40 albums over 1100+ files with Mp3tag and it only took about 25 minutes - I think it took more time to set up the Actions previously!

Thanks for your help, in any case!