Get prompted for “Import Text File” filename

I would like to set up an action group that includes Import Text File as one of the actions, and ideally would prompt me to select a text file to import rather than have me specify a static name, or a dynamic one using placeholders and all that. For Export functionality, one can use $filename(txt) to be prompted to specify an export filename, but my experiments with using that in the filename field for the Import Text File dialog have been fruitless, and I’m not seeing anything in the help or forums to suggest I can have the Import Text File action prompt me. Is there a way to have it do what I want? If not, can such a feature be considered for a future version?

Currently, there is no way to get prompted for any kind of input once an action group is triggered.
The only way to enter a filename while importing data is to use Convert>Text file-Tag.

Just something to think about: all actions of an action group are carried out for each selected file. So with the current concept you would be asked for the input for each file in the list. This might slow down the whole process and be much slower than editing the action group to get the special filename.

Well, there’s not much point in me using the action Import Text File, then. I hadn’t used it so far, beyond experimenting with a single audio file, but thought it was basically equivalent to Convert > Text file - Tag. (It’s not clear to me from the documentation that they don’t work equivalently.) I’m looking to import a bunch of metadata from a single text file into multiple files. So apparently, I have to choose between using the latter, where I potentially have to tweak the filename/location and the format string each time (because I’m not always importing the same fields every time I use it), and using the former, where I have to go to the extra, time-consuming effort of dividing all the metadata that I already have in one convert-ready text file into separate ones for each audio file. That’s disappointing. :-/

In that case, I’d like to amend my feature request to make it so Import Text File can import from one text file to multiple audio files, AND be made to prompt for a filename to import from.

So this should be a request for a new action and not a complete change of an existing one.

Or a revision to add the necessary options to the existing action, if that’s feasible.

If I get this right... you want Convert > Text file - Tag as action with the possibility to be prompted for input (filename - and Format string)
What would be the benefits of this for you or in general? (just to understand this request better)

I don't know if this would help you, but within an Action group you could setup multiple textfile imports to a specific field, and they would just overwrite each other if the textfile exists or do nothing if the text file is missing. This could work if you have various/different textfiles you want to import and they have their fixed filenames if they exist.

Or perhaps use temp fields for importing various textfiles and then use $if functions to control the copying from the temp fields to the target fields.

@dano

The benefit to me would be to automate, or at least partially automate, the importing of large amounts of metadata from a single source file into multiple audio files. Mp3Tag already makes it possible to do the reverse, via custom Export configurations, and the $filename() function and large selection of placeholders provide considerable flexibility to specify the name and location of the exported data ahead of time, or get prompted to specify one at runtime. Why not make it possible to automate both import and export to similar degrees?

Using Convert > Text file - Tag, as currently implemented, suffers from the lack of ability to save configurations of custom format strings, default filenames and locations, if the user wishes to preserve those as presets. Sure, there’s at least a drop-down available for accessing recently-used format strings, but if the one you’re looking for wasn’t used recently enough and is more complicated than average, you’re out of luck unless you saved it somewhere else outside of MP3Tag.

Using Action > Import text file, as currently implemented, suffers from the lack of ability to use text files containing more than one audio file’s worth of potential metadata, including those previously exported by MP3Tag, and less flexibility in specifying or choosing files/locations to import from.

My own work flow and metadata preferences admittedly might very well be sufficiently different from the majority of MP3Tag users to the point of wondering whether it’s worth making changes to the program just for my sake, but to give you guys some idea how I go about tagging audio:

I do a LOT of research, collect many details about tracks that most others probably don’t worry about adding as metadata, am picky about how the metadata is entered and presented, and do not normally utilize automatic online tagging via freedb, Discogs, MusicBrainz, etc. I typically start by using Notepad++ to create a text file with a bunch of information about an album and its tracks, in a readable, non-importable format. I then use regular expressions via a handful of custom Python scripts to rearrange the text file’s contents into an importable format and save it that way to a separate file. My naming convention for these text files does not necessarily correspond to filenames that would be generated using MP3Tag metadata placeholders. For example, the 1974 album “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” by Richard & Linda Thompson gets a text file named “Thompson, Richard - [1974-04] [& Linda] Bright Lights Tonight.txt”, because 1) though Linda Thompson’s vocal contributions are appreciated and significant, Richard wrote the songs, plays guitar and many other instruments, is the main person responsible for its musical direction, etc., so it’s primarily a Richard Thompson album to me, and I want it to be sorted by name as such in my file manager display, and 2) the album name is longer than I wish to use in full, in addition to the artist and release date, in a filename.

Hope this helps, but if you have any more questions, let me know.

@vilsen

Thanks for the suggestion, but that wouldn’t work with my workflow and filename convention as outlined above. If the changes I’m asking for aren’t feasible, or I’m the only who would use them, I think it would make the most sense for me to just continue using Convert > Text file - Tag.