Having trouble understanding how to accomplish my filename-to-tag

Hi there

I am primarily a Mac user but have in recent months started using Windows much more often. I have found myself needing a decent MP3 tagging tool. I use Media Rage on macOS, and while it is not longer in development, it is great for my needs.

Mp3Tag seems to be quite a feature rich application and I would be very surprised if it couldn't do what I wanted, but I am having difficulties finding out how to.

Basically my work flow when I acquire new music is:

  1. Rename the MP3 files to how I like them, following a set standard.
  2. Use Media Rage to use the filenames to populate relevant fields in the tag.

I currently have 4 name schemes and regex's that I use depending on what the music is.

  1. Individual tracks (named like 'artist - song.mp3' or 'artist - song song remix by artist')
  2. Individual tracks with with the album name in the filename (named like 'artist - album - song')
  3. Full Albums (tracks named like '01 artist album song')
  4. Full Multi-Disc Albums (tracks named like '101 artist album song').

While I have managed to get the regex;s working in the past on Media Rage, I never really fully understood what I was doing. I was just following guides. But I am having even more problems this time around with Mp3Tag.

It appears to my feeble brain that there is actually no way to read information FROM the filename and then use that data to populate ID3 tag fields. I hope I am wrong.

Sidenote: I know there is the convert Filename to Tag - which does work in most cases - but when it comes to splitting disc number/track number combo's like '101, 102,201,202 etc' - it will fail.

Any help appreciated. Thank you.

You should change your workflow.
Generally and with MP3Tag specially it makes much more sense to populate the tags and once they are populated it is very easy to give names to the files in any way you want.

See this thread on a number of suggestions on how to split the track number:


Thank you for responding. I genuinely appreciate you even taking the time to read and reply. While I can fully accept and acknowledge that you no doubt have far more knowledge on this matter than me, do you not think by saying 'You should change your workflow' and not trying to help me find a way to stick to my current workflow a better idea?

I have, for years, named files and then used the filename to tag the file. If a simple program on macOS can do this, I don't see why what strikes me as a pro-user type application such as Mp3Tag shouldn't be able to do the same.


Yes, MP3tag can also help you in a workflow like you laid it out.
Still, filenames as a source of information have some limitations in respect to length and illegal characters that are very well allowed in the tags. So in some cases, using the filename as source is a sub-optimum approach.
Please see the many web source scripts that support you to get the tag information from the internet - and they write to the tags only, the filename is completely irrelevant as this is only a property that is required by the filesystem.

You have problems with the track number - and it is much easier to manipulate that information if you can address it in a structure like the tag fields and not in an amorphous string like the filename.

Even though your approach is possible, most users in the end create the filenames from tags as they then can apply rules to get a fairly structured output and deal with the short-comings of the filename regulations.
If you have not yet filled the tags, try to get the most information out of the filenames but do the corrections in the tags and leave the filename as it is for the time being.

Alright that all sounds great. I get everything you just said and yeah, it makes sense.

But for me, that is irrelevant. I care about the file names just as much as I care about the tags. I know what characters are illegal the max filename lengths etc etc.

If someone can help me get from filename to tag - that is what I would rather do. However backwards and stupid it might sound to you, it is what has worked for me over the years and it is what I feel most comfortable doing.

If of course it proves impossible to do or if nobody can or is willing to help, then perhaps I would reevaluate my options.

Thanks though :slight_smile:

My proposal is for your future workflow.
That means you should definitely change it dealing with new files.

If you have to deal with a lot of files that are already named without tags you depend on your usual workflow.
I am quite certain that there is a way to filter the tags out of your already existing filenames.
You can use the Converter "Filename - Tag" or you can use an action of the type "Guess Values".
The Converter has a very useful immediate preview feature that shows you the results of your format strings.

Formatstring: %artist% - %title%

Formatstring: %artist% - %album% - %title%

This is not possible to handle with the converter because (if you really have no hyphen between artist, album and song) there is no unique delimiter for MP3Tag to decide where the artist and the album end and the next tags begin.

The same problem is here too.


I am truly baffled that this is not something simple. As I said, I am not really very good with understanding regex and yet I managed to figure it out using Media Rage on the Mac using my currently filename-to-tag workflow.

Surely someone can help?

The function Convert>Filename-Tag has nothing to do with regular expressions.
Poster poster has offered you a number of valid masks to import data from the filename - why don't you try it?

Ah yes Poster's first post pointed me in the right direction. Just needed to wrap my head around it.

Think I've come up with a workable solution.

Thanks guys.