Merging individual CD folders CD1 CD2 CD3 into one

Hi,

When I ripped my CDs to MP3 I created a folder-per-disc which made sense to me at the time. Since then I've decided I'd much rather group the tracks by album only.

For example - current situation

  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\01 - Oasis - Rock 'n Roll Star.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\02 - Oasis - Some Might Say.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\03 - Oasis - Talk Tonight.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\04 - Oasis - Lyla.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\05 - Oasis - The Importance Of Being Idle.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\06 - Oasis - Wonderwall.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\07 - Oasis - Slide Away.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\08 - Oasis - Cigarettes And Alcohol.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\09 - Oasis - The Masterplan.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\folder.jpg
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\01 - Oasis - Live Forever.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\02 - Oasis - Acquiesce.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\03 - Oasis - Supersonic.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\04 - Oasis - Half The World Away.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\05 - Oasis - Go Let It Out.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\06 - Oasis - Songbird.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\07 - Oasis - Morning Glory.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\08 - Oasis - Champagne Supernova.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\09 - Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\folder.jpg

And this is how I'd like things to end up:

  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\01 - Oasis - Rock 'n Roll Star.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\02 - Oasis - Some Might Say.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\03 - Oasis - Talk Tonight.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\04 - Oasis - Lyla.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\05 - Oasis - The Importance Of Being Idle.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\06 - Oasis - Wonderwall.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\07 - Oasis - Slide Away.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\08 - Oasis - Cigarettes And Alcohol.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\09 - Oasis - The Masterplan.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\10 - Oasis - Live Forever.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\11 - Oasis - Acquiesce.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\12 - Oasis - Supersonic.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\13 - Oasis - Half The World Away.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\14 - Oasis - Go Let It Out.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\15 - Oasis - Songbird.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\16 - Oasis - Morning Glory.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\17 - Oasis - Champagne Supernova.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\18 - Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger.mp3
  • Oasis - Stop The Clocks\folder.jpg

I know about the ctrl-k option, and this does exactly what I need ... sort of.
Right now my workflow is to drag multiple folders into mp3tag and then select them all, and use the ctrl-k option to renumber the tags and create the disk number tag. Once that's done I use the tag-to-filename option to rename the tracks with the new track numbers.

My issue is then I need to manually move the tracks into a single folder, and then rename that folder.

Beyond that, I need to do each album by hand. If I add multiple albums then mp3tag (quite reasonably) assumes they are all the same album.

I wondered if anyone had any idea about how to improve this workflow, perhaps automate or speed things up?

Thanks

I don't know what the data in %album% looks like - but if it is just "Stop the clock" without the CDx appendix then you could try an action of the type "Format value" for _DIRECTORY:
Fomat string: %artist% - %album%
Which should result in a single folder called "Oasis - Stop the clock" which then contains all the files from the same album.

I understand zxc that he wants to do it with multiple albums in one go and that does not work for _DIRECTORY. Instead you have to use the converter Tag->Filename with a folder structure.The problem there is that other than the music files don't get moved.

What happens is the the current folder for the current file gets renamed - with the data from the format string.
IMHO this means that if you use the same data for files in various folders then the folders are merged into that single folder as defined by the format string.

That is why I asked what the data in ALBUM looks like:
If it is "Stop The Clocks CDx" then it is true that renaming the folder will be of little help.
If it is "Stop The Clocks" for all files then all files (including the non-MP3tag-treated ones) end up in
"Oasis - Stop The Clocks".
Depending on the filenames and track numbers, you may get all the files with the same track number adjacent to each other. But that could be remedied.

In addition to @ohrenkino and @poster you should note that it could be that you have the same song on the same position on both CDs. Something like

Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD1\03 - Oasis - Supersonic.mp3
Oasis - Stop The Clocks CD2\03 - Oasis - Supersonic.mp3

What do you do in such a case if you want to "merge" them both into
Oasis - Stop The Clocks\03 - Oasis - Supersonic.mp3

Just a hint - I would think that over.
Doing it with a double or a triple album is not so problematic.
But what do do you do if you have big boxsets with maybe 8 albums?

I personally do it pragmatic and not consequent for all cases and not at all meant as a guideline for others:

  • I want to keep a separate numbering of the physical discs, expecially for the filenames. Therefore I use a numbering scheme which includes the disc in the tracknummer, i.e. 201 which means first track of disc 2).

  • I keep album sets up to 3 discs together in 1 folder with the exception of album sets where discs itself have a different name (they always get a separate folder) , i.e. \John Martyn\The Island Years\Disc 9 - Sunday Child\

  • I use ALBUMARTIST and not ARTIST for the folder structure and the ALBUMARTIST gets the parent-directory or the grand-parent-directory. According to your example my folder structure would look like \Oasis\Stop the clock\

Thanks for all the comments. To answer a few questions:

%album% was written from the filename/path, so contains CD1, etc.

I need to renumber the tracks before I merge the folders. If this was just about merging the folders, then I could do that in a simple batch file. The challenge is the renaming/retagging (which mp3tag does - but only very manually).

I don't really have many compilations with more than 2 or 3 CDs, so this isn't too much of a concern.
The reason I'd prefer my music organised like this is that my main use is to play it in the car, and that just works much better if there's one folder for "Oasis - Stop the Clocks" instead of two with different suffixes.

I think what I'm asking for is probably beyond mp3tag and a bit specialised, I'll have to continue to think how I can achieve this.

I do this also. My workflow is very similar. Only difference:

  • After renumbering, I close the program, move into one Folder, re-open program, then rename tracks with new numbers. You do the renaming before the merge, I prefer to do it after. Don't know that it makes any diff.

I often have to open the field "Path", which I normally don't show in the columns. I can sort by Track#, then Path, which gets them in the order needed for the renumbering. Then hide Path again.

This method prevents the possible problem @LyricsLover mentions.

It's not a long process, and I'm not sure I'd want to automate it, for fear of something going wrong and not seeing it in time.

As to @poster's comment, each album/boxset is looked at individually. For most, I merge into one folder. But there are times they should remain separate. I play it by ear (pun intended). A huge box set that's still just a single "unit" gets merged, regardless of its size. A box set that contains some distinct "units" gets handled differently.

There was a multi-CD box set by the Grateful Dead called "Thirty Trips Around the Sun", which contains one song from each of the thirty years they played. It gets put into one Folder. There was a multi-CD box set that had several concerts from a run at Winterland Ballroom. Each night gets its own folder.