Renaming files by simply changing case

Hi Florian, hi team,

Thanks for a great tool that I've been using regularly for the past ten years.

There's only one issue I have with mp3tag and it has been there from the start:

Each time I want to normalize case in filenames and tags, which is my essential motivation for using mp3tag, I apply actions to tags, then click on tag->filename and your great software wrongly tells me that this file (or files) already exists.

It doesn't exist with the same filename, obviously, as I've just modified it. But since the OS (I use mp3tag on both WinXP and openSuSE) tells mp3tag that "ABC.MP3" is the same as "Abc.mp3", mp3tag repeats the same nonsense in a message popup, instead of performing a double-renaming action automatically by renaming "ABC.MP3" into something like "TEMP1234.MP3" and then the latter into "Abc.mp3".

There are two cases in which the OS can tell mp3tag that a file already exists under a given name:

1/ it's the same file (same inode) and the above double-renaming may be used safely, as the user obviously wants to rename that file by merely changing case.

2/ it's not the same file and would become an actual duplicate directory entry, possibly with a different case, but the OS doesn't allow that anyway and the user needs to be informed via a popup, as mp3tag correctly does when such cases arise.

That's so simple that I actually do it myself, manually, renaming files from "artist - title" to "title - artist" and then back to "artist - title". I've been going through this manual double renaming process for ten years now and would like you to tell me one of two things, pretty please:

1/ is there already a way to automate this process and would you be kind enough to share your secret?

2/ if nobody has thought of that before, would you please put it on your to-do list for the next release?

Many-plenty-lots of thanks in advance.

It's nice to meet another convinced Mp3tag user!
And it is remarkable that you have discovered such a simple circumvention for a well known 'feature' of the NTFS file system.

For the Mp3tag programmer it should be rather simple to catch the renaming error (he does it already, before displaying the error message), then apply the alternative rename method like you have described, using a temporary filename.

You are a 10-years-long user? And you do all the same things manually since then, without using ready made actions resp. group of actions?
Are you aware of how many time you would have saved over this long distance, by applying the Mp3tag time saver tools?
Nearly all manual things can be poured into actions, and actions can be combined into groups of actions.

Read the Mp3tag help manual. Read the forum questions and answers, one or two years backward should be enough. Beside there are the pinned messages, which contain the ever lasting stuff.


Yes indeed, mp3tag is a great tool and the world of IT would have been at a loss without it. I mean that. It should serve as an example to other software developers, probably even as a school study of how to properly design software.

Not quite so, considering I've been a software developer and master debugger for 30 years... :wink:

In fact the problem seems to show up mostly when using external USB devices, whether memory sticks or hard disks. Unfortunately, for security insulation purposes, most mp3s get on my PC via one of them things, where they get re-tagged and possibly converted/compressed/edited. By the way, mp3tag is also a great first line of defense against viruses included in mp3 files (hint, hint).

It's when I tried renaming filenames on an internal disk that I realized the problem was not OS or software but filesystem-specific. Sorry about that late input.

No worries, programmers have been doing this sort of stuff for centuries. As long as the issue can be well identified and reproducible, a solution will be found. Let's hope that input concerning external filesystems will be of some use.

Naah, I'm not that daft... T'would've been funny though. I've been using and enjoying the power of configurable actions ever since day one. That is one of the most valuable features, among many more, of mp3tag. The only tiny weeny flaw I see is this renaming hassle. There are a few workarounds, fortunately, but with various degrees of safety or automation.

Gezundheit to all

Acting as a good or bad example? :wink:

Actually as I do, hm, well at least something like that.

So what file systems have you detected, which will not allow to change casing of filenames, if the file already exist?

Hm, I am using MP3tag v2.50 on NTFS drives and there is no problem to change the casing of filenames immediately, for example, manually in the list view column, or by action, or by converter.
From within Mp3tag it is the same behaviour like in the Windows Explorer.

mister_dbk, thank you for your good wishes, you are right, keeping a good "Gesundheit" is the most valuable target for the whole lifetime.


As a remarkably good example, dear colleague. Its longevity and the fact that some Linux users bother installing Wine (a Windows emulator), just to be able to use mp3tag, speak louder than any form of praise or advertizing.

After thorough re-checking, the problem shows up today with USB memory sticks formatted NTFS and accessed via Wine (XP emulation) under OpenSuSE 11.4. Such devices do allow one-step "same name" renaming when used under Windows XP Pro SP3.

As to hard disks, internal or external, they seem to behave normally under both Wine/Linux and Windows XP, contrary to what I had thought earlier. My mistake. I must have experienced that glitch a few years ago with WinXP, before switching to Linux, ext2 filesystems and memory sticks.

Does it mean the problem is with Wine, Linux, NTFS or simply memory sticks? I'm not quite sure but, no matter what, a simple fix to the renaming functionality of mp3tag would solve the problem elegantly once and for all. Depending on OS/FS characteristics is too unreliable in my opinion.

Thanks for correcting my poor spelling (gesundheit without a 'z'). I use German as much as COBOL, exclusively under torture. :w00t:

Hi and thanks for your work everyone.
I just registered to basically report the same bug (Mp3tag v2.51).

It doesn't for me in Debian Wheezy (testing) when I try writing/renaming to NTFS or EXT3 partitions. No problems from native Win7 when writing to that same NTFS volume. I tried renaming manually from within Mp3tag and also encountered an error.

Some pics for demonstration:

For further testing I tried renaming upper case to lower case filenames from within other Wine emulated applications. No problems. No idea though if the dialogues in notepad.exe have some rename fix implemented ...

Agreed, seems easy enough :wink:

If you have further questions, I'll be happy to help (auch auf deutsch).

EDIT: Typo.