Swapping contents of columns


Firstly I'd like to say this programme is excellent. I am currently using version 2.78, and while occasionally I get 'invitations' to upgrade to a newer version, I find that the version I am using does what I want. I have been having problems in getting a selection of mp3s to play and display properly on my BMW car, which has a mind of its own, and unfortunately no one else understands it. The mp3s are all on a 64 GB USB stick, and this plugs into a socket on the car. The self-same mp3s function perfectly on my Samsung S9 + smart phone, both as far as playing, and in displaying the information, and being able to be sorted by a number of parameters, track, genre, composer, artist etc. I use a proprietary Android programme here, Poweramp. But the way my new car handles things, is that it loads in all the details about each mp3, but actually plays the physical mp3 from the USB stick itself. Previously, my car had a 20GB hard-drive where you would upload and save your 'Music Collection', but only up to 20GB. I can now see where I am having problems, and I need to be able to COPY, for each mp3 on the USB stick, the contents of the 1st column (Filename) to the 'Title' Column. Ideally with the .mp3 file-type omitted in the Titel column. For example, I have a Filename called 01 Rondo alla Turca.mp3, which I'd like to copy across, but where it will appear simply as 01 Rondo alla Turca Some while ago, when trying to find how to change around the track order, I found that 'Alt' allowed me to do this, But, while I can manually copy each one, it's going to take for ever. When I select, say, the first column, that whole line right across becomes selected. What I'm looking for is an 'easy' - I'm a musician' - way to copy the contents of a single vertical column, and paste this in another column, and/or be able to delete the contents of one single vertical column without interfering with anything else. Apologies if I've been long-winded, but i'm new to forums, and the protocols involved I hope you will point me in the right direction. Thanks, in anticipation!

You can use the the converter "Filename - Tag" using %title% as format string. This will copy all from the filename to the Title column while omitting the .mp3 file extension.

Thank you so much, Florian! It worked a treat, and was so quick.

In the situation I just used, I copied all the information from the Filename column, into the Title column. I noticed that when I did this, it replaced whatever was in the Title column with the information copied across from the Filename. If the Title was blank, it filled it with the copied-over Filename, which was fine. If the Title wasn't originally balnk, it deleted and replaced the information in the Title Column with the File name, which was equally fine - and, as you said, the copy was made without duplicating the .mp3 file extension, which was all exactly what I wanted.

For future reference / further interst, how would I work in the following scenario? Just say I have information in every file in the Artist Column, and different information in the Album Artists Column. Rather than replace the Album Artist Column information with that of the Artist Column, how would I be able to swap the information from the Artist Column to the Album Artist Column and vice versa, without losing either set of information?

You'd use the converter "Tag - Tag" for that. It allows for copying information from one field to another. To copy the Artist to the Album Artist, you'd use

Copy Artist to Album Artist (replace existing data)
Format string: %artist%

To preserve what's already there and simply append the Artist:
Append Artist to Album Artist
Format string: %albumartist% %artist%

Further reading would be using an action "Format value" and only fill in the Album Artist if it's empty

Florian, what absolutely excellent service and advice! I so wish I'd joined the forum sooner!

Your initial advice, and the extra information, should I need it later, has removed a great deal of stress. I think, for the first time since getting my new BMW, six months ago, the loading/playing/displaying of mp3s via a USB stick, has worked correctly for the first time today!

Thank you again, and for sharing the information with me by email, too!

1 Like


I am still very much using MP3TAG to catalogue a CD collection which I can either play on my mobile phone, PC, or, more importantly for me, in my car via Android Auto.

I use Poweramp as my MP3 player, largely because it is better suited to a Classical Music Selection like mine, rather than a collection based more on single songs or separate tracks.

While Poweramp marries well with MP3TAG, a few of us users have wanted it to be able to display the composer's name, as well as the work, the particular part of the work, and the performer.

I use the Composer field on MP3TAG which is fine on Poweramp, for allowing me to browse by artist, work, genre and composer, but I have been in touch with Poweramp's forum, and together we have arrived at a solution which should allow me to achieve my object by batch processing. Those to whom I've spoken all use MP3TAG anyway, so are familiar with its workings while, of course, my concern should now focus on MP3TAG, rather than Poweramp.

This is what I'd like to achieve, and have been told that it is manageable via batch processing, etc, and they have kindly given me some pointers, but, of course, it's really your domain.

Here is the scenario:

For the Title Field, I currently include the specific details of each track, while the Composer field matches up the composer for each track, in the format Surname, Christian name(s).
I want to combine the contents of the Title field with that of the Composer - with a couple of caveats:

Here is an example:

Piano Quintet No 1 in E, Op 12 - I Allegro moderato

Alabiev, Alexander

I would like to combine this information for every track on every CD automatically, as follows:

I would stick with the title, exactly as it is. I would like to append to this the composer's name, but in brackets

I would want to include a single space, and then a hyphen followed by a further single space

If I was merely able to append the Composer field to the Title, I would presumably see it like this:

Piano Quintet No 1 in E, Op 12 - I Allegro moderato[Alabiev, Alexander] which is ok but being OCD, I would prefer:

Piano Quintet No 1 in E, Op 12 - I Allegro moderato - [Alabiev, Alexander]
I understand that, for technical reasons square brackets work better than rounded ones, but that's no problem!

Even though the Title field would (hopefully) show the highlighted text above, I would wish that the original contents of the Composer field can remain unaltered - i.e.Alabiev, Alexander

I have obviously been advised to make a full back up of the status quo, which I have done, and while I know the steps will include perhaps some unfamiliar words and signs, if the 'instructions' could be laid out bearing in mind that, as far as programming goes, I am a complete layman, I think I can manage it, assuming, of course, that it is possible to achieve effectively after just having to click 'Generate'.

I do hope you can point me in the right direction, as you have done in the past!

Thanking you, in anticipation.




either an action of the type "Format value" or the function Convert>Tag-Tag for TITLE
Format string: %title% - '['%composer%']'
(the convert function has a preview, so you can see if the result is about right)

Thank you so much - and I couldn't believe how this first part was so easy! When first typed in the Format String, it told me that the Syntax was wrong, which rather bemused me, given that I'd pasted it from your post/email. But on looking closer, it seemed that you had missed out the '%' at the end of 'composer'. I just popped it back in and it works a treat.

In the end, I decided to go with Piano Quintet No 1 in E, Op 12 - I Allegro moderato [Alabiev, Alexander], missing out the hyphen, and visually this looks best, in my opinion.

At this stage I'd only just opened a single CD in mp3TAG, and was happy to see that what changed in the first title , was copied faithfully to each track.

I then loaded this CD to my Poweramp collection on my mobile, and it looked exactly right there, too.

At this point I need a little extra advice from you.

Currently my CD selection (all as separate MP3 tracks associated to eack Album, with the cover art too.

I recall you said that copying my selection on to the MP3TAG icon on my desktop would give me the facility to apply what I did to that single pilot Album similarly to each Album in the selection - currently 554.

All 554 albums are held in a single folder, which I have called PRB Music Selection (PRB being my initials)

Initially, in my naivety, I merely copied the Folder item and contents, and dropped this on the MP3 TAG icon. All this did was to open the programme but not, of course, access the individual Albums.

So I opened the folder and did a Ctrl + A to select all the Albums, which I then carried across to the programme icon, but there was a warning to say that the file name or names were too long.

So I thought I'd try it with just 30 Albums. There was no warning this time, but when mp3TAG opened, it seemed to be a long list of all the individual Album tracks, probable still in Album order, but not separated into their constituent Albums, which, while no doubt would still allow the Format Action to do its work as with the single Album, it would then seem that I would have to then reassemble each album bul, which would would need 18 passes, if it were able to use only up to some 30 Albums at a time.

Your earlier advice was so simple to follow, and I'm sure there must be an easy way to finish things off.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Best wishes,

MP3tag only looks at the current file and does not know anything about albums.
So if the data is available in each file, you can treat them in 1 go.

To open the files: you can either drag&drop the top folder on MP3tag or open the folder with the functions from the file menu.

AFAIK MP3tag is able to cope with long file names, longer than 256 characters. So it could be that the drag&drop function is not.
So I would ask you to open the folder with Ctrl-D.


I just wanted to say I have now achieved exactly what I wanted to do, in terms of the presentation of my Classical Music Selection, on my mobile phone, as well as when in my car via Android Auto!

It just goes to show what a flexible piece of kit MP3TAG is, and how, in my case, using it together with Poweramp, has caused me to get the old grey matter going, but something that becomes increasingly more important as we get older.

My sincerest thank to all who have so freely and generously helped me along the way to be more than happy with what I've achieved..

Thank you all so very much!


1 Like