Mp3tag and its useful actions like Replace with regular expression and Guess values



Every once in a while I’m in a situation where I need to refresh my mind about how to work with regular expressions and guess values in Mp3tag to batch process lots of MP3 in a single shot… I’ll try to keep this post as a reference for the artifices I use with Mp3tag so that I can get back here and see what and how I did to format my MP3 tags the way they should be.

Mp3tag - The Universal Tag EditorMp3tag is IMHO the best MP3 tag editor out there. I’m so satisfied with it that I stopped trying to find a better tool. Nonetheless, I’m open to recommendations…

Mp3tag is a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata of common audio formats where it supports ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments and APE Tags.

It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words in tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more.

I’ve been writing about MP3 in this blog. If you’re interested, you can check past posts here

As I commented above, to refresh my mind I tend to look for this post I wrote some time ago: More MP3 guessing pattern with Mp3tag in Mac OS but I decided to compile future endeavors in this area in a single post. I hope you enjoy.

This time I’m using Mp3tag in the Windows 8 side inside a Parallels Desktop virtual machine.

OK. After some formalities, let’s complete these five basic steps needed in every use case I’ll present in this post:

1 - Click the change directory button and navigate to the folder where you store the MP3s you want to edit.

Mp3tag Change Directory button

2 - Select the files you want to edit. I just press Ctrl + A to select all the files. You can also hold Ctrl to select file by file.

3 - Click the Actions (Quick) button.

Mp3tag Actions (Quick) button

4 - Follow the use cases…

Removing year between parenthesis from file name

Guessing values for Artist and Title from file name

5 - DO NOT FORGET to click the Save button after executing the actions of each use case so that the changes get applied to the files; otherwise you’ll lose the edits. Confused smile

Mp3tag Save button

Use cases

Removing year between parenthesis from file name

Mp3tag Filename with Year between parenthesis

After clicking the Actions button, select Replace with regular expression, select the _FILENAME field and enter the regular expression \( 2o12 \). Press OK and you’re done:

Mp3tag File name with Year between parenthesis regex

Guessing values for Artist and Title from File name

Mp3tag Guess Values for Artist and Title from File name

As you see the MP3 files don’t have Artist and Title information. This is bad. If you use services like Last.fm to keep track of the music you’ve been listening to, you won’t be able to scrobble given the missing metadata. Of course you can fill the info by hand (Oh Lord! How boring and time consuming this task is). There’s Mp3tag to the rescue.

Taking the previous use case as a necessary step to format the file name accordingly…

After clicking the Actions button, select Guess values, in Source format enter %_filename%, in Guessing pattern enter \%artist% - %title%. Press OK and you’re done:

Mp3tag Guess Values for Artist and Title from File name regex

References

MP3 Tag - The Universal Tag Editor Help pages