As I was browsing the Internet today, I found a great website chock full of Phish concerts available in MP3 format for free downloading. Since I’m a big Phish fan, I grabbed a few shows I didn’t have, but when they were done downloading, I was a bit dismayed to find that something wasn’t quite right. None of the files in question had an extension! That means that if the file name should have been “01-SongName.mp3” then my version didn’t have the “.mp3” extension.
If I’d downloaded the files individually, I could have made sure this didn’t happen, but since I was using a download utility, I didn’t notice and wasn’t able to do anything about it until everything was completely downloaded.
Because of the missing extension, and the way the song files were named, my Mac thought that every single one of the more than 100 songs I’d downloaded was in fact a Unix executable application… and not an mp3 file at all! All it takes to fix this problem is go to the “Get Info” screen and add the mp3 extension, but again… I’d downloaded a few concerts… more than 100 songs.
What to do?
I went to Google and found a batch renaming utility named Renamer4Mac, and it saved the day.
Renamer4Mac is a shareware utility costing $26.00. In addition to simply helping out with my situation, Renamer4Mac is able to perform a whole lot of file operations, including Search & Replace, Insert, Remove, Number and Convert Case.
Search & Replace – If you have a whole slew of files (let’s use images from a digital camera as an example), and they all contain a long string of unintelligible letters and numbers, but you want to give them a human readable name, all you need to do is search for the string you want to replace, and tell Renamer4Mac what to replace it with. It’s easy.
Insert – This is what I used to rename my mp3 files. All I needed to do was tell Renamer4Mac what text I wanted to insert into the file name, and where to insert it. You can insert your text at the beginning or end of the file name, and can take into consideration the file name, the extension, both or neither.
Remove – The exact same as Search and Replace, except instead of finding a string of text and replacing it with something else, you’re simply removing it.
Number – Very useful in the case of a long list of files (again, using the digital photos example), that are part of a series, and would be best viewed in order. Renamer4Mac has different naming sequences available (such as 1.2.3 or 01,02,03 or A,B,C…), and is quite flexible, allowing you to keep the old name, but add the numbering, and can again place the numbering at the beginning or end of the file name.
Convert Case – For consistency, this is a nice tool. It allows you to make the file name all upper case, all lower case, or each word capitalized, and can again be used to change just the file name itself, or the name with extension, or just the extension.
For my use today, Renamer4Mac was a great help. If I had a digital camera, or found myself in need of renaming large numbers of files on a consistent basis, Renamer4Mac would be a great addition to my toolbox, and might be for you as well, so give it a try today. Renamer4Mac, as mentioned, costs $26.00, but if you’d just like to try it out, comes with a free 10-day trial.