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Thread: MP3 naming convention

  1. #1
    Joel is offline TechNutopia Founder Commodore
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    MP3 naming convention

    No, I don't mean a gathering of people who talk about naming MP3s. I'm talking about naming standards.

    What's your preferred naming convention for MP3s? I use the following:

    Artist Name - (Album Name - track number) - Song Title (Year).mp3

    If the song was a single only--which used to be done in the 60's quite often--I name the file this way:

    Artist Name - (single - side A) - Song Title (Year).mp3

    I thought this was a good way until I uploaded one to an online file storage service, and they said that spaces were not allowed in file names. So I got to thinking maybe I should have no spaces in all my file names. Does anyone know of a standard naming convention that should be followed. Has this ever been documented?

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/renameit/ might be just the thing for this. I find dashes unascetically pleasing, I'd just do a find and replace spaces with underscores on files for upload then find/replace underscores with spaces for downloads. It says supports ID3 tag info too.

    Edit be careful with id3 tag filter, if the id3 info is funky it'll screw the file name up.
    Last edited by netscape 6; 08-10-2006 at 07:39 PM.
    a dios le pido vs adios lepido
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    another subtle but important difference!

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Yes, there is one proper way of naming MP3s (the one I use ):

    Artist - Album (Disc/Tape/Side #) - Track # - Title

    That's fairly wide-spread, and anything less is like using OGG instead of MP3 - a pointless hassle in the end just to appear different. And I have one special convention of my own creation, for compilations and soundtracks:

    Album (Disc/Tape/Side #) - Track # - Artist - Title

    The advantage of the latter being of course that if you sort your MP3s by file name, as in Winamp, this will keep the tracks in the right order even if there are 15 different artists. There are occasions when you have to modify the file names, for a portable MP3 player or on your case a file upload service. For example, I had a portable MP3 player that didn't like parentheses so I had to replace them all with braces {}. I would make these the exception for those odd times and not the rule.

    The best software I have ever come across for ID3 tag editing, and conversion to/from filename among many other useful related tasks, is ID3-Tagit. It's free, with a clean interface which is easy to use and still powerful. Then for mass file renaming, I like to use CKRename from time to time, it's also free. If you've been doing mass file renaming the hard way, this will be a great help.
    Last edited by historic_bruno; 08-11-2006 at 02:28 AM.

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    I just go artist - title, that's usually the information you need, id3 tags can hold the rest.
    a dios le pido vs adios lepido
    (to God I pray vs goodbye sex drive)
    another subtle but important difference!

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    They can, unless you use software that doesn't support ID3 tags or doesn't support them well (portable and home theater MP3 players, as examples). Maybe they want to see track order or album name without reading ID3 tags. Plus that keeps the tracks in arbitrary order, which generally speaking is bad whenever you want to replay those files, they'll be sorted alphabetically 9/10 times. Full ID3 tags and full file naming is the best way to go.

    I keep individual MP3s in Artist - Title, but for albums it's just plain poor etiquette

    Speaking of ID3 tags, use v2 people! No sense in using the limited v1 standard with it's smaller/fewer fields. Just put the bulk of the information in v2 and if you absolutely need v1, copy it over, ID3-Tagit does that easily.

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Well as long as the id3 data is good it shouldn't be too hard to use something like Jtagger can run on any platform that supports java 1.5 (5.0), and it seems to be able to auto rename to the longer convention.

    I just find it much easier to have songs sorted by artist then title in the shell. The big controversy I have is what to do with bad id3 information? If I change it then the file is no longer useful as a source to the swarm it was from, but the file it's self is more useful to me with proper id3 information as well as any potential downloaders. The ones I rip don't have don't have this problem of course, but other people o> grr
    a dios le pido vs adios lepido
    (to God I pray vs goodbye sex drive)
    another subtle but important difference!

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    I subscribe to the ecclectic naming convention. Sometimes it's sorted: /Group Name/Album Name/Song Title - Track Number.extension

    Sometimes it's sorted: /Music(or some other random name)/Group - Song Title.extension

    Right now everything is scattered across multiple drives and is a complete nightmare Someday.... someday I hope to have the time to properly sort everything without corrupting a drive.

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    Joel is offline TechNutopia Founder Commodore
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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    GIRLOFFREAKINGSNOW!!! You're still alive!! Where ya been? How ya doin'? Whasssuuuuupppp!!

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    I used to be quite the crusader for organized MP3's... I keep my 'loose' MP3's separate from ones where I have a full albums... Loose ones usually end up getting thrown into directories by artist eventually...

    Naming wise, Artist - Album (Disc x of x) - Track# - Title.mp3 is what I use for things with a full album, and Artist - Title.mp3 is how loose ones are done... although I might switch to HB's format of Album first for some of my stuff... I have a large number of soundtracks and musicals that always seem to some up as 'Original Broadway Cast' or 'Various Artists'

    I just wish it wasn't such a pain in the *** to get them right... Usually consumes several hours to do a good job, and my real pet peeve is bad (or incomplete) tag data, which is even more of a pain to do...

    MoodLogic did a pretty good job of identifying some songs by their 'sound' and doing tagging and naming (and even moving and sorting) according to my conventions, but it has an unacceptably high rate of false matches, and has a hard time identifying large amounts of my stuff, namely techno mixes.

    Perhaps that should be a project for me after I get moved to college this weekend... I've already consolidated my 7-8 download directories into one place on one computer, which I mirror onto my laptop for portability... (anyone know of good software for that? I'm considering using some type of SVN style source code control software)...

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    FileSync works well. Hasn't needed a software patch in five years. Works with Windows 98 thru to latest. Works across LAN connections and mapped drives.

    Can do binary compares as well as just match on file sizes and datestamps.

    Can do time zone and daylight savings adjustments for comparison.

    Fits on a floppy or USB thumb drive. Shareware.

    It just works. What more do you want?

    Strongly recommended.
    Dear Santa, please send more bandwidth. Same request as last year...

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Cool! That looks like it just might do the trick... and its available in a command line version which means I could add it to my nightly schedule of backups/updates/scans...

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Quote Originally Posted by girlofsnow
    I subscribe to the ecclectic naming convention. Sometimes it's sorted: /Group Name/Album Name/Song Title - Track Number.extension
    That just ****ing sucks.

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Quote Originally Posted by girlofsnow
    I subscribe to the ecclectic naming convention. Sometimes it's sorted: /Group Name/Album Name/Song Title - Track Number.extension

    Sometimes it's sorted: /Music(or some other random name)/Group - Song Title.extension

    Right now everything is scattered across multiple drives and is a complete nightmare Someday.... someday I hope to have the time to properly sort everything without corrupting a drive.
    Usually death interrupts this plan - you never quite get around to doing it. I applaud those who take the extra bit of effort to categorise when ripping.
    Dear Santa, please send more bandwidth. Same request as last year...

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    Input is offline Alpha Member Cadet 3rd Class
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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Since riaa people and other clowns are messing with file names and meta tags, we need a software that renames audio files based on their content instead of meta tags or file names. I mean a program which analyses the beats, extracts an unique "curve" (independent of codec, bitrate, sampling rate, etc.) and then allows to compare it with an online database, where every cd ripper can contribute with their song "curves", similar to freedb.org.
    Im have no clue about software development, but i think this wouldn't be a "mission impossible" !?

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Quote Originally Posted by MoreBandwidthPls
    Usually death interrupts this plan - you never quite get around to doing it. I applaud those who take the extra bit of effort to categorise when ripping.
    Amen, its a pain for the short term, but I make sure everything is well organised. Out of mild lazyness its done in folders these days, but metadata is exact, much contains more than the typical track info, as I'm obsessed with sorting by albums ect.
    -Limefan913




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    Input is offline Alpha Member Cadet 3rd Class
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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Quote Originally Posted by Input
    Since riaa people and other clowns are messing with file names and meta tags, we need a software that renames audio files based on their content instead of meta tags or file names. I mean a program which analyses the beats, extracts an unique "curve" (independent of codec, bitrate, sampling rate, etc.) and then allows to compare it with an online database, where every cd ripper can contribute with their song "curves", similar to freedb.org.
    Im have no clue about software development, but i think this wouldn't be a "mission impossible" !?
    Edit: Oh well, someone allready had the same idea...
    http://musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainzTagger

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    Input is offline Alpha Member Cadet 3rd Class
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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Just in case someone missunderstood me...
    I do not call people "clowns" who modify the order of the parts of a mp3 filename. I just wanted to say that i dont like those sharers who think its funny to replace correct filenames/id3-tags with wrong data.

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    interesting discussion.
    I don't put album info into my mp3 file names. if the info is available ~ I do add it to the tags, cause I like to have it avail for research and trivia stuff.
    I know a few people who organize their mp3s in folders by artist and then subfolders for each album. If all your music was ripped from CDs, I guess that would be a good plan, but that sure wouldnt work for me! half the stuff I have here, I dont know what album it was on-and I dont really care to research it! I obtained the file 'cause I liked the music, not because I had any particular interest in the discography of the artist.
    a lot of us like to see a list of all songs from an album in track # order, but I dont know why.... digital music has allowed us to play songs randomly and this is how we play 'em (except for the occasional concept album, and often, not even then).
    With so many "internet only" tunes now avail, the idea of a music 'album' is going away! it used to be you bought the single ~or you bought the album. those were the only choices.
    now you can download (be it from P2P, subscription service, or a pay per song site) 1 or 2 or whatever number of tunes by an artist... all from one album, all from different albums, or maybe available only online ... so not really even from a named album.
    most of us, having grown up with the concept of the music 'album' (whether that be a bound book with 78's or 45's in sleeves, a 33 1/3 rpm LP or a CD), are gonna have a hard time getting away from the 'album' concept, but the writing is on the wall... the need for music to be distributed in the form of an album is disappearing. lets not over-emphasize something thats not even gonna be a factor in five or ten years, other than in a historical sense.

    If we're gonna name files with more than artist & title, maybe it should be the release date or recording date, which will still be meaningful as we progress in the era of d/l'd music.
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    I organize them in full collections. Everything by each artist in a folder with
    filenames "artist - year - album - track# - track name.mp3".

    I listen to them in that order too. I like to hear how they grow and mature over
    the decades. That's always interesting.
    Long-time stalwart of the P2P community, the Legendary Axeman fights off spammers and
    trolls at P2P forums and helps to manage the blocklists of Bluetack and various P2P programs.

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    …and in the rare cases where spaces in filenames don't work, I.replace.spaces.with.dots.
    Long-time stalwart of the P2P community, the Legendary Axeman fights off spammers and
    trolls at P2P forums and helps to manage the blocklists of Bluetack and various P2P programs.

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    Re: MP3 naming convention

    Thanks Friends,
    This has been very informative. I have an old song in mp3 that would not allow me to change the track #, etc, so I tried to edit it in word pad, well thank God I had burned it on a disc, otherwise I'd be looking for the song again. Touchy little binaries!

    historic_bruno, I downloaded Id3-TagIt and CKrename, and will attempt changing track, etc.

    Again, Thanks!

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