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I have a large collection of music files (let's say MP3), with metadata (ID3 tags), but all are located in the same folder. I wish to automatically organize all of them according to this metadata.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

I suggest using Mp3tag; it has a rich feature set and allows this quite simply. To do this with Mp3tag, simply:

  1. Open it.
  2. Select all the files you want to rename (Ctrl+D to change to a certain directory).
  3. Select them all in the list (Ctrl+A).
  4. Go to the Convert menu at the top and select the first option, Tag - Filename.
  5. For the format string, use my (in)famous one: %artist%\%album%\%title%
  6. Click OK and watch the magic happen! It's truly a great program.

I hope this guide helped you and anyone else who is puzzled when it comes to organizing their music themselves without the aid of mainstream software like iTunes. Sometimes, I've found, you have to take things into your own hands!

Additional Info

Sometimes Mp3tag can become confused when working across multiple drives. To avoid this, include a path before the aforementioned format string (e.g., D:\Users\Me\Desktop\%artist%\%album%\%title%).

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Much more intuitive than Picard. Insanely nice; thanks. – ruffin Sep 30 '14 at 2:11
+1. i LOVE mp3tag, and have been using it for years, and googled this question and..surprise surprise! it does this too. It is truly an amazing program. – Chud37 Dec 5 '14 at 17:46

You can use Picard. It can be configured to move files into a hierarchy based on their metadata. It can also use the MusicBrainz database to correct your metadata...if you want it to.

Of course, you could also do this with a single command on a unix system. I doubt that's what you want though.

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Worked for me with the OS X version. – Clayton Stanley Jun 14 '12 at 4:21
I have a synology diskstation, and a unix-y command that I could cron to do this would be enormously helpful.. Any chance you'd like to share? – Andrew Theken Jul 7 '12 at 13:52
It isn't obvious from reading the documentation how to accomplish this. Can you be a bit more specific about how to use Picard to move files into a hierarchy based on metadata? – Michael Dec 11 '15 at 5:45

Give iTunes a try.

iTunes sorts its media library in

   track 1
   track n

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I personally use MediaMonkey It allows you to specify a pattern based on the metadata you have, and use it for moving the files to the corresponding directories (creating each directory if needed). It can also use Amazon to find any missing metadata

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protected by Michael Kjörling Mar 13 at 20:38

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