I'm looking for a way to make Windows Explorer smarter about showing columns in media folders with music, videos and images.

A common type of problem is where in a music folder it shows columns for file name, which contains all of the basic song info like the Track number, Album, Artist and Track name. And then it still shows the same columns that have exactly the same stuff in each line for every file (save for track name and number).

As an example of maximum duplication, check this out:

Good thing it's not showing file extensions by default too

I'd like to find a way to automatically hide (or show) those columns, to avoid duplication.

But this doesn't happen with all columns at the same time, and it doesn't happen in all folders, so just changing default "music" folder columns is not gonna cut it.

Are there any complete solutions for that? If not, are there ways to create scripts/programs that can get all values for columns that would be shown in current folder and set which columns to show that I could develop myself?

  • There are no solutions in Windows, it would take a 3rd party program and asking for software recommendations is off topic here on SU. – Moab Apr 6 '16 at 22:37
  • Ok, but what about the part where I ask how I can make a script or a program? Is that also off-topic here? – user1306322 Apr 6 '16 at 22:54
  • Why not add them to the Libraries? – Michael Frank Apr 6 '16 at 23:06
  • That's gonna take hella time for all media files, and also from the F1 of the Libraries, You can include up to 50 folders in one library. and I got many, many more. From what I see, libraries aren't a very useful thing overall. – user1306322 Apr 7 '16 at 0:38

There are a number of predefined templates for views in Windows Explorer: General Items (files), Documents, Pictures (still images), Videos and Music.

  1. First select a folder for one of those views.

  2. Right-click on the folder and select Properties; on the Customize tab select a template in the Optimize this folder for drop-down.

Customize tab

  1. Now select that folder and from the context menu for the fields, select all fields you want for that folder type. For example, for videos, you might include length and frame width. You can apply changes to all child folders, as well.

  2. You can then customize any folder and its subfolders to be of one of those template types.

This might not be quite as automatic as you desire, and is limited to those five templates, AFAIK, but I find it sufficient for viewing those file types.

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  • Unfortunately it's not automatically figuring out when it shows duplicate info in columns and hiding them. Sorry, but this doesn't answer my question. – user1306322 Apr 7 '16 at 0:46

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