Getting the mp3 mess into control

I have some mp3 files in my collection. Some years ago, back in the times, when I was a Windows-User, I used „The Godfather„, to keep the chaos under control. This software, although not Open Source, is really good at what it does. And it does almost everything to organize mp3s. From (mass-)tagging to auto-renaming to auto-sorting your mp3s. But this wouldn’t be a blog entry by me if this became… a praise to a windows software so..

When I became a daily Linux User I searched for alternatives. With GUI or without a GUI, but I did not really find an application that suited my needs. As far as tagging and renaming was concerned it wasn’t that hard. There are really excellent command line tools (lltag, id3, etc.) and rumours have been heard that there are also GUI tools.
But what I still did not find is a simple, yet flexible, tool to sort a huge collection of mp3s into a flexible structure on the filesystem like „The Godfather“ was able to do since.. ehh.. a lot of years.

So the day before yesterday I finally decided to write one on my own and came up with an ~ 280 lines perl script (POD-documentation included) which does exactly what I want and is simple.
It does no tagging.
It does no renaming.
All it does is sorting mp3s into a given template-based directory hierarchy based on their ID3 tag.

At this point a warning is due. I’m sharing that script with you under the terms of the GPL. BUT it still needs testing and therefore you probably do not want to use it without its safety measures (e.g. dry-run or copy instead of move) to avoid data loss. And notice that although it has been written with portability in mind, it has only been tested on a Debian GNU/Linux system.

The script is hosted at github. Here (or raw to download it directly).

After I’ve talked to a co-worker about the script, he told me that arename would do what I want. So you probably don’t want to use my script, because arename is probably more tested and much more sophisticated. But on the other hand I had a quick look at the arename manpage and its so utterly feature-loaded, that it cannot avoid a certain complexicity. My tool is simple.
And there is another advantage. If you want arename to handle a certain amount of mp3s you have to use your shell magic to find the files and pipe it to arename. My script finds all mp3s recursively from where you let it start (default is $PWD so be careful) and will happily move it into a hierarchy under a directory you ask it to. For the simple job of sorting mp3s its probably easier to use.

(Oh and if its worth nothing, it might still be of use as a simple programming example, how one could solve this problem in Perl)

4 Gedanken zu „Getting the mp3 mess into control“

  1. You should check out MusicBrainz Picard, which will auto-sort, rename, move and tag mp3s/oggs/flac with correct data determined by audio fingerprinting.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Unfortunately my user profile changed a bit and I'd prefer non-GUI-applications nowadays (my files are on a system which does not have an X-Server and I'd like to avoid xforwarding just for something simple as organizing files)

    However, it might be of use for others.
    So, people, look here: http://musicbrainz.org/doc/PicardDownload

  3. Yep, I'm aware of Ex Falso (probably I should have listed all the tools I found in the meanwhile instead of a few). But I wasn't very satisfied with those tools. The mileage of others will obviously vary.

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