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How do I sort MP3 files? I want to organize my music collection.


Computer is a great device for storing and playing music. While with CD players you should look for a particular disc on your shelves or racks (or, perhaps, it is somewhere in the cellar?), take the disc out of its case, press a button on your CD player, insert the disc, and so on, computer can start playing immediately. Moreover, it can play a mix of your favorite songs, and you can change the playlist at every moment without need to burn another CD.

That's the reason why many people rip Audio CDs that they purchase and save the tracks as audio files on their computers.

However, it is easy to get into situation when you need to sort MP3 files. For example, you may have ripped all of your songs into one folder. It was easier that way, and it was OK while there were not many files. But as your collection grows, it becomes really hard to find anything there.

So, you may want to organize your music collection. Is there an easy way to do that?

Sure. You just need a program like mp3Tag Pro that can handle both meta information and filenames.

We will consider a situation when your files are already supplied with ID3 tags, like title, artist, album etc. If ID3 tags of your files are empty, mp3Tag Pro can get all required information either from the Internet, or from filenames. However, that's already another question.

Step 1: Download and install the program.

Download mp3Tag Pro to a known location. Run setup and follow on-screen instructions to install the application.

Step 2: Launch the program. Browse to your MP3 files.

Launch the ID3 tag editor. The main window appears:

Browse to your files

Type in path to your folder with MP3 files, or use "Browse" button. You can also browse by double clicking folders (including ".." for parent folder) and using "Up" button. It is also possible to select the folder on the left, from the tree of folders.

Step 3: Select MP3 files to sort.

As next, select all the files you want to sort. We simply use "Select all" button:

Select files and click rename

Click "Rename files".

Step 4: Adjust format for output folders and filenames. Rename. Ready.

New window pops up:

Select format for output folders and filenames

Use "Format" field in the left upper corner to define how output folders and files should look like. There are some presets, but you can make your own format. Just use variables, they are listed on the right. For example, if you want to create a folder for each artist, it may look like: "%A\%T". It means, the songs will be named "title.mp3" (where 'title' as an actual title) and put into the corresponding artist's folder. We use a more complex structure: "%A\%L\%# - %T", which means: Artist\Album\track# - title.mp3

You can preview the files immediately.

If everything's all right, just click "Rename files" button.

Now open the folder in Windows Explorer.


The whole thing is sorted now and easy to follow.

Of course, to make the structure still better, we could have created a folder for each genre, and put years into names of albums' folders (%Y - %L). Just try it yourself to see how easily your music collection can be organized.

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