Renaming one file in Windows is easy enough. Renaming an entire folderful is a little more tedious, though, which is why many people tend not to bother, simply accepting whatever those original names happen to be (“track1.mp3”, “track2.mp3” and so on).
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Especially if you grab a copy of FiRE, the File Renaming Engine, an interesting tool which provides multiple ways to batch rename files on your PC.
If you have a bunch of “track1.mp3”-type files, for instance, you might start by pointing the program at the folder where they’re located. Click File > New > Metadata Rule and you can then begin building your preferred file names directly from their tags.
“Track” (the track number) might be a good place to start, for instance, followed by “Title” (the track title). But you can also include the album, artist, comment, composer or year, as well as adding “plain text” tags as separators.
As you develop the rule, so the main FiRE screen will update to show both their current and updated file names. When you’re happy, you can rename them all at a click, and the rule may then be saved for quick and easy recall, later.
This would be useful enough, but as it happens FiRE is just getting started. If you’re not working with audio files, for instance, you can forget metadata and use Match/ Replace rules, instead. These allow you to search for and replace one text pattern or phrase with another (with regular expression support), and can also adjust file name capitalization to suit your preferred style (ALL UPPER, all lower, Sentence capitalization, Title Capitalization).
And then there’s the list rule, too, which can add regular numbers to your names (001, 002, 003), Roman numerals (i, ii, iii), letters (a, b, c), and more.
All this power does come with an unexpectedly high cost in drive space. The program’s Eclipse RCP-based interface means it comes with a stack of JAR files and grabs more than 20MB in total.
Of course it’s also portable, so this isn’t too big a deal. If you don’t like the program, delete the download and it’s gone: easy.
But we suspect the chances are you’ll keep FiRE, because on balance it really is an excellent batch renaming tool, versatile and packed with essential functionality.