Monday, September 20, 2010

Advanced Renamer

I realize now that I mentioned Advanced Renamer in passing a while back, but never made a post specifically about it.

We've all been there before.  You have a directory full of files and need to rename every single one.  Not anything drastic, but just simply reordering parts of each file name or replacing certain characters with other characters.  The last thing you want to do is rename each one individually.  That takes forever and is extremely repetitive.  This is where Advanced Renamer comes in.  Simply select the files, tell it how you want them renamed, and then hit Start Batch.  That's it.  Here's a screenshot of its interface.

One of its handiest features is the Auto Test feature, that shows you in real time what the new file names are going to be as you add and edit methods.  That way, when you hit Start Batch, you know everything's going to work.  Honestly, I don't know why you can turn Auto Test off, it should just be permanently on because it's so useful.

Also, should you ever want to undo any batch rename you've done, it keeps track of all of them so you can revert the filenames.  Here's a screenshot of its Undo Previous Batch interface.

I've used it for a variety of reasons.  The simplest is replacing underscores in filenames with spaces, as shown in the screenshots above.  Fansub groups love to use underscores for some idiotic reason.  It's like "HELLO, WE ALL HAVE FILESYSTEMS THAT SUPPORT SPACES IN FILE NAMES!".

It can only get more powerful from there.  It supports reading tag information from MP3s, so you can rename any music you have in that format based on its tags.  Personally, I use foobar2000's built-in batch renamer for this since foobar2000 supports a lot more audio formats, but it's a nice feature nonetheless.

It can insert an incrementing number into the file name, letting you set what number it starts from.  I've used this in the past renaming manga when the page numbers were wrong.  Also, in recent versions, its Replace method supports regular expressions.

I've been using it recently to rename Negima manga releases so that all of the files I have in that directory have the same file naming format and thus show up in the proper order in GQView.

I've dropped names of a couple other pieces of software I'll probably have to write posts about eventually, we'll see when I get around to doing that...

The verdict: Advanced Renamer is a free, fast, and lightweight batch renaming utility that nobody using Windows should be without.

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