Review: Batch rename all of your files and MP3 music with File Renamer
By Mark O'Neill
At a Glance
You can preview your changes before they are made
Hub icon sits on desktop so you can drag your files to it to be renamed
Command line support
Requires a bit of time to get the hang of it
File Renamer allows you to rename batches of files all at once by specifying a rule and clicking a button.
If you have a lot of badly named files on your PC, renaming them is extremely tedious, to say the least. Therefore finding an excuse not to do it becomes really easy. What you need is a batch renaming tool that will do it all for you in seconds and the aptly-named File Renamer aims to be the go-to tool in this area. All it needs is your input to tell it what it needs to change in each file and seconds later, it’s done. You can then wonder what all the stressing was about.
File Renamer is not a free program, but you can try the feature-limited free demo. If you like it, you can purchase the unlocked unlimited version for $20. The app’s website claims that File Renamer is intuitive and easy to use, but in truth, you need to play with it for a while and get the hang of each rule that the program uses to make the changes before making wholesale changes to your files.
One idea is to make a duplicate copy of your file folder and try File Renamer out on the duplicate folder. There is an “undo” function to everything you do with File Renamer, but nevertheless, if the files are valuable (such as sentimental photos), you may feel more comfortable testing File Renamer on copies first.
After installing File Renamer, add the folder full of files you wish to rename to File Renamer’s interface. You can do this in one of two ways, by dragging & dropping the files with your mouse, or alternatively dragging and dropping them onto the hub icon on the desktop. You will then see your filenames, as they currently are, along with a space for the new filename when you specify what rule you want applied.
On the right hand side of the interface are your renaming rules. Obviously File Renamer can’t read your mind, so you have to tell it specifically where and what you want changed and removed. There is a drop down menu to choose an action. The menu underneath will then change to that action’s options, so you can tweak the rule. Choose your options and you will see your filenames change in real-time. This is good because you will then see whether or not you are on the right track.
When you have the filenames exactly the way you want them, click “rename now” and the filenames will be changed. The rule you just implemented will then be added to the Rules Manager so next time you want files changed exactly the same way, just choose the same rule. No need to go fiddling around again, trying to work out how you managed to do it last time.
What is particularly good about File Renamer is the remarkable flexibility of the rules and how far they can reach into your files to pull information. For example, you can specify EXIF data from your photos as the basis for your renamed files or the ID3 tags from your MP3 music. Or if you want something more basic, you can specify that your files be renamed in sequential order from number 1 onwards. The options before you in this app are simply fantastic.
If you have lots of photos called IMG001.jpg or music files called noartist.mp3, then now is the time to start renaming them. $20 is a small price to pay if you have lots of mismatched files which you desperately want to put in order.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.