A digital music collection isn’t complete without accurate tag
information. I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand separate
listings for “The Beatles,” “Beatles,” and “The Beetles” on my
iPod. But for any sizable collection, hand-tagging is simply out of
the question. Tag&Rename is a comprehensive solution for
organizing your music collection. It automates the entire process,
and makes an otherwise impossible task manageable.
Tag&Rename has many methods for tagging music files, so it
can tackle almost any scenario. If you are tagging entire albums,
Tag&Rename can grab information from either Freedb (an open
database of CD information) or Amazon.com. Between the two, you can
find listings for all but the most obscure CDs. Both sources have
accurate and standardized basic information (title, track number,
artist, album, year, and genre), but if you want album art too,
you’ll have to use Amazon.
If you’re tagging singles or CDs not in the databases,
Tag&Rename can grab tag information directly from the filename.
Of course, this works only if your files are named something like
“The Beatles – Abbey Road – Come Together.mp3.” But if the
information is in the filename, however mangled, you can probably
build a mask to extract it. Tag&Rename includes tools to help
you do this. The preview option is especially useful for learning
by trial and error. In the worst case scenario where the databases
and filenames fail to help, you can avail yourself of the simple
“Multi File Tag Editor,” which lets you apply tags such as artist
and album to a whole group of files (but you’ll still be stuck
entering the title and track number for each song).
Tag&Rename also automates renaming files, letting you create
a custom format which works using the tag information (so you’ll
want to tag your files first). The renaming system lets you specify
folders too, so this feature is great for moving files around too.
I used Tag&Rename to organize my jumbled music downloads folder
into a clean folder structure. Like most features in
Tag&Rename, this works even with thousands of files.
Tag&Rename’s interface can be overwhelming at first. The
bottom of the window is for selecting files, and most of the
functionality resides above in a long row of small, cryptic icons.
Regardless, it’s not too hard to get started, especially since most
features are accompanied by clear instructions. And if you have a
large music library, the learning curve is nothing compared to the
countless hours Tag&Rename will save you compared to tagging
manually. The $30 is a bargain for the peace of near-perfect