I'm trying to re-organize my music files. I copied them from my iPod before it died, so they have funky names, like DGEDH.mp3. I tried using a Windows utility to rename them from their ID3 tags, but it didn't work very well--it created a bunch of folders (one for each album in theory, but more like 7 or 8 in reality) and renamed the files with non-English characters. Most of the files are MP3s, but there's at least one or two other file types as well.

I'd like to copy them to a new folder and try a Ubuntu utility to rename and re-organize them. In Windows, this would be straightforward--I'd use the Search function (with no file name specified) to list all of the files in the main folder and its subfolders, then drag and drop them to the new folder. What's the easiest way to accomplish the same thing in Ubuntu? The GUI search doesn't seem to accept wildcard characters, and I don't remember all of the file types I have, so it's not as simple as searching for "mp3".

Many thanks!


You can use Banshee, which is Ubuntu's default music player.

  1. Open Banshee

  2. Before importing your music, configure Banshee's import options

    • Open Edit > Preferences
    • Enable "Copy on Import" and "Update file and folder names"
    • In the Source Specific tab, make sure the Music library is set to a good location
  3. Import your music via Media > Import

It's important that you set Banshee to update file and folder names before importing your music.

Once your music is imported, you can modify file properties, such as name, artist, album, genre, and rating as needed, following Banshee's documentation.

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    +1, the only potential problem I see with this is that Banshee doesn't automatically rename files and sort them in folders until after you've opened the "Edit Track Information" dialog and saved changes. I don't think there's any way to rename all files and folders in one click. – Michael Martin-Smucker Jan 9 '12 at 13:53
  • Yes, Banshee can do it; you can find how in the chapter 20.6 of Banshee documentation above. – heiko81 Jan 9 '12 at 14:06
  • Right but even after you select the "Update File and Folder Names" Banshee won't do anything until you've opened and closed the track editor for each individual track. See bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=579944 – Michael Martin-Smucker Jan 9 '12 at 15:09
  • I didn't notice that; so it modifies files and folders only when you edit track infos. But why is the bug still unconfirmed if so? It was reported more than 2 years ago. – heiko81 Jan 9 '12 at 15:55
  • "Enhancement" bugs are less likely to get confirmed officially, because no one really disputes that their validity. That said, I confirmed this one. Also, I think if you set Banshee's preferences before you import the music, updating filenames will work -- I'll update your answer. – Michael Martin-Smucker Jan 9 '12 at 16:43

I've been using Picard ( apt-get install picard ) for a while. It can rename and move files in your library. You can:

  1. Import your music folder(s)

    Picard file menu

  2. Set or update your mp3 tags. Tags will be the official ones (i.e. as reported on MusicBrainz)

  3. Tick the desired commands in the Options menu to move and rename (see the figure below):

    Picard move and rename menu

    • In Options... you can adjust the output folder and the structure of the new renamed folders containing the music, together with a few other parameters.
  4. Finally save everything


There are many applications that can rename audio files based on the tags. Personally I like Puddletag, which is kind of an Mp3tag clone. Another one is EasyTag, which included in the repositories.


Foobar2000 running through wine (better set Foobar installation to portable) has a component called Online/Freedb Tagger (foo_freedb2) that is excellent and now is installed by default.


  • install Wine if you haven't already

  • install Foobar2000 as portable

  • Add each album to a playlist (preferably in correct order, without missing songs, only one album per selection/playlist).

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Try the application "Audio Tag Tool". It can do the reorganizing you want, and can read all subfolders in a folder. It supports at least MP3 and OGG, not sure about potential other file types you might have. Then again, if you just let it move all the files it recognizes to another folder, you can see which ones are left and organize them manually.

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