What's a good tool for batch renaming video files?

Reader Chris wrote in with a question about the best way to batch rename video files. I'm one of those serial offenders who has a whole bunch of anonymous "Track 1" files in my iTunes library, so I'm a terrible person to ask. So I thought I should throw the question to the Lifehacker AU audience at large!

Here's the challenge Chris posed:

I downloaded tv shows just as avi files, now i have a lot them on my hard drive  in the format 'californication.104-caph.avi " or 'the.wire.s02e03.dvdrip.xvid-ffndvd.avi' and what I was hoping to do was to rename them so they are in this format. 'Chuck.s01e05.Chuck Versus the Sizzling Shrimp(ws.pdtv.xvid.caph).avi'

The way I imagine it was to have a excel file with the variables. Like Tv Show name, Season number, Episode Number, title, group, and then extra stuff like ws.pdtv.xvid. Anyway I have tried looking for a program that could help me do this, which would enable me just to copy and paste the episode titles from tvrage and then it would rename them all at once. I was just really looking for a program, or a way which will help me do this.

If you have a suggestion for the best way to solve this one, please leave it in comments.


    I had a similar problem a while back and came up with a solution usinga combination of Renamer (http://www.mediachance.com/free/renamer.htm) and Notepad++.

    1) I load renamer and copy the names into notepad++.
    2) I use notepad++ to edit all the names using a lot of column editing (hold ALT whilst selecting an move the cursor around, you'll see what I mean. There is also a further option ALT-C for inserting columns of text).
    3) Copy the names back from notepad++ to renamer
    4) Hit the "rename" button.

    Its amazing how much faster it is to do renaming this way than the standard windows way.

    Hop this helps
    - Lee

    RenameMaster is a champion for all batch renaming.


    I could do the whole walk through on how it's done, but they also have a help page which walks you through things here: http://www.joejoesoft.com/vcms/rm-help/

    Just make sure they're sorted in the order you want and use the simple renumbering to create your new name.

    For my TV Shows i use two programs:

    1st i use Namefix.pl http://namefix.blogspot.com/ to strip out the . for spaces and the release group, codec information, etc. so for example:

    the.wire.s02e03.dvdrip.xvid-ffndvd.avi >
    the wire s02e03.avi

    2nd then i use Media Renamer http://tinyurl.com/2auz27
    This one scans the previously renamed file, and formats it to your liking and adds the episode name too. example

    the wire s02e03.avi
    The Wire - 2x03 - Hot Shots.avi

    Both programs do batch renaming. The reason i run NameFix.pl first is Media Renamer's parsing isn't reliable without it. To make the whole process faster i used AutoHotkey to automate it.

    If your running Mac OS X, you will be able to do this easily with Automator: www.automatorworld.com/archives/batch-rename/

    If you're running Windows, you will be able to do it with Automise. You'll even be able to do it as you imaged using an Excel file with your variables as long as the file is saved as a .csv file. You can download Automise here: www.automise.com/automise-downloads.aspx

    Disclosure: I work for the company that develops Automise. But I am recommending it as a LifeHacker reader as it provides a suitable solution.

    Very similar to what Lee Simpson described with Renamer, you can cut out the cutting and pasting by using Fezzik (http://code.google.com/p/fezzik/)

    Fezzik simply opens a directory of files in your favourite text editor and makes any changes you specify once you have closed the program. I use it with Textpad, but it works just as well with Notepad++.

    Demo at http://fezzikfilerenamer.blogspot.com/

    (Self promo alert. I wrote Fezzik, but it's free)

    I found this thread while trawling google. FYI, namefix.pl's blockrename function is quite possible exactly what your after. Finding nicely formated episode lists to copy and paste is as easy as visting http://www.tvu.org.ru

    Cam across this post, then found EpNamer, uses TV Rage to rename all your eps how you want them.



      This is a phenomenal program. I use to run EpNamer until I was introduced to this. See the features on the site then load it up and I think anyone will be happy once they get it figured out and get their media collection sorted out.

      It uses TVDB instead of TV Rage (which seems to be more robust in my experience).

      Unfortunately it's Windows bound at present, and the developement has cooled since late september but it's so nice that I'll install VMWare under GNU/Linux just to use this single app.


        The best tool for renaming episodes. Won't get any simpler than that. Works on Windows, Linux and Mac. FileEpisode matching works perfectly, even if episodes don't follow proper naming conventions.

        The app can also download subtitles and check sfv/md5 files.

          Filebot is awesome! It worked exactly like promised, in an easy straight-forward way, which is more than can be said for many of the tools above. I'm sure they're really great, but I don't honestly have the time or inclination to get to know them well enough to make them do my bidding.
          Fucking love filebot!

    I've made a simple, free, Snow Leopard tool to help with tv series renaming called Transmogrifier. I made it to help with my own (messy) collection, and it's got to a point where I think it will be useful for others, too!


    Forget about anything else, by far the best thing since sliced bread: http://www.therenamer.com/

    For movie files try http://code.google.com/p/tvmovierenamer/

    It's uses Java unfortunately. Can't risk my system using it with all the security issues it has.

    Thanks for the useful tip! While I was trying to find a solution, I stumbled upon KrojamSoft BatchRename and thought it was very good. It’s highly effective and lets you rename multiple files in your directory at once. I found it was super helpful, especially if you work with photography, screencaptures, music files... etc

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