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Thread: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    I browsed the various forums, and could not decide where this question belongs. So I'm putting it under "General Help." If it should be elsewhere, I hope the moderator will forgive me and move it appropriately. Thank you.

    I have about 4,000 mp3 files on a USB drive. Each one is well tagged (ID3v2) and the filenames are all in the format: Title ~ Artist.mp3. Currently, they are divided into about 130 folders, numbered 1 through 130. (It's a long story how they got that way.) Within each of these folders, the tracks are grouped by album (in subfolders). So the current structure is:

    /mp3/foldernumber/albumname/title ~ artist.mp3


    I want to copy (not move) these files to my internal hard drive. I could simply copy the existing structure, but it would be nice if I could copy them into a new directory structure, arranged like this:

    /mp3/artist/album/title ~ artist.mp3

    I think I might be able to pull this off by installing mp3tag under WINE, then somehow using the filename-to-path converter. But I'd probably need some help with that, as I know very little about coding.

    I'm wondering if there is a way to manage this task through the terminal in Linux, of through some other means. Perhaps someone has already developed a similar tool for re-organizing folders.

    Just thought I'd check before I simply copy the whole mp3 collection with the existing directory structure.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Hi Iggy64.

    I would start by copying the data to your hard drive. You can use either the GUI to copy the files, or the command line. I'd recommend using the command line, and use rsync:
    Code:
    rsync -av /path/to/source /path/to/destination/
    Then when it's there, you can use several GUI tools to rename files and directories. Take a look at GPRename and pyRenamer. Both are available on the Software Center.

    Hope it helps. Let us know how it goes.
    Regards.

  3. #3
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Thanks, papibe.

    Yes, if I decide to do the straight copy from one disk to the other, I figured I'd use rsync, since I've had good luck with that before. Unfortunately, I would need more than renaming of the directories. I would need totally new combinations of which files go in which directories. That is, on the target drive, I would like to first group by artist, then by album. This is different from the source drive, where they are grouped by a folder serial number, then by album.

    Like I said, I might be able to do that by mp3tag, if it runs completely enough under WINE. Otherwise, I'd need help from someone who knows how to write some command-line code in Linux, to do some find + copy magic.

    I appreciate your taking time to help.

  4. #4
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    are 1-130 dirs the only things in /mp3?

    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    src=$HOME/temporary
    dest=$HOME/mp3
    
    # $src/number/album/title ~ artist.mp3
    for f in "$src"/*/*/*.mp3
    do
      printf "$(( ++i )): "
      artist=${f%.mp3}; artist=${artist##*\~ }   # extract artist from filename
      album=${f%/*.mp3}; album=${album##*/}      # extract album from path
      mkdir -p "$dest/$artist/$album"            # create dest dir for file (cp/mv requires existing target dir)
      echo mv -v "$f" "$dest/$artist/$album"     # cp if copying original data, mv if sorting files dumped to internal hdd
    done
    copy files first to a temporary location and then try the script above (set proper paths), which should sort files how you want
    In its current form the script should print a bunch of mv -v <file> <dest_dir> (echo) so you can check if everything is ok, if you like what you see remove echo to actually execute mv's to put files in proper places.
    You can use the script to copy data from the original location right off the bat, your choice (but then you need cp not mv)
    Last edited by Vaphell; June 29th, 2013 at 05:09 AM.
    if your question is answered, mark the thread as [SOLVED]. Thx.
    To post code or command output, use [code] tags.
    Check your bash script here // BashFAQ // BashPitfalls

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Under Ubuntu, Easytag can automatically move your mp3 files to a directory structure based on the tags. Easytag is available in the software center. After selecting the root directory of your music files, you will need to run the "Rename Files and Directory" scanner and supply a correct template. One of the build-in defaults is "%n - %a - %t", but you can supply entire path names, e.g.
    "/media/Iggy64/Music/mp3/%a/%b/%t ~ %a" (here, /media/Iggy64/Music would be the mount point of your USB drive containing the music).

  6. #6
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Thank you, Vaphell, for the code (and the commenting!). I really have to try this out this afternoon. I'm sort of a noob to Linux, and I've never done much scripting in my life. So this will be a good education for me. It was nice of you to make time to spell it out for me. Much obliged.

    And a thank-you to Vanadium for the idea about Easytag. I have used mp3tag (when I was a Windows person), and have started exploring Puddletag, which was evidently inspired by mp3tag. I'd have to look at it more closely to see if it could do this task. But since you know that Easytag will do the job, I'll have to check it out. I really appreciated the suggestion.

    I'll bet both of these suggestions are great ideas; now we'll see if I can use them properly without screwing up. I'm sure to learn some useful tools by trying. Thanks, again, to both of you.
    Last edited by Iggy64; June 29th, 2013 at 02:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    no problem
    i strongly encourage to learn a bit of shell scripting.That's how you become the true master of your own computer, it's like a whole new world of possibilities opening for you You stop depending on 3rd party programs to do relatively trivial tasks anymore. It might look a bit scary but it's not rocket science, really.
    Last edited by Vaphell; June 29th, 2013 at 07:55 PM.
    if your question is answered, mark the thread as [SOLVED]. Thx.
    To post code or command output, use [code] tags.
    Check your bash script here // BashFAQ // BashPitfalls

  8. #8
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Well, I really enjoy learning new things. I did some scripting years ago, but nothing serious. I guess I know the general principles. But I don't know the Linux landscape very well, so there's a lot to learn. If you know of any on-line tutorials that you yourself think are great places to start, I'd be interested.

    Thanks, again.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    you might find this recent thread informative

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2158026
    if your question is answered, mark the thread as [SOLVED]. Thx.
    To post code or command output, use [code] tags.
    Check your bash script here // BashFAQ // BashPitfalls

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    124

    Re: Batch Copying mp3 Files into a New Directory Structure

    Thank you! I have already begun studying it. As you said, it would be a great asset to be able to do a little scripting.

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