Foobar2000:Components/Masstagger (foo masstag)

From Hydrogenaudio Knowledgebase
Jump to: navigation, search

picmixer's "The Unofficial Guide to FB's Masstagger"

FB's masstagger tends to be quite a convenient tool when editing the information of tags in multiple files. I will first briefly list the options you have using it. Basically you can choose to either use it to edit tags or to rename files from the FB2K context menu. Here I will go into details of the first option. Although the second option should become quite self explanatory after reading this.

Basically there are several actions you can choose from to perform.

Actions to perform:

Set value Sets desired tag field (artist, album,custom,etc) to whatever you enter in the masstagger input window. Add value Adds desired tag field and sets it to whatever you enter in the masstagger input window. Remove value Removes desired tag field.

Remove all values Removes all tag fields (who would have guessed) Copy value Copies one tag field to another.

Guess values from filename Guesses values from filename and lets you enter a certain fromatting pattern for it. For example if your files are named artist - album_title.

Enter %artist% - %album%_%title as formatting pattern.

Format value from other fields This is where it becomes interesting. This option lets you enter a specific formatting pattern for any tag field you wish to edit or create.

Note that when using complex formatting patterns I would recommend to first format a temporary %temp% tag with the desired pattern and then copy that one into the value that you wish. Afterwards you can remove the temp value. When processing a large batch of files you could probably just do a test run on one of the files and then do the rest in one go. Think about what you are doing beforehand though. After all I don't want to be held responsible for messing up anyones music collection.

I will explain how to create formatting strings for different situations further down .

Remove all values except for... Does just as it says, removes all values and lets you specify wich ones not to remove in a second field in the following pattern ie.:


Auto track number Haven't really tried out this one in depth, guess it does kind of what it says.

Split multiple artist field Same thing goes for this one. Never really used it yet.

Note that it is possible to perform several of these actions at once and in that case the order of those actions can be very important. So removing field A before copying it to field B is probably a bad Idea and should be performed the other way around, etc.

Writing format strings for the masstager:

Well I guess the most powerful feature of FB"s masstager is the fact that it can use Tagz format strings. For reference to all TAGZ commands please check the titleformatting help in your Foobar preferences.

You can see that all the following samples contain %tag% and capital variables in the form of X, Y, Z. The idea is that you replace %tag% by what ever field value you would like to read from (ie,%artist%, %title%, etc. . What X,Y, Z stands for should be explained above the strings. (Well and it obviously should also be replaced by whatever fits your needs)

I can only say once more please check the titleformatting help for reference since it explains all available tag fields and commands. Instead of %tag% you could for example also use %_filename%, etc as input fields.

Allright before everyone gets bored with me blabbing on for to long I'll simply throw in those scripts. Everything starts extremely simple to give a basic idea on how everything works. After all this is basically meant for new users.

The idea is that by the end of this you can write your own little scripts easily. Or of course simply copy and paste these into the Masstager window for further editing. Just don't hold me responsible to what happens to your files.

Masstagger Strings:

Please make sure you rejoin scripts that have been split into multiple lines, before pasting them into the masstagger window. The reason they are split is to keep this page's formatting readable in your browser.

Returns corresponding tag field:


Example: if artist field is blah %artist% will return blah. Note that you can insert any character (or space) in between two tags, in front or after, so if artist is blah and title is bleh


returns blahXbleh.

Trunctuates %tag% to a length of X characters:


Example: if artist field is blah $cut(%artist%,3) returns bla

Truncuates %tag% by X characters and adds ... at the end of the cut.


Example: if artist field is blah $cut(%artist%,3)... returns bla...

Returns numerical value of %tag% and pads with 0s up to x characters


Example: if tracknumber field is 3 $num(%tracknumber%,2) will return 03. If 13 it will return 13.

Returns first two characters of a filename and displays as number (if present) padded with 0s up to X characters:


Example: if filename is 03_artist_title.mpc will return 03.

Finds first occurence of character X in %tag% and returns everything in front of X:


Example: blah X bleh or blah X bleh X bluh returns blah (ie.: artist_album_title -----> title, in case X is _ )

NOTE:In the next few strings I have decided to make it possible to define the %tag% that should be edited and the character or string that is used to determine where to trunctuate as variables in the beginning of the string as $puts(tag,%tag%), $puts(char,X), etc. Basically the reason I have done this is to make it simpler to edit these strings, to what you exactly want them to do at the very moment, in the rather narrow masstager input field. That way it is possible to enter the needed tags and characters only once in the beginning of the line. Again simply replace %tag% and X by the desired values. Also all of these strings will trim off the trailing and leading spaces of the output (in case there are any).

Finds first occurence of character X in %tag% and returns everything in front of X:


Example: blah X bleh or blah X bleh X bluh returns blah (ie.: artist_album_title -----> title, in case X is _ )

Note: this does exactly the same as the last string mentioned above, except for the introdution of the two variables in the front, meant for easy editing

Finds last occurence of character X in %tag% and returns everything in front of X:


Example: blah X bleh returns blah and blah X bleh X bluh returns blah X bleh

Finds first occurence of character X in %tag% field and returns everything after X:


Example: blah X bleh returns bleh and blah X bleh X bluh returns bleh X bluh

Finds last occurence of character X in %tag% field and returns everything after X:


Example: blah X bleh returns bleh and blah X bleh X bluh returns bluh

Finds first occurence of character X and last occurence of character Y and returns everything in between:


Example: blah X bleh Y bluh returns bleh

Note: that in most cases X will probably be equal to y here.

Finds first occurence of string XYZ and returns everything in front of string XYZ:


Example: blah XYZ bleh returns blah

Note: that string XYZ can basically be any combination of characters or words.

Finds first occurence of string XYZ in %tag% field and returns everything after XYZ:


Example: blah XYZ bleh returns bleh

Extracting Information from Relative File Paths:

As suggested I have included a small section on how to extract different values from their relative file paths. To do so I will use the following example path to extract information from


sets title:

%_filename% returns title as 01_Title.mpc and
returns title as Title.mpc

sets album:

$directory(%_path%,1) returns title as Album[Date]

returns album as Album

NOTE: that the [ is quotes as '[' , the reason for this is for it to be recognized as a character and not as a command syntax, you will probably have to ommit the quotation marks for most other characters.

sets artist:

$directory(%_path%,2) returns artist as Artist

sets genre:

$directory(%_path%,3) returns genre as Genre

sets tracknumber:

$num($left(%_filename%,2),2) returns tracknumber as 01

Obviously a lot more is possible, but then this was just supposed to be a short introduction. I would say simply copy a few of your files, and play around with it.

The Rename Files Dialog

The rename files dialog enables you to automatically rename your files according to your metadata tags in an automated way. You will first need to select all the tracks you want to rename and then right click and select: Masstagger/rename files.

Select in the masstagger dialog wich output directory you mant to use and wether to generate subdirectories according to the / \ characters. I will give a few examples for renaming strings below.


To rename your files to "tracknumber_title.ext (i.e. 08_The Glass Bead Game.mpc)" you will need to enter the following syntax in the Output file name format field


No need to create subdirectories in this case.

To rename your files to "/artist - album/title.ext (i.e. Thievery Corporation - Sounds of the Thievery Hi-Fi/08_The Glass Bead Game.mpc) and create the appropriate subdirectories you will need the following syntax

/%artist% - %album%/%tracknumber%_%title%

In this case make sure the "create subdirectories" checkbox is ticked.

To rename your files to "/artist/album/tracknumber_title.ext (i.e.: /Thievery Corporation/Sounds of the Thievery Hi-Fi/08_The Glass Bead Game.mpc) use the following syntax


In case you generally make use of "album artist" tags (or anything similar) for various albums files you can replace %artist% with

$if2(%album artist%,%artist%)

in any of the above strings.

Note: One reason why it is convenient to use the masstaggers rename files function is that this way Foobar2000's database will automatically get updated to the current changes.

Of course this only gives a general idea of what is possible and all kind of different filenaming schemes can be used for this. And as usual, please don't hold me responsible in case this makes a mess out of any of your files wink.gif In case the renamer ever does anything unexpected, don't dispair, it is usually very easy to fix with just another renaming operation.

Well, if your still with me now I guess thats quite a good sign and at least you didn't get all to bored along the way. Hope this is all somewhat comprehensible and can give people who are new to this a general idea on how things work. Concerning Foobars Masstagger at least. Any suggestions and especially critisism, corrections and add ons extremely welcome.

Oh yeah and in case you ever get bored of any of those old bad quality Kazaa files that might still be lying around on your harddisk you can

always replace %tag% by $rot13(%tag%) , mess them all up a bit and make your filenames gow all blowfish. (allright, for all humorless people, it's a joke, PLEASE DON'T DO THIS, except of course if you are really bored with them)

Hmh lots of blehs and blahs, guess I should have used something a bit more creative . Otherwise I might as well have called this thread BlahBlah.

In case you find any ingenious strings or even better simple ones, I suggest everyone can simply post them in this thread.