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Regular expressions bulk rename tool for multiple files

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Bulk rename tool based on regular expressions to rename multiple files at once.


Renaming multiple files at once:

$ ls # awful names:
b45XDS-01.mp3  QsEW2s-02.mp3  VF7t6L-03.mp3

$ regex-rename '-(\d+).mp3' '\1_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3' --rename
[2022-04-09 09:19:15] DEBUG matching regular expression pattern to files: pattern=-(\d+).mp3 replacement=\1_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3 full_match=False dry_run=False
[2022-04-09 09:19:15] INFO  renaming file: from=b45XDS-01.mp3 to=01_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3
[2022-04-09 09:19:15] INFO  renaming file: from=QsEW2s-02.mp3 to=02_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3
[2022-04-09 09:19:15] INFO  renaming file: from=VF7t6L-03.mp3 to=03_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3
[2022-04-09 09:19:15] INFO  files renamed: renamed=3 mismatched=0

$ ls # now we're talking:
01_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3  02_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3  03_NeverGonnaGiveYouUp.mp3


pip3 install regex-rename

It requires Python 3.7 (or newer) with pip.


Imagine you have 51 audio files with hideous names like this and you wish to rename them:

  • Stanislaw+Lem+Invincible+(01).mp3 -> 01 The Invincible.mp3
  • Stanis▯aw+Lem+Invincible+(02 ).mp3 -> 02 The Invincible.mp3
  • Stanisław_Lem_Invincible (03) .mp3 -> 03 The Invincible.mp3
  • Stanis▯aw+Lem+Invincible+(51).mp3 -> 51 The Invincible.mp3

Specifically, you want to place the episode number at the beginning.

Step 1: Match

Regular Expressions can be tricky. We figured out this pattern may match the files and extracts the episode number:


First, let's check this pattern in a dry run: regex-rename '(\d+).*mp3'
Usage example

Pay attention to the extracted regex groups.

Step 2: Replace

Now, we'd like to replace all files to a pattern:

\1 The Invincible.mp3

\1 is a first group extracted by the matching pattern (episode number).

Let's test it by adding the replacement pattern: regex-rename '(\d+).*mp3' '\1 The Invincible.mp3'
Usage example

Step 3: Execute

All above commands were just dry-run so that we could experiment with regex patterns. Once we're sure that everything is matched correctly, we can append --rename flag, which does the actual renaming:
regex-rename '(\d+).*mp3' '\1 The Invincible.mp3' --rename
Usage example

Finally, files are named properly:

  • 01 The Invincible.mp3
  • 02 The Invincible.mp3
  • 03 The Invincible.mp3
  • 51 The Invincible.mp3

Beyond the Regex

regex-rename also supports some transformations not covered by regular expressions standard:

  • Converting to lowercase by adding \L before group number:
    regex-rename '([A-Z]+).mp3' '\L\1.mp3'
    eg. AUDIO.mp3 to audio.mp3
  • Converting to uppercase by adding \U before group number:
    regex-rename '([a-z]+).mp3' '\U\1.mp3'
    eg. audio.mp3 to AUDIO.mp3
  • Padding numbers with leading zeros by adding \P2, \P3, … (depending on padding length) before group number:
    regex-rename '(\d+).mp3' '\P2\1.mp3'
    eg. 1.mp3 to 01.mp3
  • Padding numbers with leading zeros by specifying --pad-to parameter:
    regex-rename '(\d+).mp3' '\1.mp3' --pad-to=2
    eg. 1.mp3 to 01.mp3

More examples

  • Extract season and episode numbers, eg. episode-02x05.mkv to S02E05.mkv:

    regex-rename '(\d+)x(\d+)' 'S\1E\2.mkv' --rename
  • Swap artist with title, eg. Echoes - Pink Floyd.mp3 to Pink Floyd - Echoes.mp3:

    regex-rename '([^-]+) - ([^-]+)\.mp3' '\2 - \1.mp3' --rename
  • Pad leading zeros, eg. 1.mp3 to 001.mp3:

    regex-rename '(\d+).mp3' '\P3\1.mp3' --rename
  • Convert to lowercase, eg. SONG.MP3 to song.mp3:

    regex-rename '(.+)' '\L\1' --rename
  • Convert to uppercase, eg. Tool.mp3 to TOOL.mp3:

    regex-rename '(.+)\.mp3' '\U\1.mp3' --rename
  • Add prefix, eg. Doors.mp3 to The Doors.mp3:

    regex-rename '(.+)' 'The \1' --full --rename
  • Change extension, eg. Songbook.apk to

    regex-rename '(.+)\.apk' '\' --rename
  • Turn directories into prefixes and move files, eg. Pink Floyd/Echoes.mp3 to Pink Floyd - Echoes.mp3:

    regex-rename '(.+)/(.+).mp3' '\1 - \2.mp3' --full --recursive --rename
  • Rename files in different directories, preserving their parent directories, eg. app/logs/file-001.log to app/logs/file_001.txt:

    regex-rename '(.*)/file-([0-9]+).log' '\1/file_\2.txt' --full --recursive --rename
  • Rename files piped from another command like find, eg. songs/Jimmi - Voodoo Child.mp3 to songs/Jimi - Voodoo Child.mp3:

    find -iname '*jimmi*' | regex-rename '(.*)/.* - (.*).mp3$' '\1/Jimi - \2.mp3' --rename


Enter regex-rename for help:

$ regex-rename 
regex-rename v1.3.0 - Bulk rename tool based on regular expressions to rename multiple files at once


   PATTERN       - Regex pattern to match filenames
   [REPLACEMENT] - Replacement regex pattern for renamed files. Use \1, \2 syntax to make use of matched groups

  --version                   - Print version information and exit
  -h, --help [SUBCOMMANDS...] - Display this help and exit
  -r, --rename                - Does actual renaming files instead of just testing replacement pattern
  --full                      - Enforces matching full filename against pattern
  --recursive                 - Search directories recursively
  --collate                   - Compare source filenames with the replaced names
  --pad-to PAD_TO             - Applies padding with zeros with given length on matched numerical groups

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