On too many occasions I am left spending countless hours renaming large amounts of similar files. Whether it be an mp3 album I purchased from an online retailer, large image libraries, or server backups. Luckily, I have always had access to a PC to accomplish these tasks (using Advanced File Renamer) but I always wanted something that would do batch file renaming on my iMac as well. We now have found, NameChanger, which is a handy desktop app that allows you to modify the title of any number of files on your Mac machine.
Most power user’s in the past have just created an apple script to handle these types of bulk changes but now with NameChanger even a Mac newbie can rename files in a flash with no prior programming experience.
To get started simply drag a file or group of files into the NameChanger window (or click the blue Add + sign within the app). You will see another tool bar located below the Add, Remove, and Clear buttons, these are the built-in expressions for tweaking the file names. Some of the pre-defined conditions (or expressions) consist of Append, Prepend, Date, Sequence, Remove Characters, Replace All, Replace First character with and Replace last character with. Append allows you to add text to the end of the file name, while Prepend will add text to the front of the file name. I suggest playing around with all of the conditions when you first get the app installed so you can see first hand how they function.
The dual pane interface allows you to see what your file name will look like prior to running the final renaming process; this allows you to adjust your conditions accordingly.
The screenshot above shows our example where we used the Replace all condition, which in this case is telling the app to replace all of the underscores within the file name with spaces. For people who will use the same conditions over and over NameChanger gives you the ability to save them for later use so your not stuck retyping them each time you open the app. You can see in the screenshot below that I have created a saved condition for replacing the underscores.
Another clever option is the ability to Sequence, which is great for large image, music, or video collections. In the Sequence window, you can define a sequence of characters that you want to append, perpend or replace with original file names. It also allows sorting the default arrangement of file names in your list in either Alphabetical order, by file date, by EXIF date and Ascending/Descending.
The Date condition is convenient when you need to quickly add date stamps as prefixes or postfixes to a file name. When you have Date selected as your condition another window will appear with the Date options, just like the Sequence mode, and it shows a small calendar to choose the appropriate date.
NameChanger is a free app that can be found here and will work on Snow Leopard and Mac Lion (Whoo!!). The developer has also made versions for Tiger and Panther available as well. We will be covering some good Windows apps for bath file renaming in the near future, so stay tuned!