Mp3 file name format

yup this is a noob question…

Why are some mp3 file names (not tags) like this;

“Here Comes The Rain Again” and others like this;


What is the best method for a mp3 filename and why?


When stored on a server, spaces in filenames are shown as %20 in URLs.
This makes filenames to look more complicated.

That is why a lot of people replace spaces by underscores ( _ ). With underlined URLs on webpages and web based directory listings, the underscores are not visible and thus look like spaces…

If you use filenames only on your computer, I’d say go for the spaces. However, if you want to share your MP3 files on the net (for example, your own demos you own the copyright of), I’d say, go for the underscores.

There is no Standard out there for naming mp3’s though there are many people who say one format is better than another.

The mp3 files with underscores in them are explained in the above post (for sharing over the web), and often the underscore is used by some ‘old school’ users as at one time spaces in filenames were an annoyance (especially on some Unix platforms)

In this day and age, I personally think that the underscores look quite ugly and there’s no reason to use spaces. Even if you’re going to put them on a webpage, you can use a different tag for the file rather than the filename e.g.

<a href=“wibble%20mania.mp3”>Wibble Mania.mp3</a>

But of course, some browsers/people may have problems with that.

Personally I prefer to name my mp3’s in the following format

Artist - Track Name.mp3

And in the tag put the track number, artist, name, album, etc

That way if you take single tracks from an album, then you don’t lose the artist or track name… and it’s a stand-alone mp3.

If you wish, you can add the track number to the start of the name too - for full albums only, really…

01 - Artist - Track Name.mp3

Ensure that the leading 0 is there (01 not just 1), so you can sort properly :slight_smile:

Spaces are fine and look nicer - just go with what you feel like.

Just as a sidenote, my directory structure is as follows:

Artist/Album Name/Artist - Trackname.mp3

Which allows you a fairly nice structure if you have a lot of mp3’s to search through.

Just choose whatever you wish - everything is catered for in all programs out there. I prefer spaces, others underscores…

Have fun

been wondering about file name formats for ages… now I know!

Thanks for the replies.

BTW anyone looking for a good mp3 id tagger, I like this one

and free too (but i liked it so much I dontated)

Of course, the /'s indicate the different directories. If I was paying attention this morning when I wrote that post, I probably would have realised that I’ve been using Unix -way- too much recently (Unix uses forward slash to indicate different directories, Windows/Dos uses backslashes)

My directories are actually in the format:

Artist\Album Name\Artist - Trackname.mp3

e.g. (with full path)

C:\MP3\Sarah Mclachlan\Surfacing\Sarah Mclachlan - Adia.mp3

I find that let’s me find my mp3’s a little more efficiently… especially if I have a large number of my albums backed up.

Of course, the track number can be useful in there too, but a lot of the better players out there let you sort by track number within an album too.