(Re-)naming music files and folders with long titles

I’m running Windows XP Pro SP2 on my computer, and ripping music tracks to mp3 using CDex. I play the tracks using Windows Music Player (v9). I’m having a problem when I copy or move the music files or folders within “My Music” on the computer. I suspect it relates to the Windows XP settings, not the CDex or WMP programs.

When I rip selected music tracks from a CD, they are stored in the “My Music” folder. For each album, two folders are created automatically: one is the folder containing the tracks, and the other is a folder containing the playlist.

The problem arises when I try to copy or move these folders to any other location - even when I move them into a sub-folder within “My Music”.

The “original” folders and files stored by CDex in “My Music” carry full title details (Artist and Album Title for each album-folder, and Artist and Track Title for each track-file).

But when I copy or move them, any folder and file titles over 19 characters long are chopped to a cryptic abbreviation. Thus a folder titled “Retrospective - The Best of Buffalo Springfield” might become “RETRO~1”, and any tracks within it which also have long titles will be similarly changed. I can click the option to Rename, but this will still only limit each title to 19 characters.

It seems bizarre that my computer can accept and show the full-length artist-name and track-titles when the tracks are first placed in “My Music”, but can’t keep them when I copy the files to another folder still within “My Music”. How can I re-set things so that I can actually keep the full file or folder title? Is there some setting within XP that I have to tweak?


A quick follow-up to my post above. I’ve done some more searching on this amazingly useful forum, and found this thread

  • which makes me wonder: is my problem arising because, when I move track files or album folders into a sub-folder within “My Music”, the [B]pathname[/B] for the new location is so long that it runs up against some limit?

I haven’t counted up the number of characters in the pathname in all the cases where a filename or foldername has been truncated. But can anyone confirm/clarify whether my suspicion is correct?


It has to do with ISO9660 and its extensions.
“Pure” ISO9660 has a 8+3 filename limit like DOS.

Yes… and the post by Inertia in the thread I mentioned earlier gives a really good explanation.

Since the problem I had was within my computer’s setup, and not related to ripping or burning, this rather suggested that my problem was not directly to do with the ISO or Joliet settings.

And sure enough, because I had subfolders within subfolders inside “My Music”, the pathname was getting so long that I was bumping up against the 255 character limit. The solution is to have shorter folder-titles and not use so many sub-folders.

Reinforces the urgency of getting a decent software programme for cataloguing/organising my mp3s (I’ve sought recommendations in the Audio forum about that…)