How to enable metadata-based batch renaming in GNOME files on Ubuntu (Nautilus)

GNOME file (Or Nautilus) has a batch file renaming feature (introduced in version 3.22) that allows finding and replacing text in multiple file names, as well as adding automatic numbering or renaming files based on metadata. Although not very advanced, it is a great tool when you want to quickly rename multiple files on the Gnome desktop. You can use the Files app (Nautilus) batch rename feature by selecting multiple files, right-clicking them, and selecting Rename. “. Metadata-based batch file renaming includes support for renaming images based on creation date and camera model, and renaming music based on tags such as artist name, title or track number. Support for image and music metadata based on Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 Does not work by default, only inserts the metadata name instead of the actual metadata. The reason is that Tracker is not installed by default in Ubuntu. Ubuntu 19.04 has changed this, Tracker is installed by default in Ubuntu 19.04, and Nautilus batch processing The rename function works as expected.

Nautilus batch renaming metadata does not work
Nautilus without Tracker-insert “[Creation date]”Instead of the actual creation date of the batch image rename
Nautilus batch rename metadata work
Nautilus batch rename with Tracker installed-insert creation date in file name

tracking device Is a file system indexer, metadata storage system, and search tool. Not long ago, Tracker caused peak CPU usage and increased memory usage for some users, but Tracker v2 improved this. There are some forum It can be installed by default on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but was postponed due to “such changes are risky in the LTS cycle”.
On my Ubuntu 18.10 desktop, I have n’t noticed an increase in CPU or memory usage since installing Tracker. Except for the initial indexing, the increase in CPU and disk I / O spiked a little (probably the first Spikes occur after two restarts, although I’m not sure). If you run into problems, you can easily remove them.

Gnome Files batch rename metadata artist
Batch rename audio files with Nautilus using audio metadata tags

Being able to use metadata in Nautilus’s massive file renaming feature is not the only benefit that Tracker brings. After installing Tracker, you can also search for files and folders from the Activity Overview, or use the Files application (it also supports full-text search with Tracker) to search for files faster. You can install Tracker on Ubuntu and use it with Nautilus:

sudo apt install tracker

Now wait for Tracker to index your files. After indexing the files, you will be able to use Nautilus (GNOME files) to batch rename files and have metadata-supported tags such as the date the image was created and the camera model, and the artist name, title, or track number of the music.
If Tracker is experiencing performance issues on your system, or if you just decide you don’t like Tracker and want to get rid of it, you can remove Tracker from your Ubuntu system using the following methods:

sudo apt remove tracker tracker-extract tracker-miner-fs

More Nautilus related articles about the Linux Uprising:

  • Use Nautilus Terminal 3 to get a terminal embedded in Nautilus File Manager
  • Nautilus Exif, PDF and Audio Metadata Tag Column Extensions for Ubuntu
  • How to Replace Nautilus with Nemo File Manager on Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Desktop (Complete Guide)
  • Use MediaInfo tab extension to display extensive media information in Nautilus, Nemo or Caja
  • Download subtitles by right-clicking on the file manager or the command line with


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