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Langue: en

Version: 2009-11-18 (ubuntu - 24/10/10)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


arename - automatically rename audio files by tagging information


arename [OPTION(s)] FILE(s)...


Prints the version of the arename script and the version of the Perl module, that contains most of the code. These versions should be the same. If not, that would indicate a possibly broken installation.
--copy (short option: -c)
Copy files instead of renaming (moving). This can be useful to copy tracks from your audio archive to a portable device for example.
--debug (short option: -D)
Enable debugging output. This is likely to be very noisy. You probably want to use the --verbose option (setting: verbose) in addition to this.
--disable-hooks (short option: -H)
Do not make use of hooks of any sort (neither global nor local ones).
--disable-profiles (short option: -N)
Do not use configuration profiles (see below). Overwrites the useprofiles setting.
--dryrun (short option: -d)
Go into dryrun mode. This means, that no action will be taken. arename will print what it would do, if called without -d.
Explicitly enable hooks.
--force (short option: -f)
Overwrite files if needed.
--help (short option: -h)
Display a short help text.
--list-cfg (short option: -L)
List the current configuration in the actual configuration format.
--list-profiles (short option: -S)
Print a list of profile names defined in the active configuration. (This is primarily used by the zsh completion for the --profile option.)
--quiet (short option: -q)
Make the output way more quiet, when processing files.

This option conflicts with the verbose option.

--read-local (short option: -l)
Read a local config file (./.arename.local). Overwrites the uselocalrc configuration setting.
--stdin (short option: -s)
Read filenames from stdin after processing files given on the command line. It reads one file name per line, which means that file names containing newlines are not supported.
--uber-quiet (short option: -Q)
Be even more quiet (this option will suppress, if a file is skipped. Except for files, that are skipped because they would overwrite something).

This option implies --quiet.

--version (short option: -V)
Display version information.
--verbose (short option: -v)
Enable verbose output.
--rc <file>
Read file instead of ~/.arenamerc.
--post-rc <file>
Read file after ~/.arenamerc and before ./.arename.local.
--prefix <prefix> (short option: -p)
Define a prefix for destination files.
--profile <profile(s),...> (short option: -P)
Define a list of one or more profiles to use forcibly, no matter if they would be activated normally or not.
--compilation-template <template> (short option: -T)
Define a template, that will be used for files that contain a compilation tag.
--template <template> (short option: -t)
Define a generic template (for all files that do not contain a compilation tag).
--userset <variable=value> (short option: -u)
Set a user defined variable to a given value (see ``User defined variables'' below).
Input files, that are subject for renaming.

A word about option name stability: With arename version 3.0 we are now using Getopt::Long for parsing command lines options. That change was made, because the meaningful single letter options where used up. Every option is available via a --long-option. That interface will remain stable. So, if you want to use arename in scripts, those are the options you should use. There are currently no plans of removing or changing any further short options, but there are no guarantees. If it is indeed better to change a short option, we will do so.

A list of options that changed from arename 2.x to 3.0 can be found in the project's CHANGES file.


arename is a tool that is able to rename audio files by looking at a file's tagging information. It uses this information to assemble a consistent destination file name. The user can define the format of the destination filename by the use of template strings.

Templates can be defined in the ``Configuration files'', by the template and comp_template settings (See ``SETTINGS'' below).

By default, arename will refuse to overwrite destination files, if the file in question already exists. You can force overwriting by supplying the --force option.

In order to see what would happen instead of actually modifying files, you can use the --dryrun option. This way you can avoid problems, that would occur if the situation (e.g. the information in the files or your configuration) is not exactly as you expected it.

Supported file formats

arename currently supports three widely used audio formats, namely MPEG Layer3, ogg vorbis and flac (Free Lossless Audio Codec). The format, that arename will assume for each input file is determined by the file's filename-extension (.mp3 vs. .ogg vs. .flac). The extension check is case-insensitive.

.mp3 files may contain different types of tags, namely id3v1 and id3v2. Id3v1 is a very limited format. Therefore arename will use the id3v2 tag when it finds it. Which means you should make sure that the id3v2 tag has all the information you need, if you use files with both id3v1 and id3v2 tags.

Inputting a *lot* of files

arename can be used to keep the file names of whole audio archives in sync. However, that means that you will have to tell the script the location of many files, thousands maybe.

In order to do that you will face the problem, that on most UNIX-like systems, the length of the argument list for external programs is limited (recent Linux versions, as an exception, do not have that limitation anymore).

So, even if your shell can do recursive globbing like ksh or zsh, this will most likely get you into trouble (for more than just a few files):

   % arename -d **/*.mp3

There are several ways to overcome that limitation, of course.

The first solution is to use find in connection with arename's -s option:

   % find . -name "*.mp3" -print | arename -d -s

This will break for file names that contain newlines, because --stdin will read one file name per line from the standard input stream.

Another way of using find to deal with this problem is to use find's -exec option:

   % find . -name "*.mp3" -exec arename -d '{}' '+'

This will work for every possible file name. No matter if it has spaces or newlines in it. The + at the end of the call causes find to call the external program (arename in this case) with as many arguments as possible, without exceeding the limit. This requires a POSIXly correct find. GNU find for instance, did not support the + way for a long time. If you are stuck with an old version, you can exchange the + with a ; (note, that a semicolon must be quoted in any case), or use GNU's xargs tool instead.

A last solution for zsh users would be zargs (which requires 'autoload zargs' in your zsh configuration):

   % zargs -- **/*.mp3 -- arename -d


When you are first confronted with arename and you try to get started with the documentation you might argue, that a 1000+ lines manual, that is not filled with too many examples is hardly starter-friendly.

Therefore, this section was introduced to give you the bare minimum of information in order to use the program without going through too much fuzz.

If you are really afraid of documentation, you could of course just read the output of the --help option and see which options to provide in order to get what you want. Then again, you will soon be pissed by the weird default values arename uses.

You will probably want other templates. After all, the ability to have these expanded strings is one of the points to use arename in the first place. They are described in the TEMPLATE section; and reading that section is the minimum effort you will want to go through.

After that, you can open the file ~/.arenamerc in your favourite text editor and resemble the following text (and presumably change the few values in there to your liking):

   # as soon as you get pissed by too much output, while arename is
   # running, uncomment the following line:
   # now you certainly want your own templates, so define them here
   # one for your normal files
   template &artist - &album - &tracknumber. &tracktitle
   # and another one for files that orignate from compilations
   comp_template va - &album - &tracknumber. &artist - &tracktitle

If you want more automation or more customization, you will not get around reading the manual below. If you need to solve special problems, the ``HOOKS'' part even further below is for you.


When set to 1, arename will not output any startup messages; not while reading the configuration or hook files, nor will arename emit messages about whether it is in copy mode or on a dry-run or similar.

However, if warnings or errors are encoutered while loading the configuration, those messages are still emitted, of course.

Any other value but 1 - and that includes ARENAME_LOAD_QUIET being absent from the environment - will cause arename to start up in its normal manner.


arename's behaviour can be altered by a number of files it reads when starting up.

Normal configuration tasks are done in (how convenient) ``Configuration files'', described below.

If you need more control, or want to solve special problems you are having, you can do so by supplying Perl code in ``Hook definition files''.

arename can be configured to read configuration files as well as hook definition files from the current working directory. This feature is disabled by default, because they can be a security issue on multiuser systems.

There are no such things as system wide configuration files in arename.

For all setup files arename tries to find (except for the local ones) four different locations are tried. If the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/arename directory exists, all files are expected to be there. If that directory does not exist, ~/etc/arename/ and if that is not there ~/.arename are are tried instead. If those directories could not be found either, arename will try to find the file it is looking for directly in the user's home directory.

The default for $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is ~/.config.

The first setup directory we find always wins. arename does not consider more than one setup directory.

If, for example, ~/etc/arename/ exists and we are looking for the normal configuration file (see below), but ~/etc/arename/rc could not be found, we do not try to find it in ~/.arename/ or the user's home directory.

Configuration files

arename uses up to three configuration files. As for most programs, the script will try to read a configuration file, that is located in the user's home directory. In addition to that, it will try to load local configuration files, if it finds appropriately named files in the current directory (and the uselocalrc feature is enabled):
per-user normal configuration file.
per-directory local configuration file (only read if uselocalrc is set or the --read-local option is given on the command line).

The per-user normal configuration file can be substituted by another file, if specified via the --rc option.

Last but not least, you can specify an intermediate configuration file, that is read in between the normal and the per-directory file, via the --post-rc option.

File format

The format of the aforementioned files is pretty simple. It is parsed line by line. Empty lines, lines only containing whitespace and lines, whose first non whitespace character is a hash character (#) are ignored.

There are two different types of settings: boolean and scalar settings.

Booleans can be set like this:

   <setting> [true|false]

If the value is omitted, true is assumed. true and false are recognized case insensitively, and a value of 1 is synonymous to true, as is 0 to false.

Scalar settings are done in a very similar way:

   <setting> <value>

If the value is omitted, string values will be set to an empty string and numeric values will be set to zero.

In both cases, setting and value are separated by one or more whitespace characters. The value will be the rest of the line (all of it, including trailing whitespace).

If the value part starts with a backslash, that backslash is left out of the value. That makes it possible to define templates with leading whitespace.

If a line contains only a string within square brackets, that string is the start of a section. Section names are matches for starts of file names. That means, the settings following such a section definition will only applied for input file names that start with the same string as the section name. Where file name means the string, handed over to arename. The string ~/ at the beginning of a section name is expanded to the user's home directory.

You may start as many sections as you would like.

A section named /foo/bar/ supersedes a section named /foo/ for a file named /foo/bar/baz.ogg. So, the longest match wins.

Another possible configuration file entry is a user variable, which is defined via the set command. These settings are very different from the normal settings. Therefore, they are defined in a different way. That way is described in the ``User defined variables'' subsection below.

Last but not least, you may define so called profiles, see below.

Configuration profiles

Profiles are a very flexible and context sensitive way of using multiple configuration files at once. With profiles, local configuration files (and local hook definition files) can be substituted in a secure way; even on multi-user systems.

Reading local files (configs and hook-files) is still supported for backwards compatibility (see uselocalrc and uselocalhooks options). However, you are strongly encouraged to use profiles whenever you can.

As normal configuration files and global hook-files, profile-related files are searched in one of the setup directories described above. They are using the following naming conventions:

Profile related configuration files; read if PROFILENAME is active.

They are read after a intermediate config file defined by --post-rc and a local config file (if enabled).

Profile related ``Hook definition files'' (see below for details); read if PROFILENAME is active.

These files are read, between global and local hook-definition files.

In order to define profiles, you need to use the profile keyword:

   profile <name> <pattern>

Where name is a string, that is used in the place of PROFILENAME in the file location lists above. This name may contain of the following character range: a-zA-Z0-9_-

pattern is part of a Perl regex pattern (see perlreref and perlretut manpages). The pattern will be anchored at the beginning and is open at the end, somewhat like this pseudocode:

   if ($working_directory =~ m/^PATTERN/) { use_this_profile(); }


   profile music /mnt/audio/music/

Will cause the profile music to be active when the working directory is /mnt/audio/music/ or below. So, do not be afraid. You can use profiles without understanding regular expressions.

Like many other values in arename's configuration, a leading backslash of a pattern will be ignored to allow patterns, that start in white spaces. Furthermore, if a pattern starts in ~/, that string is replaced by the user's home directory.

You may add as many patterns to a profile name, as you want:

   profile music /mnt/audio/music/
   profile music /mnt/extern/audio/music/

The above activates the music profile in /mnt/audio/music/ and /mnt/extern/audio/music/, for example.

More than one profile can be activated at the same time. If that is true, the according configuration files are read in lexical order.

Sections versus Profiles

Since arename provides two context sensitive configuration facilities, you might ask yourself when to use which, when you are confronted with both for the first time.

First of all, profiles are more powerful. They may even introduce new hooks for arename to use. But that is not the conceptual difference between the two.

sections are sets of configuration settings, that are considered for each and every input file and they are only enabled for input files, whose name matches the section name.

profiles on the other hand are sets of configuration and hook-definition files, whose inclusion in the current arename run is decided at the beginning of the program's execution (not for every input file) - namely, if the name of the current working directory matches one of the profile's patterns.

That means, that if you need to introduce slight configuration changes based on an input file's name you want to use a section.

If you need to make broader configuration changes, considering the name of the current working directory, profiles are the way to go.

Of course, profile configuration files may introduce new sections, too.

Configuration file example

   # switch on verbosity
   # canonicalize file names before working with them
   # the author is crazy! use a sane template by default. :-)
   template &artist - &album (&year) - &tracknumber. &tracktitle
   # activate the 'music' profile below /mnt/audio/music/.
   profile music /mnt/audio/music/
   # force files from /foo/bar/ to stay below that directory
   prefix /foo/bar

Hook definition files

Defines global hooks, that are in effect in every directory if the usehooks option is set to true.
This allows you to define special hooks, that will only be applied for processes that run in the directory the local file is found (and if the uselocalhooks option is set to true).

For details about hooks in arename, see ``HOOKS'' below.


The following settings are supported in all configuration files.

Not all of them are usable in sections. The ones you can use in sections are: All default_* options, force, prefix, sepreplace, tnpad, comp_template and template.

If set, a given file name will be transformed to its cleaned up absolute path. You may want to set this, if you are using sections in the configuration. If you do not use sections, all this will give you is a performance penalty. (default value: false)
If set, arename will check if there is a configuration file for a profile as soon as it reads a profile definition in the setup and only consider the profile if it found the according config file. Profiles without config file will cause a warning if this is set, which may cause the dryrun option to be set if the warningsautodryrun option is set.

If unset, profiles without config file will not cause warnings. You will see messages about missing configuration files, if a profile without config file is active. (default: true)

Defines a template to use with files that provide a compilation tag (for 'various artist' CDs, for example). This setting can still be overwritten by the --compilation-template command line option. (default value: va/&album/&tracknumber - &artist - &tracktitle)
Enable debugging by default. This is probably only useful, if you want debugging to be enabled as soon as possible, when you are trying to chase bugs. Do not set this for normal execution. (default value: false)
default_artist, default_album, default_compilation, default_genre, default_tracknumber, default_tracktitle, default_year

Defines a default value, for the given tag in files, that lack this information. (default value: undefined)

If this is set to false, arename will continue execution even if reading, parsing or compiling a hooks file failed. (default value: false)
Defines a prefix for destination files. Setting this to '/foo/bar' results in destination files named '/foo/bar/Expanded Template.ogg'

This setting can still be overwritten by the --profile command line option. (default value: .)

Switches on quietness. This makes the output a lot more compact. (default value: off)
Be quiet about skips. Even if quiet is set, arename will report files it does not process, because renaming would not change their names. With this option, these skipped files will not be reported. This implicitly sets 'quiet'. (default value: off)
Tagging information strings may contain slashes, which is a pretty bad idea on most file systems. Therefore, you can define a string, that replaces slashes with the value of this setting. (default value: _)
Defines a template to use with files that do not provide a compilation tag (or where the compilation tag and the artist tag are exactly the same). This setting can be overwritten by the --compilation-template command line option. (default value: &artist[1]/&artist/&album/&tracknumber - &tracktitle)
This defines the width, to which the track number field is padded with zeros on the left. Setting this to zero disables padding. (default value: 2)
If set to true, use hooks defined in ~/.arename.hooks. (default value: true)
If set to true, use hooks defined in ./.arename.hooks.local. (default value: false)
If set to true, read a local configuration file (./.arename.local), if it exists. (default value: false)
If set to true, configuration profiles will be used. If false, they are not. (default value: true)
Switches on verbosity by default. This makes arename's output really noisy. This is probably only useful for debugging or if you are really interested in what is going on. (default value: false)
Switches on the dryrun option (if not enabled already), as soon as the configuration file parser encounters non-fatal warnings. This option was introduced to avoid destructive behaviour due to incorrect lines in any of the configuration files. (default value: true)

User defined variables

You can use the set command in arenamerc files. This way the user can define his own variables. The namespace is seperate from arename's normal settings. (That means, you cannot, for example, overwrite the internal template variable with this command.)

The synax is quite simple (and different to normal settings on purpose!):

set varname = value

There may be an arbitrary amount of whitespace around the equal sign (including no whitespace at all). If you want to have a value that starts in a whitespace character, you may start the value with a backslash character (just like with the normal settings, a leading backslash is always ignored).

You may also set user defined variables on the command line by using the --userset option:

   % arename --userset variable0=value
   % arename -u variable0=value

User defined variables are useful to make hooks configurable (see ``HOOKS'' below).

It is, however, not allowed to define this kind of variable within the scope of a section. Doing so will trigger a warning, which will pull arename into dryrun, depending on whether warningsautodryrun is set or not.


arename's templates are quite simple, yet powerful.

At simplest, a template is just a fixed character string. However, that would not be exactly useful. So, the script is able to expand certain expressions with information gathered from the file's tagging information.

The expressions can have two slightly different forms:

The simple form.
The ``complex'' form. The length argument in square brackets defines the maximum length, to which the expression should be expanded.

That means, if the Artist of a file reveals to be 'Frank Zappa', then using '&artist[1]' will expand to 'F'.

Available expression identifiers

The data, that is expanded is derived from tagging information in the audio files. For .ogg and .flac files, the tag checking arename does is case insensitive and the first matching tag will be used.
Guess again.
For .ogg and .flac this is filled with information found in the 'albumartist' tag. For .mp3 this is filled with information from the id3v2 TPE2 frame. If the mp3 file only provides a id3v1 tag, this is not supported.
The genre or content type of the audio file.
The number of the position of the track on the disc. Obviously. However, this can be in the form of '12' or '12/23'. In the second form, only the part left of the slash is used. The tracknumber is a little special, as you can define to what width it should be padded with zeros on the left (see tnpad setting in ``SETTINGS'').
Year (id3v1), TYER (id3v2) or DATE tag (.ogg/.flac).


arename returns zero if everything went fine; non-zero on fatal problems. This may change in future versions.


Before we start, a word of warning: Hooks can solve a lot of problems. That amount of flexibility comes at its price. All data passed to hook functions are references to the actual data in the script (except for the namespace argument, which is a copy). If you write hooks carelessly, arename will get back at you! HOOKS ARE A BIG HAMMER, THAT CAN CRUSH PROBLEMS AS WELL AS LIMBS!

You have been warned!


The reason for implementing hooks was to have a simple way of post processing tags, filenames etc. without having to invent own magic in the configuration files, when Perl has regular expressions on steriods anyway. Hooks can do more then pure pre and post processing, because they are called in numerous places and give broad access to the script's data structures. Still, post processing is probably the most useful feature they implement.

Hooks are just Perl subroutines, which are defined in one of two files (see ``FILES''). They are run at certain events during the execution of arename. The contents of the argument list for each hook depends on what hook is called (see the ``List of hook events'' below). However, the first argument (argument zero aka. $_[0]) to all hooks is the hook namespace, the subroutine is called in.

The global hooks file is read before the local one, which means, that this local file may overwrite and extend the definitions from the global file, as much as Perl permits. This also means, that hooks from the local file are run after the ones from the global file (unless you are using your own method of registering hooks; but if you do so, you know what you are doing anyway).

Subroutines must be registered to arename, to be known as hooks. Once registered, a subroutine can be removed from the known hooks, if requested (see ``Utility subroutines'' below).

The keys in various data hashes passed to the hooks can be one of the following: album, artist, compilation, genre, tracknumber, tracktitle, year.

Utility subroutines

Registration subroutines

There are two subroutines, that are used to tell arename about subroutines, you defined that shall become hooks.

register_hook(event, coderef)
Registers a code reference (read: your subroutine) for the given event. Example: register_hook('startup', \&custom_banner);
remove_hook(event, coderef)
Removes all entries of the code reference for the given event. Example: remove_hook('startup', \&custom_banner);

If the coderef was added more than once, all entries are removed.

File access and manipulation

The currently processed file name can be accessed via two subroutines:

Returns the current file name as a string. This way, you can get the name of the currently processed file in every hook.
set_file(file name string)
This gives you the opportunity of manipulating the current file name. Be careful using this, because if you break the file name, arename cannot work properly.

With these, you could even change the file name of the processed file, while arename works on it (which you really should only do, if you know what you are doing).

User-defined-variable subroutines

Hooks can also use the data from user defined variables, via their Perl interface:

Returns the current value of setting. This is always a scalar value.
user_set(setting, value)
Change the value of setting to value.

Here is an example for user defined settings:

   # Assume, the user set the myvar-variable to "bar" in his
   # configuration file
   my $foo = user_get('myvar');    # $foo is now "bar"
   user_set('foo', "bar, baz");
   my $foo = user_get('myvar');    # $foo is now "bar, baz"

API for accessing to arename's internal configuration

You can also access the configuration data of arename itself:

Returns the current value of setting. This is always a scalar value.
set_opt(setting, value)
Change the value of setting to value.

A list of settings arename will use: canonicalize, dryrun, force, hookerrfatal, oprefix, prefix, quiet, quiet_skip, readstdin, shutup, sepreplace, tnpad, usehooks, uselocalhooks, uselocalrc, verbose, comp_template and template.

If you want to actually change these settings, you should have a profound knowledge of arename's internals. Be careful.

API for default_* settings

If you need to access the current values of the default_* settings:

Returns the value of default_tagname.
Returns a lexically sorted array of tag names of currently set default_* values.
set_default(tagname, value)
Sets the value of default_tagname to value.

Output subroutines

For output, you can use the following functions, the rest of arename uses as well:

oprint(args, ...)
Print to the standard output stream. This can be called the same way as Perl's usual print subroutine.
owarn(args, ...)
Print to the standard error stream.

Miscellaneous subroutines

And finally, a few miscellaneous functions provides, that might be of interest.

choose_template(data hash reference)
Return the appropriate template (normal versus compiliation template) by the data in the referenced data hash.
expand_template(template string, data hash reference)
Return the expanded version of template string. The information, that is used to do the expansion is taken from the referenced data hash.

Keep in mind that this function calls hooks itself. Avoid endless loops! See ``Hooks when expanding the template'' for details.

Makes sure directory exists. Think: mkdir -p directory
file_eq(file0, file1)
Checks if the name file0 and the name file1 point to the same file. Returns 0, if one of the file names does not exist or if the files do not point to the same file, 1 otherwise.

Dies if it cannot stat one of the given files.

Returns 1 if the tag tagname is supported by arename, 0 otherwise.
xrename(src, dest)
Renames src to dest. Works across file systems, too. Dies if something fails.

List of hook events

This is a complete list of hooks events with descriptions.

The first argument (argument number ``zero'') for every hook is the name space they are called in. To find out the name of the currently processed file, use the get_file() subroutine described above.

Hooks in the main loop

These hooks are called at the highest level of the script.

This is called in the middle of the file name canonicalization process (but only it is enabled via the canonicalize setting).

Get the current file name via get_file(). The canonicalized file name is handed to you via the hook's arguments. The value from this argument will be assigned to the processed filename after the execution of this hook.

Arguments: 1: canonicalized file name

Called at the start of the main loop before any file checks and canonicalizations (if enabled) are done.


Called in the main loop after the file checks and canonicalizations are done.

By file checks, checks for read-access and for symlinks are meant. arename will refuse to process symlinks and files it cannot read.


Called in the main loop after the file has been processed (unless filetype_unknown was triggered, see below).


Called in the main loop after the file was tried to be processed but the file type (the extension, specifically) was unknown.


Hooks in the renaming procedure

When all data has been gathered, arename will go on to actually rename the files to their new destination name (which will be generated in the process, see ``Hooks when expanding the template'' below).

This is the first action to be taken in the renaming process. It is called even before the default values are applied.

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: file extension

Called before template expansions have been done.

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: file extension

Called after the template has been expanded and the new file name has been completely generated (including the destination directory prefix).

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: file extension 3: the generated new filename (including directory prefix and file extension)

The destnation directory for the new file name may contain sub directories, which currently do not exist. This hook is called after it is ensured, every directory portion exists.

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: file extension 3: the generated new filename (including directory prefix and file extension)

This is the final hook in the actual renaming process. The file has been renamed at this point.

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: file extension 3: the generated new filename (including directory prefix and file extension)

Hooks when expanding the template

These hooks are called when the template string is filled with the data from tags in the audio files. All file type specific actions will have been taken care of already. That makes these hooks probably most useful for post processing tags, the template and file names.

Called before any expansions are done.

Arguments: 1: the template string, 2: the data hash

This hook is triggered when the next identifier in the template string is processed. At this point it is already verified, that there is an according tag in the data hash to fill in the identifier's space.

Arguments: 1: the template string, 2: the tag's name 3: the value of the length modifier in the template (zero, if unspecified) 4: the data hash

This hooks is triggered after all internal processing of the replacement token is done (directory seperators are replaced; tracknumbers are padded up).

Arguments: 1: the template string, 2: the text token, that will replace the identifier in the template, 3: the tag's name 4: the value of the length modifier, 5: the data hash

Called after all expansions have been done, right before the the resulting string is returned.

Arguments: 1: the template string (fully expanded), 2: the data hash

Hooks when gathering information

These hooks are triggered while the tag information is extracted from the audio files arename is processing. Due to the differing nature of the the involved backends, these are slightly different from file type to file type.

Specifically, the tag for .ogg and .flac files are read one after another (the tags in these files are pretty much the same, hence they are processed exactly the same), whereas tags in .mp3 files are read all at the same time.

.flac only!

Called before a flac file is processed.


.flac only!

Called after a flac file is processed.


.ogg only!

Called before an ogg file is processed.


.ogg only!

Called after an ogg file is processed.


.ogg and .flac only!

Triggered before any processing of a certain tag. It is not ensured that the tag is even among the supported tags at this point.

Arguments: 1: tag name, 2: tag value, 3: data hash

.ogg and .flac only!

Triggered after a certain tag was processed.

This hook is only reached if the currently processed tag is in fact among the tags supported by arename.

Arguments: 1: tag name, 2: tag value, 3: the internal name for the tag (also used as the key in the data hash), 4: data hash

.mp3 only!

Called before an mp3 file is processed.


.mp3 only!

Called after an mp3 file is processed.


.mp3 only!

Called before data from the mp3 object is copied to the data hash.

Arguments: 1: the mp3 object, 2: data hash

.mp3 only!

Called after data from the mp3 object has been copied to the data hash.

Arguments: 1: the mp3 object, 2: data hash

Miscellaneous hooks

This is triggered before values from the default_* settings are applied to missing values in the audio file. This hook is only run if a default value for a tag will be used!

Arguments: 1: data hash, 2: current key

This hook is called after a method for a file type is choosen but before the method was executed.

Arguments: 1: method name

Called after a method for a file type was executed.

Arguments: 1: method name

Called directly after all the module initialisation is done, at the very start of the script. Configuration files will have been read, as well as hook files (obviously) and command line options will have been handled at this point already.

This hook may be useful for postprocessing the configuration as well as for debugging.

Arguments: 1: program name, 2: its version, 3: configuration hash, 4: hash of extensions, that point the the according method for the file type 5: array of supported tags, 6: the program's argument list

Called at the end of the script. This is reached if nothing fatal happened.

Arguments: 1: the program's argument list


This is a very simple example for a hook file, that prints a custom banner and replaces all whitespace in the expanded template with underscores:
   sub my_banner {
       oprint "Hello World.\n";
   register_hook('startup', \&my_banner);
   sub replace_spaces_by_underscore {
       my ($templateref, $datref) = @_;
       $$templateref =~ s/\s+/_/g;

Further examples can be found in the arename.hooks file of the distribution.


Ogg::Vorbis::Header, Audio::FLAC::Header and MP3::Tag.


This manual describes arename version 3.1.


Frank Terbeck <>,

Please report bugs.


  Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009
  Frank Terbeck <>, All rights reserved.
  Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
  modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
  are met:
    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above
       copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
    2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
       copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
       disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials
       provided with the distribution.
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