I did a quick survey of my newest Mac– a 27-inch iMac with Retina display (beware; once you use one of these for 20-minutes or so, going back to a non-Retina display creates a hardship syndrome form which you cannot recover) and found a few utilities which date back to the 1990s.
It Was A Very Good Year
Long before the iMac debuted in 1998, or iTunes and iPhoto became mainstays for every Mac user, there was ABFR. A Better Finder Rename, now ABFRX for the OS X version.
What is ABFRX? It’s a Mac renaming utility that works more like fine wine. It gets better over time. First and foremost, ABFRX renames files by the hundreds or thousands, and does it fast. Very fast.
Drag the files you want to rename onto ABFRX, select the renaming or renumbering scheme, check the preview, and one click later, thousands of files can be renamed, renumbered, and more.
More? Not only does ABFRX rename files, but it adds number sequences, prefix and suffix, and an option to mix and match 15 different naming scheme categories. If that’s not cool enough, there’s more.
Two words: Photos and music. Built-in to ABFRX are options to rename photos using EXIF metadata from within the file for RAW, CRW, CR2, THM, NEF, TIFF, RAJ, ORF, MRW, JPG and other file formats which contain complicated meta information.
That includes camera and lens metadata so files can be renamed beyond just a name or a number. The same methodology works on music and audio files, too. Metadata can be extracted from standard MP3 and AAC files, but also FLAC, OGG, APE, M4V and others. You decide which pieces of information you want inserted into the file name, and ABFRX does the rest– all with a visible preview so you can see the new name before committing to a change.
ABFRX gets better with age and now has droplets and presets, options for regular expression, and easy click choices to convert names to match Windows. The only issues I’ve run into are with the more esoteric options; regular expressions are clunky at best. Trial and error is your friend.