Stop iTunes from Adding Track Numbers – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 104Stop iTunes from Adding Track Numbers

Most people are happy to let iTunes entirely manage their collection of music files, but some choose to delve into the iTunes filestore in order to make copies of any files that have been ripped from CDs. I do this to play the files on my car’s stereo, into which I can insert memory cards full of music files.

Any ripped files are usually stored in the Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music folder, within a series of folders named first after the artist (i.e., The Beatles) and then after the name of the album (i.e., Revolver). If you look at the files, however, you’ll notice a slight problem—each file is named after the song but has the track number inserted before it in the filename. I’d prefer that this didn’t happen because track numbers are meaningless to my car stereo and seeing 01 Love Me Do scroll past on the stereo’s display can be confusing!

The solution is to issue a command to deactivate track numbering within files. Quit iTunes, open a Terminal window, and type the following:

 
defaults write com.apple.iTunes create-filenames-with-tracknumber -bool FALSE

Then restart iTunes. Any tracks you rip from CD will now be named after the song and will contain no other information. Sadly, this trick won’t go through already ripped tracks and remove the track numbers from filenames.

Note that you can still view the files in track order within a Finder window; just select ViewArrange byDate Created.

Should you decide to reverse the procedure and reintroduce track numbering, again quit iTunes before opening a Terminal window and typing the following:

 
defaults delete com.apple.iTunes create-filenames-with-tracknumber