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Changing the name of a music track

A friend asked me to explain how to change the title of a music track. She teaches dancing, and wants the track names to include the name of the dance, as well as the song name.

You may also find this technique useful if you have a song called something like "Track 13" (where the process of ripping from CD has not worked out the song name) and you want to give the song its proper name.

If you want to change the name of a music track, changing the filename isn't enough. The actual name of the track, the author and other stuff is stored inside the file. iTunes uses this hidden information, to display the track name, and you'll need to change this information to get iTunes to show the real name of the song.

Step 1

Use Windows Explorer (click the Start button, then "Music") to find the folder containing the music track.

You should see something like the following: In this example, I found a song called "Track 13" and, having listened to it, worked out that it should be "Dancing cheek to cheek". I changed the filename already (see the first column), but you can still see that Windows Explorer calls it "Track 13" in the right-hand column

Step 2

Right-click on the track in Windows explorer. A popup will appear as in the screenshot below.

Step 3

Click on "Properties" at the bottom of the popup shown above.
A new window will appear, and should look like the screenshot below. Along the top are a set of tabs labelled "General", "Security", "Details" etc.

Step 4

Click the "Details" tab.
(Note: one of the fields will be highlighted in blue, but not the one we're interested it. Don't worry about it. It's just a minor distraction.)
In this tab, the information about the music track is shown. You can click on any of the fields to make them editable. In the screenshot below, I have clicked on the word "Track 13" which is labelled "Title", and the word "Track 13" get a little box around it to tell me I can change it.

(Safety feature If you type something by accident, click the "Cancel" button at the bottom of this little window, and go back to Step 2)

Step 5 - actually change the track name.

Having clicked on the track name to make it editable, type in the correct name of the track (or the name of the dance followed by the name of the song, if you like)

In the example below, you can see that I've changed the title from "Track 13" to "Cheek to Cheek".

Step 6 - click OK and you're done.

Now you have changed the name of this music track, click the "OK" button. The window with the tabs will vanish, and you'll see the Music folder again.

The title should update within a few seconds (Windows sometimes takes a little while to work out that you changed it!)

Windows Media Player and iTunes should detect the new track name next time you start them.

You can use the instructions above to change any other information about a music file.

Note that the instructions above were written for Windows 7. The steps are roughly the same for Windows XP, but some music file formats don't seem to want to be changed this way.

Bonus - changing the track name from iTunes

To change the name or any other information about a track in iTunes, right-click on the track name and choose "Show in Windows Explorer". This will open a window and allow you to follow the instructions as above.