Monday, December 24, 2012

Long file name problem with mp3 downloads

This is one of those rare posts in which I am relating some information that may be helpful because it caused me such a headache.

Recently I have downloaded some of's free mp3 albums that caused problems because either the directory or some of the filenames were too long for WinXP.  I was unable to play them, modify them, or even delete them.

The first was a London Symphony Orchestra version of Tommy (the rock opera by The Who).  This one is no longer available as an mp3 download--it was deleted almost as soon as I had finished downloading it--but you can see which album I'm talking about from this CD link.  In this case, the directory name was too long as written by Amazon Downloader and I couldn't open it, rename it, or delete it.  It appeared to delete, but actually it was only moved to the recycle bin and could not be permanently deleted from it.  Eventually I discovered that I could move it to my root directory and from there was able to permanently delete it.  I came across this solution by sifting through several Google hits on the topic.  Of course this means that this particular album is now lost to me, but hey, at least it was free.

Today I had two more problems with A Collection of the Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe and Beethoven Big Box.

Apparently someone at Amazon thinks the full information for all these various movements should create the filename, and often this is too much.  There were three tracks with filenames that were too long for Windows in the "Relaxing" collection.  I was able to fix these by opening the command prompt, viewing the 8.3 filenames by using the "dir /x" command and then copy them to a shorter filename with the old "copy" command.  From there I went back to Windows and renamed them to something descriptive enough but also short enough.  Of course, the full tagging information remained intact.

But when I tried this solution with the four tracks that had too-long filenames in the Beethoven collection, it crashed the command window and failed to copy the files.  So, after much more Googling, I came across this little (free) tool right here:  cutlongnames.  This tool truncated the names so that I could use the files.  So there you go. The only extra information I would add is that cutlongnames is not default-configured for mp3s, so you need to add the extension "*.mp3" to the configuration, and don't forget that the extensions on the list are separated by a semicolon.

I hope this helps someone eventually.  And you're welcome!


  1. thank you so much, it helped me fix the same problem with long named trance mashups :)

  2. As far as i know i think Long Path Toll will also be good for this issue.