Editing Track numbers in groups


I am trying to figure out how to solve this issue. I like to load the content of several CDs onto a USB and then listen to them in my car. I don’t use playlists because when I plug in my iPhone and start browsing, it interferes my my music. So, after many tries, the best way is to put lots of CDs on a USB. However, I want to be able to listen to them in specific order. What happens is, I may have a track from the first cd that is ‘track #4’, and the track from the second CD is also '#4". when THey play in my car, I get both 'track #4s) playing consecutively. How can I renumber the track numbers in large groups? thanks.


Mp3Tag allows you to do this. You load the tracks into the program, order them the way you want and you can have it number them sequentially.


hello Billy,
thanks so much, that sounds perfect for my needs. I found a few ( i think…) different Mp3Tag programs; the one I downloaded is Florian Heidenreich. Is that the one you were referring to? thanks again!


I was referring to this one:


Florian is the author of Mp3Tag :slight_smile: And yes, it is the one that @Billy_Yank just linked.


Hello Bill and Culinko:
Well that is the program I downloaded. I was able to open a folder which has music files from 2 different cds. Then I chose Tools —> autonumbering. and that changed all the values in the ‘track number’ column from 1 through 39.
Oddly, though, I transferred those 39 files to my USB, plugged it into my car, and they started playing in numberical order! Did I do this the correct way? I couldn’t see how to copy them over 1 file at a time; I also tried (once all 39 were loaded) to move each of them up or down individually, and didnot see that option. I tried writing a question on the MP3Tag forum. It was suggested to look at this URL which, I was not able to understand. https://forums.mp3tag.de/index.php?showtopic=23055

So, I’m wondering now that the track numbers are 1 through 39, is that what should correct the issue? am I doing this the right way within mp3tag?

Again, thanks so much for your help here!! its greatly appreciated!


How exactly do you want to order them? You say you’re loading several CD’s onto the USB. Do you want to listen to the first CD start to finish, then the next, then the next…? Or are you wanting to mix things up a bit, a couple of songs from the first CD, then a few from the next, then back to the first, then one from the third CD…etc?


hi Billy:
In this case, I’m trying to play the entire contents of one CD, followed by the entire contents of the second CD. I’ve been locating the tracks on my drive, and copying the contents of both CDs to one folder. So, then I have a folder that has all the tracks in one folder. THen, in mp3Tag, i do FILE —> Add Directory. This gives me all the tracks from both CDs. Then, I chose Tools —> autonumbering. and that changed all the values in the ‘track number’ column from 1 through 39. But, when I transfer this folder to my USB and put the USB in my car, they play alphabetically. Also, if I wanted to move them around (change the order), I cannot see how to do that. I have a feeling there is an easier and better way to do this. Thanks again!


Can your car stereo read .m3u playlists? If so, the easiest way would be to build a playlist on your PC and export it to your USB stick.


You player probably only plays alphabetically by file name. In this case you have to make sure to have the files sorted the way you want. How are your files named? If you want to group by album and sort each album by number you probably need both of this as part of the filename (“album title - 00 - track title.mp3”)


Hello, Well, I did rename the files (I have a file-renamer) and I extracted numbers (ie 01, 02, 03) out of the track titles. NOt sure where it’s picking up the info from. I am going to go to my car right now (I have a FORD with the “SYNC” system) and see if there are options that might work.

ALSO, I am interested in trying to create an .m3u playlist. i apologize for my ignorance here… I did create a playlist on ITunes and then tried to find it on my PC searching for “.mu3” but could not locate it. Is there another way to crate a ‘.mu3’ file? thanks!


hello again:

Well, I put the files from both albums (again) into one folder. I sorted them in the order I wanted. I re-named the file name with 01, 02, 03, etc. and I sorted the Track numbers, 1 through 24. I am going to see if that did it. I also would have liked to insert 01, 02, 03, etc in front of the title name, but couldn’t see how to do that.

AND… if this doesn’t work, I think i give up! (and I don’t usually give up the ship easily!). I actually found an blog that gave instructions on how to create a playlist and configure it for your FORD SYNC (music) system, which is what I have in my car. Followed the instructions. they actually show what the contents of the mu3 file should look like, and mine looked just like that, but it would not play the file!

so, I am hoping that the details I wrote about in the first paragraph will work. Does anyone know how to insert 01, 02, 03, etc in front of the title names??


I don’t use iTunes, but my Media Manager has the ability to change the file name when it’s written. Possibly a setting in iTunes to add the track number to the beginning of the filename on export? Then just edit the track number to be the order you want.

I had issues with playlists in my non-touchscreen Ford Sync system as well. I bought a stack of 4GB thumb drives, and use one for each playlist. I seem to recall a combination of too many tracks on the drive, and having one of the settings in Sync set incorrectly. I seem to recall more than one “Shuffle” setting. It was buried in the menus, I think.

Not sure if it’s a typo, but the extension for playlists should be “M3U.”


Hello Pha3drus:

yes, I’m beginning to think the problem is more with the FORD SYNC system than anything else.

I also used M3TAG problem to rename the titles with numbers (01, 02, 03).

I didn’t write about it here, but I actually found a blog that had instructions on how to configure a playlist for FORD SYNC. the blog entry suggested I use PLAYLIST CREATOR to create a playlist, and then had specific instructions on how to configure the created playlist for use on a USB drive using the FORD SYNC system. (for the record, here is that blog entry: http://thinkaboutphotography.blogspot.com/2013/08/making-playlist-for-ford-sync-usb-device.html)/. I followed the instructions exactly, opened up the M3U file, and the contents configuration matched what they wrote in the blog. But, it would not play in my car.

Other weird stuff going on: I put all the files from my playlist onto the USB drive. My FORD SYNC system, even though I renamed the tracks with numbers, and changed the track numbers to my specification, still plays the tracks in alphabetical order. WHere it is picking up the original track names from is a mystery! And so, I decided to just play the songs in SHUFFLE mode. well, it plays them in shuffle mode “sort of”. Sometimes it only recognizes 19 of the 66 tracks. I can fix that by doing a re-indexing. Then, it doesn’t play them in alphabetical order, but it seems to remember the last “random” order and plays them in that EXACT order. I do not have the REPEAT function selected, but I am getting repeats!

Ideally, I’d like to play the playlist off my iphone, but that’s a problem because my spouse likes to surf the internet while I drive, and that interferes with playing anything from the iphone (if he goes to a site with video or sound, it interrupts the playing of the playlist!

I’m glad to hear that you’ve used the FORD SYNC system and had a few issues. Is 66 tracks too many? Do you know if there is any good support for the FORD SYNC system? Thanks so much for writing!


I’m going from memory here. I set it up, and haven’t thought about it since, so YMMV.

The link you posted showed up as followed for me, so I must have been there. It must not have been helpful for some reason.

I never spent the time to find the limit. My playlists are usually pretty short, and I’m sure they are way under the upper bound.

I, too, have found that it only shuffles once. If you leave the same drive in, it will always play in the same order. The voice command “Play All” seems to reset the order, but I won’t swear to it. Now, I mostly only use it when I’m chauffeuring the Princess. She has a limited number of favorite tracks, and enjoys me telling the car to play a song. Generally, I’m either on the phone or listening to Sirius when I’m commuting. When the family is with me, the radio is just background noise.

SYNC reads the file tags, not the filename. That’s why it still knows the track titles.

Sadly, I’ve found very little information about the old SYNC. There is a software update I found on the Ford site within the past year or so. You may want to apply that. I did use it extensively for a while, and it was really cool once I worked out my system. But the curve was a bit frustrating.

Good luck.


hello, the info you gave me “SYNC reads the file tags, not the filename” will be of help. I will let the guys from the program M3TAG know that… maybe they know who to change the file tags.


I’m way out of my depth here but.
I understand it is possible to have different versions of tags in the same audio file.

Maybe this is happening and you have put useful new tags into the file but the car is still reading the old tags instead.
Wikipedia gives a description of the two competing versions.
Picard has settings which will get rid of old versions or rewrite them I think.