Replace ACDC to AC-DC

For example we have these files

ACDC - Rock N' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.xxx

ACDC - Rocker.xxx

ACDC - Shoot To Thrill.xxx

I want them to become:

AC-DC - Rock N' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.xxx

AC-DC - Rocker.xxx

AC-DC - Shoot To Thrill.xxx

I know that sed or awk is used for this operation. I can't google anything so I'm asking for your help =) Could you please provide full working shell command for this task?

Feedback: Solution for OSX users

  • 1
    I sense there is a larger question here - are you trying to fix up mp3 filenames in general? There are a number of scripts people have written over the years to do this. I think one I've used was called mp3fixer. Jan 30, 2011 at 8:34
  • no it's not about mp3's I just have to manage some huge files with similar names, and something everything must be replaced or fixed... common situation so I need this nifty solution for renaming all of them
    – holms
    Jan 30, 2011 at 14:36

6 Answers 6

rename 's/ACDC/AC-DC/' *.xxx

from man rename

       "rename" renames the filenames supplied according to the rule specified as the 
first argument.  The perlexpr argument is a Perl expression which is expected to modify the 
$_ string in Perl for at least some of the filenames specified.  If a given filename is not 
modified by the expression, it will not be renamed.  If no filenames are given on
           the command line, filenames will be read via standard input.

For example, to rename all files matching "*.bak" to strip the extension, you might say

rename 's/\.bak$//' *.bak

To translate uppercase names to lower, you'd use

rename 'y/A-Z/a-z/' *
  • 7
    Note that many linux machines come with rename from util-linux, which implements simple substitution, not regexes. So if rename fails silently without doing anything, you're probably using the wrong rename. Jan 30, 2011 at 8:31
  • @PhilHollenback How to find/install the right one then? :)
    – henry
    Jan 14, 2017 at 15:50
  • It doesn't work when I have underscores in my filenames instead of spaces - how can I solve that?
    – unfa
    Dec 13, 2018 at 17:12
  • @henry it's called perl-rename in some distribution
    – minhng99
    May 28, 2023 at 8:49

This answer contains the good parts from all other answers, while leaving out such heresy as ls | while read.

Current directory:

for file in ACDC*.xxx; do
    mv "$file" "${file//ACDC/AC-DC}"

Including subdirectories:

find . -type f -name "ACDC*" -print0 | while read -r -d '' file; do
    mv "$file" "${file//ACDC/AC-DC}"

Newline characters are really unlikely to be in filenames, so this can be simpler while still working with names containing spaces:

find . -type f -name "ACDC*" | while read -r file; do
    mv "$file" "${file//ACDC/AC-DC}"

To use the util-linux version of rename that Phil referred to (on Ubuntu, it's called rename.ul):



rename.ul ACDC AC-DC ACDC*
  • 2
    your variant is the best =) so many stupid articles in google about find and send and awk... to this simple operation for which renameutils egxist already!
    – holms
    Jan 30, 2011 at 15:23
  • Quick and easy. Unforgettable!
    – Elder Geek
    Apr 21, 2021 at 22:46

Using the bash shell

find . -type f -name "ACDC*" -print0 | while read -d $'\0' f
   new=`echo "$f" | sed -e "s/ACDC/AC-DC/"`
   mv "$f" "$new"

Note: using find will process the current directory, and the directories under.


Depends on your shell. In zsh, I'd do this:

for file in ACDC*.xxx; do
    mv "$file" "$(echo $file | sed -e 's/ACDC/AC-DC/')"

Probably not the best solution, but works.


Using bash:

ls *.xxx | while read fn; do
    mv "${fn}" "${fn/ACDC/AC-DC}";

If you have the rename program installed:

rename 's/ACDC/AC-DC/' *.xxx

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