I am receiving video files with different names but the final 8 characters of all are numbers (also different every time). This is the pattern of the file name:

custom text 00030402.avi

I have to make file name looks like this:


So my question is how to rename the last 8 characters and preserve them to achieve this pattern.


Using rename (the one from perl sometimes called prename, not from util-linux):

rename 's/(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})/$1:$2:$3:$4/'  *.avi

This would rename a filename like custom text 00030402.avi to custom text 00:03:04:02.avi.

If you backslashes in the filename (before the :), say:

rename 's/(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})/$1\\:$2\\:$3\\:$4/' *.avi

In order to remove the custom text from the filenames, say:

rename 's/.* (\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(.*)/$1\\:$2\\:$3\\:$4$5/' *.avi
  • Maybe something is wrong because I get the following error in terminal: Can't rename zlatin 00364220.avi zlatin 00:36:42:20.avi: Invalid argument – ispasov Sep 28 '13 at 5:49
  • @ispasov What does rename -n 's/(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})(\d{2})/$1:$2:$3:$4/' *.avi say? – devnull Sep 28 '13 at 5:52
  • @ispasov And do you want backslashes (``) in the resulting filename? – devnull Sep 28 '13 at 5:53
  • zlatin 00364220.avi renamed as zlatin 00:36:42:20.avi – ispasov Sep 28 '13 at 5:56
  • 1
    @ispasov You can say * as well. – devnull Sep 28 '13 at 13:14

With zsh:

$ autoload zmv
$ zmv -v '(*)(??)(??)(??).avi' '$1\:$2\:$3\:$4.avi'
mv -- custom\ text\ 00030402.avi custom\ text\ 00\\:03\\:04\\:02.avi

(-v for verbose). To remove the custom text:

$ zmv -v '*(??)(??)(??)(??).avi' '$1\:$2\:$3\:$4.avi'
mv -- custom\ text\ 00030402.avi 00\\:03\\:04\\:02.avi

Here's a way to do it with Perl regex lookahead:

perl -e '
        @components = split /(?=(?:[0-9]{2})+[^0-9]+$)/,$name;
        shift @components;
        $new_name = join '\:',@components;
        rename $name => $new_name;
' list_of_avi_files

This will work for any number of digit pairs, not just 4. You can also change {2} to {3}, for example, and have it split on digit triples.

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