12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2015 7:41 PM by ed2345
GaryKing Level 1 Level 1
How do I change the "Date Added" value for a specific song? Is there an AppleScript available that does this?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3), 2 GHz Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9
    Can't change it.
    The only way to do it is set the date of your computer to when you want, delete the file from iTunes, reimport it then set the date back to today.
  • GaryKing Level 1 Level 1
    Neither the file "iTunes Library" or "iTunes Music Library.xml" can be modified to do this?
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9
    The .itl file is not editable. iTunes manages it.
    Editing the .xml file will do no good.
  • wiswic Level 1 Level 1
    I, too, have been looking for a way to modify the "date added" info, as I rely on sorting by that field. Unfortunately, (with successive migrations to new computers, I suspect) I've wound up with large chunks of my library having the same date/time, rendering the "date added" value virtually useless. Particularly frustrating is the fact that the correct purchase date or date modified shows up when I Get Info for the songs individually. It flies in the face of reason that there isn't some way to automatically extract those correct dates and plug them back into the database files on a library-wide basis, but greater minds than mine all say it just isn't possible.

    So I'm left with your recommendation to delete the files, change the computer date/time, and then re-import them, which is daunting to say the least. I seem to recall from past searches, however, that changing the computer's clock repeatedly over a long period of time can interfere with other processes and cause bigger problems. Do you know if that's still an issue?
  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7
    iTunes script guru, Doug Adams addresses this question here:


  • wiswic Level 1 Level 1
    I had seen that FAQ on Doug's website and use a number of his scripts for other things in iTunes. Unfortunately, even his "Purchase Date to Comments" script along with one to take care of non-purchased music, isn't a permanent solution (although it may be the closest I'm going to come to it). Assuming I run the scripts and then use the "Comments" field for sorting from now on, I'll have to re-run it/them every time I purchase a song or copy a CD to my library. I had hoped another, non-AppleScript might be the answer, but that was a WAG at best since I'm pretty unfamiliar with how they all work.

    I'm still not sure what the repercussions of messing with the date/time on a protracted basis might be—if any—should I decide to go ahead with the laborious remove/change date/re-import plan. Any thoughts?
  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7
    should I decide to go ahead with the laborious remove/change date/re-import plan. Any thoughts?

    I've alway took the Date Added for what it is.

    Me, I'd find way to live with it rather than trying to trick iTunes in changing the date. Life is to short to spend time on certain endeavors.

    But, to each his own.

  • GaryKing Level 1 Level 1
    Yeah, it looks like it's pointless for me to fix the Date Added value for all my songs. What happened was that Mac OS X locked up while iTunes was closing, and so the library was corrupted. Fortunately, I had a backup, so I didn't lose my playlists, star ratings, etc. The Date Added for all my songs was set to the date and time that I re-imported the backup of my library, though, which is unfortunate. Not the worst thing in the world, but it did affect some of my playlists that depend on "Recently added songs" since I like to give songs newly added to my library more listening focus.
  • Mikemacx Level 1 Level 1

    I know a way to do this, which is pretty simple when I figured it out. Depending on how many you have you can go about it two ways:


    If you want to push some songs down the list as "older": Select the songs/Albums you want and drag to desktop or folder on the Desktop, then delete the songs from iTunes. Now in System Preferences, Change the Date and Time pref manually to whatever earlier date you want. Now reimport your Destop music back into iTunes. They will have the date added to whatever you chose. Now reset the Date and time to current.....You're done!



    If you want to make songs/albums with a newer date, just drag them out to desktop, delete from itunes, and then reimport.....easy!

  • iChristos Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you so much! Now I can finally sort my library as I want to!

  • omancini Level 1 Level 1

    It is quite simple, iTunes can (or must) lock the ability to change the purchase date on any media that Customers get from the iTunes Store but they certainly have no right to prevent Customers from organizing their own media collection in a way that makes sense for their needs, specially for those (like me) that have a CD collection from way before Apple had iTunes in mind and want to keep the music in the order they were acquired. Any work around oriented to allow audiophiles to organize their media in a way that make sense. regardless of the complexity of the task, is a clear invasion of their privacy and limits creativity, a quality that was in mind of those who got the idea of allow Apple to help.



  • ed2345 Level 7 Level 7

    ...for those (like me) that have a CD collection from way before Apple had iTunes in mind and want to keep the music in the order they were acquired. .....




    When you move your iTunes library to a new computer, copy the entire iTunes folder.  This will retain the same Date Added as well as all other metadata.


    Your concern about CDs acquired before iTunes is well off the topic of this thread, but if you have a further question post back.