iTunes "date added"

Dear Lazyweb, is there any way to edit the "Date Added" field of tracks in iTunes?

Some Googling suggests that the answer is "no", but I might as well ask... Apparently the field is read-only to AppleScript, and if you hack the XML file directly, every "Date Added" will be set to the date at which the XML was re-parsed. (This means: "don't tell me what your guess is unless you've tried it and it works", ok?)

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11 Responses:

  1. fg says:

    - remove the track.
    - change the date on your system clock to the desired date.
    - add the track.

    • sherm says:


      I suppose that passes the "tried it and it works" test.

      Somehow I still don't think he'll be amused.

      • strspn says:

        Hm. do shell script "date " & posixdatestring might work in applescript, so why not. I've always kind of wondered if the internal OS logic depends on a coherent clock. What could go wrong? (Seriously, something could probably go wrong... what might?)

        • 4zumanga says:

          For a while I've been setting my clock back so my 15 day parallels trial doesn't run out. I haven't seen any problems except sent mail having weird dates.

  2. fengi says:

    The only thing I've found is to delete the track from your library and re-add it. This only sets the date added to the current date, but it's a start.

  3. davidglover says:

    No, there isn't.

    You can put dates into the "comments" field and search on that, which is the closest you'll get.

  4. duskwuff says:

    Editing the XML file won't get you anywhere - iTunes never reads from it. It's solely for the benefit of programs that don't want to read the iTunes database directly.

    • malokai says:

      Neither does exporting the library and reimporting it.

      It in fact ignores it and changes it to the current date.

  5. ultranurd says:

    I'm curious, since I don't think I've ever used the Date Added field in a search or a smart playlist - what are you going to use it for?

    • jwz says:

      "What albums did I buy in 2005". Since I first started using iTunes in mid-2005, I can only answer half of that question with a smart playlist.

      • jerronimo says:

        it gets even worse... for example:

        Add an album, like an mp3 web download. It gets the date that you imported it.

        now, at some future date, buy the CD, then import it again; itunes will ask if you want to replace the old files. you click yes, and you get newly imported files.... with the OLD import date.

        fun. :(