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I haven't tried doing this in quite some time (iTunes 7 era), but I seem to remember simply editing the XML file iTunes creates was NOT sufficient in updating the Date Added field in iTunes.

In case you're curious why I would want to edit Date Added, it is because I most often enjoy listening to music with iTunes sorted on Date Added field. Most of the time this is a logical order for me, but occasionally (when importing more than one album at a time) iTunes imports a batch of songs in a seemingly random order, so I might have very differing albums intermixed. In these cases, I'd like to go in and make sure the Date Added times are grouped by album.

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3 Answers 3

The Date Added field is officially read only. AppleScript can't change it, nor can any menu or command within iTunes. iTunes Music Library.xml is a text file, so in theory it could be edited to modify the Date Added information, then force iTunes to rebuild the iTunes Library.itl file. Not particularly easy.

If there's a better solution, I'd love to see it, but I'm afraid Apple made the Date Added field difficult to modify.

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This won't work. When iTunes rebuilds the library from the XML file, the date added information is wiped out and replaced with the current date/time. –  Seth Tisue Dec 30 '11 at 16:51

Just change the system clock and add the file again:

  • Remove the track.
  • Change the date on your system clock to the desired date.
  • Add the track.
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Or he can just change the date in the iTunes Library.xml file –  Rene Larsen May 31 at 4:46

You could try sorting by the Date Modified field. Date Added is readonly, but you can modify Date Modified. There's an app called SortHelper for iTunes.

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