iTunes: How to retain "date added" when moving content from internal to external HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by jayrio, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #1
    Hello all,

    As a DJ, I rely heavily on iTunes' file-viewing options "Date Added" and "Date Modified" in order to gauge how old files in my collection are. However, each time I move files from my computer to my external, 'date added' and 'modified' reset. Clearly 'moving' files to an external is really copying them to an external, but maybe there is a way to copy library content while retaining or freezing the iTunes library's DATA connected to the content....? Is there a way to get iTunes to realize that the identical files previously on my computer are on the external with respect to 'date added?'

    Apologies in advance if I'm being unclear.

    -Thanks
    -JB
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #2
    how exactly are you going about moving files ?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for your attention first off.

    It's technically copying and not moving, obviously. However I'm wondering if there is a way to 'move' the identical files to my external and trick iTunes into thinking it's the same library that was on the computer. Perhaps this is done by keeping an older version of library info intact?

    Thanks,
    jay
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #4
    you didn't answer my question ;)

    what exactly are you doing when you move (or technically copy) stuff ?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #5
    ah, gotcha. sorry — i've tried different methods. first time around, i went into iTunes, did 'select all' and dragged the selection onto the external, hoping [in vain] that iTunes would just change the location of the files. second time around, i moved the files manually with iTunes closed and then opened iTunes where I changed the application's music folder to be the external hard drive. Both methods reset 'date added' and 'date modified,' unfortunately.

    I have tried using my external as my bottom-up library, but it overheats and I want it to be more of a storage bin. Relying on the HDD every time I open iTunes isn't optimal, though, since I tend to compose while traveling —*but moving files from laptop to HDD is even less optimal, as my library loses its chronology. I was considering an internet storage or iDisk type thing but I have too much content for that to make financial sense right now.

    thanks for your time, btw
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #6
    aye, both methods will cause iTunes to lose track of the files' location and make it regard them as new files.

    you can avoid that by letting iTunes do all the moving !

    go iTunes > preferences > advanced. change iTunes media folder location to the external. on the same tab, you may want to enable copy files to ... when adding to library and keep ... organized. next, select (highlight) the tracks to be moved, right-click (or ctrl-click) and choose consolidate files from the pop-up menu.

    this will copy the selection to the location you set earlier. when done, you could delete the original files from your local iTunes music folder to free up space.

    however, be aware that content you put on the external will not play unless the external is mounted on your desktop before you launch iTunes. so, be sure you keep content you need all the time locally.

    when the external is not connected and you add new content, iTunes will default back to the local iTunes folder. but you can use above technique to move individual files to the external.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #7
    Similiar problem

    Hello, I am having a very similar problem.

    My computer crashed due to some sort of corruption and it would not run properly. I was able to save every bit of my data however and I am trying to rebuild my iTunes. I can get just about everything back with other methods but I need this to keep the date added sort.

    I have a question about the "select all of the songs you want to move and click consolidate" step. The music I have is on a backup hard drive in the original itunes file and I am trying to move that over without losing the date added. Is this possible?

    I was thinking about getting itunes to believe that the other folder was its own and then somehow getting itunes to move that folder...is that possible?

    Thank you
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #8
    if that's the case, you could try if this Apple support article helps.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #9
    I have tried that way, and even though it retains almost everything, it loses the date added (everything says it was added today)...and the date added sort is by far the most important for me. I found something close that another person posted online...they said use the previous itunes library file to replace the one that is there now but I cannot seem to get that to work.

    Any other ideas? Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #10
    why ? what happens ?
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #11
    I am having a similar issue. When I try to locate my replacement itunes library file, itunes says "The file 'iTunes Library' cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of itunes"

    The itunes Library file I am trying to relink to was in fact created from an older version of itunes on an older OS (itunes v.7 & OS X v.10.4.7... i think). I am now on itunes 9.0.3 and Mac OS X 10.6.3. Is this why itunes cannot restore my library data from this backup file? Is there a way around this?

    much appreciated :)
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    #12
    can I swap data form one "column" to another.

    I have successfully changed my library (the actual tunes) from one external to another, changed the prefs to show the new drive as my source for music and deleted the old drive.
    I checked the "Keep media organised" and "copy files to itunes" boxes and let it do it's thing.

    I then, of course, had a boatload of greyed exclamation marks on orphaned files (several thousand of them) and ran a script called "Super remove dead tracks" overnight - which it seems to have done admirably.....

    HOWEVER, in my "Date Added" column, everything has yesterday's date, whereas the "Date Modified" column reflects the actual date added.
    Presumably, this data is kept in a file somewhere. Can I simply copy past from one to the other to get an accurate reading of the "date added"?
    any ideas, anyone.
     

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