How to batch change the date of a long list of files within a folder, based on timestamps from a different folder?

My situation is the following:

  • At some point I got a large database of music files, in mp3 format.
  • I added album covers using MP3tag automatically.
  • That software changed the timestamps of all my music files to some new values.
  • I still had the pre-changed files, the files with the original timestamps.
  • Now, a dilemma – based on 1,000 files with old/new timestamps, how can I transfer the old timestamps to new timestamps?

The solution proved a bit difficult. I detail it, below.

Sam Einhorn - Timestamp [56/365], https://flic.kr/p/63v6De
Sam Einhorn – Timestamp [56/365], https://flic.kr/p/63v6De

The process is detailed in the attached document »

I also partially detail it here:

  • Download File Time Changer » (direct link»)
  • Download File Touch »
  • Create two folders: 1. A folder with the original files, with the original timestamps.  2. A folder with the new files, different timestamps.
  • Run a command prompt 
  • Change directory to the old folder
  • Run this command: dir /O:GNE /b >a.txt
  • Excel – Create First Batch File based on TXT file – step 1 – copying to Excel
  • Excel – Adding two columns
  • Notepad – Copy & paste to notepad
  • Notepad – Remove tabs and empty spaces
  • Windows Explorer – Save as bat and run in the OLD folder
  • Excel: Copying to Excel, adding two columns – The left column is an index. The second one is just self-repeating.
  • Excel: Sorting by index
  • Excel: Keeping only the relevant rows
  • Excel: Sorting by index
  • Excel: Messing a bit with the date format
  • Excel: Adding another index column
  • Excel: Sorting so date we can change the date
  • Excel: Change date format
  • Excel: Sorting again, this time reversed, so time is first in list
  • Word: Copy & paste to word
  • Word: First search & replace – SEARCH & REPLACE :00^p with :00 ” (pay attention to quotes, they should be in autoformat as you type straight quotes)
  • Word: Second search & replace – SEARCH & REPLACE [space] ^p with quotes ^p (pay attention to quotes, they should be in autoformat as you type straight quotes)
  • Excel: Copy & paste from Word, adding the command to run the software
  • Notepad: Copy & paste to notepad
  • Notepad: Search & Replace ” ” (tab, as pressed on keyboard) with space
  • Notepad: Search & Replace ” ” (double space) with ” ” (space). Repeat.
  • Explorer: Save the file with BAT extension and run in THE NEW folder

I am a Digital Marketing Manager for The KPI Institute. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading, watching movies, listening to music.

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