Release Time Disappearing in iTunes...?

I've set up an action to move Created Date to Release Date in iTunes.

But it seems that Release Date is deleted from the .mp3 file after any update to the file in iTunes?

Anyone got any insight on why this is happening? Release Date stays populated in iTunes, but when I open the .mp3 in MP3Tag, the field is blank???

Whatever iTunes does in its database ... and which information is then written to tags.
The only field with "release" in it is RELEASETIME (and perhaps ORIGYEAR).
There is no field called RELEASEDATE - or it is a user-defined field.
You would have to consult the extended tags dialogue to see if there is something that satisfies you.

My apologies, you are correct. RELEASETIME is the field that I am using.

To confirm, when loading into iTunes, the RELEASETIME field in the .mp3 file is populated. Then, if I make a change to any tag details in iTunes, that RELEASETIME information is removed from the .mp3 file, but still shows in iTunes (but not in MP3Tag).

Anyone with any insight on this? Why would iTunes strip the Releasetime info from an .mp3?

To me it looks like MP3tag is the tagging program and iTunes is the player.
As long as one does not tag with iTunes, everything is fine, I would assume.

And questions concerning iTunes features would, IMHO, be something for iTunes forums.
If files behave strangely, it is always a good idea to

  • check the files for consistency,
  • check the MP3tag settings in respect to which tag versions are treated in which way,
  • see what the extended tags dialogue shows for these files and
  • check which tag versions are already present in a file and which are after treating them with iTunes.

Same situation with Traktor. Loading a track on a deck and the unloading is deleting the releasedate.

They (NI) are going to look into it.

Thanks for the update, SpirosG. And thanks for the link. (I'm Vinyl Tap over at NI).

I use Traktor too, but none of the .mp3s that I DJ with have been added to my Traktor collection since I noticed this RELEASETIME issue.

Hi @ohrenkino so in Traktor's forum i got that answer about my problem (Traktor deletes %releasetime% tag)

The ID3v2.4 standard defines a release date tag called TDRL (if you are curious about this, search for TDRL here This tag is not part of ID3v2.3 ( When converting from v2.4 to v2.3, some tag editors will not translate the fields, but simply "move" them into the v2.3 header. At this point, unfortunately, you have an ID3v2.3 that does not conform to the ID3 standard. To put it clearly, you have an audio file embedded with the ID3v2.3 standard that holds non-standard ID3v2.3 tags.
Traktor Pro discards (wipes out) the release date when writing an ID3v2.3 file because the tag is not part of the standard frames.

Some tag editors are aware of this problem and adhere to the standard when converting

Is this correct?

I can say hardly anything about the functions of Traktor - if they decided to delete that frame, well, there you are.
Yes, it is true that the TDRL frame was originally introduced with V2.4 but iTunes used it also for id3v2.3 podcasts - and so do almost all other publishers of podcasts.
As this is a fair way to supply data information about series and the like, the inclusion of TDRL delivers the exactness needed to get the right order.
And with iTunes setting a number of de facto standard extensions, I see the deleting of present data as a little rigid.
What I don't understand: why don't they treat that field just like a user-defined one - as they hope they do with real user-defined ones.

I asked them the same, why they have to mess with tags?

They can just write what they have to and leave everything else as it is. It seems that Traktor can not handle any non "standard" tag.

They are trying to see what they can do about it. I wonder though why do they have to mess with people's tags?

So if you know that the player deletes that field but leaves user defined fields alone, then the way to preserve the data would be copy the contents of RELEASETIME to a user-defined field. Not pretty, but could work

It needs to use a Field in the standard frame to leave it untouchable, what i just found is that it's also converting the ORIGYEAR tag to Year only (2020) if the form is something like 2020-06-06

This gets frustrating. :triumph:

The problem with that, @ohrenkino is that I want to use Release Date as a condition in an iTunes Smart Playlist, to the Release Time info must be held in the Release Time tag...

No problem with that.
I thought of the user-defined field more as a safe-guard.
You save the original RELEASETIME to MYRELEASETIME.
And because auf this pair you have a really nice indicator that you still have something to do or you can still do something.
So, for files with RELEASETIME but no MYRELEASETIME, a simple filter with
you can find the files where you still have to copy the original data.

Then when Traktor has done its ploughing through the data and RELEASETIME has been deleted, you still have the data in MYRELEASETIME and a filter like
shows you the files that will most likely be mistreated in iTunes.
Now a quick action of the type "Format value" for RELEASETIME
Format string: %myreleasetime%
restores the field that iTunes likes and you can use iTunes and Traktor.

That's a good idea if the release date is something you want to capture.

For me, though, I want to populate the releasetime field with the file created date. So, that info is stored safely in the field info anyway, and is accessible by MP3Tag to move wherever I want to move it. :slight_smile:

So, we;ve got this weird deletion behaviour in Traktor AND iTunes?