Trying to batch update 'Date Created' from string found in filename

Apr 12, 2020
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Hello, I'm trying to solve an automation problem and am struggling to figure out where to start.

I have a few hundred voice recordings amassed over the years that for some reason, at some point were converted to MP3. As I want to manage them in the VoiceMemo app they needed to be in M4A format. After converting I found that all of the date created were clearly changed to today's date.

Fortunately, the file names, after some tidying up, contain within the first 12 characters all I need in terms of accurate timestamp to update my files. From left, 12 characters in I have YYYYMMDDHHMM and have as a proof of concept successfully used the following terminal command to update the Date Created field.

touch -t 201107201634 /Users/xxxxx/Music/To\ M4A\ Converter/20110720163430.m4a

Any idea on how to best tackle this would be much appreciated. I am new to automation on the Mac and have limited scripting knowhow but happy to learn.

Thank you for the help in advance.

Screenshot 2020-04-12 at 12.34.28.png


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

I am not very experienced with Automator/AppleScript either.

You could try an app like A Better Finder Rename, as it was created for things like this. Also, you could check with the folks over at MacScripter, as they may have a recommendation for you.

Hope that helps,


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