Displaying release dates in iTunes that are before 1/1/1970

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scrolling

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I have come across something interesting and not sure if this is a known problem or not. I have been importing some of my TV shows into iTunes and using Tagger to edit the meta data.

The TV shows I’m importing are Looney Tunes (Bugs bunny, Road Runner etc) and Star Trek (the original series) all of which where aired between the 1930’s to the late 1960’s. So I’m using Tagger to enter the release date using the format 1966-09-08T12:00:00Z to get it the dates to show up correctly in iTunes. But when I add my shows to iTunes the release date isn’t visible. At first I thought it was an input error on my behalf but when I edited the release date I found that iTunes will not display dates before 1/1/1970.

Is this a known problem by Apple and the general community?
Is this another limitation of iTunes?
Is there another scheme or a work around I can use to get the dates to show up?
Is there another windows compatible program that I can try?

I have searched this form and several others and have been unsuccessful so any help would be appreciated.
 

bobb-mini

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I had to giggle on this one. :D

Unfortunately for you, this is a generic restriction not iTunes alone, kinda like the year 2000 "bug" in reverse. Lots of applications use a date algorithm that take 1/1/1970 as some kind of reference base.

I would make use of the ID3 comment field.
 

cjmnews

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It comes from UNIX using a 32 bit integer to represent the number of seconds that have passed since EPOCH. EPOCH is considered to be the "beginning of time" in computers, which happens to be Jan 1, 1970.

Trying to set time earlier than EPOCH makes for negative values, which are invalid.

What's interesting is that the UNIX time will go negative (because it is a signed integer and the most significant bit will be set) at 03:14:07 Jan 19, 2038 making displays of time using this number invalid. Unfortunately there is lots of code that uses this 32 bit integer to represent time. Database date calculation functions, most computer clocks, ID3 Tags, etc.

This is predicted as the next big computer crisis (like year 2000).
 

scrolling

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Thanks for the responses and that makes sense.

However, why 1/1/1970 as the beginning of computer time I mean there were computers before 1970. Given the fact that they were crude but none the less they were computers. Or does the date collate with the development and release of Unix?
 

S2_Mac

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Keep in mind, the unix "Epoch" applies to unix, not all "computers" (although many other OSes have adopted a similar scheme ;-)

The Epoch begins in 1970 mainly for convenience...it roughly coincides with the OS release, and allows for times from 1901 to 2038. Yes, that's right -- times back to 1901. It's not that unix-time values will go negative in 2038; they will overflow its 32 bits. In this case, iTunes appears to be ignoring the sign bit -- neg or pos -- that enables time values prior to Epoch (by going negative). P'bly supposed to be a feature; smells like a bug ;-)
 

scrolling

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bobb-mini said:
scrolling... now that u know "why" how are u gonna fix your problem?
Will I guess I won’t be using release dates for my pre 1970 TV shows unless someone knows of a trick or work around.

And I do agree with S2_Mac that this is a bug. Because even though the Epoch begins in 1970 I wouldn’t think that it would have an affect on the Meta date. Like right now I can view the Year field in iTunes and it shows 1967 how’s this any different? I don’t know maybe I’m missing the point.
 
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