Yesterday, Apple released MacOS Catalina, its latest update for Macs and MacBooks. The new operating system can be installed from the homepage of its App Store. Catalina brings a host of new features, including the option to use apps from the iPad as well as turn the tablet into an additional display for computers. But this new update kills iTunes and faces some major issues.
Apple has confirmed that there are some serious issues in MacOS Catalina, and affected consumers should refrain from updating the OS until these issues are addressed. Catalina is finally the download that kills iTunes, which is nowhere to be found in the new update. Instead, Apple has moved the features of iTunes into their own separate Music app, the new update also includes separate apps for Podcasts and TV.
MacOS Catalina update is a big problem for DJs who rely on iTunes
The Mac platform is especially popular with DJs, who cart around MacBook Pro machines jam-packed with music, playlists, mixes and specialist software to allow them to perform every evening. These have been tied to iTunes’ underlying XML database. But after nearly 2 decades, iTunes are discontinued in macOS Catalina, and the XML file no longer exists to index a local music collection.
The Verge reports that Apple has confirmed that this issue is down to its removal of the XML file, but is handing responsibility to the third-party developers behind each app. Unfortunately, for Apple’s reputation, those developers have been expecting the ability for the new standalone Music app to explore an XML file, a feature Apple suggested would be available until they could code around the lack of XML.
Fact Mag also reported, “this news contradicts Apple’s earlier assertion that there would be a way to manually export the XML file from the new Music app, though Catalina’s launch yesterday now proves this isn’t the case at all.”
Apple advice DJs that, if you rely on a software that needs this XML file to function, then do not update to Catalina until individual developers have issued compatibility updates for the new operating system.
Catalina drops support for 32-bit applications and faces other issues as well
Catalina also drops support for 32-bit applications. The 32-bit applications will simply not run under the new system, this version of macOS is a 64-bit only. If you are a Mac user that is reliant on a 32-bit app, then you have just a single dialog on installation that warns of the loss of support. And with these there are other questions which a user will need answers to like, you would need to know which of your apps are 32-bit and which are 64-bit? And if they are mission-critical in your role and is a 64-bit alternative available?
It’s not just this, a number of creative tools, including Apple Aperture, Microsoft Office 2011 and Adobe CS6 are also experiencing issues with Catalina. Additionally, there are issues with font in MacOS Catalina, as per the Chromium blog, the macOS system font appears “off” — too light / tight kerning.
It is clear that Apple wants to push forward with its platforms, but it needs to remember that the hardware has to work in the real world today. Apple should be consistent in what features it offers, it should provide clear and accurate information to developers and users, and it should ensure the very least that its own store is in order.