Apple’s macOS Catalina is not primed for musicians yet, download at your own peril


Apple’s latest operating system for the Mac, macOS Catalina finally dropped last evening after being in a beta for months since June. The operating system brings a slew of new features, while allowing for new iOS style apps to work on the OS if supported by the developer. Perhaps, its more polarising new feature is the split of Apple’s iconic iTunes music software which has now been split in to three apps — music, podcasts and TV. This development makes this operating system almost unusable for DJs and generally too, many professional music apps haven’t been updated for the operating system.

What are the problems

  1. Apple’s removal of iTunes has meant that XML file support is also going away. All playlist and library file data is saved in the XML format as of now, which means when a DJ or producer shifts to Catalina all the playlists will be gone. iTunes famously had a “share iTunes library XML” feature which would allow DJs to transpose their music to DJ apps like Rekordbox or Traktor. Now they can’t do this.
  2. Even Apple is saying that if a user is dependent on XML support, they shouldn’t update to Catalina. Apple suggests waiting till developers share bug fixes for this problem. Popular apps Serato have already started issuing bug fixes.
  3. Almost all pro-grade music production software hasn’t been updated to support Catalina. For instance, Grammy awardnominated producer Parsh Mistry claims on Facebook that universal audio hasn’t updated its software for Catalina apart from all the major digital audio workstations including Apple’s own Logic X.