This week’s release of the latest version of macOS 10.15 dubbed Catalina has brought with it a significant number of issues, especially for music professionals. And this week has seen a tech press avalanche telling us that because of iTunes being replaced by the new Music app, we DJs are essentially screwed and that we shouldn’t update for a while. But why let facts get in the way of a sensationalist headline right?
So there’s something we need to clear up, and to underline, other than the word underline that is. Apple has definitely NOT removed the ability to create the XML file needed by DJ software. It’s clearly deprecated and doesn’t do it automatically, meaning that any changes you make to your library needs the XML file generating each time.
“Even when the new OS ships this is not necessarily mean everything will break in your DJ setup. For starters, you can still export this XML file manually (via the File menu, export library) and as long as you put the file in the same spot as the old XML file then your other apps will be able to access it just like before. Of course, you’ll have to do that every time you change something which is a pain and probably not a long term solution.”
And to further clarify this — the path is /Users/YOURUSERNAME/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music Library.xml
Now I’m not for a moment suggesting that you hit the update button. The vast majority of music industry companies have issued some sort of warning about their stuff needing updating. But it’s better to have the actual facts in front of you so that you can make informed decisions.
But even my inner suicidal lemming is reluctant to pull the trigger, which should be a solid indicator that doing so is likely to induce a period of difficulty, and most probably extreme and prolonged bouts of “why oh why oh why did I do that?”. Besides, I tend to find the thrilled and excited hoopla of a keynote rarely translates into anything more than things looking slight different.
The bottom line is this — the warnings are everywhere and hard to ignore. Be it the elimination of iTunes, or some other driver or 32 bit software related hitch, if you utterly depend on your Mac in any capacity, do some solid research and only update when you get an all-clear from your mission critical software companies.