There's plenty to like in macOS Catalina, but some users should avoid it for now
For most people the decision to upgrade their Apple MacBook, iMac, or Mac Mini to the latest desktop operating system – macOS 10.15 Catalina – is a complete no-brainer. First of all, it’s free. And secondly, it has a slew of bug fixes and patches to keep your Mac secure.
macOS Catalina packs a bumper crop of new features, too. You can find out all the best macOS Catalina features in our handy guide, but one of the headline features is the long-promised death of iTunes. Yes, the bloated desktop app has finally been ditched in favour of specific apps for each media type you’re likely to keep on your machine.
Apple now mirrors the way its media library is handled on iPhone and iPad – with specific Music, Podcast, and Video apps. This should make finding the right track, TV show episode, or podcast much faster – since you're not trawling through the same bloated app for all of the above.
Other new additions include the debut of Screen Time – so you can monitor how much time you're using productively, and how much you're wasting in the related videos panel on YouTube, or deep-diving into old school friends on Facebook. There's also stricter privacy controls that require apps to ask permission to access your desktop to keep you protected from any nefarious app developers.
But not everyone should rush-out and hit the “Install Update” button on macOS Catalina.
According to Apple, the removal of iTunes – and support for XML files, since the new Music app uses a new library format – means that many third-party DJ applications no longer work in Catalina. XML files let DJs sort tracks into playlists inside iTunes and use the “Share iTunes Library XML with other applications” option to beam their playlists into other apps, like those designed to get the party started.
A number of the most popular DJ apps, including Rekordbox and Traktor, read XML files.
According to Apple, if you’re reliant on XML files, you should avoid the latest macOS update and continue to use your preferred DJ software on macOS 10.14 Mojave until developers patch their applications to work with the new Music app. The good news is some applications, like Serato, have already rolled-out beta versions designed to work with macOS Catalina.
iTunes for Windows is staying intact as a single application that handles all music, movies, TV shows, and podcasts – so you shouldn’t notice any incompatibilities with any third-party DJ software.