macOS Catalina Causing Serious Issues: Why Some Shouldn't Upgrade

No operating system update is without issues, and that includes the latest versions of macOS. Apple recently released macOS Catalina, the latest version of its desktop operating system. While we're generally impressed by this latest macOS version, some major problems have been uncovered that could sully the experience for some users, especially DJs and content creators.   

By removing iTunes, Catalina also dropped XML file support so that all music could shift over to the Apple Music app, which uses a new file format. That's a big problem for DJs who have been using iTunes, and its XML files, for the past few decades to mix songs. Popular apps for DJs, including Rekordbox and Traktor that only work with XML files, can't operate in macOS Catalina. 

Apple acknowledged this limitation and told The Verge that if a Mac user needs XML files for DJing, they should avoid updating to Catalina and continue to use macOS Mojave until app developers update their service to support the new file format.  To add insult to injury, a previously reported fix that would let you import XML files to the Apple Music app reportedly doesn't work. 

Another reason to skip macOS Catalina (for now) is that it no longer supports 32-bit apps (only 64-bit apps will run on Catalina). This comes as no surprise, but it means that you need to figure out if your apps are 32-bit or 64-bit in order to determine whether they will run on macOS Catalina. We strongly recommending identifying the 32-bit apps on your system and reaching out to developers to see if they will create 64-bit versions. Otherwise, those apps won't operate. 

Some content creators have already found out the hard way. Adobe recently released a document listing known compatibility errors between its apps and macOS Catalina, which includes everything from issues with file naming to broken plug-ins. The software company doesn't beat around the bush, stating "You may want to remain on your current version of macOS until these issues have been resolved."

Anyone using an older version of Photoshop, which uses a 32-bit installer, should hold onto macOS Mojave until they upgrade their apps, as Adobe said they are “not supported in any way for use on macOS Catalina.”

"Adobe does not recommend that customers using old versions of Photoshop upgrade to macOS Catalina," the company warned on its support page. 

If you're not affected by those compatibility issues, then we recommend upgrading to macOS Catalina. From Sidecar, which lets you mirror macOS onto an iPad, to upgrades to Safari, Catalina is a more significant upgrade than the versions that came before it. Still not sold? You can read our full review of macOS Catalina to find out if it's right for you. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.