MacOS Catalina, Apple’s latest desktop operating system update, will be the official end of iTunes following almost two decades of the digital service provider dominating the music industry. The update will unfortunately come at a cost for iTunes using DJs who have relied on the software to help manage their files and playlists.
The new Music app replacing iTunes removes the ability for automatically syncing playlists with third-party apps like Tractor using XML. XML file support is an organizational feature for DJs who use it to sort tracks into playlists and use the “Share iTunes Library XML with other applications” feature to transmit files between apps. Catalina’s Music app does support automatic library syncing with other apps however most DJ apps have not been updated to support the new Music app.
Popular DJ apps like Tractor read XML files and relied on the iTunes syncing feature. iTunes had become the best way for DJs to sort through their file libraries to quickly find tracks while mixing. Updating to Catalina will replace iTunes with Music which will then break communication between the app and DJ softwares. Apple has suggested that customers who rely on the XML method for syncing should hold off on updating and continue to use macOS Mojave until third-party app developers find fixes. Serato is already pushing out beta versions for Catalina.
There is a way to get XML files out of the new Music app however it’s a little complicated as well as not automated. The user has to manually export the library as an XML file and then upload it into the DJ app (see video below). These are static files which means the user has to export a new one every time they want to update their playlist.
The bottom line is that DJs who have put loads of time and effort into sorting files in their iTunes playlists to be synced to their DJ software will essentially lose all that hard work by installing Catalina if their preferred app isn’t ready for the update.
Source: The Verge