Catalina woes

Apple’s botched software upgrade mysteries and problems continue. Or should I say their mystery our problems aka headache!

Before I made the move to upgrade to Catalina everything was working smooth on my Mac and with my all important music software then all hell broke loose.

When I finally made the change, and I waited until all my music software was made compatible, I encountered major problems.

First of all my SSD where I have most of my plugins wouldn’t always be mounted and then when it was it could disappear all of a sudden. Although I could perform a track in my DAW when I went to edit it I might get 2 or 3 tries at it and then everything would crash. Upon restarting I couldn’t be sure that everything would be there for me if I hadn’t been able to manually save or if the program didn’t automatically save for me at the right moment.

So not until today’s 10.15.2 upgrade did I see any forward motion. Even now, although the program and Mac generally don’t crash on me, as before, but there are times when they still freeze and make up their minds about whether they will crash or not.

My final word then, until the next corrective upgrade, is that I’m not entirely frustrated but not thinking about slitting my wrists anymore either!

What apps are you talking about? The details might help others.

Audio production software is generally the worst about maintaining compatibility with new macOS versions, I’m surprised all yours claimed compatibility with Catalina. It might be that your programs are updated but that one or more plugins need updates to Catalina as well (they definitely need to be updated to 64-bit versions). However, if if some of the files (the plugins, the audio files themselves, etc.) are not on a drive that reliably remains mounted, that drive problem alone could explain all the crashes and may not be related to Catalina at all.

This was Logic (at the time 10.4.7,) various plugins including things from Native Instruments, Ample Guitars, UVI (I’m not entirely sure about if they should be in this list or not,) Air Music Tech., Toontrack. There might’ve been more but these are the ones I’m sure (or sure-ish) about.

A lot of those manufacturers actually sent out email warnings not to upgrade yet as they were working on it themselves. Some, of course, said nothing at all allowing you to get a rude surprise such as the one I got!
I’d thought that SSD MIGHT have some responsibility but I couldn’t prove it so I can’t (or shouldn’t) point to it more than I have already. And things did improve a lot as of the latest Apple update-so it’s no longer pulling MIA act. But I must say that Logic/Apple is pretty good about telling you when a piece of software isn’t cooperating or available.

Here is a partial quote of an email received today from a client who recently updated to Catalina.

After more than an hour, with 2 (different) Sr. Apple advisors, I now have Image Capture working for Catalina. – the way it did work in Mojave, which includes delete selected photos on the connected iPhone. .

The “fix” was to update iPhoto to Not Photo, but . And update the (now) Photos library from the iPhotos library. (Which happened faster than I can remember how we did it. (Not in Library, but in another app). Why didn’t Apple do this with the Catalina upgrade?"

I sure hope that Catalina doesn’t get obsolete before I can do all of the updates and upgrades required to make it work.

We had previously found and reset several of the changes in the Mail user interface, among lots of other annoyances.

I’m a little surprised that iPhoto even works in Catalina. Sticking with iPhoto is definitely a bad idea at this point—there’s just no telling what will go wrong and possibly endanger all the stored photos.

It was just another example of a Mac-user-for-decades frustration with Apple’s seemingly arbitrary UI changes.

Things were better when Apple took time to release a new OS update, like a few years. Everything stabilized and worked, and eventually some new good ideas would come around, and Apple would announce a new version coming… The current racetrack mentality causes nothing but headaches for developers and users, and what is the huge benefit?

It’s all about appearing fresh and new as soon as possible. Marketing people have taken over the entire tech business to everyone’s detriment.

iPhoto does NOT work on Catalina. Its icon in the dock got a circle and slash over it after I migrated my Mojave system to a clean Catalina 10.15.2 install.

I agree with this 100%!! I always blame Microsoft for this with Win 95 & 98 - but those are 3 years apart. Around the same time, Quickbooks started doing yearly releases as well. Prior to that, you’d just have to buy a payroll subscription yearly if you used one - which made sense due to tax tables.

There is really no need for “major” yearly updates. I can’t imagine the stress of working in an environment like that.


Good to know for sure. It has been years since Apple replaced it with Photos, so it’s not surprising that it would eventually stop working.

There is a free program called Retroactive that will modify iPhoto, Aperture, and iTunes to run under Catalina. Go to this link for basic information and this link for technical notes.

The documentation describes which features work and don’t work. I don’t think that using these modified apps will work long-term, but this is a crutch to get a little more life out of them. For example, I have moved my photos into an Apple Photos environment. However, Aperture is my favorite tool for presenting one-off slide shows. So it’s nice to keep it around for that purpose.

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I think that, in general, people have a very selective, overly-positive recollection of the past. “This would never have happened with Steve Jobs around” or “Apple needs to get away from the yearly OS update cycle and go back to stable releases when they’re ready” comments always sound good, but they’re not based in reality.

The fact is that some really crappy products, apps and services were released when Steve Jobs was around. Plenty of times. And some of Apple’s worst OS work was done when they took the most time to release it.

And I specifically recall that with every OS release, 50% of users would complain that Apple didn’t push the envelope, didn’t add enough new features to warrant the upgrade (especially the old ones we had to pay for), “didn’t change anything,” didn’t fix this bug or that one, etc. The other 50% of users would complain that Apple needs to slow down with the new features and focus on bug fixes. They claimed to be “happy with the way things were with the previous OS version” and absolutely hated any change or addition Apple made. Nobody was ever happy.

The same people who complained about Mojave being nothing but a headache and not worth upgrading to are mostly the same people who now are saying that Catalina is nothing but a headache, not worth upgrading to, and “why did Apple mess with Mojave, it was running great?” It’s almost comical.

Personally, I’ve found the last 3 macOS updates to be the most stable than any I can remember. They, of course, have glitches, but by-and-large they’ve been fantastic. Catalina looked like somewhat of a buggy mess on a recently purchased 16" MBPro… until I found out that the hardware was a complete lemon. When Apple exchanged it for a new one, my mind is blown at how great 10.15.2 runs on the hardware.

The whole 32-bit app thing cannot be blamed on Apple. They added 64-bit support over a decade ago - any idiot could see that was the direction Apple was going. They announced the end of 32-bit support how long ago, two years? They gave plenty of warnings. If there’s an app out there that’s still 32-bit only, that’s on the app developer, not Apple.

I think people tend to view the past with rose-colored glasses. I think the past wasn’t as great as some make it out to be, and today is so much better than it might appear.