No Mac Is an Island with macOS Catalina

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At WWDC, Apple threw back the curtains on macOS 10.15 Catalina, bringing the Mac ever closer to iOS without losing sight of what makes the Mac unique. We’re particularly impressed with the work the company did on accessibility features.

Well, I sure hope the new “Music” Mac OS application retains the functionality of iTunes, rather than the broken capabilities of iOS In particular, iOS is -worthless- if you listen to album oriented music (classical, jazz, progressive rock, etc)!


I’m guessing the iTunes applications in older versions of Mac OS will continue to work particularly on hardware that can’t be updated to Mac OS 14 (Mojave) or later.

Interesting, So Music will not include syncing as rumored. Instead, the Finder will do that.

Not sure how I feel about that. Finder windows all of a sudden becoming iSync portals sounds to me as a bit Windowseque. I’m anxious to see how Apple implemented it.

  • If an update causes problems, you’ll be able to use macOS Recovery to restore from an APFS snapshot taken just before the installation. That should reduce the stress involved with installing macOS updates.

How long will this take? Is it faster compared to cloning before updating and, in case the update goes bad, simply cloning back?

One item I miss on this list is some kind of dynamic DNS service attached to iCloud. This can’t be hard for Apple to implement in macOS. With all our Aple devices already listed on our iCloud accounts, all they’d need to add essentially is a DNS update deamon to inform the mothership of the devices current IP whenever that changes in conjunction with the option to tunnel traffic to Macs on a LAN. Then give people generic domain names for their Apple gear they can use to connect remotely. With Back to my Mac dead, it would have been so nice to see something like this added to Catalina. Guess it’s too much of a nerd feature. :open_mouth:

I just bought a new Mac mini in the fall, but if the Music app doesn’t preserve my 10,000+ star ratings (with half-stars enabled), Mojave will be the last Mac operating system I use.

Catalina has the same hardware requirements as Mojave, running on MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac models from 2012 and later, Mac Pro models from 2013 and later, and all models of the MacBook and iMac Pro.

So the 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro aren’t supported anymore? I don’t see them listed on Apple’s site either. They could run Mojave with a supported graphics card.

I had the same thought, but “same hardware requirements as Mojave” implies that if your computer can run Mojave, it can run Catalina. Of course, Apple can have its installer balk at computers it wishes to deem obsolete or unsupported, regardless of their capability to run the software.

I was worried about losing syncing, but I think putting it in Finder is conceptually better than in a Music app. Syncing is about a lot more than Music, so it would be odd to go into Music to do it. I’m also glad that it looks like the Finder sync will do all types of media. There was a year where I think audiobooks had to be selected in iBooks with everything else in iTunes. That was a pain.

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I fully agree with that. Syncing out of Music would have made little sense. I’m not sure how thrilled I am about shoehorning this into Finder as opposed to using a separate app for that (think iSync), but as I wrote above, I’ll reserve judgment for when i actually try it out.

One thing I’m curious about and not reading anything on is sync over wifi. All reviews I’ve read indicate that iPhones will show up as a device in the Finder sidebar when connected through USB. Great. But what about wifi sync? Will that remain? Will the iPhone then just always show up in devices when it’s on the same wifi as the Mac?

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Creating APFS snapshots is basically instantaneous. Depending on how it’s implemented, restoring may also take no time at all or may take some time, my guess would be equivalent to how long the install took. Doing this for macOS updates is reassuring, having the option for any kind of install or change would be even more so. I think one can already make a snapshot whenever so it should only require the Recovery partition to give the option to restore any snapshot, not just the last one triggered by an OS update.

It’s a niche issue but I wonder if restoring will break a Mac’s binding to Active Directory, making logging in with an AD account fail. I’ve had this happen to Windows virtual machines after restoring their snapshots; domain controllers don’t want to see clients “go back in time.”

Interesting. Yeah, it sounds like it would be great if we could chose to restore from any available snapshot. If restore is that fast, you could think of a lot of other tasks where this kind of functionality would come in handy.

My biggest issue with Catalina will be losing 32-bit applications. I still have a bunch that I depend on. For example, I still use Quicken 2007 because I still haven’t found a worthy replacement (any hints would be appreciated, and I’m very underwhelmed by recent Quicken editions). In other cases, the applications are useful but no longer supported without equivalent replacements.

I have one 32-bit app that I will miss very much when our work Macs move to MacOS 10.15. The apps publisher is out of business. But I have time. I have been thinking about this issue overall. It costs money for Apple to continue to support 32-bit apps, I suspect more than most people imagine.

  1. How much would I be willing to pay for a MacOS Update that will continue to support 32-bit apps? $50? $100? $1,000?

  2. How much would I be willing to pay for an upgraded version of the software I want to continue using. Some apps still have publishers but the cost of redesigning the app is too expensive for the publisher. I am sure we would see a new version of DragThing if everyone using it was willing to pay $500 for an upgrade.

I find when I add a $ value to what I want I often find I don’t want it that much.

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Ding, Dong, iTunes Is Dead

Hmmm, Podcasts, huh?

…just wondering if it will offer user tools to manually add episodes, edit metadata (including long descriptions), create smart playlists, run “Doug’s Scripts”, etc, etc

I’ve accumulated a sizable library over the past 15-20 years, comprised mostly of information type content (vs. news & entertainment, etc) - I use iTunes as a database to augment my subject-matters-of-interest research

So, on the off chance macOS Podcasts mimics the minimalist functionality of it’s iOS cousin…

What’s a fella to do?

Anyone have suggestions on iTunes alternatives?

In the past I did some poking around to see what’s out there, then motivated more by iTunes’ misbehavior, but didn’t pursue it too far, or with any AHA! discoveries, since I found ways to work around iTunes’ shenanigans (viz., turn off the iTunes Store, for one)

I gave Plex a shot at it and was less than pleased with how it handled (and didn’t) my carefully curated library (I use a third party metadata editor before manually adding anything to iTunes)

VLC is on my radar (and my iMac) but, my limited testing suggests it won’t cut the mustard either

Thanks in advance for any guidance

Doug Adams of has posted some early thoughts about the switch from iTunes to Music.

My main concern is the lack of an .xml file in the new Music app. I use TuneSpan to move a lot of music and movies (esp movies) to an external drive since Apple has moved to smaller SSD drives. May have to move my whole iTunes library off the main disk if it is not able to be updated.

Andrew, I used Quicken for years, and recently moved to You Need a Budget, which is a website and iPhone app. It’s changed my relationship with my personal finances. It’s not for those who need something stocks, but when it comes to setting financial goals and tracking spending, it’s really outstanding. Message me if you want a referral link.

How in the world can you update an operating system that is on a read-only partition?