macOS Catalina Causes Issues for DJs Who Used iTunes With XML File Support

macOS Catalina eliminates the iTunes app in favor of new Music, TV, and Podcasts apps, but the lack of iTunes will impact DJs who relied on the software, reports The Verge.

Along with nixing iTunes, Apple is removing support for the method many DJ app developers had been using to access XML playlist files that let users access their iTunes music libraries.

macos catalina apple music
DJs use XML file support to sort tracks into playlists and use iTunes' "Share iTunes Library XML with other applications" to transfer data between apps. The new Music app, though, uses a new, more modern library format that isn't compatible with XML.

Developers still have access to frameworks for accessing Music on the Mac, but XML file support is no longer available in macOS Catalina and developers need to update their apps to take advantage of the new methods that are compatible with music libraries on the Mac. Many DJ app developers are in the process of doing so, but customers using an XML app that is not supported should continue to use macOS Mojave until developer updates are implemented.

We spoke with Michael Simmons of Algoriddim, the developer behind the djay Pro apps, and he provided us with more insight into the issue, pointing to a previous report outlining how Apple launched an official SDK for delivering programmatic access to users' music libraries with the launch of iTunes 11 a number of years ago. Apps like djay Pro that previously transitioned to the SDK will have no problems continuing to integrate with Music libraries in macOS Catalina.

App developers who have continued to rely on the earlier undocumented XML integration and have not updated in time will find that their users will be unable to access their Music libraries after upgrading to Catalina. Companies like Serato and Native Instruments have warned their users not to upgrade to macOS Catalina yet, although Native Instruments has a public beta of its Traktor Pro app available that will support Catalina.

Tag: iTunes
Related Forum: Mac Apps

Top Rated Comments

Ryan0751 Avatar
30 months ago
As a DJ, we saw this coming for quite a while with all of the announcements.

For those unaware, nobody is DJ'ing WITH iTunes. Rather, many DJ's used iTunes to organize their music. Bloated as it got, iTunes still has some powerful music management tools, with it's smart playlists and such. Plus, you could take your new music, playlists, etc. and sync them up to your iPhone/iPod for offline listening.

The DJ software vendors recognized this, and pretty much all of them built in support to read the library.xml file directly into their software.

So if you used Traktor, Serato, Rekordbox, Virtual DJ, etc., you could keep your library in iTunes, and it would just show up in the DJ software. Rather powerful, and if you decided to switch software, your tracks would move over easily (though all of the custom beat gridding, cue points and loops, etc. are still software specific).

From what I gather, the new Music App does have an API, it'll be interesting to see if the DJ vendors adopt it.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hlfway2anywhere Avatar
30 months ago

Thumbs down for those DJ who uses iTunes for playing tracks... that's not real DJ

Oh no! This is tragic. Won't someone please think of the iTunes DJs who use XML (all 3 of them)?
this has nothing to do with using itunes to DJ. it's regarding giving your DJ software, like Serato DJ, access to your iTunes library, where you may or may not maintain your music library.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Icaras Avatar
30 months ago

Thumbs down for those DJ who uses iTunes for playing tracks... that's not real DJ
LOL, we don’t use iTunes to DJ. We use it as our organizational library because it excels in that. The XML file allows your iTunes library to be shared to whatever DJ app you use. As a DJ, this makes me nervous to upgrade to Catalina right now. :(

Because the flip side is, is that you can still manually generate the XML file from the Music app, so there is still hope yet.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkermit Avatar
30 months ago

Apple removing features can be annoying at times, but they certainly are under no obligation to support something that they never documented as a feature, but rather simply used as an underlying storage medium in an older app. That is an inherent risk of using undocumented or private APIs.
I don't know about "never documented as a feature"...


Attachment Image
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jetson Avatar
30 months ago
There is always a group here who applaud whatever Apple does and criticize those who are adversely affected by changes, as though those people don't matter.

Come on, how difficult would it have been to continue to support XML for those people invested in using that feature of iTunes?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mimiron Avatar
30 months ago
Most people here do not understand the issue at hand. You don't DJ using iTunes. The app was merely used to create a playlist and generate an XML File that allows for sharing a playlist with third-party software like Traktor or Serato.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how the company strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...