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

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Top Rated Comments

Ryan0751 Avatar
61 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
61 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
61 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
61 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"...


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Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jetson Avatar
61 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
61 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)