Read this before updating your DJ computer to Catalina! Wait For Serato/Traktor/Rekordbox Updates.

If you’re an early adopter, a DJ, and use a Mac, take note: iTunes is officially done in macOS Catalina, out today. The software is replaced with a music-only app, called simply Music (we’ll call it occasionally for clarity). One of the biggest issues is that this breaks a lot of DJ apps’ integrations with iTunes XML-organized music library.

The good news is that DJ software developers are on it – although perhaps not quite fast enough (this seems to be the same refrain every single macOS release….) – keep reading for what you need to know.

Hold on the update no matter what: Even if you’re confident that you can update to the new OS without any issue, we highly recommend waiting at least a week for others to try it out. Don’t get caught with a non-functional setup, missing files, or worse. Let everyone else try it first – especially if you make money from DJ gigs.

Houston, we have a problem.

Over at The Verge, friend of DJTT Dani Deahl pointed out that something we published last month isn’t true. Despite assurances from Native Instruments, Apple did not include a manual XML export option in despite it having been present in many of the developer releases and being confirmed by the development team at Native Instruments. Apple confirms it has been permanently removed.

Author’s Update: it turns out, exporting manually is still very much possible. Scroll down to the comments or read our new article on the subject, major props to MixMasterG for pointing it out!

This is huge – it means:

  • if you’re a DJ who uses iTunes to organize your music, updating to Catalina means you can’t create an updated iTunes XML file (where Traktor, Serato, and Rekordbox read your music library from) with new tracks or playlists.
  • any DJs who want to use legacy versions of DJ software will never update to Catalina

However, all of your playlists and music will still be there – it just means that any use of the integrations (importing music in Rekordbox, playing it directly in Serato/Traktor) will not work.

Use iTunes on Windows? You are unaffected, and iTunes won’t disappear anytime soon.

The Fix Is Simple: Developers Should Have Updated Their Integrations (and are now scrambling to do so)

As we reported in our original article, some apps (like Algoriddim’s djay) have had the fix for a while: not using iTunes XML integration. Apple made it clear years ago that this end-of-life for XML was coming, somehow every app that wasn’t djay left it till the last second to work on this problem.

Developers can use an official SDK to integrate with (and could have with iTunes since 2014).

Current State Of All Major DJ Apps With and Catalina

Here’s an updated status of each app:

  • djay: works seamlessly
  • Traktor: Traktor Pro 3.3 is in Public Beta – includes and Catalina support
  • Virtual DJ: Virtual DJ 2020 (the latest update, which is free and awesome, details here) has full support
  • Serato: Serato DJ Pro public beta adds support for the SDK
  • Rekordbox: no support or beta yet. Their statement isn’t especially promising: “We will finish our initial research by the end of October 2019 and will post updates on our progress when we know more.”

Unfortunately, all has stayed pretty quit on the Rekordbox front. We were hoping that the new version released with the DDJ-XP2 launch last week would have included an update.

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