MacOS Catalina Brings Major Changes, Here is What Filmmakers Need to Know
The new OS has arrived and it brings a lack of support for older apps. We break it down.
Most filmmakers won't update their OS the day a new one comes out. Why?
Because if you work on time-sensitive projects the possibility that a fresh bug will ruin your workflow and cause a missed deadline is just too high.
However, the new macOS, Catalina, shipped Monday, and if you are a filmmaker thinking you might want to update soon there are a few things that you should absolutely be aware of.
Catalina will only run 64bit apps
The big change here is that 32bit apps are no longer going to open. This means the end of Quicktime Player 7, the beloved video player that many of us have used since we first played a video on a computer. While it's replacement "Quicktime Player," has been around for a while now, it lacks support for pro formats like DNx (the primary codec for Media Composer, which is also popular for Windows users even when working in Resolve or Premiere) as a native format, and thus many filmmakers have stuck by 7.
That ends with Catalina. Quicktime Player 7 is no longer going to open at all.
If you have a beloved app you depend on and you are worried might not run under Catalina, there is an easy way to check.
Go to "About this Mac" and then click on "system report" and scroll down to "software - applications."
There is a tab for "64-bit," and you can sort by that column and see what apps are still 32bit, they should read "no."
Scroll through that list and see if there is anything there that you still depend on. There are going to be some apps in that list that have 64bit versions: the only real issue when it comes to Catalina will be with apps that are only available in 32bit.
The flip side of this is that support for DNx is coming to Quicktime Player. It's not here now, but we should have native support for DNx added to the new pro video formats (PVF) package that pro users can install sometime this fall.
This means that if you work regularly with DNx, you'll no longer need to wait for Quicktime Player to convert the file before playing it. It should open up like ProRes or H.264. The new PVF isn't out yet, but Apple has suggested it will be out this fall.
With macOS now 100% 64-bit, including 64-bit graphics support from Metal, we're hoping to see some improved video performance, especially in apps like Final Cut Pro. Let us know in the comments if you've made the jump to Catalina and how your video apps are doing. We will update you with more info as we get it!