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!     

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Your Comment


So, finally NVidia drivers are supported!(???)

October 8, 2019 at 4:52AM


Exactly! That's what I want to know. Otherwise, I'm soon moving to PC

October 10, 2019 at 11:04AM


the missing of Qt32 is not about external codec, but also many tools avaible in old QtPro not present in QtX like editing, multilevel, scripting, multi audio, interactive tools and more...
I'm happy that the old 32bit support is cutted, finally developer must stop to lie us that software are 64bit when are only partial converted, and they must re write correctly for 64bit the tools.
i'm enought old to remember that Jurassik park was rendered on computer with single core CPU, 64MEGA of ram and few gb of Harddrive, and today we have tons of multicore, multiprocessing, tons of ram (i had 128gb) and often i se software that be to the edge of hardware limits not for my request but for bad developing.

October 8, 2019 at 7:10AM, Edited October 8, 7:11AM

Carlo Macchiavello
Director (with strong tech knowledge)

I recommend using Switch by telestream. It's way better than Quicktime

October 8, 2019 at 10:07AM

Alex Alva

If this presents you with a problem, I'd say maybe you are not really a serious content creator.

October 8, 2019 at 8:25AM


Yeah, no. I mean if you ever worked with archival material you'll know that the 64 bit switch is a big deal. It's going to cause some people such as myself to have legacy machines and have to create new work flows. Especially when you have over 12 Petabytes of archival material, you can't easily batch and migrate.

October 8, 2019 at 10:57AM

You voted '+1'.
Alex Alva

And serious filmmakers don’t call themselves ’content creators’

October 8, 2019 at 12:37PM

Jeff C

QuickTime Player 7 huh? Lol.

October 8, 2019 at 9:15AM


Can't someone write a 64 bit app that boxes the 32 bit apps allowing them to run in Catalina? I have so many legacy video apps, filters, etc that I want to continue to use and have been running great in High Sierra.

October 9, 2019 at 8:55AM


Apple: Always making things better for it's customers, right?! Not sure if this applies to all platforms but pretty much any web-based app like DropBox or the Adobe Desktop app are both 32-bit so...

October 10, 2019 at 1:10PM

Douglas Bowker
Animation, Video, Motion-Graphics