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macOS 10.15 Catalina

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After the Catalina update, all of my music in iTunes was gone except for 7 or 8 items from the iTunes store. Otherwise ~32 GB of music gone.

Doesn't matter, because 2 years ago I moved all my music to a Bluesound Vault by re-ripping all of my CD's as flacs.

Is deletion the new standard for user content not purchased from Apple?
I'd also like to hear more details. I record interviews for later transcription for use in writing books and articles, and the audio recordings wind up in my iTunes files. Some I want to keep for historic purposes. I have no near-term plans for upgrading to Catalina, but it's very disturbing if Apple is deleting audio files that don't fit into their idea of what "music" files should be.
 


More from Adobe re Catalina...
I'm not sparing Apple any blame for many of Catalina's issues, but the Adobe stuff I lay on them. The File Saving "known issue" is more than a minor thing. It's a massive usability problem. If you're creating dozens of files every day and need to worry about adding the proper file type suffix, that's application programming 101. They had plenty of time to deal with this. If not for two or three small features with Photoshop and the fact that I have used it for over 25 years, I'd switch permanently to Affinity. Old habits die hard, though. As for the plugins, I'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'm not upgrading for the moment. After having to update iOS twice in less than two weeks after the original 13 release, I just don't have the time to waste doing the same thing with Catalina's inevitable dot releases. I normally jump right in, but not this time. I'll eventually update my MacBook Pros and even probably devote a startup disk on my 2012 Mac Pro after running DosDude's tool. Just not yet.
 


My iMac Photos will no longer sync manually (using the new Finder syncing) with either my iPhone or iPad. I can't figure out why. I don't want to pay for extra space and use iCloud to sync my photos.
 


Mojave-to-Catalina was the easiest upgrade I have experienced on this 2017 15" MacBook Pro. In every other instance, the final reboot would stall forever with the spinning gear of eternal perdition, and I would have to force a reboot, after which it turned out that the installation was complete.

Apps: I've already replaced Thoth with Hogwasher. It'll take a bit of getting accustomed to, but that was expected. I'll miss Acrobat Pro, but I have Acrobat DC on my 27" iMac, and I'm not going to rush to buy a third-party replacement for Acrobat Pro at this time. I had to give up on some ancient astronomy utilities, but they were mostly relics of the era before TheSkyX Professional from Software Bisque. Bisque's 64-bit version for Mac is sort of a beta, with the caveat "This installer has not yet been notarized by Apple (work in progress)", but I haven't encountered any difficulties with it; Bisque tends to build robust software.

Bugs: When playing videos in Music or TV.app, the cursor disappears. The only way I have found to get it back is to hit Esc to shrink the video and Command-Tab to a different application. That's a bit annoying.
 


On my 2017 iMac 5K 27", I have a 1TB internal fusion drive running the latest version of Mojave (12.4.6?), and on my external Thunderbolt 3 drive, I have the newly released Catalina, which I updated from beta yesterday. I can switch between drives, for startup, as I please.
Thanks. I can report the same with a 2019 iMac Retina 4K, for now at least. I was able to boot back into my Internal Mojave, but the startup sequence was a bit longer than normal, and I had to "re join" my Dropbox account. But it appears to be running normally.
 


Mojave can launch 32-bit apps located in your Catalina drive, so do not trash those files yet.
That could be a lifesaver! Hardware drivers for scanners and cameras would need to be on the Mojave volume, but actual applications might not.

I wonder if this could work if Mojave was run from a VM?
 


One bug I see in Catalina is that Albums that are inside a folder in Photos no longer sync to iOS devices (at least an iPhone 11 Pro, testing others shortly). They were syncing with the previous versions of macOS.

To reproduce:
1. Create a folder in Photos.
2. Add several albums to it.
3. Connect an iOS device.
4. In Finder, select albums inside and outside the folder.
5. Albums that are not in folders sync, albums that are in folders, do not sync.

Anyone else seeing that?
 


That's a good point. And it suggests an interesting approach. One could convert a system to Catalina and add a minimal Mojave system as a separate APFS volume on the same drive, then boot into that to run 32-bit apps. (This might or might not be more awkward than setting up a Mojave VM.)
A key concept here is the idea of splitting an APFS Volume Group into multiple bootable volumes to host Mojave side-by-side with Catalina (no matter which one you choose to use for your primary/largest system).
I hear echoes of multiple System Folders on a Mac OS (the real one :-) startup volume. Multiple System/Mac OS versions, blessable/de-blessable with some drag and drop. Go back far enough, and you could (no time to fire up the Quadra 950 to test it) switch active System Folders by (option?) double-clicking the Finder file in situ!
 


That could be a lifesaver! Hardware drivers for scanners and cameras would need to be on the Mojave volume, but actual applications might not. I wonder if this could work if Mojave was run from a VM?
That's how I run PowerPC apps. I have a Snow Leopard VM, but the apps are still on my High Sierra drive.

The question will be what is the best OS X version to virtualize for running 32-bit apps? You don't want a version that is too dependent on graphics acceleration.

Do any of the 32-bit app scanners report what the range of supported OS X versions is per app? For example, if it said Quicken 2007 can run in Mavericks to Mojave? This information is in the app's info.plist.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Do any of the 32-bit app scanners report what the range of supported OS X versions is per app? For example, if it said Quicken 2007 can run in Mavericks to Mojave? This information is in the app's info.plist.
Many app plists do contain minimum system data, e.g.

<key>LSMinimumSystemVersion</key>
<string>10.6.8</string>

But I haven't seen any equivalent for maximum system version... because, of course, how could that be known in advance! :-)

(And not all apps even contain LSMinimumSystemVersion.)
 


That could be a lifesaver! Hardware drivers for scanners and cameras would need to be on the Mojave volume, but actual applications might not. I wonder if this could work if Mojave was run from a VM?
Interesting idea. I have macOS Sierra in a Parallels VM on my MacBook Air running Mojave. I opened the Mojave Applications folder from the Sierra VM, and all the Mojave apps could be opened except those from Apple (i.e., Mail, Safari, Xcode, Calculator, Calendar...). So, possible.
 



In Catalina, Firefox crashes when I try to save a download or export bookmarks. Adding Firefox to Full Disk Access under Security & Privacy fixes the problem.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This seems worth noting....
Intuit said:
Risk of data file corruption and data loss for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac users who attempt to run QuickBooks on macOS Catalina
... Intuit has identified data file incompatibility issues between earlier versions of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019 and 2020 and Apple’s new macOS Catalina, which can cause data loss and crashes. Users of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019 and 2020 must download and install the latest free updates of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019 (R7) or 2020 (R2 or later) if they plan to use macOS Catalina....

Intuit has identified data file incompatibility issues between QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2015 and 2016 and Apple’s new macOS Catalina, which can cause data loss and crashes. To avoid data loss and crashes related to macOS Catalina, users of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2015 and 2016 -- who wish to continue using a QuickBooks Desktop product with the new macOS Catalina -- must purchase an upgrade to the latest releases of QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 2019 or 2020....
 


This new feature caught my eye on the macOS Catalina Features page at the bottom. Sure, it's not that useful right now, but in the future, it might be a lifesaver for those who upgrade but need to roll back due to software incompatibilities:
Apple said:
Restore from snapshot
If your third-party software is incompatible with an update you just installed, use macOS Recovery to restore from a snapshot of your computer taken right before the installation. macOS and all your apps will work just as they did before you installed the update.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This new feature caught my eye on the macOS Catalina Features page at the bottom. Sure, it's not that useful right now, but in the future, it might be a lifesaver for those who upgrade but need to roll back due to software incompatibilities:
There's some related discussion from Mike Bombich (Carbon Copy Cloner developer) about Catalina changes here:
Bombich Software said:
And here's discussion about restoring snapshots on pre-Catalina systems:
Bombich Software said:
Leveraging Snapshots on APFS Volumes Printer-Friendly Version Product
Snapshots are a new feature of Apple's APFS filesystem, and they're available on macOS High Sierra and later. A snapshot is a point-in-time representation of a volume on your hard drive. Once the snapshot is taken, each file within that snapshot will be available on the snapshot in its exact state at the moment that the snapshot was taken, even if you delete the file. When you configure CCC to make regular snapshots of your APFS-formatted volumes, you can quickly restore older versions of your files. When you combine snapshots and CCC bootable backups, you can even restore an older version of your Mac's operating system!
 


All of my album art (for 1700 albums) was gone when I first opened Music. Gradually, over the next several hours, the art "repopulated" most of the albums, but about 150 of the albums no longer had covers.
The albums that no longer had covers were most likely using cached artwork in iTunes.

FWIW, I have always made sure to embed the artwork in the song files. Back in the day, I encoded using AIFF and not WAV for this very purpose. It increased the file size somewhat, but you're guaranteed to never lose it.
 


FWIW, I have always made sure to embed the artwork in the song files. Back in the day, I encoded using AIFF and not WAV for this very purpose. It increased the file size somewhat, but you're guaranteed to never lose it.
I believe that selecting, for example, all the tracks of an album (especially one ripped from CD), pressing Cmd-I (get info), clicking the artwork tab, and drag/paste an album cover image accomplishes this.
 


I believe that selecting, for example, all the tracks of an album (especially one ripped from CD), pressing Cmd-I (get info), clicking the artwork tab, and drag/paste an album cover image accomplishes this.
I don't know if it will work in Catalina, but Doug's AppleScripts has a script that will copy artwork to the Finder folder containing the track/album and another script that restores artwork from that folder back to iTunes.
 


I'd also like to hear more details. I record interviews for later transcription for use in writing books and articles, and the audio recordings wind up in my iTunes files. Some I want to keep for historic purposes. I have no near-term plans for upgrading to Catalina, but it's very disturbing if Apple is deleting audio files that don't fit into their idea of what "music" files should be.
I have seen what may be a related snafu. After my "upgrade" to Catalina on my late 2012 Mac Mini, all the dates on my photos stored in an external hard drive via the Mac Mini had their dates changed to July 12, 2031. On each photo I checked, the EXIF date had been so modified. However, when I select "Imports" from the Photos Library menu, the individual photos retain their correct date and time. Very strange.
 


CTM

I have upgraded to Catalina, and I was unable to update Xcode to the latest version (11.1) via the App Store, even though I tried twice. I had to download it from Apple's developer site....
I've tried at least 5 times throughout today to upgrade Xcode, and it fails every time at about 75% of the way through, according to the circular icon. Guess I'll try to get it from the Developer site, as you did.
 


I've tried at least 5 times throughout today to upgrade Xcode, and it fails every time at about 75% of the way through, according to the circular icon. Guess I'll try to get it from the Developer site, as you did.
I posted a reply regarding this late yesterday… Anyway, in summary, I experienced the timeouts myself several times so I tried a fresh installation of Xcode on my second Mac and it worked on the first try.

Then I uninstalled Xcode from my primary Mac (using AppDelete). The update offer, naturally, was gone after that. I did a fresh “Get” from the App Store and the installation was successful.
 



I've tried at least 5 times throughout today to upgrade Xcode, and it fails every time at about 75% of the way through, according to the circular icon. Guess I'll try to get it from the Developer site, as you did.
Ditto... for a couple of days now.
 


I consider my late 2012 Mac Mini and myself to be very lucky - on the whole, Catalina is working faster and more smoothly than Mojave. But I do see one really annoying minor bug - all my .webloc files have only generic, white icons. And if I do Get Info on these files, I can't change the "Open with" app. I can change that in the System Prefs, however. My home folder permissions are right, and Safari itself works well.

Does anyone else notice this issue? If not, I may have to do a reinstall...
 


I upgraded three Macs (2013 MacBook Air, original 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 2017 27-inch iMac) to Catalina last night. The upgrade process worked flawlessly on all machines and helpfully identified a few 32-bit stragglers I'd overlooked at the beginning of the upgrade process, thus allowing me to abort the process if I had wanted.

Once up and running with Catalina, I noticed all three machines had a badge on System Prefs requiring me to update my Apple ID settings. On all machines having completed this step, the machines got stuck in an endless loop of entering the ID, waiting 30 seconds or so then asking again.

Searching the Apple forums, it appears the culprit was a corrupted keychain, and deleting the keychain folder fixed the issues.

While relatively trivial to fix, requiring a normal user to navigate to their library folder and poke around in keychains seems pretty user-hostile, and I'm really surprised this wasn't identified in beta testing. I'm also surprised it affected three quite different Macs. All have iCloud Keychain turned off.

Probably of more concern was that on my iMac after fixing the issue, System Prefs asked me for my iPhone unlock password. Given that I have iCloud Keychain turned off on all Macs, how did it even know what this was? I sync to a late 2009 iMac that can't run Catalina and have never synced to the 2017 iMac. I also don't have iCloud or wireless local backup enabled. (Yeah, I'm an old cable guy.) Anyway, I would have thought Apple would use a 2FA process and send me a text with a code to enter.

Even worse, I have a 6-digit password on my iPhone, and the dialog only provided the option to enter a 4-digit password. System Prefs had a list of all my family’s iPhones and knowing my daughter’s iPhone unlock password was only 4 digits, I selected that, entered her unlock code, and everything seemed to work OK.

My experience just underlines my perception that Catalina was rushed and many 'features' are not yet fully baked.

As always your milage may vary.

Mitch
 


Applications which started in classic Mac OS and are still relevant today for me:
  • Graphic Converter
  • iCab
... and very relevant to me as well, Karl (thanks for raising the point). iCab was used here until forced to another browser.

They are a couple of the very few apps which still adhere to the correct (cough, original) user interface guidelines, and thus are blisteringly easy to use. No need to think for a moment "now, how do I do ‘X’?". They just work. So easy to get stuff done, so productive.
 


I consider my late 2012 Mac Mini and myself to be very lucky - on the whole, Catalina is working faster and more smoothly than Mojave. But I do see one really annoying minor bug - all my .webloc files have only generic, white icons. And if I do Get Info on these files, I can't change the "Open with" app. I can change that in the System Prefs, however. My home folder permissions are right, and Safari itself works well. Does anyone else notice this issue? If not, I may have to do a reinstall...
Same here, running on a Mac Mini 2018. Right-click does work, giving you possible choices through “Open With,” or you can drag the icon into a browser window. And believe me, there are a number of other bugs, some only becoming apparent with the final release.
 


I couldn't resist playing on Catalina, and generally it's been fun, but there are some oddities I'm finding that I'm wondering if others have seen...
[snip]
2. All of my album art (for 1700 albums) was gone when I first opened Music. Gradually, over the next several hours, the art "repopulated" most of the albums, but about 150 of the albums no longer had covers... Most of them, as I look at them, were albums I had gone to find art for (usually on Amazon) and copied to them. That work will have to be redone, if I'm going to be obsessive about album art. ;-)
Same here, generally fun but a few oddities. After about 18 hours overnight, the album art is still repopulating, slowly. I'm guessing it'll take days. Don't know if the new Music app will continue that if not launched, so I'm making sure to leave it running.

I really, really, like iDevice management and access in the Finder.

Had to authorize a bunch of things that wouldn't have needed authorizing before. One time action, no big deal.

There's an unwelcome apparent change to Apple Mail. While the message list still displays columns for the normal attributes (sender, subject, date, etc.), I see no way to change the column widths or their order, and column headings are missing. Sort order is now selected via a pull-down menu rather than clicking on the now absent column headings. Not a helpful change.
 


The problem with this is that Apple will constantly hound you to change to zsh every time you start Terminal. Why should Apple care what shell you use is the main question. I've been using bash for many years and have no intention in going with zsh. So I'll have to live with the hounding message for a long time to come, I suppose.
I am curious, why the resistance to moving to zsh? I moved over to zsh in Mojave in June when Catalina was first announced and zsh was made the default going forward. From a interactive perspective I have noticed no difference in day to day activity. I actually became more productive when I found out about oh-my-zsh. With some the tweaks (like case insensitivity, context highlighting, and command auto-complete) I am actually happier in zsh.

My next step is to start moving scripts from bash to zsh. From what I am seeing, it is nearly seemless. Very few structural differences. Armin Briegel has a great series on his scriptingosx website on moving to zsh from bash.
 


As a little bonus, Apple Watch unlock computer and submit passwords work just fine with Catalina. Just two taps on the wrist, and passwords are entered. The blank space doesn't fill in, the application simply opens.
 


Econ Technologies, developers of ChronoSync, has posted a very clearly written and informative note (October 9, 2019) about the "cautions" necessary before "upgrading" to Catalina. Although it applies specifically to ChronoSync, I think it's useful reading for others, too. Here's the link:

 


Same here, running on a Mac Mini 2018. Right-click does work, giving you possible choices through “Open With,” or you can drag the icon into a browser window. And believe me, there are a number of other bugs, some only becoming apparent with the final release.
Weird. On my 2017 27-inch iMac 5K, all the (five!) .webloc files on my system drive retain their icons and their default "Open with" (Safari) after upgrading to 10.15.
 


I believe that selecting, for example, all the tracks of an album (especially one ripped from CD), pressing Cmd-I (get info), clicking the artwork tab, and drag/paste an album cover image accomplishes this.
You are correct. This is exactly what I've been doing for decades.
 



I guess Catalina might update the Mac's firmware, but are there any reports of that causing problems when booting back into older macOS versions?
It seems I accidentally updated 2018 Mac Mini firmware when testing making a bootable macOS 10.15.0-19A583 Catalina USB install drive with:

The flash drive booted halfway to a prompt:
A software update is required to use this startupdisk. You can update now or select another startup disk.
Clicking "Update" brought up a progress bar:
This update will take several minutes to complete and the screen will turn off for up to minute.
After a while, and a reboot, the Catalina installer window appeared. I quit it and booted back to the internal disk's macOS 10.14.6 Mojave. But that trip to the installer seems to have updated the Mac Mini firmware, because yesterday's System Report > Hardware > Hardware Overview was changed from:

Boot ROM Version: 220.270.99.0.0 (iBridge: 16.16.6571.0.0,0)
to:
Boot ROM Version: 1037.0.78.0.0 (iBridge: 17.16.10572.0.0,0)

I made a new flash drive installer, and it boots straight into the Catalina installer.

At first, I thought that the update prompt was just an alternative to the --downloadassets option when preparing the flash drive, but it seems to have been a firmware update, right?

!f that is indeed the case, I'm happy to report that the 2018 Mac Mini still runs Mojave just fine, and I might proceed with installing Catalina on an external test drive sooner than I had planned.
 


I am curious, why the resistance to moving to zsh?
“Change is bad.” I say this only partially tongue-in-cheek. I am an interactive tcsh user vintage c. 1989. Some day I'll get around to updating my .tcshrc and .login so I can use a "modern" shell and be consistent with my typist's muscle memory. “Maybe tomorrow” (for the thousandth time).
My next step is to start moving scripts from bash to zsh.
This (and other reasons) is why I've tried to make all my scripts sh (not bash) compatible.

Nevertheless, whatever shell you love, you can use it. With current macOS that requires hoop-jumping. In the future, who knows when Apple will lock us out completely. It is illuminating and interesting to see how the battle between free (libre) and non-free software plays out.
 


I am having a lot of memory and space issues with Catalina. Mail takes forever to load any email with images. I keep getting Out of Memory errors, then the OS just quits whatever app it doesn't like (Music seems to be a prime culprit). Also disk space errors, though the volume it says is out of room has almost 9 GB free.

I'm on a trash can Mac Pro, so I don't think any of those errors is due to the machine. Then there's Adobe: can't print out of Photoshop, auto file suffixes are random or no-go, various Adobe apps randomly crashing. On the other hand, Default Folder works like a champ – what a great app!
 


I am curious, why the resistance to moving to zsh? I moved over to zsh in Mojave in June when Catalina was first announced and zsh was made the default going forward. From a interactive perspective I have noticed no difference in day to day activity. I actually became more productive when I found out about oh-my-zsh. With some the tweaks (like case insensitivity, context highlighting, and command auto-complete) I am actually happier in zsh.

My next step is to start moving scripts from bash to zsh. From what I am seeing, it is nearly seemless. Very few structural differences. Armin Briegel has a great series on his scriptingosx website on moving to zsh from bash.
The resistance comes about due to my having about 1 zillion scripts which were done in bash and not having the time, nor inclination, to move all 1 zillion to zsh.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I am having a lot of memory and space issues with Catalina. Mail takes forever to load any email with images. I keep getting Out of Memory errors, then the OS just quits whatever app it doesn't like (Music seems to be a prime culprit). Also disk space errors, though the volume it says is out of room has almost 9 GB free
9 GB of free space is not really, um, “viable.” You should free up about ten times that amount, and I expect everything will work much better (if the free space underallocation hasn’t already worn out your SSD, which you might want to check with a SMART utility, such as Drive DX).
 


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