Apple have advised all users that macOS Mojave is the last Apple operating system to support 32-bit applications. With the upcoming release of macOS Catalina, probably in late September 2019, based on the release of Mojave and High Sierra, you will no longer be able to run any 32-bit applications. In this article we look at a great free app that makes routing out those pesky 32-bit applications so much easier and gives an indication of the work Avid need to do to get Pro Tools 2019 macOS Catalina ready.
From January 2018 all new apps submitted by developers to the App Store had to be 64-bit apps and all apps and app updates had to be 64-bit by June 2018.
In June last year Apple confirmed at the 2018 WWDC keynote that macOS Mojave would be the last version of the macOS that would support 32-bit applications.
We have covered the issue of 32-bit applications in previous articles like Preparing For macOS 10.15 Catalina - We Have The Latest Advice And Avid Tell Us What To Expect For Pro Tools And QuickTime but just recently we have come across a great free application from St. Clair Software called Go64, which makes it much easier to find all the 32-bit applications, and even drills into apps that are 64-bit compliant on the surface but under the hood still use some 32-bit components.
How To Use Go64 From St. Clair Software
Once you have downloaded and installed the free application Go64, when you first run it it will display this screen explaining what it is all about…
Click OK and Go64 will start scanning the Applications folders on your macOS boot drive, in my case Macintosh HD…
Once it has finished scanning your Applications folder, you will get a list like this…
On my main Pro Tools HDX system I am still running macOS Sierra, As you can see from the image above, I have 551 apps that are 64-bit compliant but a shocking 108 apps that are still 32-bit. The default setting for Go64 is to only list the applications that are not fully 64 compliant, in my case 108 apps. Note that in the ‘64 Bit’ column you have 2 options, a straight ‘No’ or a warning triangle.
If you highlight an app with a warning triangle, like the latest version of Pro Tools, then you get a note at the bottom of the window that says “App is 64-bit except for Avid Video Engine.app” and then you can click on the More Info button you get a list of the components in the Avid Video Engine that are still 32-bit…
This gives us a real insight into what work Avid still needs to do to get Pro Tools into shape for macOS Catalina and although it is quite a long list, it appears the in the Avid Video Engine that is the only part of the Avid code that needs work. This isn’t that surprising as Apple are changing the way that macOS Catalina will handle video files with the final stage of removing the last elements of the QuickTime code.
Other notable applications on the list is the WrapAdapterInterLok, which is a component of the iLok software, although on closer investigation it seems these components relate to some of the virtual instruments like Strike, Vacuum Pro, Velvet and Transfuser. Our experiments with the beta version of macOS Catalina, show that the major audio related applications that don’t work yet with Catalina are Pro Tools and iLok.
Interestingly there are a number of uninstallers on the list, most are from older installers but there are some current apps including a good number of the iZotope Uninstall apps like Uninstall Neutron Advanced V3.0, which have a couple of 32-bit components in them that are still have some 32-bit code in them.
Now I Know Which Applications Are 32-bit - What Do I Do Now?
Another neat feature in Go64 is that they list a URL for each application, so that you can go to the developer’s site and see if there is already an update. I have already done this for a couple of applications including Photoshop Elements and Steermouse, which I use with my Logictech mouse. In both cases I needed to pay for an upgrade, but they are in and working. You can even add in the cost of each upgrade into Pro64 so you can keep track of the cost of getting ready for a 64-bit only world.
Audio Software We Know About So Far That Is 32-bit
Here is the latest list we have of audio related software that isn’t 64-bit compliant…
MPEG Streamclip *
Pro Tools 10
QuickTime Pro 7
X2Pro Audio Convert 4
Waves plug-ins pre v10
Waves SoundGrid 9.7.99 and earlier
Metric Halo SpectraFoo
IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonik 1
Source Elements Source Zip Pro
Source Elements Source-Connect Pro 3.7
Source Elements Qmanager 2
Plural Eyes 3.5
BaseHead 4 Ultra
Synchronize! Pro X & Synchronize! X Plus
Audacity v2.3.1 or earlier
Toast Titanium V16.x and earlier
Melodyne 2.1.2 components
Cargo Cult Conformalizer
Soundminer v4.5 and earlier
Ableton Live 8
Pro Tools - some components are still 32-bit.
All the apps from Sounds In Sync like EdiLoad, EdiPrompt etc. Note that Sounds In Sync are working on 64-bit versions of all their apps.
Applications like Pro Tools 10, earlier software like Waves plug-ins before V10 etc will never be 64-bit. If you need to keep Pro Tools 10 alive , for example, to handle old sessions with Sound Designer 2 files then you will need to keep a boot drive with an earlier version of the macOS like Sierra. Other applications will have newer versions that will be 64-bit compliant and so you may need to set aside some funds to undertake an upgrade program.
There are also some Apple apps that will no longer work. Be aware that only the following versions will be compatible, so if you are running an older version than the ones listed below you will need to update, if you want to work with macOS Catalina.
Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4
Logic Pro X 10.3.1
I also found I have earlier versions of Apple iWorks apps like Pages, Keynote and Numbers. There are 64-bit versions of these apps but they can only be installed if you have a later version of the macOS, so they will get sorted once you have upgraded your Apple operating system.
You can update all the Apple applications to the latest versions via the Mac App Store.
What About MPEG Streamclip? *
As we have said, some apps are not going to be replaced. Perhaps one of the most notable in audio post-production workflows is MPEG Streamclip, which has not been updated for many years and won’t get updated anymore. This app was built around the QuickTime 7 libraries built into the macOS but as we have covered in the article Apple Gives Details Of Which Video And Audio Codecs Will And Won't Work Natively With Future macOS Releases. We Have The Full Lists, Apple has decided to remove native OS level support for most 3rd party audio and video codecs and move the responsibility onto individual software developers. It’s all part of the dropping of QuickTime API, which is 32-bit code and replacing it with AVFoundation, which is 64-bit and is at the core of the current QuickTime player. Note that Apple is NOT killing the QuickTime Movie File format. That is still alive and well.
So what about MPEG Streamclip? many of us have come to depend on this free software to handle our video transcoding software especially when using Pro Tools and wanting to convert incoming video files to Avid DNxHD. In our article Two Ways To Create Pro Tools Friendly Avid DNxHD Video Files Without Using MPEG Streamclip - Expert Tutorial we show two solutions to replace MPEG Streamclip and in our article Optimus Player - Is This The Alternative To QuickTime 7 You'll Need To Be Able To Play Avid DNXHD Video Files In The Future? we show a replacement to the QuickTime Player in the macOS that would support all the codecs that will no longer be supported in the macOS.
Our Advice - Be Prepared - Find Alternatives And Update Now - Don’t Leave It To The Last Minute
If you have old software you like to use and never update, it’s possible they are 32-bit apps and they won’t work in macOS 10.15 Catalina. We recommend that take the time to find replacements for these apps now and get used to them BEFORE you need to upgrade to macOS Catalina. For any of the applications that aren’t going to be updated, if you find a replacement that works for you, do share it in the comments below.
Then there are applications that have been or will be updated and this is where the free application from St. Clair Software - Go64 makes it significantly easier to route out the 32-bit applications and update to the latest versions.