A vector PDF of the official mission logo of NROL-39. Released via a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Apple's war on their users continues apace

Great news everybody! XML is now deprecated!

Apple's latest desktop operating system update, macOS Catalina, will mark the official end of iTunes after nearly two decades.

This is a lie. Apple is not "replacing" iTunes. What they are doing is:

  1. Renaming to;
  2. Removing a bunch of features;
  3. Creating a new podcast player app, or some shit.

iTunes is effectively a part of the macOS kernel. It is the conduit through which the OS talks to the Apple store; through which new iOS devices are authorized, provisioned and upgraded; through which iOS devices are backed up; and through which Xcode installs and debugs software on development devices. They can't get rid of it. Their terrible kitchen-sink decisions of accretion mean that they are stuck with it forever and ever and ever, just like Finder.

So don't believe the marketing spin. They're just changing the name, and (as is their way) amputating a bunch of important, useful features that tons of people care about a lot, but which Apple got bored with supporting.

However, moving on:

But that transition is proving to be complicated for a certain subset of Mac users who've relied on the software to help manage their jobs: DJs.

According to Apple, along with Catalina's removal of iTunes, users are also losing XML file support as all native music playback on Macs moves over to the official Music app, which has a new library format. XML file support is a popular organizational feature for DJs who use it to sort tracks into playlists and utilize the "Share iTunes Library XML with other applications" option to seamlessly transmit data between apps.

Tons of popular DJ apps, like Rekordbox and Traktor, read XML files, and over the years, iTunes became the de facto way for lots of DJs to sort through their massive file libraries and quickly find tracks while performing.

But this means updating to Catalina will replace iTunes with Music, and that, in turn, will break communication between the app and many existing DJ softwares. According to Apple if a customer is reliant on XML files for DJing, they should avoid updating and continue using their preferred software on macOS Mojave until developers push out fixes.

"Push out fixes" here is a euphemism for "Apple has removed the API you've been using for a decade, so good luck figuring some new way to make your app work. Bye."

Remember, APIs only ever get less useful over time!

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Billionaire or Supervillain?

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