What to do about compatibikity breakages?

darkgoob

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 16, 2008
297
269
Apple anounced recently that upcoming releases of iOS and macOS will drop support for 32-bit software.

Their attitude is basically this: developers should update all this stuff and provide you with new copies.

Myself and many other people, especially musicians who use lots of hardware and plugins, have already been frustrated for a long time with the way Apple seems not to care very much about all of the hardware drivers and software that it breaks compatibility with, every time it releases an OS update.

Whether it's audio interface drivers or plugins and their installers, I have become deathly afraid to update—not only because I will have to spend lots of money for updates and new hardware that I don't need, but also and especially because some of my most commonly used software instruments are no longer supported, and there is no substitute where the same MIDI files and DAW projects will work with them and sound the same.

I had written Apple a letter in the hopes a future macOS release would improve these backwards compatibility issues, but it seems they are going the opposite direction. I am really freaking because now they are saying all 32-bit software is getting dumped. Why?! Why not offer a compatibility environment?

This is particularly a problem for CoreAudio plugins on the Mac, like Native Instruments Pro-53. I have hundreds of hours of projects with it. No update is available. Same with my Avid 002 Rack drivers, which I had to hack in order to barely get them to work even on 10.8, where I gave been stranded as a result for the past 5+ years.

Apple's changes to sandboxing and permissions even in 10.8 were problematic and they got even worse on recent macOS versions. It was common for plugins to save preset files in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins, yet now this is locked from being writable unless you disable SIP and and modify your permissions. Even then, the stupid sandbox daemon (which seems to have no manual overrides) can cause crashes and problems.

I understand and appreciate Apple adding performance and security features and optimizations to their OSs. However I strongly feel they need to maintain user overrides and controls for this crap, and they need to spend some of that 250 billion in cash they have milked all of us for and are now hoarding, to ensure their products can be updated and will continue to "just work".

They can afford to engineer new Macs and software to keep working with older hardware and software. I know Microsoft keeps support going for Windows 7 for a very long time due to this reason, because businesses and professionals who rely on their software cannot usually afford to upgrade all their specialized software and hardware.

The fact is that most of the new features of macOS past 10.8 are mostly UI things that I don't need. The security improvements however are crucial in many ways and so I'm forced to keep my 10.8 machine off the internet now, which can be a pain.

I guess I'm just venting but maybe someone knows of a workaround for the 32-bit plugins, like a compatibility shell or some way to run them with low latency on a 64-bit-only OS.
 

KALLT

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2008
4,922
3,004
Apple anounced recently that upcoming releases of […] macOS will drop support for 32-bit software.
To my knowledge, Apple has not said anything about that in relation to macOS.

Their attitude is basically this: developers should update all this stuff and provide you with new copies.
Mountain Lion is available for 64-bit capable Macs only. Any piece of software that has no 64-bit support at this point is either at least four years old or the developer has been negligent all this time.

I am really freaking because now they are saying all 32-bit software is getting dumped. Why?! Why not offer a compatibility environment?
32-bit mode is already a ‘compatibility environment’, given that the kernel and 99% of preinstalled and Apple programs run in 64 bit.

I guess I'm just venting but maybe someone knows of a workaround for the 32-bit plugins, like a compatibility shell or some way to run them with low latency on a 64-bit-only OS.
What is stopping you from sticking with an older version of macOS? You can easily install multiple versions of macOS on the same drive. Sierra will receive two more years of security updates after 10.13 is released.
 

zarathu

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2003
274
46
Try running the program in a virtual environment. Load a copy of whatever Operating system you are using for it now into Parallels lite or virtual, or pay for one of the higher powered versions. Would that not work?

I use windows xp in Virtual in Sierra.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2011
6,349
934
Baltimore, Maryland
Try running the program in a virtual environment. Load a copy of whatever Operating system you are using for it now into Parallels lite or virtual, or pay for one of the higher powered versions. Would that not work?

I use windows xp in Virtual in Sierra.
Pro audio apps in VM? Nope.

OS and actual computer equipment upgrades screwing up pro audio apps and hardware is as old as pro audio apps. Ditto for pro audio app upgrades screwing up third-party plugins and vice-versa. Also, audio engineers have been dealing with old projects not working on updated systems since before any DAW apps were written...mechanically automated consoles that used a spare track on the 2" analog tape to write the data, for instance.

KALLT's suggestion to run the older OS in a separate partition is the way to go. But...you should research what audio engineers go through to "future proof" projects at some of the pro audio forums.

As to 32-bit plugins...are you aware of 32 Lives?