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By Kayla Collins - Last Updated: Contact Author

Incompatible Media in macOS Catalina | Rescue Your QuickTime Files

Apple had started transitioning to 64-bit software and hardware technology for its Mac devices about a decade back. This is the reason behind modern Macs featuring powerful 64-bit processors which can run state-of-art 64-bit apps. The best thing about these apps is that they can access more memory for enabling faster system performance. Powered by Metal graphics acceleration, apps with 64-bit infrastructure can ensure better experience of end users.

Phasing Out Of 32-Bit Apps: Apple has been working closely with developers to ensure a smooth transition of all its apps to 64-bit software. They had publicly announced in 2018 that macOS Mojave is scheduled to be the last release which will support 32-bit apps. Users can check with the software developer for ensuring whether 64-bit version of their preferred apps are available. Although 32-bit apps are able to run on 64-bit systems, Apple wishes to get rid of all the outdated apps for ensuring proper optimization of Mac and prohibiting unnecessary drainage of system resources.

Files based on QuickTime 7 framework will be affected: QuickTime 7 framework was extended by third-party software in all macOS versions up to macOS Mojave for supporting incompatible media formats. However, QuickTime 7 framework won’t be available any longer in macOS Catalina. Hence incompatible formats will not be supported any further.

Final Cut Pro/Motion/Compressor/iMovie Projects and Components Suffers: A new update of Mac OS allows automatic detection of all these three applications which shall be incompatible with the future OS versions succeeding Mojave. Users shall also have an option of converting incompatible media. A new Knowledge Base page was created by Apple for listing down all the formats which shall not be supported. All future Final Cut Pro X, Compressor and iMovie versions shall have the ability of detecting and converting older files.

Part 1. Media Compatibility Issue in macOS Catalina / Big Sur (Beta)

Incompatible media in macOS Catalina / Big Sur (Beta) will not be converted by Compressor and QuickTime Player. Thus, if users do not convert the incompatible media prior to updating, they will not be able to convert those media using QuickTime Player or compressor. We have listed below the media formats which are not compatible with the 32-bit to 64-bit transition.

Video Codec & Format
Apple ProRes, HDV, Apple Animation Codec, HEVC, Apple Intermediate Codec, iFrame, Apple, ProRes, Motion, JPEG, (OpenDML, only), AVCHD (including AVCCAM, AVCHD, Lite and NXCAM), MPEG-4, SP, DV, (including, DVCAM, DVCPRO and DVCPRO50), Photo, JPEG, H.264, XAVC-S.

Still Image Format

Audio Format

Part 2. Rescue Your Legacy Media Files with VideoProc

VideoProc is a versatile video processing software to help Mac users in gaining an edge over this scenario. Packed with video conversion utility, this tool takes maximum input video format to help you convert incompatible format in Catalina.

How to Convert Incompatible Media in macOS Catalina?

Step 1. Download and launch VideoProc.

Step 2. Go to the Video module, and drag your media into the working area.

Step 3. At the bottom of the interface, you will see a list of different video formats, choose one you prefer.

VideoProc video output formats
Output formats

Tips: You can access more profiles by clicking on Target Format. It doesn't matter if you don't know which format to convert to, VideoProc has presets ready for you.

VideoProc video output options
All output options

Step 4. Initiate video conversion by clicking the Run button.

Part 3. How to Detect Media Files Having Incompatibility Issues

1. Review your media archives, libraries, projects before updating

Users can review their libraries, media archives and projects prior to proceeding with the update. Whenever a media is imported or a library is opened in Final Cut Pro or in macOS Mojave, incompatible media files will be listed out. If you mindlessly clicked cancel and want to scan again, you can go to File > Check Media for compatibility. The same procedure is also followed in the case of Motion and iMovie.

2. How to convert legacy media files for macOS Catalina

You can convert the legacy media files for running smoothly on macOS Catalina. All incompatible media files need to be converted before proceeding with the upgrade as this option will no longer be available once the upgrade is done.

• While importing media in Final Cut Pro 10.4.6 or later, you will be presented with a window containing all the incompatible files.
• Simply have click the Covert button following which Final Cut Pro shall create duplicates of the files in Apple ProRes format.
• These files shall be placed in the current media storage location of the library.
• Clips present in the library shall also be relinked to the converted files.
• Users will also be presented with the option to convert incompatible videos later on by allowing Final Cut Pro to scan their library.

3. Re-import optimized/converted videos to your editing project

Users can re-import the converted or optimized videos to their editing project. Thus, if you find that your project is not compatible with macOS Catalina, then you can re-link or re-import those files for proceeding with editing work.

Sadly, this "Check Media for compatibility" merely works before updating. If you hasn't done your research before leaping to macOS Catalina, chances are that you won't be able to resort to native ways to convert incompatible files. You can free download VideoProc by clicking the buttons below to transcode your incompatible files.

Final Words

Apple has been phasing out its 32-bit apps over the last 10 years and has now become ready to make the final jump. The release of macOS Catalina is becoming a cause of concern for Mac users who stand at increased risk of losing access towards older apps. Lack of 32-bit app support makes it mandatory for users to update their apps to 64-bit for retaining their functionality. You can however tackle this problem with VideoProc which serves as a great QuickTime 7 alternative along with its stellar features. This video processing software can help you achieve a professional look and feel while editing and converting 4K UHD videos along with music and even DVD files. All of this is done by bringing down CPU usage to the bare minimum and make use of full GPU acceleration to nail the task.


Kayla Collins

Kayla Collins, a senior member of Digiarty software for 5 years, knows a thing or two about digital devices & video processing software like GoPro, DSLR camera, Drone, iPhone iPad, iMac, iMovie, etc. and is glad to share her knowledge to help people out of trouble. She's also deeply passionate about yoga, jogging, roller-skating, handcraft, reading, music, movie and more.

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