As it has been expected for the past several years, Apple will be officially dropping support for all 32-bit Mac apps and related technology in the next version of their desktop operating system: macOS Catalina.
Because Apple has deprecated their own QuickTime framework, which 33 RPM is heavily reliant upon, 33 RPM will not work on macOS Catalina. I have tested and confirmed this on a beta version of macOS Catalina, and 33 RPM will not even launch.
As I have detailed in previous blog posts, there are a couple of options I can take: I can either rewrite the entire app, or I can retire it.
Now that Project Catalyst has been officially announced, it gives me a better idea about the feasibility of writing a new version of 33 RPM which will run not just on the Mac, but on iPhones and iPads, as well. I am still not pleased with the design of the native Music player on iOS devices, so if I do port 33 RPM over, it will be designed as a more straightforward music player, in addition to providing music transcription tools to alter the speed and pitch of songs. However, rewriting the entire app will not be a trivial task since it will involve using a new framework, a different programming language, and supporting new operating system platform(s), in addition to the standard time necessary to rework everything. Work on 33 RPM was initially started in 2005 using the QuickTime framework and Objective-C, so I imagine that very little of the original code can be salvaged for the necessary rewrite. If 33 RPM sees a rebirth, it will not be a quick one.
The other (but sadder) alternative is to finally sunset this app after eleven years. I have already retired a number of my early Mac apps, so this would hardly be a first, but it is still a time for lament when the end of an era has come.
I am not officially pronouncing 33 RPM's fate just yet — that will ultimately depend on how much interest, time, and energy there is to bring 33 RPM into a new era. I am always working on a number of projects, including a rewrite of Permanent Eraser, so I would not expect a potential new version to happen for easily a couple of years at this point. I hope to have come to a more concrete decision within the next year if I wish to continue developing this app.
Regardless of 33 RPM's ultimate future, it has been a good run, especially for an app that has already been in semi-retirement for several years, so it is impressive that for an app that hasn't been updated since late 2012, it still runs fine on macOS Mojave.
33 RPM is the type of app I personally wanted for many years and designed it because I was not happy with the existing software solutions at the time. Once again and always, thank you to everyone who has ever downloaded and used 33 RPM. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed creating this app.