At WWDC 2018 yesterday Apple unveiled the next iteration of macOS. 10.14 is set to be called Mojave and it certainly isn’t a desert when it comes to new features for general and power Mac users. It will also be a free upgrade once it’s available in Fall / Autumn of 2018.
There are many ways some of the new marquee features can have an impact on music production workflows. One big change is how developers will more easily be able to port their iOS app code to macOS. Ultimately this should bring some of the cooler iOS music making apps into the macOS world. A good thing for all. But we haven't included this as a feature below as this is more for developers to work on that an end user feature.
Here’s 5 features we think will have a positive impact on the workflows of Mac-based musicians and producers.
1. Quick Trim Audio Files
Selecting a file and tapping the spacebar in Finder reveals an instant preview in Quick Look. We all know that. However, Mojave takes what you can do one step further by introducing new editing functionality. No longer will you need to launch your DAW or audio editor, import field recordings or audio samples and loops to cut or trim their length. You’ll be able to trim audio and video files inside the Finder which will be a real time-saver.
2. Your Song Ideas Everywhere
Voice Memos for Mac makes it simple to record song ideas right when you have that inspiration without messing around with your DAW, setting it up to record, creating tracks, etc. You can then export your voice memo to your DAW or share via iCloud. You’ll also be able to access the voice memos you record on your iPhone right on your Mac.
3. Welcome To The Dark Side
It might not sound like a big deal… or one specifically for musicians but dark mode will likely appeal to us as much as anyone else. The current crop of DAWs from Logic Pro X to Ableton Live 10 feature a darker GUI which many will argue makes for a more distraction-free experience which is kinder on the eyes. And now macOS Mojave aims to bring that same experience to the Finder. Definitely nice not to go from the dark interface of your DAW to the bright white of the Finder and back again when searching for samples.
4. Everything In Its Right Place
The desktop could be a place of zen-like calm for creatives. Instead it’s often a pile of files. It could be due to screenshots of plugin settings or arrangement ideas through to a dumping ground of audio samples and loops. Whatever the reason desktops can become unbearably messy fast.
macOS Mojave introduces an interesting solution with Stacks. Now you’ll be able to view groups of file by file type (audio, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs). Not only does that leave your desktop looking tidier but, on a practical note, having all your audio files in one stack means you’re one click away from viewing those only without having to open a Finder window and sort through the files types. Win!
5. Marvels Of Metadata
DJs and producers know the value of well-organised and tagged files. Now in macOS 10.14's Finder you'll discover a new view called gallery where you’ll be able to see a preview of the file and all the keys details of the selected file without needing to open a new “info” pane.
Everything from the creation and modification date to the duration of the audio file, when it was last opened, the sample rate and bit rate will be on display. And we expect you’ll be able to assign your own tags right in the preview mode should you wish.
The new macOS launches in September or October this year. Aside from the features above which we feel are particularly relevant for musicians and producers, Mojave includes a number of improvements that can help the productivity and workflows for photographers and visual artists too.
Only four or five months to wait...