It has been previously reported and confirmed that Audirvana 3.2.20 fails to open or sync any music directory with its library on macOS Catalina. Upon some tinkering, I’m pleased to share I’ve discovered a solution for this issue (sort of).
Before I outline the steps to reproduce this workaround, you should be aware of the following caveats:
a. This is not a complete fix. While you will be able to playback any track in your existing library, syncing is still not possible, and therefore any future changes you make to your music directory (ie. adding or removing tracks/albums) will NOT be reflected in your Audirvana library.
b. This will only be possible with access to a previous version of macOS running Audirvana 3.2.x. This is because you will need to import an existing copy of your database file (correctly targeting your music directory) so that Audirvana will know where to find your music.
c. Your file paths for your Audirvana music, database, preference, cache and cookie files you will import to Catalina must EXACTLY match those from your previous macOS version already running AV 3.2.x. This implies that your user account name must be identical, and your music directory must be placed in the same exact location.
With that said, if you’re able to meet the above requirements, you can follow the steps below:
- Boot into your previous macOS version and first make copies of your Audirvana Plus application (presumably from /Applications), your music directory, and all of the following folders and files in the following directories:
Note that your previous Sysoptimizer files and cache directory may not be necessary for this to work, as I performed this without copies of the latter, but I recommend using them if you have them. I’m also far from an expert, so it may be that nothing else besides your previous database file is necessary – I simply didn’t try that to find out.
Move these copies of Audirvana, your music and all the aforementioned folders and files over to an external drive or anywhere else from where you’ll be able to read them.
Boot into macOS Catalina and copy over all of the above from your external drive into the same exact directories from which you found them, but do not run Audirvana yet. Reboot Catalina.
Once rebooted, go to System Preferences --> Security&Privacy --> Privacy tab --> Full Disk Access, authenticate using the lock in the bottom left-hand corner of the window, and then check “Audirvana Plus” as well as “com.audirvana.audirvana-plus.SysOptimizerTool” if it appears. (Note this step may not be necessary, I simply assumed it might help.) Reboot Catalina.
Once rebooted, open Audirvana Plus. It may prompt you for your license key. Once initialized, you should see your entire music library populate. Voila~!
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a complete fix, as you will still be unable to sync with your music directory. Your previous database file will simply be instructing Audirvana to find all of your existing music from the same file path. You will, however, be able to playback all the tracks you currently have in your local directory as well as enjoy streaming services as normal. I would imagine the only way to further patch this would be to add or remove entries from the database file by editing it manually with a program like “DB Browser for SQLite”.
I don’t know how complex or time consuming a proper fix to syncing on Catalina from the development team would be, and while I respect the fact that they have elected to move forward with 3.5, I wish they would consider giving this some attention out of respect for many of their long-standing customers who wish to continue using 3.2 on the latest version of macOS. Remaining on older macOS versions gradually becomes debilitating and leaves users increasingly vulnerable to security exploitation. On its face, this doesn’t seem like a very involved issue to rectify – it only seems to be the ability to target a directory that’s broken.
Regardless of the response we may or may not get, I continue to have great respect for this product, the dev team and the community. I hope this workaround proves helpful for the time being.