Photo Mechanic 6, Macs and 32 bit apps

Coming March 25th 2019…

Slowly but surely application developers are replacing their 32 bit versions for Apple OSX with 64 bit ones. As things stand there are only two bits of software that I use on a very regular basis that are still only available in 32 bit and the most important (and dare I say “most exciting”) of those, Photo Mechanic, gets an upgrade later this month. It has been a while coming, and I have mentioned it here on this blog once or twice already, when the next iteration of OSX is installed it stops us being able to use 32 bits apps altogether. Because I have the luxury of having three Macs I always have one of them running the latest (or even beta) versions of everything. That way I can satisfy my curiosity without risking my production machines with untested or insufficiently tested software.

Camera bits have labelled the upcoming Photo Mechanic 6 as “faster and more compatible” whilst also signalling that they’ve made a few changes to the interface, made it 2-3 times faster and added a few new tricks too. For anyone with an existing PM5 license the upgrade is US$89 whilst a full new license is US$150. They have also, rather more quietly, said that a second version of Photo Mechanic 6 called Photo Mechanic 6 Plus will be available to try out about four weeks later on April 22nd. This promises to add the much anticipated and long awaited catalogue function. I am keen to see if it can match or even exceed NeoFinder and make me choose between the two for my digital asset management needs. I haven’t seen a price yet but I’m sure that it will be competitive.

Regular readers of this blog will be a bit bored with my praise of Camera Bits and for Photo Mechanic and so anyone wanting to know more should click here to read my workflow greatest hits post from a few months ago.

So, which other application is looking likely to be the last of my 32 bit “must-haves”? Well, that would be the Colormunki Display monitor calibration app that drives my trusty Colormunki Display monitor calibration device. The X-Rite support pages have a comforting “we are working on it” message and I am sure that they will eventually produce a 64 bit application but why does it have to take so long? So many other companies are up-to-date with their app development and it isn’t as if Apple haven’t been signalling this for a long time. You can still walk into a shop and you can still log onto an online shop and buy the Colormunki devices but you cannot get software that lets them function as they should. X-Rite seem pretty relaxed about it but I have noticed that if I leave my Colormunki plugged in to monitor the ambient light levels my computer appears to run a little slower and so a perceived or actual disadvantage of one 32 bit app has caused me to change how I work – and that’s not good. As Camera Bits have admitted, 32 bit isn’t as compatible with the latest operating systems as it should or could be.

I use an application called Clean My Mac X on my computers and it has a tab in the uninstaller menu that allows you to single out (and delete) 32 bit applications. Looking just now I currently have seven 32 bit apps. On top of Photo Mechanic and Colormunki Display I also have three obscure printing and scanning apps from Canon that work with my old Pixma all-in-one printer/copier scanner, a bit of residual Adobe updater software and a file-renaming utility. I don’t need/use/want any of those other 32 bit apps so they are going next time I have a maintenance and update purge on my main production machine. Last time around I got rid of seven old and never used applications and all of their supporting files. It didn’t create a lot of hard drive space but that’s OK.

So I have my US$89 ready and waiting and I am keen to see what the application so central to my working life is going to be like for the next four, five, six or more years – and I wonder why colleagues think the term “workflow nerd” suits me so well!


  1. I have just one app that is 32bit, and that is the standalone Photoshop CS6. I have held off going to the subscription model and now it looks like the end of the road is approaching.

    One thing, and maybe you know the answer. If I were to get Photoshop CC, what would happen if I stopped my subscription – would I be unable to open any PSDs? That seems such a cruel way to no longer be able to access my own files. What is your answer, solution, backup plan, etc. for that?


    1. You will need Photoshop to open PSD files I think. Maybe Graphics Converter can open them too, I don’t know. You could even try to see if PSD can be converted into DNG and get a copy of Adobe’s free DNG converter.

      I don’t keep any PSD files myself so this has never been something I have considered. I guess that as long as I keep working I will keep paying for CC. I have all of my important images as both JPG and CR2 files and Canon’s free Digital Photo Professional app can handle both of those.


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