Run iMovie HD (and maybe other older applications) in Yosemite (and now El Capitan)
I was disappointed to see that I could no longer run iMovie HD (available here) after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The Finder gave me an error saying, You can’t use this version of the application “iMovie HD” with this version of OS X. You have “iMovie HD” 6.0.3. I was delighted to discover a workaround that works, well, for now. Here’s how.
UPDATE, Sept 2015: Looks like this trick works in El Capitan too.
UPDATE, Nov 2015: Skip straight to Rolando’s comment below for the best solution yet, or download the already-modified iMovie from this this related post right here on this blog.
$ file /Applications/iMovie\ HD.app/Contents/MacOS/iMovie\ HD
/Applications/iMovie HD.app/Contents/MacOS/iMovie HD: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures:
[ppc_7400: Mach-O ppc_7400 executable]
With an i386 binary it ought to be fine but apparently it is not. I tried running iMovie HD from the Terminal to see if I could get any details about the error, and I was pleasantly surprised at the results.
From the Terminal, launch iMovie HD like so:
$ /Applications/iMovie\ HD.app/Contents/MacOS/iMovie\ HD
You’ll get a bunch of warnings about deprecated API calls that will one day be removed (meaning iMovie HD’s days are still numbered).
If you like you can download this two-line script file that will launch iMovie HD for you (assuming it is located as /Application/iMovie HD):
In the end iMovie HD ran fine. I was able to edit a project and export it as a DV file.
I have no idea if there is some other API lurking in iMovie HD that will cause the computer to crash, but I am happy to have the chance to find out — and keep using iMovie HD!
I found a few other application such as Font Book that Yosemite’s Finder block from running but run OK with the Terminal hack. I do not know how Apple determines what can and cannot be run. Try it out on other older applications that Yosemite’s Finder blocks you from running. Maybe you will get lucky.