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MXF files opened by Pro Tools instead of Max Runtime

September 9, 2010 | 11:13 pm

I have a bunch of Max collectives in mxf format that I would like for other people to be able to use with the Max 5 Runtime application. What I’m discovering, though, is that with users who have Pro Tools installed on their computer, the collective tries to open with Pro Tools as the default instead of Max Runtime. I know you can set the "Always open with…" option, but I’d like to not make people do that, if possible. Is this a common problem? Is there a conflict with the .mxf file type?

I’ve tried installing the newest version of Max Runtime and repairing permissions, but I have to choose Max Runtime as the default app in order to make it work.


September 10, 2010 | 2:51 pm

try this:

get info on the MXF file and click always open with / select max / click on change all (just below)

this will apply to all files with .mxf extension

i had a similar issue with photoshop, these problems happen… but the fix is fairly easy.


September 10, 2010 | 5:44 pm

Yeah, as I said in my post, I know how to do that. I’m distributing these to others and am trying to avoid having to make them do it as well.


September 10, 2010 | 9:40 pm

Sounds like you are on OS X, right? Instead of having your users double click the .mxf file, you can create a bash scripts that will open the MXF in the right program. Here are some steps:

  1. In the directory with your MXF, save a text file with the .command file extension
  2. Enter the following two lines in the text file (where mypatch.mxf is the name of the collective you want opened by the script):
    #!/bin/bash
    open -a MaxMSP Runtime mypatch.mxf
  3. Open Terminal.app and navigate to the directory containing your bash script. Once in the correct directory, run the following command (where openme.command is the name of your bash script):
    chmod +x openme.command

Now you should be able to double-click the script in the Finder and your MXF will open with Runtime.

This will not work correctly if the default shell is not bash, but I wouldn’t worry about that as I’d be surprised if it wasn’t on your users’ computers as bash has been the default shell since OS X 10.3.

Is there a reason that you can’t make an application instead of a collective? I’m realizing since you are going the MXF route, you may need to be using this patch on OS X and Windows in which case I’m not sure how to solve this issue on Windows.


September 10, 2010 | 11:41 pm

Thanks Roth,

I’ll check that out. I could make them apps, I was just trying to keep them really small as collectives so they are easy to download and transfer.


September 11, 2010 | 1:02 am

what about using no extension for the "mac version"


September 11, 2010 | 7:48 am

I could make them apps, I was just trying to keep them really small as collectives so they are easy to download and transfer.

Yeah, I hear ya. I ran into that problem this winter when I made some apps for my students (zipped up with a quicktime video) and had the whole lecture on their laptops at once trying to download it from the course page. Took WAY too long.

what about using no extension for the "mac version"

Might as well try it, but I doubt that would work because, as far as I know, OS X first looks at the files meta-data to choose what program to open it with and then looks at the file extension. I believe the reason this protools opening issue is happen is that the meta-data is not being transfered so the default for the .mxf file extension is being used instead. If I remember from past experience, I think files without any metadata or extension are viewed by OS X as being an executable. (Plus, even though I tend to only use OSes not *requiring* file extensions–OS X, Linux, and the classic Mac OS starting in 1988–I don’t like looking at filenames without extensions these days).


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