Apple has recently announced the launch date for its new classical-focused app, Apple Music Classical, which follows its acquisition of the much-loved classical music streaming service, Primephonic in 2021.
With the imminent release of this new app, classical music enthusiasts are eager to know what’s in store for them. In this article, we’ll be answering some of the most pressing questions about Apple Music Classical, including what makes it different from the main Apple Music app, whether it includes Primephonic, and whether it will support high-resolution and spatial audio tracks.
Why is Apple releasing a standalone app for classical music?
Unlike other contemporary genres, classical music has its own set of rules and requirements.
Classical music listeners want access to conductors, composers, compositions, movements, catalogue numbers, labels, and other specialized metadata that doesn’t exist for other music genres.
By releasing a standalone classical music app, Apple is looking to make it easier for users to search for classical tracks, shuffle works without jumbling movements around, pinpoint composers without confusing them with artists, and so on.
Primephonic was the classical streaming music service that Apple absorbed and closed down in 2021, and it forms the basis for the new Apple Music Classical app.
However, users expecting to see a perfect replica of Primephonic when they launch Apple Music Classical are likely to be disappointed.
Primephonic’s features will soon be integrated into Apple Music Classical.
This means classical music enthusiasts can expect to enjoy the same granular metadata support they love, along with a refreshed interface.
The new app features serif fonts in headlines and a different set of tabs at the bottom of the screen, but it still maintains Apple Music’s signature look and feels.
We can’t wait for you to experience the best of both worlds when it comes to classical music on Apple Music.
Apple promises that Apple Music Classical will include access to “over 5 million” tracks, including “everything from new releases to celebrated masterpieces.”
Besides its deep classical catalogue, Apple Music Classical will also offer “thousands of exclusive albums,” although it’s not clear what’s included in Apple’s trove of exclusive classical titles.
Apple Music Classical will indeed support high-resolution audio, with some tracks available at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution.
Remember that you’ll need an external DAC (such as the iFi Go, Link, for example) to experience tracks at audio resolutions greater than 24-bit/48kHz (commonly accepted as the threshold of high-resolution audio).
In addition to high-resolution audio, Apple Music Classical will also support spatial audio, allowing you to listen to select tracks in the immersive Dolby Atmos format.
Unfortunately, Apple Music Classical won’t support offline downloads of classical music tracks.
The Verge has reported that the app will not allow users to download tracks for offline listening, which is ideal for times when you don’t have an internet connection or when you want to conserve bandwidth.
However, whether the app will support offline listening in the future is yet to be seen.
For now, Apple Music Classical only has an app for iPhone, which means there’s no native version of the app for iPad, tvOS, or macOS yet.
However, users can still access Apple Music Classical on their other Apple devices by logging into the app on their iPhones and streaming it to their other devices using AirPlay.
It’s unclear whether Apple has plans to release a native app for other devices in the future.
Apple Music Classical is not a separate service but rather a new section within the existing Apple Music subscription.
It offers classical music enthusiasts an extensive collection of classical music, exclusive releases, expert recommendations, and curated playlists.
To access Apple Music Classical, you’ll need to have a full Apple Music subscription (Individual, Student, Family, or Apple One). Unfortunately, the Apple Music Voice Plan does not include access to Apple Music Classical.
You’ll need to install Apple Musicto listen to Apple Music Classical.
As of right now, there is no sign of an Apple Music Classical app in iOS 16.4, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t come in a later beta or with the iOS 16.4 launch.
Apple will launch its classical streaming service – Apple Music Classical – on March 28th at no extra charge to existing Apple Music subscribers.
The company has been promising a classical music add-on since acquiring Primephonic in 2021.
Apple has commissioned unique artwork of famous artists for Apple Music Classical using color palettes and artistic references from the relevant classical period.
The first portraits include Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, and Johann Sebastian Bach, with more to come in the future.
Apple Music Classical offers a unique experience for classical music lovers with its own set of features and functionalities.
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An Android version of Apple Music Classical is in the works and set to arrive “soon,” according to Apple.
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Read our review on Mahler’s Symphony No. 5: A Masterpiece by the Berlin Philharmonic & Claudio Abbado. Click here!