Apple Music Classical comes at just the right moment: Everyone is talking about the music streaming service Apple Music. And the headphones and streaming speakers of the tech giant from Cupertino also fuel the cult of the products with the apple with the promise of Dolby Atmos and 3D audio.
So what’s the point of an additional app for browsing and playing only classical music now? The question can be answered by anyone who has ever seriously tried to find a classical piece of music with Apple Music or any other streaming service. The search functions, album displays and database are simply not designed to distinguish by composer, opus number, work numbering, conductor, orchestra or singer. Chaos quickly erupts and you can’t find what you’re looking for. In addition, many streaming users are new to classical music and are looking for orientation rather than a complex search function and a variety of offerings that overwhelms them.
5 million titles with custom metadata
But then why have a separate classical music app instead of integrating it into Apple Music’s pop/rock app? Because it would have narrowed down the opportunities and the operation. After all, in the case of classical music, users want to know not only the performers but also the composers, and ideally how they compare to other contemporaries.
Thus, not only the metadata assigned to each album and track is fundamentally different from what a popular music track carries. The presentation of the contributors, the sorting functions, the album presentations, the overviews of the work of a composer – everything is completely different from Apple Music.
Of the 50 million tracks on Apple Music, 5 million are pure classical music tracks. That’s why Apple 2021 acquired an external classical music portal, Primephonic. On the one hand, they wanted the recordings, but especially the equipment and the sound engineers. That’s because they’ve built up a reputation – in multi-dimensional recordings. That and the knowledge of the metadata and search functions enabled the new classical music app to take off – Apple Music Classical.
As a further incentive for classical music listeners, there is background information on composers, orchestras and soloists, as well as editorially curated playlists such as recommendations for specific recordings. There are also overview pages on musical eras from Renaissance to modern, musical forms from sonata to oratorio, and focus on solo instruments.
Classical – why a separate app for classical music?
All the major labels are there, but also independently the best orchestras in the world, who see here a chance for self-publication. By comparison, Spotify and Deezer are more in the sonic mainstream. Tidal and Qobuz share the audiophile HighRes streaming market. Apple is digging at both business models, and its financial strength and power market give it the best chance of defining new rules of the game. Maximum resolution plus the benefit of the 3D aura.
Is there also an Apple Music Classical app for Android?
Yes, the Apple Music Classical app is available for Android mobile devices. It runs with Android smartphones or tablets with Android 9 “Pie” or newer (The system runs pre-installed on the more modern smartphones since about 2019). The free software is available for download on Google Play. However, you need the Apple Music subscription here, the Apple Music Voice variant is not sufficient. Also, the mobile device must be online for the app to access the Apple server.
However, the Android smartphone and the transmission to the device (headphones, speakers, home theater sound system, etc.) must support Dolby Atmos without restrictions in order to hear 3D sound. This is not the case with all devices.
Can I use Apple Music Classical with Windows or with Google Chromebooks?
There is no software or app for Apple Music Classical on Windows. The available apps have been developed exclusively for mobile devices and are available for iOS and Android respectively.
However, Apple Music Classical content is also available in regular Apple Music. There is a browser version for that. The alternative is access via iTunes, the content is also available there, but just not the nagivation of Apple Music Classical. Playlists as well as saved tracks and albums are synchronized, though.
Apple Music: Here you can log in via browser.
Can the new Apple classical music app also be used with Sonos?
Apple Music Classical as an app or streaming service is not integrated into the Sonos architecture or the Sonos app. However, you can run the Apple Music Classical app on your own mobile device and then stream the music to a Sonos device. This is possible without any problems via Airplay2, for example.
The other option is to download individual titles or tracks from the Apple Music Classical app, they will then be automatically included in the normal
What do I have to pay for Apple Music Classical?
For Apple Music subscribers: nothing. If you already have an Apple Music subscription, you can add Classical for free. Simply download the app from the store and set it up on your iPhone.
The cost of Apple Music & Classical:
Single user: 10.99 euros per month
Family account: 16.99 euros per month
Students get a discount: 5.99 euros per month
The annual subscription for a single person: 109 euros a month
Be careful with the economy version “Voice”: although you only pay 4.99 per month, 3D audio as well as Lossless files and use in the Classical app are excluded.
Anyone who owns an Apple product with the latest software, but hasn’t signed up for Apple Music yet (including Beats headphones) – will get a free 6-month trial when they first sign up. And if you just want to have a look: Apple offers a free trial period of 3 months.
Interesting consideration: Apple loves to put together big packages and also attract subscribers to its own video streaming platform Apple TV+ – families then also get the Arcade game software and 200 GB of iCloud storage: for 22.95 euros a month.
The right Apple headphones for 3D audio
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