It’s been over a year since Apple promised a standalone app for classical music lovers, but the wait for Apple Music Classical will soon be over.
Apple has finally announced a launch date for the new classics-focused app, which comes after the 2021 Cupertino takeover and the immediate shutdown of the beloved Classical music streaming service Primephonic.
So what’s the big deal about Apple Music Classical? Will it make the experience of finding and playing classical music less chaotic than the main Apple Music app? Will it offer hi-res and spatial audio tracks? Will it cost more? And when will it finally arrive? We have answers for you.
Apple Music Classical: Your questions answered
Why is Apple releasing a standalone app for classical music?
Classical music plays by its own rules compared to pop, rock, jazz, country and other contemporary genres. In addition to artists, albums, and song names, classical music listeners want access to conductors, composers, compositions, movements, catalog numbers, tags, and other specialized metadata that don’t exist for other music genres.
By releasing a standalone classical music app, Apple is trying to make it easier for users to find classical songs, shuffle songs without clutter, locate composers without confusing them with artists, and so on.
This news is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best streaming music services.
Does Apple Music Classic include Primephonic?
Primephonic used to be the classic streaming music service which Apple absorbed (and then shut down) in 2021 and forms the basis for the new Apple Music Classical app.
Now, if you are expecting to launch Apple Music Classical and see a perfect replica of Primephonic, you will probably be disappointed.
While we expect to see the bones of Primephonic incorporated into Apple Music Classical, complete with support for the granular metadata classical music lovers crave, the interface looks a little different, with the new app boasting serif (rather than sans serif) fonts. in the titles, a different set of tabs along the bottom of the screen, and a visual design that more closely resembles the look of Apple Music.
However, Primephonic forms the basis of Apple Music Classical, thus, in a sense, the old Primephonic service AND included with Apple’s new Classic App.
How many songs will be available on Apple Music Classical?
Apple promises that Apple Music Classical will include access to “over 5 million” songs, including “everything from new releases to celebrated masterpieces.”
In addition to its extensive classical music catalog, Apple Music Classical will also offer “thousands of exclusive albums,” though it’s unclear what is included in Apple’s collection of exclusive classical titles.
Will Apple Music Classical support lossless and hi-res music?
Apple Music Classical will support High-Resolution Audio, with some tracks available in up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution. Note that you will need an external DAC (such as the iFi GoLinkfor example) to play tracks with audio resolutions higher than 24-bit/48kHz (which is commonly accepted as the threshold for High-Resolution Audio).
In addition to High-Resolution Audio, Apple Music Classical will also support spatial audio, allowing you to listen to selected songs in the immersive Dolby Atmos format.
Will you be able to download songs from Apple Music Classical?
The standard Apple Music app lets you download songs for offline listening, ideal for times when you don’t have an internet connection or when you want to save bandwidth.
Unfortunately, the same won’t be true for Apple Music Classical, with The Verge reporting it Apple Music Classical will not support offline downloads of classical music pieces. Will Apple Music Classical support offline listening in the future? Good question.
What devices will Apple Music Classical work on?
For now, Apple Music Classical only has an iPhone app, which means there’s no native version of the app for iPad, tvOS, or macOS.
That said, Apple Music Classical supports AirPlay 2, allowing users to stream classic songs from their iPhones to Apple TV, HomePod smart speakers, and other AirPlay-enabled devices.
Your iPhone must be running iOS 15.4 or later to run Apple Music Classical.
How much will Apple Music Classic cost?
Access to Apple Music Classical will be included with most Apple Music subscriptionsincluding Individual ($10.99 per month), Family ($16.99 per month), and Student ($5.99 per month) plans.
Apple Music Classical, however, won’t work with the $4.99 a month Voice plan, a Siri-only offer that lets you stream music in unlimited skips through any Siri-enabled device, including AirPods, iPhones, speakers smart HomePods, Macs and via CarPlay.
When is Apple Music Classical coming?
THE The Apple Music Classic app will be available on the App Store on March 28 and you can pre-order now.