A massive new feature just hit Apple Music, and it's the biggest thing to happen to Apple Music since Apple Music was even a thing.
Over the years, Apple's music streaming service added helpful features like Apple Music TV, time-synced lyrics, and Apple Music Sing, and the latest addition is the standalone Apple Music Classical app, which provides more than five million classical music tracks to Apple Music subscribers.
On August 30, 2021, Apple announced it acquired the classical music streaming service Primephonic, which it would eventually fold into Apple Music. Since then, Apple Music Classical has appeared sporadically in the source code for the iOS betas. The app first appeared on the App Store for preorder on March 9, 2023, with an official release on Tuesday, March 28, and that time has finally come. The app was actually available to download as early as 11 p.m. PST on March 27.
Released just after Apple's iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 software updates, Apple Music Classical can be run on devices with at least iOS 15.4. Anyone can browse the app, but only Apple Music subscribers can take full advantage of it through an Individual, Student, Family, or Apple One plan.
Apple Music Classical has over five million tracks, making it "the world's largest classical music catalog," according to Apple. The newly designed search tool lets you search classical music by catalog number, composer, conductor, work, opus number, artist, instrument, and even a work's nickname. There are "hundreds of Essentials playlists, insightful composer biographies, deep-dive guides for many key works, and intuitive browsing features."
Again, Apple Music Classical requires an Apple Music subscription to gain access to all its features. Unfortunately, it won't work with the Apple Music Voice Plan. The updated Apple Music & Privacy details claim anyone can browse the Apple Music Classical catalog without a valid subscription.
Apple Music subscribers have access to Apple Music Classical, a classical music application designed to allow you to discover classical tracks and albums, and save your favorite classical tracks in one centralized place. You can browse the Apple Music Classical catalog without a subscription, but you must have an Apple Music subscription to access all the features of Apple Music Classical. If you do not have an active Apple Music subscription, you will be given the option to subscribe to Apple Music to get full access to Apple Music Classical.
With an Apple Music subscription and iOS 15.4 or later, you get access to:
- Over five million classical music tracks.
- Thousands of exclusive albums.
- Over 700 editor playlists.
- Search built for classical music.
- Complete and accurate metadata.
- Audio quality up to 24-bit Hi-Res Lossless at 192 kHz.
- Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos for thousands of recordings.
- Thousands of composer biographies, descriptions of key works, etc.
- AirPlay support.
The app also works on iPad, though iPadOS isn't listed as a supported OS on its App Store page. However, it's not optimized to run on iPad, so you'll get the iPhone view you can expand to full screen. It's not available for macOS yet, but there is a new "The Works" playlist available the features the latest and best from Apple Music Classical.
There currently isn't an Apple Music Classical app for Android. It's coming "soon," but there's no official timeline. You can follow the new @AppleClassical account on Twitter to stay informed about that or anything related to Apple Music Classical.
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