Apple acquired Primephonic—a renowned classical music service—in 2021. For the unaware, Primephonic was a classical music streaming service aimed at addressing the needs of the fans of the classical music niche.

apple music classical

Apple’s idea behind the acquisition was to bring a significantly improved classical music experience to Apple Music in the form of a new app: one that combines Primephonic’s catalog of classical music with better browsing, advanced search capabilities, and many other useful features.

Although Apple had initially planned to launch the classical-focused app by the end of 2022, it missed the target. However, that long delay ends now, as the app is finally official.

Apple calls it Apple Music Classical, and it’s available on the App Store for all iPhone users. If you’ve been waiting for its release all this while, or you’re a fan of classical music and wish to know what’s in store, we’ve got you covered.

Apple Music Classical: All You Need to Know

On the face of it, Apple Music Classical can appear like a music streaming service, with content focussed on classical music. However, there’s a lot more to it than that.

Here’s a quick summary of everything you need to know about the all-new Apple Music Classical app:

1. Apple Music Classical is the world’s largest classical music catalog, according to Apple. It gives you access to over 5 million tracks, including everything from the celebrated masterpieces of all time to exclusive albums and the latest releases.

apple music catalog
IMAGE: Apple

2. Much like the original Apple Music app, Classical seemingly has a similar interface. As such, when you open the app, it greets you with the same Listen Now, Browse, Library, and Search tabs as seen on Apple Music. Other UI elements are also the same.

3. Users, who are new to the classical genre and wish to explore it, can check out over 700 playlists curated by experts. Likewise, they can explore Essentials playlists – something also found on Apple Music – to familiarize themselves with the genre and discover the best tracks.

apple music essentials
IMAGE: Apple

4. Browsing new tracks in the Classical catalog is also possible through catalogs and instruments. Orchestras, genres, conductors, and periods are some catalogs you can explore in the app. Similarly, if you’re new to the classical genre and like a particular instrument, you can find out all its titles in one place. Popular instrument listings include piano, cello, violin, guitar, and harp, among many more.

5. Occasionally, there’ll be instances when you can’t find what you’re looking for in the playlists. For such times, Apple offers a search functionality within the app that lets you quickly look up a track by work, composer, and even catalog number.

6. Alongside music, Apple Music Classical also offers both fans of classical music and beginners alike access to insightful content around music. Composer biographies, deep-dive guides, and descriptions of key works are among some of the key information the platform provides to help you learn about tracks and composes onboard.

7. Finding the right track can sometimes be challenging. To ensure this isn’t the case and that users can find the right track and composer they’re looking for, Apple Music Classical gives complete and accurate metadata about all the tracks and composers it hosts on the platform within the app.

8. Apple Music Classical’s biggest highlight is Hi-Res Audio. Apple says you can listen to your favorite classical tracks on the app in up to 192 kHz/24-bit Hi-Res Lossless format. In addition, the app also supports Dolby Atmos so that you can enjoy thousands of recordings in Spatial Audio for a more immersive listening experience. Of course, you’ll need compatible gear to take advantage of this feature.

apple music classical hi-res losless catalog
IMAGE: Apple

9. As of now, Apple Music Classical only works online. As a result, you can only stream music: there’s no option to download tracks for offline listening. We hope Apple changes this in the future.

10. Just like the regular Apple Music app, Apple Music Classical also supports AirPlay. So, if you have a compatible wireless device, you can stream music from the app wirelessly without any hassle.

11. Apple Music Classical is available as an app for iPhone. Users can download it from the Apple App Store on their iPhones running iOS 15.4 and later for free.

12. Sadly, Apple isn’t offering an app for Classical on other Apple platforms like iPad and Mac, at least for now. We aren’t sure why this is the case, but this decision will surely disappoint many users. Users can, however, listen to their favorite classical tracks via the Apple Music app, as the classical collection is synced between both apps.

13. It doesn’t come as a surprise, but Apple’s latest service isn’t available for non-Apple devices either. Hence, you won’t be able to use Apple Music Classical on your Android phone and Windows desktop. However, Apple says an Android version of the app is in the works and will arrive soon.

14. Apple Music users, who are subscribed to any of its plans (Individual, Student, Family, or Apple One), will get Apple Music Classical at no additional cost. They can access both Apple Music and Apple Music Classical with the same Apple Music subscription.

15. Apple Music Classical is available in all countries where Apple Music is supported. However, a few countries, like China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, and Turkey, are left out of this list as of now.

Something for Classical Enthusiasts

apple music classical
IMAGE: Apple

When people think of music streaming services, classical music isn’t something many imagine or, for that matter, even look out for actively. As a result, it’s easy to dismiss Classical as just another niche music streaming service catered to a select audience.

However, when you factor in the offerings Apple provides on the platform—especially the insightful metadata—it starts appealing to a wider audience. Not to mention, the launch of Apple Music Classical also brings joy to Primephonic users, who were left in the dark following Apple’s acquisition of the service, as they now have a place to retreat with their favorite music.

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