Apple Music’s classical music experience about to get much, much better

From Apple’s press release, which Jim posted last night:

Apple today announced it has acquired Primephonic, the renowned classical music streaming service that offers an outstanding listening experience with search and browse functionality optimized for classical, premium-quality audio, handpicked expert recommendations, and extensive contextual details on repertoire and recordings.


With the addition of Primephonic, Apple Music subscribers will get a significantly improved classical music experience beginning with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content. In the coming months, Apple Music Classical fans will get a dedicated experience with the best features of Primephonic, including better browsing and search capabilities by composer and by repertoire, detailed displays of classical music metadata, plus new features and benefits.

I wanted to add my 2 cents. A big part of this is the metadata. With popular music, you can mostly get what you want by asking Siri for an artist and a song or album. Classical music adds layers to this request. At the very least, you’ll want the composer, performer, soloist, movement, etc. Generally, I want to listen to classical music in the same order in which it was performed/recorded, not shuffled or selected at random.

As is, Apple Music and Siri are set up for popular music. Getting down to a specific classical piece is tricky at best.

Ask Siri to play Mozart. Chances are good, you got Mozart. Now ask Siri to play Beethoven (I got some explicit lyrics, so careful if you are at work). Likely not what you expected. Now try being more specific: Ask Siri to play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Also not likely what you expected.

Not a fair test, really. Apple Music is not set up for the classical music experience. Seems like that is about to change for the better.

As to the Primephonic service:

Primephonic is no longer available for new subscribers and will be taken offline beginning September 7. Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features. In the meantime, current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music for free, providing access to hundreds of thousands of classical albums, all in Lossless and high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classical albums in Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly.

Looking forward to seeing this new, classical side of Apple Music.