Apple may be close to launching a classical music streaming app, after lines of code in the Apple Music beta for Android revealed a potential name: Apple Classical.
The lines of code were discovered by 9to5Mac, who say they reveal the ability to open a compatible track directly in the optimized service which will cater specifically to classical music – unlike Apple Music, which covers a wide range of genres.
As 9to5Mac puts it, the code hints at possible future features, but that “Google may never provide these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be flawed.”
As such, a beta version of an app isn’t always a guarantee that it will be released, but we already knew that Apple was planning to release a standalone classical music app. In 2021, the tech giant bought classical music streaming app Primephonic and said it plans to offer Apple Music subscribers Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content.
According to a press release from the tech giant, classical music fans with Apple Music will get “the best features of Primephonic,” including the ability to search by composer and repertoire, and more detailed classical music metadata.
We may not have too long to wait to find out if these lines of code really correspond to Apple’s classical music application. The next Apple event is rumored to be on March 8, when it will showcase the iPhone SE 3, iPad Air 5, and maybe even a new Mac. Apple has yet to confirm this rumor, but Bloomberg quoted “people with knowledge of the matter” in its report on the event.
It’s also possible we’ll see the AirPods Pro 2 at the next Apple event – although that’s less likely, as all the rumors we’ve heard point to a late 2022 release date for the company’s next noise-canceling headphones.
Analysis: Why does Apple need a classical music app?
There’s already a massive amount of classical music available to stream on Apple Music, so you might be wondering why the company would bother to create a full standalone service for one musical genre.
Finding classical music on a streaming service is a bit trickier than other genres of music. Works can be recorded by hundreds of different orchestras or musicians, making it difficult to find the exact recording you want – and while Apple Classical makes it easy to find by composer, repertoire and other metadata, the user experience will be greatly improved.
There’s also the fact that older classical works are categorized differently than other genres. The repertoires of many composers are cataloged via the opus numbering system, which helps identify individual compositions – however, this system is far from universal, with many composers only using it for some of their works. Some, like Massenet, used “Opus 12B” instead of “Opus 13” due to superstitions around the number 13, while many 20th-century composers ignored the system altogether.
Then you have individual composers who were so prolific that they were given their own cataloging system. Mozart’s compositions are classified according to the Köchel catalogue, with each work given its own K number.
The lack of a universal way to search for classical music presents a problem for streaming services that wish to make music discovery as easy as possible for its users – and the long titles resulting from using the Opus system do not not exactly lend themselves to mobile. Diffusion. For example, here’s what you see if you want to play an album of Mozart’s Haffner and Jupiter symphonies:
That’s a lot of numbers to navigate – and it could be incredibly off-putting for a classical music newbie dipping their toes into the genre for the first time.
That’s not to say that the whole classical music search experience on Apple Music is bad. On the contrary, the classical section of the app is well organized, with playlists from different eras, artists and instruments, with listening options in Spatial Audio for a super immersive experience.
Apple can do better though, and its purchase of Primephonic will help its music streaming service appeal to a wider audience. So far, Apple has revamped its radio services with Apple One, appeased audiophiles with support for lossless audio, launched a cheaper voice-only service for Siri users, and offered an alternative service to those who are looking to leave Spotify.
Apple Classical is just the next step in Apple Music’s quest for sonic dominance – and if it’s comprehensive enough to make such a large and complicated genre accessible, it might just eclipse Spotify and become the best music streaming service around. of the planet.