Our long national nightmare of not having a dedicated Apple Music app for classical music is nearly over. A new app–called, unsurprisingly, Apple Music Classical–has appeared in the App Store at long last. The app is currently only available for the iPhone and doesn’t officially arrive until March 28.
This has been in the pipeline for a while. Ever since Apple acquired the classical music service Primephonic back in August 2021, the company made two promises. The first was that a “significantly improved classical music experience beginning with Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content,” would arrive (which exists, to a degree, in Apple Music). And the second was that “a dedicated classical music app … combining Primephonic’s classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features” would be coming to Apple Music subscribers. At the time, Apple promised the app would arrive by the end of 2022, but the year closed with no sign of this offering.
Still, better late than never, and the app has now hit the App Store. Apple heralded its arrival with a brief introductory video in Apple Music, calling the standalone app “a new dawn in classical music.”
Apple says the new classical music experience “makes it easy for beginners to get acquainted with the genre thanks to hundreds of Essentials playlists, insightful composer biographies, deep-dive guides for many key works, and intuitive browsing features.” You can search by composer, work, conductor, or catalog number, and tracks are available up to 192 kHz/24 bit Hi-Res Lossless and spatial audio.
Officially, Apple Music Classical is currently available for preorder, a similar tactic it deploys for Apple Arcade games. The app displays the standard “Get” button that shows for all free apps, but tapping it (and then entering a passcode or biometric authentication if your settings require them) doesn’t actually download the app. Rather, it simply signs you up to download the app automatically when it launches. According to the App Store, that will happen on March 28, although we wouldn’t rule out further delays.
The app is currently only available for iPhones running iOS 15.4 or later, though it’s possible some features may require iOS 16.4, which is currently in tsting. Presumably, a version for the iPad, Mac, and Android will be coming soon.
Of note, when I searched on the App Store for “Apple Music Classical,” the exact name of the app, I had to scroll past one (unrelated) advert, the original Apple Music app, Apple Music for Artists, a house ad for Apple One, TIDAL Music, an explainer about App Store search, and Mixcloud, before I reached the new app. That’s an astonishing seven unwanted slots before I reached the exact thing I had searched for. Maybe the app doesn’t rank well on its own search term because it isn’t yet available. Or maybe, as many of us have suspected for a while, App Store search is a mess.
At any rate, the app is there at long last and will soon be ready to deliver soothing music to our ears.