Apple Continuing Work on New Apple Music App for Classical Music

Following its acquisition of the classical music service Primephonic earlier this year, Apple's work on a new music app dedicated to classical music is ongoing, a recent job listing indicates.

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Earlier this year, Apple announced that it had purchased the classical music streaming service Primephonic and would be folding it into Apple Music. Primephonic offered an "outstanding listening experience" with search and browse functionality that is specifically optimized for classical music, as well as handpicked recommendations and "contextual details on repertoire and recordings."

Apple said that with the acquisition of Primephonic, ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers would be provided with an improved classical music experience. This was said to start with Primephonic playlists and audio content, followed by a dedicated Primephonic experience with improved browsing and search capabilities by composer and repertoire, better classical music metadata, and more, at a later date.

Most strikingly, Apple said that it would launch a new Apple Music app dedicated to classical music in 2022. The app will combine Primephonic's user interface and specializations for classical music with ‌Apple Music‌ and features such as Lossless and Spatial Audio.

Apple is now looking to hire a UX Designer to work on the new app in the classical music team, according to a listing on Apple's jobs site. The role, located in London or Amsterdam, will be expected to "provide UX expertise and new perspectives specifically for Primephonic." The job listing goes on to explain that Apple is exploring and creating a distinct experience for classical music, including "visual, audial, and haptic" aspects.

While the job listing suggests that the Primephonic brand will persist for the new app, Primephonic was taken offline on September 7, 2021 and is no longer available for new subscribers. Current Primephonic subscribers received six months of ‌Apple Music‌ access for free with access to thousands of classical albums that support Lossless and Spatial Audio.

Primephonic's website now tells visitors: "We are working on an amazing new classical music experience from Apple for early next year." It is not clear to what extent the Primephonic brand will persist in the new app, if at all, and how heavily it will amalgamate with ‌Apple Music‌.

(Thanks, Chris!)

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Top Rated Comments

Butler Trumpet Avatar
33 months ago

Interesting, the one thing not listed in the job posting - "Deep knowledge of Classical Music." So many UI's for every music service I've ever used seem to be desgined by people who have no idea about, for instance, the difference between a symphony and a concerto...
Exactly. That's how we end up with "Top 50 Classical Hits" and garbage like that showing up in search results. No Apple. I want a specific recording with a specific orchestra and a specific conductor from a specific year .... not some classical album I'd find at walmart.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tubular Avatar
33 months ago

I’ve been using an app called Concertino for a while that shows a lot of the info Classical Music fans look for. Works great, and integrates into Apple Music.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/concertino/id1506663568
Thanks for the recommendation.


Curious to know: what kinds of information do classical music fans typically look for?
1 -- composer! It needs a field to itself. That's the most important single fact about any classical track, and yet most streaming platforms ignore it or fail to display it. If you can't unambiguously identify the composer of a track in the metadata, get out of the business.

2 -- entire work, and movement numbers! Most classical pieces have multiple parts meant to be played in a specified order. Imagine playing "Dark Side of the Moon" on shuffle, and you'll know what classical streaming is like.

3 -- performer! Not the composer. Amazon fails this simple test frequently -- they'll list both the pianist and the composer as "artists," as if Glenn Gould shared his piano bench with Anton Webern during the recording sessions. If it's an orchestra, give me both the orchestra and the conductor.

4 -- soloist names! Who's that playing the piano? Not the conductor! Unless it is, and he's conducting from the piano. Which happens.

5 -- year of recording! Sometimes the exact same artists return to the exact same work decades later.

The basic problem is that streaming services default to "track" / "artist" / "album" -- where "track" implies independence from other tracks and therefore the shuffle problem I mentioned before, "artist" could mean just about anything, and "album" as we know it is a concept that postdates most classical compositions and isn't very meaningful, especially when compared to the (unsupported) name of the composer.

Having an entirely separate system for classical is the only way to make it work.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrapShack Avatar
33 months ago
Interesting, the one thing not listed in the job posting - "Deep knowledge of Classical Music." So many UI's for every music service I've ever used seem to be desgined by people who have no idea about, for instance, the difference between a symphony and a concerto...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bitfactory Avatar
33 months ago
They need to blow up the Mac 'Music' app and start over - it's embarrassing. I switched to Spotify in January almost solely due to the garbage macOS Music app. The Spotify app isn't perfect, but it runs circles around Music.

I just don't understand how Apple dropped the ball so hard on this app. Just swarm a decent-sized team on it for a year and create a killer app. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
33 months ago
Lol so they consider the regular Music app "done"? ??‍♂️
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gank41 Avatar
33 months ago
I’ve been using an app called Concertino for a while that shows a lot of the info Classical Music fans look for. Works great, and integrates into Apple Music.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/concertino/id1506663568
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)