Beta iOS 16.3 code shows Apple Music Classical is still coming

in iOS
Although not announced for iOS 16.3, there is more Apple Music Classical code within the beta release, and it's being changed as the service gets closer.

Apple's recent developer beta of iOS 16.3 was a release candidate, and it's expected to be issued publicly in the next week. There is no sign that the delayed Apple Music Classical will be included, but there is sign that the service continues to be worked on.

With iOS 16.3 RC, Apple has modified and added some strings in the Music app about the now renamed Apple Music Classical (it was just Apple Classical up until 16.3 beta 2). Seems they're still working on it

-- iSoftware Updates (@iSWUpdates)

It's not correct that the service was only just now named Apple Music Classical, as beta iOS code in September 2022 called it that too. But the code is changing between betas, which means it's still being worked on.

Apple has not commented on these code fragments, nor about its previous commitment to launch by the end of 2022. It made that commitment in August 2021, when Apple bought the Primephonic classical music streaming service.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 3
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,007member
    Those bits of code actually suggest answers to a few important questions. First, Apple Classical Music will indeed be a separate app, rather than some sort of subsection within the Apple Music app. There probably wasn't a lot of question about that, but this seems to make that completely clear.

    Second, I think this strongly suggests that there won't be an additional fee to use the Apple Classical Music app. The little bits of code shown seem to suggest that classical music content will continue to be available in the regular music app. Apple has already set a lot of precedent of not charging more for new features in this space. All the other services were only offering lossless format music and spatial audio or Dolby Atmos in a premium tier. That was foolish, because it set up a nasty feedback loop assuring that spatial audio in particular would remain a niche thing. Not enough customers signing up to pay extra for spatial audio provided little incentive for producing or remixing titles in that format, which in turn assured few people would sign up and keep paying extra for a small library of enhanced content.

    Then Apple added spatial audio and lossless formats for free with a software update and an announcement that you already own the gear needed for playback. Ever since, there has been an explosion in the number of titles available in Atmos and spatial audio formats. Surround sound has been a thing since quadrophonic albums were offered in the 1970s, but it's always been a thing that cost extra for gear and content and was thus stuck in that feedback loop. Apple sorts out the technology to translate surround sound audio into binaural spatial audio playback in your wireless earbuds on-the-fly, and boom. Millions of people already have access in their pockets, at no additional cost.

    In any case, it would already be a stretch, then, for Apple to take away classical music content from the music app with an announcement that using the new app that now has that content will cost extra. With classical music content continuing to be available in the main music app, it would be even weirder to tell users that the music is all still available in the regular app, but the added search-and-sorting function of the new app is going to cost extra. So it's just going to be there, already in your pocket, and millions of people who sort of like classical music, but could never find their way past Soothing Piano Music compilation albums will suddenly be able to seamlessly slide from there to an app designed to explore the genre to finding all sorts of other composers and performers that they like. 

    I wouldn't be surprised that within a couple of years of the introduction of the Apple Classical Music app that there will be fascinating stories in the news about a new popular interest in classical music, with orchestras and performers suddenly seeing a boost in ticket sales and more kids suddenly being interested in taking cello, oboe and bassoon lessons.

    The third, bonus question that gets answered is how are they going to deal with content that overlaps and defies genres? The answer is that they're still all available in the existing music app. If it makes sense to catalog them with the classical music app's enhanced database tools, they'll turn up over there, too.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    I’m interested in what they end up with. I currently subscribe to AllClassical DOT org and I like ti. It streams classical all day. There are a few things though I’d like to see in the new service
    • multiple streams with different focus. . CBC has tried this with their app but the streams aren’t curated terribly well. Some of them feel kinda forced. AllClassical just has the one.
    • Being able to click on what’s playing and have it take you to the Apple Music Store would be great. AllClassical does this, but not to the AppleStore, just Amazon and a couple of others.
    • CBC only has the music, no announcers so it feels very sterile. AllClassical has knowledgeable DJs who really improve the experience with their chatter. I hope AppleClassical has DJs but they need to remember it’s about the music, not them.
    • Classical music is very different from pop. Pieces are longer, they are linked into larger groups, a symphony made of four movements for example, and different people can all do the same piece. Apple needs to be aware of these differences.
    I’m very interested in what Apple comes up with. 
  • Reply 3 of 3
    As a mainly "classical" listener, I always found the term "Song" for iTunes/Music music tracks irritating.

    If you listen to Symphonies, Concerti, Quartets, Sonatas, Masses, Operas, etc., etc. "song" just doesn't cut it. For single movements, definitely not.
    Maybe it works for Lieder? … sort of.

    When you get into different performances and interpretations of pieces by different orchestras, conductors, soloists, etc. it can get even more complex in a hurry.
    I think I have 14 recordings of Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde", for instance.

    I'll be curious to see how this thing looks and functions. I haven't tried any streaming services, but this could be be tempting.
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