Apple just unveiled a new music app — here's what it can do

Apple Music Classical screenshots
(Image credit: Apple Music Classical)

Apple has launched a classical music streaming service, which is live to existing Apple Music subscribers today (March 28) via a dedicated app available from the App Store

The new classical music streaming service claims to offer over 5 million classical tracks and complete works from new releases to celebrated masterpieces.

Why do I need Apple Music Classical?

Apple purchased classical music streaming service Primephonic in 2021, which built a comprehensive classical music focussed service based around strong metadata with the ability to search by composer, work, conductor, or even catalog number, to find specific recordings instantly.

If you're a classical music listener then you're probably a little frustrated with the way many of the best music streaming services out there handle classical music. They can often make classical recording works feel inaccessible due to limited search criteria that doesn't quite handle the complex way classical music is cataloged, and often miss the mark when it comes to searching for specific classical content.

I know from experience that few music streaming services manage to dig any deeper than the most popular versions of well-known classics when carrying out searches for a particular classical track. It's often difficult to find the exact recording or performance you're after, but Apple says that its new service delivers complete and accurate metadata to make sure you can find specific recordings instantly. Users will also get access to thousands of editorial notes and composer biographies, as well as descriptions of key works.

"Apple Music Classical is the ultimate classical experience with hundreds of curated playlists, thousands of exclusive albums, insightful composer biographies, deep-dive guides for many key works, intuitive browsing features and much more," Apple states.

Classical music streaming for audiophiles

Apple Music Classical screen shots

(Image credit: Apple Music Classical)

As with Apple Music, its classical content will also stream at lossless 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD quality) and up to 24-bit/192kHz (hi-res audio quality) for no extra charge. 

Thousands of tracks will also be available mastered for Dolby Atmos, which is compatible with Apple's 3D surround format spatial audio available on its AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max headphones, and HomePod 2 speaker, as well as the new Sonos Era 300 smart speaker — although we've yet to see the dedicated Apple Music Classical streaming app appear on the latest version of Sonos' ecosystem app. 

How to get Apple Music Classical

Once again, Apple Music Classical will launch on March 28 for Apple iOS devices. Apple says that Apple Music Classical for Android is coming soon. 

Apple Music subscribers will be able to download and enjoy the Apple Music Classical app as part of their existing subscription at no additional cost. The dedicated Apple Music Classical app is available today on the App Store. If you're already an Apple Music subscriber, the Apple Music Classical app will automatically download to enable immediate listening for users who have Auto Update turned on in their settings.

Apple Music subscription costs require Individual, Student, Family or Apple One subscriptions costing $10.99, $5.99, $16.99, and $16.95 respectively. Apple Music Classical will not be available with the Apple Music Voice Plan.

About Apple Music

Apple Music has made big strides over the past year to the high-quality service it is today, and Apple Music Classical is only likely to broaden its reach. It has advanced its music streaming offering through strong curated content, lossless and hi-res audio support, and spatial audio. Its app is clean and easy to navigate and only the limited support outside of Apple's ecosystem count against it. Even with the recent price increases, it's the main alternative to Spotify Premium and ultimately the best value option for Apple-loving music fans.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.